Posts Tagged ‘Ada Velez

08
Mar
18

Exclusive Q and A with Alicia Ashley ahead of WBC title fight

Alicia “Slick” Ashley (24-11-1), with a career that began with her NY Daily News Golden Gloves win in 1996, is set to fight Dina Thorslund, a 24-year-old, 10-0 fighter on March 10, 2018, at Struer Energi Park in Denmark. The pair will fight for the interim WBC World Super Bantamweight Championship, a title Ashley has won, lost, and defended in some memorable battles.

At 50 years of age, Ashley continues to fight with incredible strength, stamina, and durability. And while she has not fought since defeating Liliana Martinez (20-16-0), in March of 2017, it was not for lack of trying, having had bouts canceled in that period. With her fight against Thorslund who has an undefeated record against European fighters, Ashley hopes to capture the coveted WBC title once again.

Alicia “Slick” Ashley, Photo Credit: Tim Knox

In the midst of preparing for the fight, Ashley agreed to an exclusive Q and A for Girlboxing readers. This is what she had to say.

  1. You’ve got a fight coming up on Saturday, March 10, 2018 against Dina Thorslund, a 24-year-old, 10-0 fighter from Denmark for the vacant interim WBC World Female Super Bantamweight fight. What should we be looking for in that fight?

I think it will be an exciting fight. She’s an aggressive, straight forward puncher and I will continue to be elusive, slick and faster counter puncher.

  1. You’ll be fighting Dina Thorslund on her home turf. She’s also an orthodox fighter and speaking of you in an interview, her coach, Thomas Madsen, said, “Her strength is clearly her technique and ability to slip punches. Her weakness, among other things, is that she is incredibly open when she attacks herself. Dina must put pressure on Ashley from the outset. She must also avoid chasing Ashley and instead focus on cutting off the ring.”  What challenges does this pose in terms of your game plan for the bout?

It will be hard for her to change her fight style and to put pressure on me without chasing me. My movement is not linear. I don’t move in the same direction and I throw punches off my movement. She tends to be very flat-footed because she wants to punch hard so I think she will always be two steps behind me. I don’t believe my game plan will change, if I have to adjust in the ring, I will.

  1. At fifty, you are more than twice the age of your opponent–not necessarily anything new for you given that most of your opponents are much, much younger. Given that you turned pro in 1999 when Dina Thorsland was five years old, what keeps you fighting?

The reason I continue to fight is because I love this sport and I’m not getting any damage neither from my training nor my fights. I’ve been fighting girls half my age since I turned 42, so yes this is nothing new.

  1. You’ve been training hard and consistently over the last few years and have given renewed focus to your training having begun working with Luis Guzman in New York and the great retired women’s boxing champion Ada Velez in Ft. Lauderdale, who will be in your corner at Struer Energi Park, on March 10th.  How has this renewed focused added to your repertoire in the ring, and what do you feel it will give you in your fight against Dina?

I will have not only Ada Velez who also fought here in Denmark, but my old trainer Hector Roca in my corner. I gained a newfound love for the sport when I started training with both Luis and Ada because of the wealth of knowledge that both these past fighters have. If Dina’s camp watches my previous fights and expect the same fighter, they will be extremely surprised with what I bring to the ring now.

  1. In 2014, I interviewed you ahead of a title bout and had asked you about the state of women’s boxing in the United States. A lot has happened since then, including the rising of female Olympians and the likes of Claressa Shields appearing as the main event on ShoBox: The Next Generation. In your view is this enough, or is there still much, much further to go in terms of promotion, regular appearance on televised boxing shows, pay equity and the like?

There is still much to do to bring any type of equality to female fighters. I see the exact same thing happening in the US now that happened 10 years ago when Laila Ali was around. The American promoters only showcase one rising star as opposed to leveling the playing field by showcasing a female fight on every card. The boxing audience has a short memory and seeing one female fight every 6-8 months is not enough to sustain growth in our sport. This is why MMA have leaped frog Boxing in female equity and why we are losing a dearth of female boxers to that sport. 

  1. This is your first fight in nearly a year, but not for lack of trying having had bouts cancelled at the last moments twice during this period.  What in your view is the reason for the continued inconsistencies of female fight promotion in the United States–and the continued need for you to fight overseas?

The inconsistencies are easily explained by promoters not believing or supporting women in boxing. Every fight that I’ve done overseas is a main event and has television coverage. The US promoters keep insisting that females are not a draw and do not sell but in every other country it is proven that we can and do. This problem rests solely on the promotion teams. Some big name promoters insist that they support women boxing but have yet to prove it if they only show men on television.

  1. You keep up a “ridiculous” schedule–training fighters from 6:00 in the morning till late at night, not to mention special weekend clinics, and your own training which consists of daily workouts and the extra two to three hours a day you put in for “camp” ahead of your fights. You are also a role model to so many of the female fighters you work with as a coach, a mentor, and as a colleague.  Given your years in the sport, what can you tell us about where we go from here in a professional, and frankly amateur world, that doesn’t consider the work and efforts of female boxers on an equal footing.

As you can see in this day and time, it isn’t just female boxers who strive to be on equal footing. This is systematic in the US in many sports and workplaces. As female boxers we have to join the #TimesUp movement and stop short-changing ourselves especially with pay. Over 10 years ago, I received $10K for a title fight, the fact that promoters are still offering $10K for a title fight now is ridiculous. There isn’t even a consideration of inflation. Male fighters going for their first title earn easily 10 times that amount and they are usually the opponent. We must stand up for ourselves.

  1. Perhaps you truly will be fighting professionally at 80, but regardless, what do you say to the young women who come into the gym wanting to fight?

This sport is brutal and sometimes unforgiving but to truly get the most out of it, you have to develop a true love of this sport. It will give you strength and self-esteem but it can do everything to knock you down. If you can get back up and start over again then boxing will give you the utmost satisfaction. I commend anyone who boxes.

23
Mar
12

Two great upcoming women’s championship bouts: Santana v. Reile and Velez v. Castillo

>>>Update>>>

Katy Castillo Wilson defeated Ada Velez to become the IBF Female Super Bantamweight title by majority decision: 97-93, 07-93 and 98-92.

Dahiana Santana defeated Stacey Reile for the IBF Female Featherweight title by majority decision: 98-90, 97-90 and 97-91.

Two great upcoming women’s championship bouts: Santana v. Reile and Velez v. Castillo!

Stacey Reile and Dahiana Santana, March 2011, Credit: Reuters/Juan Carlos Ulate

This will be war!  

We’re talking two huge IBF female championships that will be fought this coming Saturday, March 24th at the Palacio de Deportes in Santo Domingo in the Dominical Republic promoted by none other than Sampson Boxing.

Stacey Reile and Dahiana Santana, March 2011, Photo Credit: Reuters/Juan Carlos Ulate

Current IBF Female Featherweight Title Champion Dahiana Santana (21-6-0, 12-KOs) will be fighting her third rematch with challenger Stacey “Staylo” Reile (10-4-0, 4-KOs) who initially won the title against her in March of 2011 before losing the title to Santana in November 2011.  Their third meeting is much anticipated and should be a tough, tough fight.

Ada Velez, Credit: Chase Von

Fight Card for March 24, Katy Wilson Castillo (r), Photo: Orlando Ramos

The second female championship bout will be for the IBF Super Bantamweight Title pitting the hard hitting champion Ada Velez (20-3-3, 6-KO) against the home town favorite Katy Wilson Castillo (14-1-0, 9-KOs). Velez, best known for her bruising battles against Melinda Cooper.  Velez has also fought and won against Stacey Reile.

For a mash-up preview of Saturday night’s boxing card watch the junior featherweight bout between Ada Velez and Stacey Reile from February 2010 — (along with a Girlboxing shout out to YouTube!).

21
Nov
11

Women’s Boxing Results: IBF Championships 11/20/11

Women’s Boxing Results: IBF Championships 11/20/11

Ada Velez retains IBF Super Bantamweight Title, Photo: Chris Cozzone

In a stunning evening of women’s boxing at its best at the Texas Station Casino in Las Vegas, Ada Velez (20-2-3, 6-KO’s) retained her IBF Female Super Bantamweight championship belt in a hard-fought contest against Melinda “La Maravilla” Cooper (21-2, 11-KOs).  The judges scored the bout 98-92, 97-93 , 95-95 giving Velez a majority win. People on the scene found the third judges score surprising as they otherwise had Velez decisively dominating Cooper throughout the bout.

In what was an upset win, Dominican fighter Dahiana Santana (28-6, 12-KOs) soundly defeated former champion Stacey Reile (10-4, 4 KOs) to become the new IBF Female Featherweight Champion.  Both boxers fought a hard tough fight with the final decision scoring noted as 98-90, 97-90, 97-91.

The undercard bout with Las Vegas’ own Tatina “Lil Tyson” Anderson (5-1-1, 4-KOs) was no less exciting with her third round stoppage of  Victoria Cisneros (5-13-2, 1-KO).

Sue Ti Fox of WBAN covered the fight along with photographer Mary Ann Lurie Owen.  I highly recommend checking WBAN for some fabulous photos and cover on the bouts.  The link for the quick results is here.  I’d also recommend checking back later for her longer piece.

Chris Cozzone also covered the fight for Fightnews.com.  His piece is here.

19
Nov
11

Awesome, stupendous women’s boxing 2morrow (11/20)!

Awesome, stupendous women’s boxing 2morrow (11/20)!

Talk about a great fight card!

The main event features Melinda “La Maravilla” Cooper vs. Ada Velez II for the IBF Superbantamweight title.

But it doesn’t stop there!

We’re talking a second IBF world title match!   Stacy “Stay-Lo” Reile (10-4, 4-KOs) fighting out of Miami, Florida will be defending her IBF Featherweight belt against the Dominican Republic’s own Dahiana Santana (27-6, 12-KOs).  

Two other women’s bouts will be on the card including a the popular Las Vegas area, fighter TaTina “Lil Tyson” Anderson (4-1-1, 3-KOs) will be fighting the very game Victoria Cisneros (5-12-2, 1-KO) who lost a ten round decision in her last outing against Holly Holm in June..

The other female bout on the undercard will be  the winner of the WBC reality show “Reto de Campeones,” Irma Garcia Nunez against an opponent TBA.

The card is being promoted by Sampson Boxing, LLC — and shows a huge commitment to female athletes at the top of their game.  Pablo Betancourt’s Executive Entertainment, LLC has also worked alongside Sampson Boxing to make this dream card happen at the Texas Station Gambling Hall and Hotel.

A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Las Vegas Rescue Mission in support of battered women.

For ticket and view information please note the following!

Tickets will be available at www.texasstation.com, TEXAS Station Gambling Hall and Hotel: 2101 Texas Star Ln., North Las Vegas.

Doors open at 2:30 pm and the fights will start at 3:00 pm. Ticket prices are: $25.00 for General Admission and $75.00 for Ringside.

The event will be televised LIVE by: MAPI T.V., Supercanal, Dominican View, Tele-El Salvador, TDS, Comcast, Cable-vision, RCN, Time Warner, Verizon and Fios. Viewing countries: The United States (Dallas, Tampa, Baltimore, Washington, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maine, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Boston, Los Angeles, Ft. Wayne, Richmond, Norfolk, Pittsburgh, Providence, Buffalo, Harrisburg and Syracuse), Mexico, the Caribbean, Central, South America and Russia.

15
Nov
11

Interview with Melinda “La Maravilla” Cooper ahead of Cooper vs. Velez II!

Interview with Melinda “La Maravilla” Cooper ahead of Cooper vs. Velez II!

Melinda “La Maravilla” Cooper  (21-1, 11-KOs) is hungry — and she wants her IBF Superbantamweight Title back.  She is set to meet Puerto Rican fighter Ada Velez (19-3-3, 6-KOs) in a rematch and in what promises to be a tough, taut battle, La Maravilla and Velez will meet for a ten-round championship fight on Sunday, November 20, 2011 at the Texas Station Gambling House and Hotel in Cooper’s hometown of Las Vegas. Given her popularity, it is expected that the bout will be fought in front of a sell-out crowd — who are equally as hungry to see her back in the ring.

Melinda "La Maravilla" Cooper (r) vs. Ada Velez

La Maravilla, 26 is known as a tough savvy boxer and is considered one of the best fighters in women’s boxing today. Both women met last March in Costa Rica when Velez took the belt by a split decision, 96-94, 96-94, 94-96. That outcome, which many believed was a poor decision at best certainly stunned Cooper and her team, but ever the champion, Cooper is grateful for the rematch and is looking forward to taking the belt back. Neither fighter has been in the ring since their outing in March, but Cooper feels confident that she is ready.

Melinda graciously agreed to take time from her busy training schedule to answer a few emailed questions. This is what she had to say!

How are you feeling about meeting Ada Velez for the IBF Female Super Bantamweight Title?

>>>I feel amazing about the upcoming match between Ada and I. I’ve been training hard and taking Genesis Sports Nutrition to ensure my body is recovering properly. I’m ready; it is going to be a great fight!

Your bout in March resulted in a split decision with two judges scoring it 96-94 for Ada and one judge scoring it 96-94 for you. Did that factor into setting up the rematch?
>>>Undoubtedly!
You had a perfect 21-0 record coming into your match back in March, how has that affected you and your training coming into this bout?
>>>It has made me hungrier!
You are considered one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world, at 26 you are also relatively young given that there are a lot of elite women fighters still in the game well into their 30’s, what’s next for you?
>>>After I win the IBF title and with the support of my sponsors: Silver Nugget, Lucky Club and Opera House, I plan to move down in weight to 118 and fight for a title. I would also like to fight at a couple of different weight classes for world titles.
Most of your bouts have been in the United States — although your three most recent bouts have been out of the country in Costa Rica and Mexico. Do you feel you will increasingly need to fight out of the country?
>>>No I do not feel I will need to fight out of the country to get competitive fights. I believe if promoters put more female bouts on in the U.S. it would reduce the need to fight abroad.
In thinking about women’s boxing in general, what do you project for the sport in the coming years?
>>>I feel the recent inclusion of women’s boxing into the Olympics will only serve to bring more (much deserved) positive attention to the sport from those who are already familiar with it; as well as making it more attractive to mainstream audiences.
Videos!
Melinda Cooper sparring with Laura Serrano prepping for her upcoming fight:

Melinda Cooper boxing highlights video




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