Posts Tagged ‘Chevelle Hallback

15
Nov
15

Thoughts on Rousey v Holm

Thoughts on Rousey v Holm

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The kick seen ’round the world: Women’s Boxing champion Holly Holm (l) took down Ronda Rousey in the second round of their UFC Women’s Bantamweight championship in the co-main event of UFC193. Photo credit: Paul Crock/AFP/Getty Images

By now, the kick seen ’round the world has played out across countless twitter posts, Instagram photos, newspaper headlines, YouTube replays, and conversations, casual and otherwise at gyms, across breakfast tables, on subway platforms, and in every other place one can think of where people stop to shoot the breeze.

Even my sixteen year old daughter and her pals were full of opinions this morning, to a person, cheering on Holly Holm for her stupendous and stunning win over Ronda Rousey, to capture the UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship title in the co-main event of UFC193. A bit of schadenfreude aside, for what has been interpreted as arrogance on the part of Rousey towards the boxing world, male and female, Holm’s picture perfect performance, quick hands, and focus, have brought into sharp relief, Holm’s superior multi-dimensional skills, ring savvy, focus and insistence, that if boxing couldn’t bring her the attention, opportunity and exposure she needs, then switching to MMA would.

That Rousey has garnered the attention she has received since bursting on the scene at Strikeforce, and becoming the first female to crack Dana White’s all male Ultimate Fighting Championship bastion, has been nothing short of phenomenal. She has garnered well-deserved accolades and a cross-over recognition into the wider public consciousness of a female martial sports practitioner that hasn’t been seen since the hey day of Laila Ali’s forays into the boxing ring.  One could argue that what Rousey has achieved is all the more stunning since she did not bring the name recognition of a famous father into the Octogan with her. What she did bring was a bronze Olympic medal in Judo, talent, gumption, and the kind of golden-girl good looks that get recognized, but that shouldn’t take away from her do-or-die performances in the ring and what that has meant to popular culture and the perception of what fighting females are capable of–very much on equal footing with their male counterparts.

ronda-rousey-holly-holm

Holly Holm (l) with a left strike to Ronda Roussey during their UFC Championship bout. Photo credit: Quinn Rooney/Getty Photos

UFC193 is also notable for having had two-main events–both of which were female bouts.  A very, very long way from the kind of offerings UFC had on tap for its fans a mere two years ago.

But it is to Holly Holm and the women she represents we must really speak to: the female boxers who work hard day in and day out for peanuts, but who ply their trade anyway for love of the sport and the sense of accomplishment that comes with climbing into the ring. Holm came into her battle with Rousey not only with a 9-0 MMA record (now 10-0), but a 33-2-3 (9-KOs) boxing career behind her with a string of championship wins, and a veritable alphabet soup of titles to include WBC, WBF, WBA, IBA, NABF, WIBA, and IFBA (and maybe a title or two, I haven’t found).  She’s also fought, arguably, some of the best in the business to include such fighters as Chevelle Hallback, Jane Crouch, Belinda Laracuente, Mary Jo Saunders, Myriam Lamare, Anne-Sophe Mathis (who KO’d Holm in 2011 only to lose to her six months later) and Diana Prazak.

What is galling is that none of those battles, ten-round championship bouts all, with arguably the pound-for-pound greats in the sport, ever made it to Showtime or HBO or ESPN or were ever really known outside the tiny world of female boxing — and in Holly’s case, the local New Mexico sports community and their fans.

In fact, none of these fights were more than tiny ripples nationally, although blessedly Sue Fox’s WBAN was there to sing their praises if for no one else than folks like me who actually care about the sport and the women who put so much of themselves into pursing a professional career. And goodness knows while to a person, each of those fighters would deserve consideration at the International Boxing Hall of Fame, with the exception of consideration by the fledgling International Women’s Boxing Hall of Fame (full disclosure, I am on the board), they will be forgotten, never mind having never really been known.

Still, those fights were sellouts, with screaming, cheering fans who LOVED  those battles and coined them as the “fight of the night.”

Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 6.08.54 PMMore galling was to see Ronda Rousey’s face on the cover of boxing’s venerable Ring Magazine. Okay, okay, yep, I “get” it, she’s a true million-dollar-baby, but come on … she is NOT a boxer, and if the point was to honor the notion of female athletes in the ring, why not Holly Holm with an extraordinary record of achievement in the sport. But then again, perhaps I answered my own question, when it comes to women in boxing, there is utter silence, and not even Christy Martin cracked that code during her sensational career.

In the run up to the fight, Alicia Ashley, a champion many times over, who at 48, beat Bernard Hopkins by a month to become the oldest boxing champion in the world, said the following:  “I feel it’s insulting to traditional female boxers that Ring Magazine chose for its historic cover a female that’s not a boxer. I think a montage of iconic female fighters to reflect the evolution of women in the sport would’ve celebrated women more than creating controversy. The fact that female MMA fighters are more accepted than female boxers is a testament that the more exposure given, the more common place it becomes. The fact that Holly Holm and other females of her caliber are crossing over into MMA with increasing regularity because they are more [likely] to be showcased, which translates into increased pay or sponsorship can only be attributed to the lack of support women are getting from promoters. The sport of women’s boxing will not advance if promoters insist on using one female to reinvigorate it. It certainly didn’t happen with Christy Martin or Laila Ali and it won’t with Ronda Rousey if she is the only female shown twice a year.”

Perhaps the Holly Holm win, coupled with the achievements of female boxers in USA Boxing’s elite program coming into the second Olympic cycle, will bring promoters and sports television producers to their senses about the opportunities for the great female boxing battles to come. And perhaps too,  Oscar De La Hoya, who promised to put women on his fight cards at last year’s historic WBC women’s boxing conference will finally come through–though I tend to doubt it since his idea of promoting female boxing was to sponsor Ronda Rousey.  Hmmm.

Oh and did I mention that Claressa Shields, will have the opportunity to compete for the chance to win a second gold medal for the USA in Rio in 2016–another greatest story, largely untold (and no Wheaties box, surprised?).

Meanwhile, women’s boxing does have an extraordinary champion to cheer for in Holly Holm, and in what can only be described as a true female boxer’s style, she felt only gratitude at having been given that chance to prove her metal.

All I can say is this: Female boxers … this 60-something girl boxer salutes you!

Holly Holm’s tearful, humble acknowledgement of her win:

03
Aug
14

Chevelle Hallback: A boxer for all time, exclusive Q and A

Chevelle Hallback: A boxer for all time, exclusive Q and A.

Chevelle Hallback

Chevelle “Fists of Steel” Hallback (29-8-2, 12-KOs) first stepped into the boxing ring in 1997 winning by TKO. In only her second fight she battled the great Lucia Rijker, and while she lost by TKO in the 5th round, Hallback has been taking on and winning fights against the best in the business ever since. Notable fights have included her bouts with female boxing greats Layla McCarter and Melissa Hernandez.

After two disappointing and some would say controversial losses in fairly close succession in 2011 to Cecilia Braekhus and Myriam Lamare, Hallback took some time to regroup and now is back with a vengeance.

This past June, Hallback came out swinging against Dominga Olivo (8-11-1), winning by TKO in the second round in front of her hometown crowd at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Florida.

in a split decision on

In their first outing on December 3, 2010, Chevelle Hallback defeated Victoria Cisneros by split decision. Credit: Jose Leon Castillo III

She’s now slated to take on Victoria “La Reina de Guerra” Cisneros (11-15-3, 4-KOs), a tough, hard-nosed fighter whose won-loss record belies her strength and savvy in the ring. It will also be a WBF Female Welterweight Championship fight for the vacant title, and in a nod to Hallback’s huge fan base in Tampa will be the main event, at the St. Pete Times Forum.

The two met before in Cisneros’ back yard at the Route 66 Casino in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In that fight, an eight-rounder, Hallback won by split decision by the scores 78-74, 77-75, 75-77. Both fighters are thrilled with the prospect of fighting for a title in their rematch.

Chevelle Hallback and Malissa Smith

Chevelle Hallback and “A History Of Women’s Boxing” author Malissa Smith at the International Women’s Boxing Hall of Fame, July 10, 2014, Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Having had the opportunity to finally meet up with Chevy at the recently held International Women’s Boxing Hall of Fame event in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, I was excited by the prospect of Chevy giving Girlboxing an exclusive interview about her upcoming fight.

Here’s what Chevy had to say:

Chevelle Hallback1. Boxing fans are getting excited at the prospect of seeing you in the ring again after your fabulous win on June 13. Tell us about your upcoming WBF, female welterweight battle with boxer Victoria Cisneros.

I am very excited about my upcoming fight with Victoria Cisneros. This is a rematch from when we fought about 3 years ago. I won that fight by split decision and she’s been asking for a rematch ever since so August the 22nd she gets her wish.

2. After your long lay-off and quick dispatch with a 2nd round TKO in your last bout, what is your game plan as you train for your title bout against Cisneros who brings a strong record (11-15-2) of achievement despite her won-loss record?

My game plan for August 22 is very simple, to be in the best shape of my life and be prepared to do whatever I need to to win the fight and the title.

3. You are a three-time world champion,  you are ranked in the top twelve pound-for-pound all-time female boxers in Ring magazine among other accolades, what more is there for you to achieve in the sport?

I want to make my mark in history by being the first female to fight and be televised on HBO.

4. You must be anxious to be coming back into the ring in your hometown for the second time in a year. What has that been like for you? 

It is truly a blessing to be coming back home to fight for my family, my friends and my fans once again. It is truly a blessing from above and I’m going to take full advantage of it by winning the world title.

5. I’ve heard you say for years that you want to fight on HBO.  What is it you have to do to get to that goal?

I just have to keep doing my part and that’s winning each and every fight from here on out that I put in front of me. I have to keep preparing, keep praying, believing, and having faith that if I do my part, I know God will do his part. Faith without works is dead. That means if I believe that it’s going to happen then I have to work towards it.  I have to believe it will happen even though I don’t see it.

Chevelle Hallback delivering a left hook to Cecilia Braekhus during their welterweight title fight on May 7, 2011 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

6. You had two tough losses against Myriam Lamare and Cecilia Braekhus in 2011. Lamare herself fought Braekhus earlier this year and lost in a rout, whereas your fight was hard fought and has been viewed as a controversial loss. As you enter back into championship contention, do you have particular fights in mind — perhaps a rematch against Braekhus?

Yes yes yes yes yes! I want a rematch with her so bad that it almost hurts. I’ve been asking and I’ve been pleading and I’ve been begging for a rematch against her. She has given other fighters second chances to fight her, why not me? I’ll wait as long as it takes, as long as she’s still fighting and as long as I’m still fighting. I got a very unfair shake and I just want the opportunity to erase that mistake.

7. Throughout your 10+ years career, you have fought tough, hard opponents — and the best of the best female fighters from around the world.  What is it that is inspiring you to enter into contention again?

To make history. To do something, that I was told a long time ago! I couldn’t do, accomplish, or it would never happen, and that is to fight on HBO.

Chevelle Hallback8. Female boxing continues to ride a wave of boom and bust, and in many cases, the only option for some female boxers has been to jump over to MMA in order to keep in front of fans and have an opportunity fight at all. Having been a part of women’s boxing for a long time, what is your view of this and the kinds of options available to young women as they enter the sport?

You have to do what’s best for you. But if you have a passion and a desire to do something then don’t give up on it and go to something different. Work hard and keep having faith that what you are trying to accomplish, you will succeed. Not only for yourself, but you will pave the way for the ones coming behind you or following in your footsteps.  Be a trendsetter.

9. You’ve been an inspiration to female boxers– and I know you’re known as fists of steel, but at my gym we call you “abs of steel.”  What inspires you and keeps you working so hard?  And importantly, having done so much for the sport, where do you go from here?

I AM a trendsetter. I want individuals to know, whether in boxing or whatever they’re setting out to do, that if you keep keeping on, keep the faith, work hard, believe in yourself, and don’t look back, you can accomplish anything, even when people say you can’t do it. If I can do it, hopefully it will give others inspiration to capture their goals and dreams as well.

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Chevelle Hallback’s interview with Billy C at the International Women’s Boxing Hall of Fame inaugural induction on July 10, 2014, in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

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Chevelle Hallback vs. Melissa Hernandez from 2/7/2008 (Part I)

 

07
Feb
14

Friday night at the women’s boxing fights – 2/7/2014

Friday night at the women’s boxing fights – 2/7/2014

Friday Night Fights

Here we are again fight fans! And if Chicago-based new boxing sensation and 6-time Golden Gloves champ Kristen Gearhart (2-0) who is fighting Alliana Jones (1-0) on the ESPN Friday Night Fights card doesn’t get on the air — female boxers will still find themselves shut out of the major US TV networks this weekend.

As alternative …. we have tonight’s fight card with two sensational fights from this past week!

First up is Canadian fighter Lindsay Garbett (8-7-s, 3-KOs) vs. Chinese fighter Xu Chun Yan (4-3, 1-KO) who fought for the vacant WBC International Female Featherweight championship in Haikou, China on February 5, 2014. Garbett lost the battle by majority decision and according to CanadianBoxiana.com told her fans, “Unfortunately I lost a majority decision. I left it all out there and I knew what I had to do. Couldn’t get it done this time. I Had a great time and can’t wait to come home! Thanks again everyone for all the support. I’m so grateful!”

Both are very skilled boxers–and the audience was very attentive. You be the judge! (BTW, Commentary is in Mandarin)

For the main event, here is the complete Cecilia Braekhus (24-0, 7 KOs) vs. Myriam Lamare (22-4, 10-KOs) fight for the WBA, WBC and WBO female welterweight championship held on 2/1/2014. Braekhus took the fight by unanimous decision on points.

Lamare had her pro debut in 2003 and has fought Jane Couch, Belinda Laracuente, Anne Sophie Mathis, Holly Holm, Ann Saccurato and Chevelle Hallback along the way among others. Her only losses other than to Braekhus, had been against Holm and Mathis (twice). Lamare also fought as an amateur

Braekhus, listed as number 1 on everyone’s p-4-p list seems unstoppable with mad, crazy skills and an iron will to win, but let me tell you, Lamare’s no slouch either. The fight, likely Lamare’s last, is all Braekhus, but still a pleasure to watch–with a very lively crowd! (Commentary in Norwegian)

 

07
Dec
12

Holly Holm v. Diana Prazak Fight 12/7/2012!

UPDATE:  

Holly Holm defeats Diana Prazak by UD, 100-90 on all three judges score cards on 12/7/12, Credit: Jose Leon Castillo

Holly Holm defeats Diana Prazak by UD, 100-90 on all three judges score cards on 12/7/12, Credit: Jose Leon Castillo

Holly Holm v. Diana Prazak Fight 12/7/2012!

Diana Prazak and Holly Holm at weigh-in, 12/6/12, Credit:  Will Fox

Tonight’s Fire and Ice boxing card at the Route 66 Casino & Hotel in Albuquerque, New Mexico promises to be full of excitement if only to see the size of the ring where Holly Holm (31-2-3, 9 KOs) will fight for the IBA & WBF Women’s Light Welterweight titles against Diana Prazak (11-1, 7 KOs).  In Holm’s last outing against Anne Sophie Mathis which she won by decision, the Holm team fought and won another decision as well, erecting a 24 foot ring. This led to considerable controversy as it favored Holm’s fighting style — and many believe tilted the “w” in her column.

Holm was also originally scheduled to fight Myriam Lamare.  Diana Prazak, an Australian boxer who is the WIBA Super Featherweight champion, took the call and canceled out of her 6-round scheduled bout against Victoria Cisneros who she was also set to fight at 140 lbs.

As Prazak put it recently: “I’m a determined fighter. I have fought at 130-135-pounds; however, I walk around at 145. I will feel much stronger at 140 because I don’t have to starve myself.”

Diana Prazak will also have former world champion, Lucia Rijker in her corner, pound-for-pound, one of the best boxers ever, never mind “female boxer.”  This has given Prazak a lot of confidence.   “I’m lucky to have the opportunity to work with some great champions, not to mention the rounds I get in with my trainer, Lucia Rijker. If I can get punched by the most dangerous women in the world, I most definitely do not have any concerns about being hit by girls in other weight classes. I’ve been training with Rijker Striker for almost eight months and I’ve learned a lot being in America and about what it takes to be a pro fighter.”

At the official weigh-in yesterday, Holm came in at 138.8 and Prazak and even 138.

Also fighting on the card in a six-rounder will be Victoria Cisneros (8-13-2, 3-KOs) versus Mary McGee (19-1, 10 KOs). Cisneros has fought some of the big names in boxing including two fights against Holly Holm (both at short notice) and rumbles with Chevelle Hallback, Melissa Hernandez and Cecilia Braekhus. She may have lost those fights, but she is none the less a very credible fighter with a record that belies her strengths in the ring.  McGee a native of Gary, Indiana has fought and won almost exclusively in and around her home town. Fighting Cisneros, who is coming off a three-fight winning streak should prove to be interesting.

Win lose or draw, the fights should be great tonight … just wish they were televised!!!

23
Aug
12

Righting and wronging: Chevelle Hallback

Righting and wronging: Chevelle Hallback

The great Chevelle Hallback (28-8-2, 11-KOs) was to have been the main event battling former foe Victoria Cisneros (6-13-2, 2-KOs), for the WIBA World Junior Welterweight Championship belt this coming Friday, August 24, 2012 at the Whitehall Armory in Whitehall, NY.

The fight was canceled, no word yet on why.

Hallback had a lot to prove to herself and her fans: that she could still bring it in the tough world of women’s boxing where the purses are lousy and the chances for promotion hard to come by at a time when the focus of the sport is trained on Claressa Shield‘s Olympic Gold medal and the future.

Hallback was also coming into the fight with some tough losses behind her, notably against Cecilia Braekhus (17-0) who has been seemingly unstoppable and France’s widely popular Myriam Lamare (19-3). PLUS her last fight had been canceled at the last moment as well.

Having fought two of the toughest opponents in her division and lost–the forty-year-old Hallback needed the win, and a decisive one, if she was to remain one of the top ranked in her division (she is currently ranked #2 by WIBA and #1 by Ringside) with a chance to obtain her goal of being the first women to fight on HBO Boxing. More to the point, if she is to contend with Braekhus and Lamare again, Hallback needs to defeat Cisneros whom she fought two years ago in Albuquerque in an 8-rounder. Hallback took a split-decision in that fight, but for her to remain on top now she needed to defeat Cisneros decisively with a display of splendid skills and heart-in-your-mouth passion.

On learning the news of her Ringside ranking she had said, “Number one! Yeah I’m excited at the news, but I’m not taking my eyes off what I still have to do.”

She also said, “I have to win each round convincingly, or just plain stop her. This needs to be a dominating win for me.”

Unfortunately, Hallback is not only fighting in the ring, but out of the ring, all symptomatic of how disgraceful professional women’s boxing is these days with promoters that don’t care and a fan base hot to watch with no outlets.

This is a real blow to Hallback, but more to the point, it is a real blow to women’s boxing. Truly, these women deserve better.

Here’s an interview with Chevelle from August 2nd. She sounds great!

03
Jun
12

Cecilia Braekhus retains her titles in 10-round bout by UD!

Cecilia Braekhus retains her titles in 10-round bout by UD!

Weigh-in for Cecilia Braekhus (R) and Jessica Balogun ahead of their June 2, 2012 WBA/WBC/WBO Female Welterweight Title Fight, Credit: Photo Wende

Cecilia Braekhus, the WBO, WBA and WBC female welterweight champion came out blazing to score a unanimous decision over contender Jessica “The Hammer” Balogun (22-1) through ten hard-fought rounds of action at the Herning Kongrescenter in Herning, Denmark last night.

The judges scored the bout 99-92, 97-93, 97-93 in favor of Braekhus who exhibited much better boxing skills than her opponent.  The previously undefeated Balogun, from Aachen, Germany, was a game opponent, however, who kept on coming despite Braekhus’ evident dominance.  This led to some rounds that have been characterized as “messy,” but Braekhus’ superior ring generalship kept her in control of the fight to take the win.

Braekhus, a Columbian-born fighter who resides in Bergen, Norway, is considered pound-for-pound one of the best female boxers in the world.  Her record stands at a perfect 20-0 with five wins by way of knockout.  In recent  outings she has defeated such boxing luminaries as Jill Emery (2011) and Chevelle Hallback (2011) with similar results.

Highlights from the fight are as follows:

08
Feb
12

An interview with Chevelle Hallback, women’s boxing champion for the ages!

An interview with Chevelle Hallback, Women’s Boxing Champion for the Ages!

Chevelle “Fists of Steel” Hallback  first laced up the gloves in 1996.  Given that women’s boxing didn’t have many amateur boxing opportunities, she dove right in and fought her first professional fight less than a year later in 1997, earning her first win against Connie Plosser. Hallback has fought continuously since then with an impressive 28-8-2 (11 KOs) record.

On March 2, 2012, Chevelle Hallback will do it again, fighting a rematch against Terri “The Road Warrior” Blair (11-15-3, 6 KOs) at the Civic Center in Tampa, Florida.  In a year of firsts, this will be the first female main event boxing match in the state of Florida, an honor bestowed on Hallback in her first fight fought at home since she began her professional career!

“I’m looking forward to fighting at home for the first time in my career,” Hallback is quoted as saying. “Terri and I had a great battle in 2007.  She’s fought the best, has never been stopped and I’m training hard to make this an exciting fight for all the fans.  I appreciate Terri for stepping up for this fight.”

The “must see” March 2nd card is promoted by Estrada Entertainment Productions in association with Tampa Baby Boxing Promotions and Reyes “Macho Times” Promotions. (Ticket information can be found at www.tampabayboxing.com.)

Girlboxing had the opportunity to speak with Chevelle Hallback who graciously took time from her training schedule to talk about her upcoming bout, her career and her hopes and dreams for the future.

1. You have a fantastic rematch coming up on March 2nd against Terri “The Road Warrior” Blair, what can you tell Girlboxing readers about this fight?

This is going to be a great fight!  This is our second time meeting and when I say her name speaks for itself, I mean she is a warrior.  She’s been in there with everyone that is a somebody in boxing.  I don’t think her record really speaks for her [11-15-3, 6 KOs] because she is an amazing fighter.  The truth is, she got the short end of the stick in most of her fights.

Our first fight [in 2007] was a hell of a fight. It was a tough fight. I came out with a win [78-74, 79-73, 77-75, 8×2], but it was a close fight.

With the upcoming bout, the first time I’m fighting at home, history is being made.  The first time a female fight will be the main event on a boxing card in Florida. I can’t ask for anything more. I’m just excited about it and grateful!

2. When you fought Blair in 2007, you were quoted as saying, “It was rough. She never hurt me in the fight, but after the fight, those body shots she landed bruised my ribs.”  What are you looking for in your rematch with Blair?

She is a “come get you”, “come right at you” style fighter, but I train for everything. I’ve found through experience that when you think a fighter’s going to come straight at you and you train just for that, they may switch it up on you fight night.  To prepare myself whatever they may bring, I fight for all different styles. I don’t know what Blair’s going to do this time around, so I’m training for each and every style of boxing that you can think of.

3. Your last two fights were in Europe against Miriam Lamare and Cecilia Braekhus, both great fighters in the female light welterweight division.  You’ve made it known that you are itching to have a rematch against Miriam Lamare after a controversial loss in November of last year.  How is that going?

Hallback vs. Lamare

I want a rematch with both, to be honest with you.  Right now, I’m starting out with Miriam Lamare, I really, really believe that I got robbed in that fight. I really believe that I beat her hands down.  The Braekhus fight, it could have gone either way.

I’m going after Lamare first. I personally asked her for a rematch, but I haven’t had any feedback. After the fight my boxing advisor asked the matchmaker of the fight could we have a rematch and he was like, “no,” at the time.

In terms of a rematch I want it.  I want to do this again. I went to her woman to woman. The fans want it, even her fans were saying that they wanted a rematch.  I feel that I was robbed, and I’ll even go back to France.  I just want the opportunity to get a rematch.   [See below for video of Chevelle Hallback’s fight against Miriam Lamare.]

4. Can you tell our Girlboxing readers a bit about your boxing career.

I started training on March 20th 1996 to be exact when I first went into a boxing gym, and I turned pro in 1997, I think it was February of 1997.  I’ve been doing this for a long time.  I don’t have an amateur background. I never fought any amateur bouts at all so it was on-the-job training! But I progressed fast.

I am a student of the game and I used to study fighters like Roy Jones, Jr. and old fighters like Sugar Ray Robinson.  I wanted to fight like them.  Fighters that had awkward and unique styles.

I’ve been boxing for a long time, but I never took any serious damage during my career and I thank God for that.

5.  What are your goals after you’re upcoming match against Terri Blair?

It’s been a long time, but my goal and my dream is to be the first woman to fight on HBO.  There’s never been a women’s bout on HBO, not even Laila Ali.   That’s my goal. I’m going to keep going till either one of two things happen:  I reach the goal or my body tells me it’s time to quit. Right now my body is not telling me that! Like I said, it’s a plan and a goal and I’m striving for it.

I also want to tell Girlboxing readers, no matter how old you are if you feel that you’re capable of anything you keep going pursuing your dream, because if you don’t you end up saying, “I wish”, “I coulda’ woulda'” and it’s too late.

6. You’ve also had an amazing several months because you started the Fists of Steel Boxing Academy, how is that going?

I just started it this past July and it is going great!  I love it!

With any business it takes a while for it to build, but it is coming along and I’m happy about it.  I have an amateur now and I have a pro fighter, I have my kids and I also have classes.  I even have a professional football player taking one of my classes and he loves it.

My amateur fighter, Rebecca just won a fight at the state level. I was very excited about that and my pro fighter will be fighting on the undercard of my fight against Terri Blair on March 2nd.

7. You’ve been in the sport as a pro since 1997 and you’ve witnessed a lot.  What are the two or three things that have really changed in women’s boxing since then?

Well, number one, women will be fighting in the Olympics!  That’s huge for women’s boxing!

There are more women fighting and it seems that there’s usually one women’s fight on every boxing card these days, especially when it comes to local shows because the women are as good as the men. And more females are getting involved too.

When I first started, I went to the amateur shows, but there was no one to fight.  Either they weren’t in my weight class or they didn’t have the skills. That’s why I turned Pro. Now the amateur shows are amazing.  There are many more women fighting and the turnout is much bigger.

We still have a long ways to go, but with the Olympics and with what I’m trying to do, we might get it to the half way point where it’ll tip over and get into the spotlight in a positive way … but from when I first started, there’s a huge, huge improvement.

8.  If I mention Chevelle Hallback to a room full of female boxers they swoon!  They don’t call you “Fists of Steel” they call you “Abs of Steel.”  You mean a lot to the sport and continue to inspire a lot of women from professionals on through “Saturday” boxers.  What do you tell your own boxers in the gym to keep them going?

First of all, especially when they come in, I ask them, what they want to do and what their goals are.  I then tell them what to expect and what the path they’re going to take will be. If they’re there for at least a week, I remind them of their goals and of what they first told me — when I do that I’m talking to them on the inside. It helps people. It is not an easy sport. Sometimes we have to bleed for it.

Most important of all though is when you say you want to do something and you’re determined, and you have it in your heart and in your soul to do it, and you go through whatever you have to go through to do it, at the end of the day you can say, “I did it.”

I think that’s the best reward that anyone can have.

You say, “I did it,” and no one can take that from you.  You can give a person a gold medal, or titles or belts, and they’re going to get old or vanish, but what can never be taken away is that you did it.  And that’s what I tell my fighters and that’s what I’ll tell Girlboxing readers.

9.  Do you have any closing remarks?

Yes.  Tell them, Chevelle Hallback is here — and I’m not only doing it for me, but for women’s boxing and for women to do this in the future, “big time”!

***

Chevelle Hallback vs. Miriam Lamare Rounds 1 – 8 (Fight starts around 12:00 and is in French)

Chevelle Hallback vs. Miriam Lamare Rounds 8 (end)-10




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© 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.

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