Archive for May, 2011

31
May
11

Kaliesha West – prepping “360-style” for her upcoming title fight.

Kaliesha West – prepping “360-style” for her upcoming title fight.

Boxer Kaliesha West (13-1-2, 4 KOs) has her own reality TV show on YouTube in advance of her upcoming fight on June 18th.

Kaliesha will defending her WBO Female Bantamweight title at the Pico Rivera Stadium in Los Angeles as the main boxing event for promoter Red Scorpion Promotion’s International Fight Showdown.  Entitled IFS8: Mass Destruction, the fight card will also feature MMA and Muay Thai bouts — not unlike Ana Julaton’s fight card in Riverside, California earlier in the year.

For those who are unfamiliar with Kaliesha “Wild Wild” West — she started boxing at the age of ten and never stopped. She had a huge amateur career, winning a total of 98 amateur bouts that included the National Golden Gloves in 2003.

Kaliesha turned pro in 2006 and continues to train with her father, Juan West. In a recent interview, Kaliesha said, “Since the beginning of my career, my dad has always handled the when, where, and with whom I fight. I just train for whatever is lined up next. I am thankful to have my father as my coach and manager, because I know he is looking out for my best interest.” (Link here.)

BTW, Kaliesha’s also made David Avala’s top dozen pound-for-pound female fighters list. (Link here.)

Check out the first installment of Kaliesha’s reality-TV show here:

30
May
11

Women’s Boxing from around the web

Women’s Boxing from around the web


Over at The Sweet Science, David A. Avila has one of his periodic pieces on the pound-for-pound best women’s in professional boxing, entitled, appropriately enough, “Avila’s New Female Fighter Pound For Pound List.” 

As a the chief everything of a blog devoted to women’s boxing, I probably shouldn’t admit to the fact that I don’t feel sufficiently up on every women on the list to opine … suffice to say it was good to see the likes of Holly Holm and Mariana Juarez who just had a great on May 21st, not to mention Melinda Cooper and Ana Julaton.  If you’d like to add your opinions head on over to the site to voice them in the comments or post them here.

To punctuate why Mariana Jaurez should be considered, here’s the first part of her recent bout with Gabriela Bouvier.

Next, check out Inspiring Women’s Sports for Niamh Griffin’s piece, “Why do we box?”    The link is here and is worth heading over to listen to some inspiring audio clips from “Christina McMahon, Australia Muay Thai fighter Kelly Simon and a few boys including Irish pro-boxer Willie “Big Bang’ Casey.”

The clips are from radio interviews Niamh did some time ago and finally put together for a piece.  Really … check it out!

Finally, boxer, writer and filmmaker Jill Morley also has a blog these days called appropriately enough, Fighting It

Jill’s written a truly gut-wrenching piece that is not only worth the read, but worth the time to think about what it all means in your own life.

The piece is entitled, When Life Gives you PTSD, Turn it into Lemonblog,” and I urge you to give it a read.  The link is here.

29
May
11

UPDATE! Three cheers for boxing’s #1 female heavyweight: Sonya Lamonakis!!!

UPDATE:  Three cheers for boxing’s #1 female heavyweight: Sonya Lamonakis!!!

Girlboxing pal and Gleason’s Gym’s own Sonya “The Scholar” Lamonakis has made it to the top of the list! Yep, we’re talking # 1 on WIBA’s World Ratings list of female heavyweight boxers!

With the loss of Gwendolyn O’Neil to Nigeria’s Ljeoma Euginine by unanimous decision after their six-round bout Saturday night in Stone Mountain, Georgia, the women’s heavyweight division has undergone an interesting change given the Ljeoma wasn’t even ranked on the WIBA World Ratings.

All we can say is congratulations to Sonya for her achievement in her first year of pro-fighting!!!

Let’s bring on a championship bout!

===WIBA World Ratings - May 17th 2011===

==HEAVYWEIGHT (over 175 lbs / over 79.4 kgs)==
World Champion
-GWENDOLYN O'NEIL (Guyana)
1. Sonya Lamonakis (USA)
2. Pamela London (Guyana)
3. Tanzee Daniels (USA)
4. Tiffany Woodard (USA)
5. Gigi Jackson (USA)
6. Yolanda Fagan (USA)
7. Sydney LeBlanc (USA)
8. Alysia Williams-Stevenson (USA)

 
28
May
11

Pointers for a Saturday boxing workout at the gym!

Pointers for a Saturday boxing workout at the gym!

Boxing Stance Diagram

For those of us who can’t get to the gym as often as we’d like for a serious workout, watching boxing training videos, while no substitute for the real thing, can help us to pick-up some pointers ahead of the next visit to the gym.

The following videos from YouTube were kind of fun — demonstrating “Mayweather-style” defensive moves in the ring with Coach Rick, the “Mittologist” from Southern New Jersey. For more information his website link is here.

27
May
11

Christy Martin’s back + a highly anticipated women’s bout 2night!

Christy Martin’s back + a highly anticipated women’s bout 2night!

Talk about a phoenix rising, the indomitable Christy Martin (49-5-3, 31 KOs) will be returning to the ring on June 4th in a rematch with Dakota Stone (9-8-5) @ the Staples Center in Los Angles.  The six-round light middleweight bout will be Christy’s first in two years — and with a little luck and a lot of boxing savvy will be her 50th win.  Check out the piece by Bob Velin in USA Today here.

Christy’s fight is on the undercard of two much anticipated bouts:  Julio Cesar Miranda’s (38-5-7, 5 KOs) WBO flyweight title defense against Brian Viloria (28-3, 16 KOs) and the battle for the WBC Middleweight belt between Sebastian Zbik (30-0, 10 KOs) and Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (42-0-1, 30 KOs).

Great Women’s bout 2night!

Christina Hammer (9-0, 7 KO’s) will be defending her WBO & WBF middleweight titles tonight against the reigning WIBA & WIBF light-middleweight champion Maria Lindberg (5-0-2) in a ten-round bout to be held in Usti nad Labem, Czech Republic tonight.

Christina Hammer, 20, hailing from Germany will be fighting Sweden’s own Maria Lindberg, 34,  in what will be an interesting bout given that Lindberg @ 5’5″ will be giving up 5″ in height & a weight class to the younger fighter.

No media outlet has been announced though I’d guess it can be found on streaming video.  The co-bout will be Lukas Koriechy vs. Hussein Bayram fighting for the WBO Super Welterweight Intercontinental Championship.

26
May
11

One reason to love boxing …

One reason to love boxing …

There are a lot of reasons to take up boxing, and Girlboxing friend Lisa Creech Bledsoe over at The Glowing Edge has a great post on the 13 reasons women should take up the sport — but let me tell you, the number one reason has to do with the heart, and I don’t mean cardio.

Yesterday, I walked into the locker room at Gleason’s Gym to get ready for my Wednesday work-out when a young woman, all of 16 came in and started to sob.  I mean big tears with her head in her hands on the table.  I attempted to engage her without much luck, but then her trainer walked in and managed to get her up and talking.

This is where the heart part kicked in … the part of boxing where trainers and gym denizens help young kids whose lives are otherwise an absolute mess through no particular fault of their own. It’s the side of boxing that countless adults will tell you helped them through the misery of their childhoods into active, healthy adulthood free of the foibles of the streets, bad parenting, and “the system.”

In the case of this young woman, as her sobs abated and a small crowd of women sat with her, even I could feel the tough edges of love from her trainer and the women listening to her in the locker room.

She talked of of feeling overwhelmed by the elements of her life that felt unfair and difficult — and not like a spoiled kid bemoaning a missed call from a boyfriend, but from a place of real troubles that had us all nodding in a moment of acknowledgement that said, “yep, this truly is as bad as you say,” … but having no other life than the one she has, the women of the gym said just that as they washed her with the sort of advise and support that can see her through her tough times and into an adulthood that is productive, healthy and happy.

After a while, and as af to say, enough of the pity-party, her trainer then said, “okay ladies, it’s time to work out.” And off we all trotted out, even the kid with her tears dried into a smile, pushing aside her issues with social workers, mean girls, life in a group home and problems in high school — to work it all out on the bag.

Thinking of it now — thinking of all the countless young people that have made it up and out of troubled childhoods because of similar scenes in countless boxing gyms over the years is to know the truth about boxing:  at its core it is just a great big, mushy heart.  A human heart that beats and pushes out love and compassion from thousands and thousands of hearts that extend kindnesses day-in and day-out.

I also think that no matter the hype that surrounds “rumbles in the jungle” or who the best pound-for-pound fighter is — real boxing is all about sharing your love and your heart in the discipline of the work.  And while it’s fun to dwell on matching up fighter A with fighter B, or lamenting the chaos of professional women’s boxing … what really matters about boxing is how the discipline of the ring reaches out.

Now that is something wonderful to love about boxing.

25
May
11

Lovely morning.

Lovely morning.

Daughter awake. Yoga routine finished. Kitty fed. Husband comfortably abed. Light full on in the sky. Warmish breeze at the window. In other words a lovely morning.

My work day is huge, to be followed by 12 lovely rounds of pounding on heavy bags, double-ended bags and the speed bag.

All is right with the world.

As for inspiration …

Lucia Rijker on the Speedbag!

Heavy bag – women’s training

24
May
11

Women’s Boxing: Ana “The Hurricane” Julaton!

Women’s Boxing:  Ana “The Hurricane” Julaton!

Ana Julaton signing Topps Trading Cards

Hey, remember Topps Trading Cards?

Well, guess who is getting one?

Give up?

The first female boxer in the history of Topps Trading Cards is being honored with a trading card of her own — and she is none other than the current Women’s WBO Super Bantamweight Champion, Ana “The Hurricane” Julaton.  I guess you could say that women’s boxing is finally coming into it’s own!

The popular Philippine-American women’s boxer has been added to the collection along with fellow Wild Card Boxing denizen and countryman Manny Pacquiao!  

They will be featured in the 2011 Arthur & Ginter Framed Autographed Collector’s Item set to be randomly inserted into Topps hobby and retail trading card packs.

And in case you are unfamiliar with Ana Julaton (8-2-1, 1 KO), here’s a video of her last title defense against  #1 contender Franchesca “The Chosen One” Alcanter (18-10-1, 9 KO’s).

23
May
11

It’s been one of those crazy days …

It’s been one of those crazy days …

Up too early after going to bed too late. No time for yoga. Everyone in the family really, really touchy by half. Raining … again. Too much work, but not enough time.  Oh … you know the drill … kvetch, kvetch, kvetch!

When in doubt … grab the popcorn and declare it a movie night!

Tonight’s recommendation isn’t even about boxing per se, but, with a hat tip to Girlboxing pal Christopher Shelton, there’s nothing like a terrific John Ford movie to make everything feel great and grand again.

The film in question is his 1946 rendition of the Shootout at the Ok Corral as rendered in the classic film My Darling Clementine.  The movie stars Henry Fonda, Victor Mature, Ward Bond, Linda Darnell, Cathy Downs and the great Walter Brennan.

And for those of you who want to know the true history of Wyatt Earp, Doc Holiday and Bat Masterson in Tombstone, check out Christopher Shelton’s interview on the history of the town plus its place in the history of boxing in the “Wild West” (who knew!!!) The link is here. (The interview is entitled “Wyatt Earp boxing referee scandal.”)

Trailer for My Darling Clementine:

Shakespeare in Tombstone:

The famous Barber and Dance sequences — yep, that’s Henry Fonda in his go-to-meeting duds.

The movie is available from Netflix and from other outlets for video streaming online.

PS — if you’d like to see a classic western tonight, here is the great and wonderful Stagecoach starring a very young John Wayne, Andy Devine, John Carradine, Tim Holt, and Clair Trevor!  As the movie is in the public domain, you can watch the entire film for free on YouTube!

22
May
11

Hopkins v. Pascal 2!

Hopkins v. Pascal 2!

HOPKINS V PASCAL 2

As Girlboxing readers know, I am a woman of a certain age, so watching Bernard Hopkins school young Jean Pascal with skill, tenacity, grit and a master’s knowledge of the game was sweet vindication indeed for the misjudging their first battle received back in December 2010 when Hopkins obvious win was put into the draw column.

Hopkins, a Philadelphia fighter out of the old school, fought his battle with the strength of character and deep understanding of the nuances of the sweet science that has kept him fighting since turning his life around as a young man.  Still, to watch Bernard whose antics in the ring are the stuff of legend was to watch a side of boxing that this generation’s new technicians seem to have lost in translation: that boxing is about heart, soul and bringing oneself into the ring in a kind of symbiotic relationship with the audience who rises and falls with each blistering jab and upper cut.

And so it was last night with Bernard’s right hand leads that towards the latter part of the fight seemed to take Jean Pascal’s breath away and brought the capacity crowd who’d booed Hopkins in the early rounds solidly into his corner.

With this win, Bernard Hopkins enters the history books as the oldest fighter to win a major boxing title, in this case the light heavyweight WBC, IBO and The Ring magazine titles, surpassing only the great George Foreman.  He also improves his lifetime professional record to 52-5-2.

In thinking about it, Bernard has seen a lot of fighting and only he truly knows where this will lead him.  As an elite athlete he has long viewed his body as a temple and in “walking the walk” so to speak has eschewed the pitfalls of life outside of the ring in favor of an ethos of right living. Still, Bernard was rocked more than once last night by Pascal’s powerful rights and lefts, and the cumulative weight of a lot of punches over the years can humble even the greatest of fighters. Hopkins has spent his career avoiding getting tagged, however, in his fights with Pascal, he has had to adjust to the quicker hand speed of the younger fighter by putting more of himself into the game. That makes it particularly exciting for those of us who love a great fight, but it is for Bernard to know and for us to say amen, when he hangs up the gloves for good as Bernard says, when he is “about 50.”

21
May
11

Something about the end of the world …

Something about the end of the world …

The media, social media included has been all “atwitter,” if you will about Harold Camping’s prognostication that the world will end today at 6:00 PM.

I suppose what fascinates me is the seeming groundswell of fascination with the idea of it.  Does it tweak some secret fear? Remind of us of the many problems we face that might bring about a rapture? Chart our path for how to right our many wrongs?

Meanwhile, we continue to go about our lives.  Some of us happy and content, others in despair.  Not that I actually want to have an end of the world pity party here, but from where I sit, we are always, ultimately at that edge.

Life for all of its incredible force ends all the time.  Some ends are well attended by loved ones others regretful and awful and some even violent and pointless.  And some of those deaths do indeed “end” the world — the world of a family, a village, a nation, until it is reborn into some new configuration.  Not exactly rapture, but change nonetheless.

Is our fascination with the end of the world  really just the fear of a sudden e-n-d — and if so, shouldn’t we be doing something about that?

No, we can’t make it go away, but we can live our lives with a little more intention.  A little more thought to the idea that this really could be a last day and with that in mind, ask the questions about how satisfied we really are with what we’ve designed for ourselves. Are we kind enough? Focused enough? Do we share our largess? Help others overcome pain? And importantly, are we kind enough to ourselves?

Today, I’ll write, do some yoga, box with Len Blackmore, see a friend for lunch, hang with my family, work on a grad school paper and watch the Pascal v. Hopkins fight.  All and all a pretty good last day … and if I’m blessed enough to wake up tomorrow, that last day will have similar features.  A day I can feel good about having pushed for myself and others.  That’s really all we can do until …

20
May
11

Women’s Boxing Upcoming Championship Bouts!

Women’s Boxing Upcoming Championship Bouts!

Mariana Juárez

>>>UPDATE>>>

In front of a crowd of 5,000 people cheering, “Mexico, Mexico,” Mariana Juarez defended her WBC Flyweight title against Gabriela Bouvier from Uruguay and won by TKO in the 7th round. With the stoppage by the Referee, Mariana’s record improved to an impressive 29-5-2 with 14 KOs.

Coming up this Saturday, May 21, 2011, Mexico’s Mariana Juarez (28-5-3, 13 KOs) will be defending her first Women’s WBC flyweight world title challenge against Uruguay’s undefeated Gabriela Bouvier (6-0-1).  The bout will be held at the Entertainment Center of Morelia Michoacán in Mexico.  The fight will co-feature two other title fights and is promoted by Boxeo de Gala.  For those who might not remember, Juarez captured her title by defeating Simona Galassi on March 11th.  There is no word on a media outlet as yet, however, my guess is you’ll be able to find it as a video streaming event.

Kaliesha "Wild Wild" West

Kaliesha “Wild Wild” West (13-1-2, KO’s 4) is defending her Women’s WBO Bantamweight title as the main boxing event on the “IFS8: Mass Destruction” fight card featuring MMA & Muy Thai bouts!  No opponent has been announced as yet.

The fight, promoted by Red Scorpion Promotions will be held on June 18, 2011 in the Pico Rivera Sports Arena in Pico Rivera, California.  For folks in California, ticket information can be obtained from Team West @ lbchoyas@yahoo.com or (240) 498-1478. There is no word yet on a media outlet for the event, but I’ll bet it’ll be available on streaming video so watch for it!

19
May
11

More rain in BKLYN, but not until the afternoon …

More rain in BKLYN, but not until the afternoon …

That means plenty of time to run baby run around the block, the park or the gym.  Yep, road work!

In my case, knees being what they are today — kind of stiff and ornery if morning yoga is any indication —  it’ll mean some brisk walks on my short “hops” to work and back, and maybe even a lunch time walk if I can unchain myself (okay that’s figuratively) from my desk.

Mind you, there was a time when I loved nothing better than to run for an hour or so around Central Park.  In those days, my knees where slim and cooperative and full of a lovely bounce, especially up the 110th Street hill!

Oh well.

Still, I miss it sometimes and thought it would be fun to add some links to videos about road work from around the web.

Here’s a YouTube video from Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero:

Road work  in Central Park (in the snow) with Coach Nelson:

Coach Rick from Philly with “La Chica Mala”:

18
May
11

Another rainy day in Brooklyn!

Another rainy day in Brooklyn!

Whew.  Really hard to do roadwork today!  So … what to do?  Bake bread?

I’d say, shadow box around the living room and feel happy!

Feel inspired??  Here’s some music to shadowbox to!

17
May
11

Things to do about boxing on a rainy day, read “The Sweetest Thing”!

Things to do about boxing on a rainy day, read The Sweetest Thing!

It seems as if the East Coast of the US is in for several more days of rain.  That might put a damper on roadwork, not to mention flare up old knee aches.  If you decide that inside is better than out and can’t bring yourself to watching yet another network TV show … First and foremost, get on over to your nearest bookstore, or try the internet version of “ring, ring” to buy Girlboxing friend Mischa Merz’s fabulous new book …

The Sweetest Thing: A Boxer’s Memoir.

Part memoir, part wonderful reportage, this must read book about women’s boxing inside and outside of the ring is as engaging as it is insightful about what it takes to be an elite athlete in the sport.

As Lucia Rijker wrote, The Sweetest Thing is, “A beautiful journal-like book [that] documents the ins and outs of female boxing from behind the scene.”

I think you’ll agree that Mischa has captured the heart and soul of the sport as she not only describes such things as the relationship between fighter and trainer, but what it takes to win and lose in a sport that has only recently started to garner a modicum of the respect it deserves.

Mischa is also one of the sport’s champions in her own right and has become an important voice in promulgating what is best about the sport.

So Girlboxing friends, if you haven’t done so already, it’s time to hit your local bookseller (or online equivalent) to get a copy of Mischa’s book and start reading!




Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 3,886 other followers

Girlboxing Now! on Twitter

@Girlboxingnow

Share this blog!

Bookmark and Share
free counters
Blog Directory

Blog Stats

  • 790,395 hits

Twitter Updates

© Malissa Smith and Girlboxing, 2010-2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Malissa Smith and Girlboxing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

%d bloggers like this: