Posts Tagged ‘golden gloves

25
Jun
14

Here’s to the ladies who punch …

Here’s to the ladies who punch …

A History Of Women's Boxing

Today’s my big day.

The culmination of over two years of work on my new book, A History Of Women’s Boxing.

I get to strut my stuff in the ring at Gleason’s Gym and speak to an audience of assembled friends about the courage, bravery and pure gumption that women have shown for the past three hundred years each time they’ve donned the gloves. Oh yes, and smile a lot, sign books and jump around with glee!

It’ll be a moment to savor — though I admit to a plethora of doubts:  Did I get everything right? Did I forget someone? Did I make the point about pushing social and legal boundaries enough? Will the reader understand just how brave it was for a young and plucky Barbara Buttrick to insist that she had the right to box in 1949?

The historian’s lament plagues me a bit too. There’s never enough time or materials or opportunities to interview — except perhaps if the historian is Robert Caro, be still my historian’s heart.

The writing process is also a marathon battle — reminiscent of the endless rounds of the bare knuckle boxing era.  If we consider that there are “championship rounds in boxing” — of which Layla McCarter knows a thing or two having insisted on the right to fight 12 three-minute rounds more than once —  plowing through a writing project that is voluminous in the best sense nonetheless gets very, very tough as it heads towards the final chapters.  In my case I overwrote by about two hundred pages, which necessitated a mad scramble to cut, cut, cut. Talk about taking shots — those words were my children, and in my “humble” opinion, the points made were as important as any in the final cut of book, but like any gut shot, one sucks it up and moves on because that’s what happens.

If the writing was at times an arduous task, the overriding sensation, however, was one of deep, deep respect for the women who ply their trade as boxers — such that the project became a true labor of love.  Just the act of climbing through the ropes is, in my estimation, a resounding statement of defiance against the strictures that continue to be imposed on women as they go about their work-a-day worlds — nevermind what that meant in the 1970s when women took to the courts to gain the right box.

It still boggles the mind that women’s amateur fighting was virtually illegal in the United States until 1993 when a young 16-year-old girl named Dallas Malloy sued for the right to compete, not to mention Dee Hamaguchi who opened up the right for women to fight in New York’s Golden Gloves in 1995.

I mean what was that? Amateur boxing was illegal which meant women had no safe means of learning to compete other than to turn pro? Hmmm.

I’ll add that the quickest way to become a feminist is to take on a history of women’s anything project.  Talk about a wake up call! Wow!

Gussie Freeman

As I wrote the book, I admit to having favorites, women like Belle Martell who not only was the first licensed referee in the state of California, but who was also a promoter for amateur fights, took the tickets and then jumped in the ring in a ball gown to announce the bouts–the first women to do so. Belle also tried really hard to promote women in the ring in the early 1950s with the idea that they’d save a sport that was dying on the vine due to television. Gussie Freeman was another one. Talk about a character, she boxed briefly in the 1890s, but made such an impression people still remembered her 50 years later.

Dixie Dugan

When I was a kid, our history textbooks consisted of stories of kings and queens, generals and presidents, with very little about the men and women whose lives collectively swayed the shape of society as the centuries passed.

As a microcosm of society, the history of boxing provides an interesting perspective on social interactions between people, the power of popular culture and issues of race, class and the exploitation of labor. Throwing women into that mix provides a more nuanced understanding of those same issues. For one, women’s spectatorship became an important ingredient in developing boxing as a sport from the 1790s on!

The image of a woman in boxing gloves also became a potent symbol of the changing place of women in western society at points in history, most notably in the period between 1880s and the end of World War II when the place of women was upended in a clear line.

That we still question the place of women in the ring today is just as telling. Yes, there were and are those who object to boxing period no matter who contests the fight, but the notion that female boxing is an anathema still seems to finds its place in the conversation about the sport, which goes to the heart of the argument about the “place” of women in society. Ugh …  still?

Regardless, women push through it all anyway and climb through the ropes knowing their muscles have been honed into perfect boxing shape to leave it all in the ring having given their very best.

All I can say is that I am very, very proud to have contributed in some way to sing their praises.  And yep, here’s to the ladies who punch!

Links to purchase the book:

Barnes and Noble.com 

Amazon.com

09
Feb
14

2014 NY Daily News Golden Gloves …

2014 NY Daily News Golden Gloves …

gloves20s-3-web

Christina Cruz won her seventh consecutive Golden Gloves at the 2013 Finals. Credit: Bryan Pace/NY Daily News

The 87th annual New York Daily News Golden Gloves got underway a couple of weeks ago at B. B. Kings Blues Club. At last year’s Golden Gloves, USA Boxing National Champion Christina Cruz made history with her seventh consecutive Golden Gloves win–surpassing the previous record holder, David Viller.

This week marks Week Three — with two events planned. The full schedule of “fight nights” is as follows:

WEEK THREE

Thursday, February 13
PLATTDUETSCH RESTAURANT – RING 8
1132 Hempstead Turnpike, Franklin Square, NY 11010

Saturday, February 15
ST. PATRICK’S HIGH SCHOOL
401 97th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11209

WEEK FOUR

Wednesday, February 19
POPS GYM
3134 Jerome Avenue, Bronx, NY 10468

Thursday, February 20
NY ATHLETIC CLUB
180 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

Friday, February, 21
HOLYCROSS HIGH SCHOOL
26-20 Francis Lewis Boulevard, Flushing, NY 11358

WEEK FIVE

Tuesday, February 25
PAC PLEX CENTER
1500 Paerdegat Avenue N, Brooklyn, NY 11236

Wednesday, February 26
CLUB AMAZURA
91-12 144th Place, Jamaica, NY 11435

Thursday, February 27
TOTTENVILE HIGH SCHOOL
100 Luten Avenue, Staten Island, NY 10312

Friday, February 28
ST. RAYMOND’S HIGH SCHOOL
2151 St. Raymond Avenue, Bronx, NY 10462

Saturday, March 1 (4:00 PM)
XAVERIAN HIGH SCHOOL
7100 Shore Road, Brooklyn, NY 11209

WEEK SIX

Wednesday, March 5
WILLIS AVE BC
401 E. 141st Street, Bronx, NY 10454

Thursday, March 6
ST. PATRICK’S HIGH SCHOOL
401 97th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11209

Friday, March 7
HOLY CROSS HIGH SCHOOL
26-20 Francis Lewis Boulevard, Flushing, NY 11358

WEEK SEVEN

Wednesday, March 12
ST. BERNARD’S CHURCH
2030 E. 69th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11234

Thursday, March 13
JUDAH BROS AT PAC PLEX CENTER
1500 Paerdegat Avenue N, Brooklyn, NY 11236

Friday, March 14
PETRIDES HIGH SCHOOL – ATLAS FOUNDATION
715 Ocean Terrace, Staten Island, NY 10301

WEEK EIGHT

Wednesday, March 19
BISHOP FORD HIGH SCHOOL
500 19th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11215

Thursday, March 20
VARIETY BOYS & GIRLS CLUB
21-12 30th Road, Long Island City, NY 11102

Friday, March 21
ST. ATHANASIUS CHURCH
6120 Bay Parkway, Brooklyn, NY 11204

WEEK NINE

Monday, March 24
ST. FINBAR AUDITORIUM
1839 Bath Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11214

Tuesday, March 25
OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL
275 N. 8th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211

Wednesday, March 26
NAZARETH HIGH SCHOOL
475 E. 57th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11203

Thursday, March 27 (7:45 PM)
GLEN COVE HIGH SCHOOL
150 Dosoris Lane, Glen Cove, NY 11542

Friday, March 28
ELECTCHESTER HALL
158-11 Jewel Avenue, Flushing, NY 11365

Saturday, March 29 (2:00 PM)
SUFFOLK PAL
99 3rd Avenue, Brentwood, NY 11717

WEEK TEN

Monday, March 31
CHIAM FOUNDATION
4401 Broadway, Astoria, NY 11104

Tuesday, April 1
POPS GYM
3134 Jerome Avenue, Bronx, NY 10468

Wednesday, April 2
EMPIRE CITY CASINO
810 Yonkers Avenue, Yonkers, NY 10704

Friday, April 4
AVIATOR SPORTS RECREATION
FLOYD BENNET FIELD
3159 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11234

FINALS

Wednesday, April 16
Barclays Center
620 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn 11217

Thursday, April 17
Barclays Center
620 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn 11217

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/services/2014-golden-gloves-schedule-article-1.1588038#ixzz2ssyKAFvK

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)

 

29
Mar
13

Hardy the Film

Hardy the movie …

Hardy, a film by Natasha Verma

As Golden Gloves champion Heather “The Heat” Hardy puts it at the beginning of the Hardy the movie trailer, “There’s something to be said about boxing having been the last sport where females were allowed to compete.”

Documentary filmmaker Natasha Verma, in her soon-to-be feature film Hardy has set out to answer why it has been so tough for females to find a place in boxing and has chosen Heather Hardy as her lens into the unique world of women’s boxing.

While currently in pre-production, Verma is committed to seeing the project through and as she puts it bring to the screen a view of women’s boxing that’s “more than just a fight story.”

Verma continues,”It goes behind closed doors and explores the inequalities females face in the industry and how female boxing plays out in a larger social context today.”

To help bring the film into the next phase of production, Verma and her team are looking to raise funds and have enlisted the Rocket Hub fundraising site to help in their efforts.  If you’ve ever wanted to be a “producer,” here is a wonderful opportunity to help in the efforts to bring this wonderful project to the screen and gain a tiny piece of the action! Donations as small as 10 dollars gain recognition to the donors and include such goodies as an original-design HARDY T-Shirt at the $35 level. Donors can also receive a digital download of the film and can even gain an Executive Producer credit for really deep pockets!

To contribute click on the link:  Hardy the movie!

Check out the trailer too and then click on the link and donate to become part of the team that brings this great project to the screen!

14
Mar
13

Women’s Boxing: Jen Hamann’s “road to gold”

Women’s Boxing: Jen Hamann’s “Road to Gold” 

Jen Hamann, Photo Credit: Jen Hamann

The 2012 London Olympic Games which featured the introduction of women’s boxing has come and gone. The distinctive honor of having participated as one of the first thirty-six women to compete is also certainly singular. But that has not diminished the hopes and dreams of a new generation of female boxers who have already begun to train for the 2016 Games in Brazil.

One such fighter is 27-year-old Jen Hamann. Based out of Seattle, Jen is a two-time Golden Gloves winner who emerged this year as the 2013 Outstanding Female Boxer at the Jr. Golden Gloves.

Jen HamannJen has amassed an 18-2 record since taking up the gloves in 2009. She is currently counting down to this year’s 2013 USA Boxing National Championships beginning on April 1st, challenging for a spot on the podium at 125 lbs. Jen trains under head coach Tricia Turton, herself a former professional boxer, who recently began Arcaro Boxing. Together, they are forging a partnership to help prepare Jen for the competitive challenges that lie ahead.

Jen Hamann & Tricia Turton

Though no stranger to high-stakes competition as a Division-1 athlete in soccer, track & field and cross-country for Seattle University, Jen relies on Turton to help keep her focused and on point. Hamann also works through her experiences by maintaining a blog that recounts her feelings about the sport that has become so much a part of who she is. The link is here: Hamann Road to Boxing Gold. 

Recently, Girlboxing had the opportunity to enter a dialogue with Jen Hamann about her Olympic dreams. Here’s what she had to say:

1. Boxing is not for the faint of heart, what is it about boxing that has driven you to want to spend the next three and a half years of your life dedicated to gaining a berth on the USA’s women’s boxing team fighting at the Brazil 2016 Olympics?

Boxing has given me an outlet to express myself. There’s something satisfying about letting it all go on a heavy bag.  I also have a bit of a sassy temper, and when I suppress this short fuse, it eventually comes out on others in some other way. Boxing doesn’t change my personality – I’m still sassy as ever, it just lets me express it everyday.  Sports and exercise do this for many people, but boxing does it for me. As for the 2016 Olympics, that’s easy – I can never do anything half-heartedly. Whether a good thing or a bad thing, I have to consume my life what I am passionate about – the Olympics are the principle of amateur boxing. Who wouldn’t want to put on a USA uniform and represent their country? 

Jen Hamann, Photo Credit: Alan Berner, The Seattle Times2. You’ve written that you “see boxing as a tool for self-expression, passion, and awareness.” As you embark on your goal of winning a place on the Brazil 2016 team, how will those three attributes take you through the next four years?

Sometimes I get frustrated for being frustrated at practice. I can be a perfectionist in training, and this narrows my view of possibilities. When I fight my personal style of boxing by fixing bad habits, I loose my passion and I end up working to correct something rather than express something, trust my hands and let them go. The 2016 Olympics is a long road and right now, this is a distance race. The more you can be yourself the longer you will last. Being amateur is hard enough; the more awareness you can have of your self, what you love and how you express yourself, the better boxer you will become.

3. You also see boxing as playing an important role in your personal development. How is that expressed as you go through the day-to-day work of being an amateur fighter?

Being an amateur fighter is hard – especially now. I’m not currently on the radar and no one really knows me, I’m pretty new to the National scene. Since training for the Olympics is a full-time job you can imagine how hard it is right now. I have to walk into fundraisers and local events saying that “I am training for the 2016 Olympics” without much of a resume to back it up. It’s like claiming the title before earning the position. But the more I can say it, the more confidence I have in the ring. Since I’ve started writing about it, my boxing has improved.

Jen Hamann, Photo Credit: Alan Berner, The Seattle Times

4. As an accomplished athlete since high school and as a Division-1 college athlete in Track & Field, Cross Country and Soccer, you are no stranger to high-stakes competition. How have you incorporated those experiences into the training and mental focus you need for the ring?

Soccer was my first love. But the difference between the athlete I was in college and the athlete I am now is my confidence. I was a great practice player, for some reason, I couldn’t translate it into the games – I was so afraid of messing up that it messed me up! In boxing, I went into it as an underdog looking for a new hobby without any pressure of college ball. Clearly things have changed! The difference now is that I’m not afraid to show confidence and passion in the ring like I was in soccer. In boxing I have no problem in front of a crowd and I have fun with it – the performance is no longer a burden but a blessing and I’m lucky to participate everyday.

Jen Hamann5. You maintain an active blog recounting your experiences in and out of the ring, as well as your philosophical inquiries as you train. You recently wrote, “Just like in a boxing fight – we continue to put ourselves in a situation of fear and panic in the ring because we want to simultaneously feel the power of recreating the meaning and intention behind each punch.” What is the practical application of that idea as you train in the ring?

If I can push myself in the ring, push through fear, reactions, and comfort boundaries, then I can do this is real life. Creating these sort of fake situations in the ring makes you more likely to put yourself out there in life – you take on situations that you normally wouldn’t. Taking this perspective, I’ve personally grown a lot – I’m more expressive, more confident, more open to talking about what I want, what I need, what my opinions are, taking risks, and taking stances. The only way to go somewhere new both in boxing and in your life is to experience discomfort.  It’s uncomfortable sometimes to take risks – announcing myself as an 2016 Olympic hopeful, or applying to grad school this year, but without the risk and the fear, the success is far less exciting.

6. You’ve mapped out competitive goals that include winning a USA Boxing National Championship, the National Golden Gloves Championship and the National PAL Championship. While you fight at 125 pounds, it can still be difficult to find competitive amateur fights. How have you and your trainer mapped out your competitive options so that you can continue to compete at the highest echelons of the sport?

Finding good fights can be challenging. Luckily, I have a coach who will fly to the end of the world and back with me to find a fight. As a former professional boxer and a former member of the USA women’s rugby team, coach Tricia knows what it feels like to put on that USA jersey and represent your country. Now retired from competition, she wants to give me that same feeling at the 2016 Olympics. As far as finding fights now, this is why we are doing our best to make it to all the national events around the U.S. – experience is almost everything for a boxer.

Jen Hamann "Skittles"

7. You’ve been fighting out of Cappy’s Gym since you started in the sport, but are following your trainer Tricia Turton to Arcaro Boxing. How is that transition going and what do you both see as your goals as you begin this new chapter in your career as a fighter?

Timely question – I just wrote something about this transition on my blog here: The Adventures of Moose and Kid Skittles. Tricia has always been the brains behind the boxing skills, the mentoring and the person passionate about boxing in her community, so it would be crazy of me not to follow her.  The transition is only difficult because she still doesn’t have four walls where she can hang a heavy bag. Luckily, my community has been amazing at helping us out with places to train and funding trips for fights. If we can get through this, we can get through anything in the future. 

Jen Hamann8.  You have chosen to fight among an elite group of women boxers who are all striving for a place in the Brazil 2016 Olympics.  How would you describe your relationships and what you have to offer each other as you embark on your journey together?

Currently, I am not on the USA team so I don’t know any of them personally. I do know that traveling, making weight, and working towards huge athletic goals cannot be done alone. I feel that the best Olympic contenders for the US will come out of a strong, respectful and hard working National team.  We have to be willing to work together, push each other and respect each other for anyone to push their skills – our teammates can be our best trainers.

I think that there are a lot of youth female boxers who are also under the radar, being over looked. Again, we still have 3 years of training and some of my most recent fights against youth boxers entering the senior class have been hard. They are hungry, they are motivated by the 2012 Olympics, and they will not stop challenging us. Gold Medalist Claressa Shields is a perfect example of this. Which also reminds me of a recent blog piece I wrote: Does it matter how you play the game

9. In closing, what has boxing given you — and in turn what do you hope to give to the sport?

Mostly, boxing has given me a medium to express myself without feeling bad about it. It’s also given me confidence. I used to only like those famous athletes that were polite and politically correct in the media – because I used to think that expressing confidence and self-esteem was synonymous to extreme arrogance. But this is completely untrue! My favorite boxer Melissa Hernandez really expresses this well, both for herself and for other women in boxing. I think she boxes because she loves the sport, but she puts on a great show in the ring because she really does care about promoting the sport of women boxing.

I really just want others to experience what I have experienced through boxing. Though I’m not in the spotlight right now, I hope that the blog captures the ups and downs of working towards a huge goal – something that both boxers and non-boxers can relate to. The blog, sometimes a little too revealing, is right now, my way of giving back because I write pretty honestly about the whole experience. 

Be certain to check out Jen Hamann’s Blog:  Hamann Road to Boxing Gold

17
Feb
13

Exclusive Interview with Keisher “Fire” McLeod Wells ahead of her 2/21/13 fight!

UPDATE, 2/21/2013!!!

Keisher McLeod Wills with her 6th win on 2/21/13

Keisher McLeod Wells defeated Jacqui Park in their 6-round super flyweight bout by unanimous decision. The judges scored the fight 59-55, 58-56 and 58-56. Fire is now 6-2! Jacqui Park is 1-1.

 

Exclusive Interview with Keisher “Fire” McLeod Wells ahead of her 2/21/13 fight!

Kiesher McLeod Wells Fighting on 2/21/2013

Gleason’s own four-time New York Golden Gloves champion and professional boxer Keisher “Fire” McLeod Wells (5-2, 1-KO) will be boxing again on DiBella Entertainment’s Broadway Boxing card this coming Thursday, February 21st at the world-renowned Roseland Ballroom in the heart of New York City. Fire will be facing a former four-time Canadian National Amateur champion, 36-year-old, Jaqueline Park (1-0) in a six-round super flyweight showdown.

This will be Fire’s first fight since her controversal split-decision against Patricia Alcivar. She forcefully disputes the knockdown call at the end of the 6th round–and in viewing the tape, you’d have to say it did look like a slip.

As for fighter Jacqueline Park, her four-round debut professional fight resulted in a unanimous decision over Amanda Beaudin back in September.

Tickets are still available for the Ring of Fire event ranging from $45.00 – $125.00. Contract Gleason’s Gym (212) 787-2872 to purchase tickets.

Girlboxing had a chance to pose some Q & A to Fire ahead of upcoming bout, this is what she had to say.

Keisher McLeod Wells1.  You’ve got a fight coming up on February 21, 2013 on a DiBella Entertainment, Broadway Boxing Card at Roseland Ballroom in New York City.  What can you tell Girlboxing readers about your 6-round fight against Canadian national amateur champion Jacqueline Park?

Jacqueline ParkI don’t know much about her but I know she has a boxer style like my style. I’ve heard good things about her amateur career and that’s what I like to hear. I want to fight good fighters. That’s the only way I get better. It will be interesting to fight someone with a similar style to mine as opposed to the normal and obvious, my opponents usually comes straight forward non stop. I’m used to fighting brawlers and I’ve learned how to deal with them, so I’m excited to box a boxer. However, I won’t be surprised if she changes her style to brawler though because I’m taller. I’m prepared to take on both styles.

2.  The bout is being dedicated to your sister, Bronique, who was a recent innocent victim of gun violence. What do you hope to tell the world about your sister–and the cause of ending gun violence?

My sister was a very gentle and kindhearted individual. She was a great single mother of two young kids. She would come to my fights with support. She loved bragging about me to her friends about being a younger sister to a professional boxer. I am going to miss seeing her face in the audience cheering me on. This fight is being dedicated in her memory on my behalf. This will be my first fight since her death. I took some time off after her passing to cope with the lost of her with my family. This was the first loss my family has experienced, so it hit us really hard. What was more tragic is the way we lost her. Gun violence is so out of control. Using this fight in her memory with my popularity to the sport in NY, I’m hoping to bring more awareness in ending gun violence. 

Kiesher Mcleod Wells 3rd round knock down of Patricia Alcivar, Credit: Marty Rosengarten3.  It’s been 11 months since your last outing. You fought against Patricia “Boom Boom” Alcivar, in a tough battle that saw you knock her down in the 3rd and take a shot that was ruled a knock down in the 6th. Still you were triumphant with the judges giving you a split decision win, 57-55 x 2 and 55-57. What have you learned from that fight and what sort of adjustments in your game plan are you making as you head into head into the ring on the 21st?

First, I would like to say I never took a shot from her that landed me on the canvas. I slipped after dodging an unsuccessful punch that never landed by her. You can clearly see that after they replayed it in slow motion. Even the commentaries said it wasn’t a knock down. I was so confused when they started counting. That wasn’t the first time slipping in the ring for me in my boxing career. I can get a little wobbly and clumsy sometimes, but I never been counted out for that in the past. I was upset. I felt I won unanimously regardless of the 8 count. I fought tougher fights giving me unanimous decisions. So I couldn’t understand the split decision. The only adjustment I have for any fight after the one with Patricia Alcivar, is to try not to slip again. I’ve been working a lot on leg strength this time around. So hopefully I’m done with the wobbly legs.

4.  In an article that ran in the New York Times about you two years ago, in answer to a question about how the money side of the fight game doesn’t offer much to women, you said, “I think that’s why we fight harder, because we do this for the love of the sport. There’s no money really to be made.”  After all of the hoopla about women boxing for the first time in the 2012 Olympic Games do you see any changes or an opening up of opportunities for female boxers?
I’ve notice more females making a name for them in the sport. We are getting more exposure. I’m not sure if I would give the credit to 2012 Olympic Games. Promoters here in New York haven’t changed since the games. Maybe it has elsewhere. All I know is that we are still getting paid the same here.
Keisher Mcleod Wells lands an upper cut in the Golden Gloves5.  You’re a Golden Gloves Champion four times over as an amateur and bring a 5-2 record coming into your next professional fight. What can you tell up-and-coming fighters about the difference between fighting in the amateurs and fighting as a professional boxer?

The obvious difference is that professional fighters get paid, the headgear comes off and the gloves are smaller. The rounds become longer as well. Fights are more far in between too. However, I feel the reward is greater at the end because you are training for a war that is more brutal than amateur boxing. The training is more intense and so is the fight itself. There is a lot harder punches to be felt and give without the protection amateur boxing gives.

6. Your other love besides boxing is fashion. You’ve also started a jewelry line with wonderful creations that are beginning to adorn half the women in Brooklyn–or so it seems. How are you managing to fit your two love together: boxing and jewelry making?

Being a jewelry designer is what soothes my mind in between fights and training. Each piece I make is from my mind and heart. They’re unique one of kind pieces. It’s wearable art. I get in a zone when I paint (my jewelry). So when my mind and body is tired from training, I relax it by making jewelry. Also, I get a lot of down time when I’m working at Gleason’s on Sundays. So I create here sometimes while I’m here. Some are my items are boxing related, so I find inspiration from Gleason’s.

Keisher McLeod Wells7. Where do you see yourself going from here, Fire?

I would love to be some kind of TV personality or something in that nature relating to boxing after I decide I don’t want to compete any longer. I never look ahead in the future. I live my life pretty much from week to week. If I had children then I probably would have more sight of my future. Probably a bit irresponsible, but that is the way I’ve always lived my life. I am aiming for a World Title in the near future though, however it comes.

01
Jan
13

New Year’s Day …

New Year’s Day …

New Year's Eve, 2013, NYC

As a young woman, New Year’s seemed loaded with the hazards of the dating life, expectations met and lost, and the specter of a fresh start, though not unburdened with the seeds of doubt regarding those pesky New Year’s resolutions.

A world away from that earlier version of myself – the one in the 1970s garb (OMG!!!), dancing the hustle to Donna Summer at the Salty Dog in the East 80’s on one New Year’s eve or another with my bestie, Jamie, and an assortment of leisure-suited guys – I can say with some assurance that there are some helpful do’s in the resolution game!

Do # 1:  Let the KISS theory suffice (as in keep it simple …)

Keep it simple! Credit: Sodahead.com

That means instead of promising yourself an elaborate hours long daily workout that involves multiple machines, ab-routines PLUS a LOT of rounds of boxing/running/fill in you’re your own workout poison, how about just promising yourself that you will commit to a regular exercise program with reasonable goals that you can attain as in … January:  I will run (fill in the number) miles per week … et al…

Do # 2:  Think grand, but not TOO grand.

Overachiever! Credit: danceswithfat.wordpress.com

Okay, you have a book you always wanted to write or a new part of the garden to plant or a terrific new glazing technique to try that involves multiple steps and using weird chemicals, or figure this is the year to run that marathon you always promised yourself.

That all sounds great, but first off remember Do # 1.

Is it attainable?

Do you have the time?

And most importantly, do you feel ready to take on the challenge? (As in, if you have a tricky knee, a marathon may not be in the cards.)

If you do feel as if you have the “stuff” to do it, then in the words of my favorite Captain (as in Picard) … “make it so.”

If not – perhaps a weekly blog will help you “rev” up your writing or consider adding tomatoes this year, or try walking first with your knee brace before taking on light jogging.

Remember that you get a lot of self-“brownie” points for trying, but face your own “Wrath of Khan” if you underestimate the obstacles after having put all that self-capital into believing you would complete the task.

Do #3:  When in doubt, do it with a friend.

Tandam Bicycle, circa 1900, Credit: gryphonsbicyclerepair.blogspot.com

This one is a good one, especially for exercise goals, weight-loss and other “we can do it” attainables that lend themselves to a little friendly competition, not to mention the buddy-system to drag your butt out of bed for those early morning routines – or fun stuff like learning to tap dance, salsa or fox trot, or even putting together your own group to learn Italian, or better yet a fight-club of your own for weekly sparring!

The point is, doing it with a friend (or two or three, or more) gives you camaraderie plus a lot of inspiration for those outer months past the first blush or two when rising for yet another early morning run is about the last thing you want to do.

Do #4: Do what feels right for YOU.

Anthony Quinn Bay, Rhodes, Greece

This one’s a tricky.

Say you really could lose a few pounds, but the truth is it’s not in the cards right now. Well have the guts to say, nope, not now. The same thing with adding days to your workout schedule at the gym or even giving your mother a call every Sunday morning.

The point is to be aware of what is and is not attainable or desirable for yourself before you launch into things that you just can’t handle.

Better to take on fun things like catching up on your British police procedurals (Prime Suspect – all seven seasons – is on Netflix), than to burden yourself with daily yoga or insight meditation when you’re just not ready for it.

The same goes to being nicer to people you don’t like and all the other things we add to our lists.

The point is to make it work for you. After all, you don’t have to be a New Year’s resolution overachiever!

So think through the sorts of things that have meaning to you not to what has meaning to others and if this is your year to run a marathon, then have at it. Otherwise, content yourself with cutting back on caffeine after 4:00 PM or doing Sun Salutations on Saturday mornings instead of burdening yourself with the whole enchilada, so to speak.

Do #5: Sometimes grand is good!

Taj Mahal

Okay, yes, this does fly in the face of Do #2, but there’s nothing wrong with going for it either!

So if you are up for it — take the challenge!

That could mean boxing in the Golden Gloves or fighting for a WBA female title!

Whatever it is give it your best and if it means going full-throttle than by all means do!

You deserve whatever goal you think you can achieve no matter how large or how small.

I’m not saying that risk is everything – but without it, we lose our creative edge, which I figure is what we’re all about anyway.

Put it this way, whether it’s finishing the book on time (hint to self), working through the ills of your body to come back into the game or readying yourself to go for the gold at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games … there is no better time than today to overcome whatever obstacles stand in your way.

Whatever you resolutions, I’d like to wish my Girlboxing pals all the best in 2013 with the sincere hope that whatever it is you do – this is your year!!!

25
Nov
12

Heather “The Heat” Hardy to box on December 8, 2012 …

UPDATE:

Heather Hardy with a fierce bodyshot sealing her UD against Ivana Coleman, Credit: Heather Hardy

Heather Hardy with a fierce bodyshot sealing her UD against Ivana Coleman. The win brings Hardy to a 3-0 record. Credit: Heather Hardy

 

Heather “The Heat” Hardy to box on December 8, 2012 …

Having shadow boxed at Gleason’s Gym yesterday for the first time in several weeks, it brings to mind the tremendous effort required to perfect one’s skills. Looking around me I felt humbled by the effort and work of my fellow gym denizens. From 8 to 80 it seemed, men, women and a fair number of kids were working hard to perfect their skills.

The person who struck me the most, however, was Heather Hardy (2-0) who is readying for her third professional fight on Saturday, December 8, 2012 at the Resorts World Casino in Jamaica, Queens, New York.

Heather Hardy Pro Debut, 8/2/12, Credit: Edward Diller Photography, Inc.

Having turned pro in August of this year, Heather is considered a fighter’s fighter. She works with hard-edged discipline and never stops moving. A national Golden Gloves champion, Heather has called Gleason’s Gym her own for several years training with Alicia Ashley, Devon Cormak and Hector Roca. She is also a talented trainer in her own right giving her students a well-rounded workout that includes a fair amount of core work in addition to boxing skills in and out of the ring.

The mother of a seven-year old, Heather works for her family and for the chance to be a world champion. She also works for the love of the sport with an attention to the nuances of boxing second to none.

If you are in and around New York City on December 8th, this is a must see fight!

For ticket information, contact Gleason’s Gym at (718) 797-2872. General admission tickets are $50.00.

28
Aug
11

Women’s Bookstore Boxing!

Women’s Bookstore Boxing!

BookCourt, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn

As a New Yorker, September 11th has a particular meaning — especially this year on the 10th anniversay.  One way of honoring the friends and fellow citizens who lost their lives is to embrace all that is positive and wonderful about life!

So, if you looking for something to do that is positive and fun, come on down to BookCourt in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn for a fabulous evening of women’s boxing and readings about boxing!

The evening will include a wonderful exhibition of the sport by Alicia “Slick” Ashley and Camille Currie!

Alicia Ashley and Camille Currie

At 43, Ashley is the oldest women’s boxing champion having recently defended her WBC Super Bantamweight World Championship title against the much younger Christina Ruiz.  Alicia has also been Camille’s trainer and was in her corner when she won the 2008 Daily News Golden Gloves Championship at 132 lbs.   Camille Currie will be making her professional boxing debut on September 17th.

Mischa Merz, Author, The Sweetest Thing

Binnie Klien, Author, Blows to the Head

The literary part of the evening will include Australian national women’s boxing champion, Mischa Merz, reading from her boxing memoir, The Sweetest Thing and author and radio personality Binnie Klien, reading from her boxing memoir,  Blows to the Head.

Details of the event are as follows!

Sunday, September 11th, 7pm
Book Court
163 Court St
Brooklyn, New York 11201
(718) 875-3677

05
Apr
11

REMINDER: New York City’s own 84th annual Daily News 2011 Golden Gloves Finals!

REMINDER:  New York City’s own 84th annual Daily News 2011 Golden Gloves Finals!



The Golden Gloves finals will be on April 7 & April 8 @ the Madison Square Garden Theater!  Come on out for two great nights of fighting — no doubt you’ll be watching some future Olympians and world champions!

The fight roster is listed here.

For more information on tickets click here. You can also contact Gleason’s Gym. They’ve set aside a nice block of tickets and still have some available, but you’ve got to act fast! Call (718) 797-2872 or email info@gleasonsgym.net.

>>>>PS:  Nice piece in 4/6/11’s Daily News here.

21
Mar
11

84th Annual Daily News 2011 Golden Gloves Semi-Finals Week Ten Reminder!

84th Annual Daily News 2011 Golden Gloves Semi-Finals Week Ten Reminder!

The full week’s schedule is:

>>>Semi-Finals + Three Final Bouts on 3/25 @ Empire Raceway Casino, Women’s Bouts on 3/23 & 3/25

3/21/2011 – Saint Patrick’s High School, 9511 Fourth Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11228, Featuring: 152 lb. Open, 201 lb. Novice, 123 lb. Novice, 114 lb. Novice

3/23/2011 – K2 Boxing Club – Queens Crossing Mall, Mundan Banquet Hall, 136-17 39th Avenue, 2nd Floor, Flushing, NY 11354, 7:30 PM Start. For Tickets, contact K2 Boxing Club, 718-361-5252 or email Jane@k2boxing.com, Featuring: 132 lb. Open, 165 lb. Open, 112 lb. Women, 132 lb. Women.

3/24/2011 – Blessed Sacrament Church, 198 Euclid Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11208, Featuring: 178 lb. Open, 201+ lb. Novice, 123 lb. Novice, 165 lb. Novice.

3/25/2011 – Empire Raceway Casino, 800 Yonkers Avenue, Yonkers, NY 10704, 7:30 PM Start.  Tickets available at entrance to event only. Featuring: 141 lb. Novice, 201+ lb. Open, 178 lb. Novice, and the following FINAL BOUTS!  108 lb. Novice – FINALS BOUT, 176 lb. Women – FINALS BOUT, 176+ lb. Women – FINALS BOUT.

And get ready for the Finals to be held at the Theater @ Madison Square Garden on Thursday April 7th & Friday April 8th, 7:00 PM start!

For more information click here.

 

15
Mar
11

84th Annual Daily News 2011 Golden Gloves Quarter-Finals & Semi-Finals Week Nine Reminder!

84th Annual Daily News 2011 Golden Gloves Quarter-Finals & Semi-Finals Week Nine Reminder!

The full week’s schedule is:

>>>Quarter Finals

3/15/2011 – Our Lady of Mount Carmel, 275 North 8th, Brooklyn, NY 11211

3/16/2011 – Atlas Foundation, Petrides High School, 715 Ocean Terrace, Staten Island, NY 10301

>>> Semi-Finals

3/17/2011 – Elmcor Recreation Center, 33-16 108th Street, Corona, NY 11368

3/18/2011 – Electric Industry, 158-11 Jewel Avenue, Flushing, NY 11365

For more information click here.

07
Mar
11

84th Annual Daily News 2011 Golden Gloves Quarter Finals reminder and Sonya Lamonakis fight reminder!

84th Annual Daily News 2011 Golden Gloves Quarter Finals reminder!

The full week’s schedule is:

3/9/2011 – Brooklyn Masonic Temple, 317 Clermont Street, Brooklyn, NY 11225 >>> For ticket information, contact Gleason’s Gym at (718) 797-2872 or click on link here.

3/10/2011 – Elmcor Recreation Center, 33-16 108th Street, Corona, NY 11368

3/11/2011 – Glen Cove High School, 150 Dosiris Lane, Glen Cove, NY 11542 (8:00 PM Start Time)

3/12/2011 – Suffolk PAL, 99 Third Avenue, Brentwood, NY 11717 (4:00 PM Start Time)

For more information click here.

 

Fight Reminder for Sonya “The Scholar” Lamonakis March 12, 2011!!!

Sonya “The Scholar” Lamonakis

Gleason’s own four-time Golden Gloves winner Sonya “The Scholar” Lamonakis #1 ranked WIBA U.S. women’s heavyweight will be fighting on the undercard of the Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez vs Sergiy Dzinzinuk bout on March 12 @ Foxwoods to be broadcast live HBO.

For a limited time, Gleason’s Gym is offering tickets at $75 each.  (Purchasing through Gleason’s will save you the $12 service fee.)

Gleason’s advises to buy tickets now as they are going fast.  For more information contact Gleason’s Gym at (718) 797-2872 — you can also request information by email: info@gleasonsgym.net.

Click here for a nice write-up on Sonya by Peter Czymbor entitled Sonya Lamonakis: Lady Likes to Fight over on the 8 Count News Boxing/MMA website.  The link is here.

 

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02
Mar
11

Women’s Boxing Everywhere!

Women’s boxing everywhere!

Lately, when you type in “women’s boxing” on a google news search you’ll find tons of stories from all over the place: Upcoming title fights, Olympic hopefuls in Chicago, Manila and Northern India, and terrific stories about women boxers going on to new heights in the field.

Here’s a smattering from today beginning with my favorite from the Independent in Dublin, Ireland!

– The Grand Marshal of the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Dublin, Ireland this coming March 17th will be none other than Katie Taylor, Ireland’s first female boxing champion. Taylor, 24, is a boxer and soccer player who began fighting at the age of 15. Her latest prize was winning gold at the 2010 World Amateur championships in Barbados last year.  The full article is here.

– This weekend, young women from around Australia with Olympic dreams in their hearts will begin the first rung of fulfilling those ambitions by competing this weekend Melbourne in the Australian championships. For a sweet article on two young hopefuls from Manning River, Australia, courtesy of the Manning River Times click here.  A second article about women from Laurieton can be found here courtesy of the Camden Haven Courier.

– Not to be out done, the Chicago Tribune has a feature piece about boxer Kristin Gearhart who will be defending her Chicago Golden Gloves title in the junior welterweight division.  The three-time golden gloves champion is hoping to go on to the Nationals and beyond that has an Olympic dream of her own. The story by Chicago Tribune reporter By Jim Jaworski can be found here.

There is tons more to report, including a Girlboxing shout out to New York’s own Million Dollar Baby, Maureen Shea on landing a fabulous new gig as the host of Mexico’s women’s boxing reality TV show, “Todos Contra Mexico.”  Check out this piece in Eastside Boxing.

28
Feb
11

84th Annual Daily News 2011 Golden Gloves Week Seven Reminder and the start of the Quarter Finals!

84th Annual Daily News 2011 Golden Gloves Week Seven reminder and the start of the Quarter Finals!

The full week’s schedule is:

3/1/2011 – St. Finbar Auditorium, 1839 Bath Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11214

3/3/2011 – C-Pac Center, 1020 East 48th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11203

>>>>>>>Quarter Finals!

3/4/2011 – St. Athanasius, 6200 Bay Parkway, Brooklyn, NY 11204

3/5/2011 – Saint Patrick’s High School, 9511 Fourth Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11228 (7:00 PM Start)

For more information click here.

PS – Fight Reminder for March 12, 2011

Sonya "The Scholar" Lamonakis

Gleason’s own Sonya “The Scholar” Lamonakis #1 ranked WIBA U.S. women’s heavyweight and four-time Golden Gloves winner will be fighting on the undercard of the Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez vs  Sergiy Dzinzinuk bout on March 12 @ Foxwoods to be broadcast live HBO.

For a limited time, Gleason’s Gym is offering tickets at $75 each.  (Purchasing through Gleason’s will save you the $12 service fee.)

Gleason’s advises to buy tickets now as they are going fast.  For more information contact Gleason’s Gym at (718) 797-2872 — you can also request information by email: info@gleasonsgym.net.




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