Posts Tagged ‘Carlette Ewell

30
Jul
14

Martha Salazar, still fighting, still going strong: Exclusive Q and A

Heavyweight boxer Martha Salazar, still fighting, still going strong: Exclusive Q and A

Martha Salazar

Martha Salazar, Photo Credit: Steven Solidarios

As Sonya “The Scholar” Lamonakis (9-1-2, 1-KO) and Carlette Ewell (15-7-1, 9-KOs) get ready for their heavyweight IBO title bout this coming Saturday, August 2nd at the L.B. Scott Sports Auditorium in Philipsburg, Sint Maarten, Martha “The Shadow” Salazar (12-4, 3 KOs), long considered a “fighter’s fighter” is waiting in the wings with the hope that she can take on the winner.

Girlboxing had the opportunity to pose some questions to Martha Salazar, a former kick-boxer who took to the professional boxing ring in March of 2001. Now at 44, having had a few breaks in her career, Martha hopes to continue in the sport she loves, both as a fighter pushing to gain recognition and a shot at another title fight, and as a mentor and coach to the young amateur women of Beautiful Brawlers Boxing who are striving to become the next generation of female boxing champions.

Here’s what Martha Salazar had to say.

1. When female boxers in the heavyweight division are discussed, your name inevitably comes up. You are considered one of the most skilled in the sport and your title wins were strong showings–not to mention the very close losses. With a career that began in 2001, you’ve had a chance to see the sport change considerably — and gain legitimacy with its inclusion in the London 2012 Olympics. What are your aspirations for your career at this point?

There are three aspirations I have for my career.  One, to become the WBC and the IBO world champion. The second to be in the women’s boxing hall of fame as one of the best heavyweights in the world of boxing. Third, to keep sharing the knowledge of boxing as others have shown me.  I want to keep inspiring young people to reach their goals in the sport of boxing and in life.

Sonya Lamonakis and Martha Salazar (r), April 2013

Sonya Lamonakis and Martha Salazar (r), April 2013

2. Your last fight was a six-rounder against Sonya Lamanokis in April of 2013.  You put on a strong showing in a fight with three-minute rounds, an almost unheard of event these days. What is your take on the controversy surrounding that bout and would you consider a rematch with two-minute rounds?

All I have to say about the controversy [of that] fight is that I train 110% for all my fights. Once I get in the ring all I am worried about is to make sure I am punching more [than] my opponent. I am not worried about how long the rounds are while I’m fighting. If I lose it is because I didn’t train hard enough or my opponent was better than me.  My team and I have told Lamonakis and her camp that we would give her the rematch anytime and anyplace but always get the same answer, “No. I don’t want anything to do with Martha.”

3. One of the most intriguing aspects of female boxing is the rise of young female amateur fighters. You’ve been very involved in working with Beautiful Brawlers Boxing — Girlboxing readers would love to know more about the organization and your part in it.

Beautiful Brawlers was created to provide a stage for the young boxers to shine on.  Our program consists of sparring and support for all female boxers no matter what age or experience. We mentor, coach, train and provide a safe sparring environment for any boxer who walks through that door.  We accept everyone for who they are. We create an environment of empowerment and strength for the younger female boxers. Veterans and world champions such as Me, Eliza Olson, World Champ Melissa McMorrow and more teach technique and give guidance.  There are also plenty of sparring opportunities. Girls come from all over California to spar with the best. It’s so much fun. Boxing brings us all together.

Martha Salazar4. Having begun your career in martial sports as a kick boxer before debuting as a boxer in 2001 — you’ve been a professional for a long time, and while you are entering your mid-forties, current WBC boxer Alicia Ashley is still going strong at 46.  Do you feel you still have it in you to continue professional boxing and if so, what can we expect from you over the coming year or so?

At 44 years old I still feel that I have it in me and continue in the sport of boxing. Expect me to have to fights one for a world title and the rematch with Sonya Lamonakis. If she wants it.

5. When you started in the sport, women were still appearing on ESPN and Showtime and on PPV — and now the drought of media opportunities for female boxers in the United States seems almost permanent. Not so in Mexico, Argentina, South Korea and Germany to name a few countries. What do you think has to happen to bring the sport back into the boxing’s mainstream in the US?

We need promoters to put more women’s fights on their shows and for us women to keep pushing as a group the movement of women boxing.  PERIOD.

beautifulbrawlers

Martha Salazar, Eliza Olson and Beautiful Brawlers, July 2014

6. As the Olympic Games in Rio loom — giving American amateur boxers a second shot at repeating their medal winning performances, from your vantage point with Beautiful Brawlers, do you feel enough is being done to support these young athletes?  What, in your view, are the things that need to happen to help further publicize and get the public behind these amazing young women?

I believe through the Beautiful Brawlers we are constantly helping girls reach their goals.  We have a few National champions that trained and sparred with us before the Nationals and were successful when they competed.  We have one Olympian Beautiful Brawlers Champion – Queen Underwood,  when we asked her if she would participate on the show she  said she wanted to take part because it was  an all-female show.  I believe her being the main event on our last show brought our event to a whole new level.  She was a huge role model for these younger boxers.  She is an incredible athlete who gives back to others.  We as a group share knowledge and that philosophy: to give back so that the younger boxers get better and better, and now that is happening. We have a very good USA Boxing program for women and some train at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado. Females are now given opportunities that have never been given before. These baby steps lead into much bigger things. I do believe that Claressa Shields should have more endorsements and should be given more exposure because she won the Gold medal and she is a beautiful young lady who deserves the credit.  Shows like the Beautiful Brawlers give these champions a place to shine because we match the best against the best.

7. It’s obvious that in your career, you’ve chosen to “give back” to other young people by offering your sage counsel and efforts at coaching. What do you hope for the future for yourself as you continue to play a role in the sport you love

For me,  I want to fight and win a World Title. I want to legitimize the Heavy Weight Division by showing there are very skilled boxers in our division. I will always give back to the girls what boxing has given to me. Boxing has always been my passion and it will always be.

Many thanks to Martha Salazar for sharing her thoughts with us!

***

Video of Martha Salazar in her WBC heavyweight title bout versus Vonda Ward from February 10, 2007. Vonda Ward, at 6’6″ had a large height and reach advantage over the 5’9″ Salazar who held her own throwing a succession of excellent overhand rights, in a well fought 10-round battle. Ward won a split-decision, 93-97 x 2, 95-95. You be the judge!

30
Sep
12

Back in the ring with Sonya

Back in the ring with Sonya

Girlboxing friend Sonya “The Scholar” Lamonakis won a tough hard-fought battle last night against Tanzee Daniels at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods Resort, Mashantucket, Connecticut.  This brings her record to 7-0-2. Two judges scored the bout 59-55 with the third scoring it 57-57.

Steve Smoger was the referee and as Sonya put it he told her “it’s an honor to work your fight.”  Sonya of course was thinking the opposite, feeling all the more humbled because Smoger was set to ref the Edwin Rodriguez-Jason Escalera main event.

Sonya Lamonakis and Tanzee Daniels, March 2011, Photo: Claudia Bocanegra

Humble is par for the course with Sonya who busts her butt all day teaching kids she loves up in Harlem before humping it to the gym to put in all the hours she needs to work out the stuff from the day and keep herself on the path towards her goal: a women’s heavyweight title, and hey why not, an actual chance to show her stuff on HBO on something other than an undercard bout that doesn’t get aired.

Last night was tougher though. Sonya has been through two bouts in the ring that were both ruled a draw by the judges. This past June she fought Tiffany Woodard with the scores 56-58, 58-56 & 57-57 and in January she fought Carlette Ewell with the same spread.

In the midst of it all, Sonya has been fighting through issues in her corner that led her to rethink her training style and to take on perhaps the toughest fight of all — seeing her way clear to the changes she needed to make to get herself back on track with a win.

Well, if she had any doubts they were dispelled last night. More than anything though, stepping back into the ring meant that she was going to fight through it all no matter what the outcome. That kind of courage is was makes boxing the sport that it is. A sport where each fighter truly puts herself or himself on the line.

For the moment, Sonya is slated for a WBF heavyweight title fight this coming December in Australia against Lisa Marie Vizaniari (5-0, 2 KOs). Knowing Sonya, she’ll work like crazy and then work some more to get into the kind of shape she’ll need for the win and the title. Along the way, she’ll throw us all lot of inspiration as we watch her suck back the tough things in life to bring it all into the ring, but then again, that’s Sonya.

09
Jan
12

Sonya Lamonakis: Working to make it a lucky 7!

Sonya Lamonakis:  Working to make it a lucky 7!

Girlboxing had the chance to interview Sonya Lamonakis (6-0, 1-KO) ahead of her upcoming heavyweight bout on January 21st, 2012 against Carlette Ewell (15-7, 9-KO’s) at the storied Roseland Ballroom in New York City.  The fight is being promoted by DiBella Entertainment as part of the Broadway Boxing series.

1.  Tell us about your upcoming six-round fight against Carlette “The Truth” Ewell on January 21st at the infamous Roseland Ballroom in the heart of New York City.
I’ve been asking her to fight for a year and she finally accepted….this will be our first one and then our next fight will be for a title win or lose. It’s going to be a great fight we both have a lot of experience and have been training hard for this fight. Many of my fights have stolen the show and this might just be another one of the barn yard burners. 
2.  You’ve had six successful outings since your debut as a pro in June 2010 — having most recently defeated Tiffany Woodard in August 2011.  Ewell on the other hand has a 15-7 record with 9-KOs since her pro career started in 2002.  How are you preparing to meet the challenge of such a tough, seasoned opponent.
I had an amateur career and she didn’t so I’m hoping my thirty fights as an amateur and six pro fights will carry me to victory. I’m preparing by training excessively and after studying her video of her last fight I have been working on what needs to be done to get the win. 
3.  Ewell also has an upcoming fight on the books for the UBC Heavyweight Title against Gwendolyn O’Neil.  What sort of message do you want to send to both of them in your January 21st bout against Ewell.
I didn’t even know about that. Gwendolyn I see in Gleason’s and have asked her to fight me many times but she told me she is not fighting heavyweight anymore. Female heavyweights blossom late in life and I feel they are both on their way out and there is going to be a new queen of the heavyweights. 
4.  There’s been a fair amount of trash talk thrown your way in the run up to your battle against Ewell.  What is your reaction to all of that?

Yes, I have read her comments about what she has been saying and I feel fighters that are scared or intimidated talk trash. I have never been a trash talker I’m not that type of athlete. I save it all for the ring. I would rather be a positive example for my students and look like a classy athlete more than one that trash talks. I have been fighting for 9 years and it’s just not me. I have never been a trash talker. For her to say that I lost all my fights and they were just handed me is pretty rude to me. Especially,  being that she has not been at one of my fights and two out of the three were not on tv either. But it’s ok. Some people talk trash to make themselves feel better. It feeds their ego and helps them survive. So carry on Ewell. I’ll see you in the ring. 

5.  What adjustments are you making in the gym as you prepare for this fight and beyond?
I have been working on lowering my height, moving my head, and working angles to improve as a fighter for this fight and the future. 
6.  You recently had a powerful video interview published as part of Yahoo’s online “Power Your Future” series.  What can you tell us about that?

That was a great video. I was proud to show off my school and both of my careers in one. My students were very happy to be a part of my boxing career. I think I’m a special fighter because I have two careers as a fighter and an educator. To be a role model to children is a gift in itself. 

7.  For those who do not know, you teach technology to K-5th graders at a public school in Harlem.  You’ve been quoted as saying, “I’m an educator before I’m a fighter.”  Even given that sentiment, you bring your “all” into the gym and into your “game” on fight night.  What inspires you to bring so much of yourself to what you do?
I’m a passionate person. I play hard, live hard, and love hard. Teaching is not a job but a passion. I hope to inspire children to be life long learners and instill the value of education in them. My inspiration comes from the joy I receive when I’m with my students currently, and past students that come back to let me know the difference I made in their lives. 
8.  Having watched you work out in the gym, I’ve no doubt that you still have a lot more to accomplish in the sport, what are your goals and dreams?
I want to be a World Champion holding many titles. I also enjoy educating people about the sport of boxing. The determination it takes and the will and drive you must have. One part of boxing that’s important for me is that you must have something to fall back on because you can’t rely on boxing forever. You’re an active fighter for a short period but your work time expands beyond that. Only a small percentage of fighters make enough money to live off of. It’s important to have a back up plan, something that you can count on if the fight game doesn’t work out.
>>>

Tickets are available for what will be an EXCITING night of boxing priced at $45 and $65. Ringside tickets are available upon request at $125.

Contact Gleason’s at 718 797 2872 or info@gleasonsgym.net if you want tickets.




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