Posts Tagged ‘Hector Roca

08
Mar
18

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

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

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

Alicia “Slick” Ashley, Photo Credit: Tim Knox

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

16
Mar
12

Alicia “Slick” Ashley Defending WBC Super Bantamweight Title against Maria Elena “The Rush” Villalobos on March 17, 2012

>>> UPDATE >>>

AND THE WINNER IS … ALICIA “SLICK” ASHLEY, by decision.  The judges scored the bout 99-92, 98-92 and 99-91.

Alicia Ashley landing a right hand against challenger Maria Elena Villalobos on 3/17/2012 to retain her WBC Title, Photo: Alma Montiel


Alicia “Slick” Ashley Defending WBC Super Bantamweight Title against Maria Elena “The Rush” Villalobos on March 17, 2012

Brooklyn’s own Alicia “Slick” Ashley (17-9-1, 1-KO) and currently the oldest female world champion in boxing will be defending her WBC Super Bantamweight championship against challenger Maria Elena “The Rush” Villalobos (12-4-1, 5-KO) on March 17, 2012 in Mexico City, Mexico.

Alicia "Slick" Ashley training in Mexico for her March 17, 2012 WBC Superbantamweight Title Fight., Credit: Boxing de Gala

Renowned for her “Slick” boxing style, Ashley, a former dancer and kickboxer brings extraordinary boxing skills, agility and style to the ring with a southpaw’s propensity for  catching her opponents off-guard.  As a denizen of Gleason’s Gym in Dumbo, Brooklyn Ashley, 44,  not only trains with a dedication that runs rings around men and women half her age, but is also a talented trainer and coach in her own right, bringing her “Slick” brand of saavy boxing to fighters who have gone on to win titles in their own right.

Maria Elena "The Rush" Villalobos, Credit: Bob Cruz

Maria Elena “The Rush” Villalobos, 39, is also no stranger to the ring having successfully defended her WBC Silver Female Super Bantamweight Title since last July 2011.

While a skilled orthodox fighter, she has not fought the level of competition that Ashley has fought. Villalobos has been reported as stating that she will look to take Ashley with a KO.  She also hopes that her hometown advantage will give her the added impetus to take the fight.

Given Ashley’s skill and propensity to fight an outside/inside game, Villalobos will have her certainly have to work hard to catch a victory.

The fight is scheduled for ten rounds and will be Ashley’s first defense of her title since her decisive win over Christina Ruiz in July 2011 by decision.

Maria Elena Villalobos interview about her upcoming bout with Alicia Ashley from YouTube (in Spanish):

09
Apr
11

Gleason’s Gym – All Female Boxing Clinic

Gleason’s Gym – All Female Boxing Clinic on April 28, 29 & 30, 2011!

Gleason’s Gym will host its first All Female Boxing Clinic on April 28, 29 and 30, 2011 at its headquarters in Brooklyn, New York.

The three-day event will include two-days of boxing training and will culminate in Gleason’s first USA Boxing Metro amateur-sanctioned All Female Boxing Show to be broadcast live on www.gofightlive.tv.

The two-day clinic will focus on a range of boxing skills for beginners and will feature the Gleason’s World Champion talents of Alicia Ashley, Jill Emory, Melissa Hernandez and Belinda Laracuente as well as boxing trainers Mark Breland, Juan LaPorte and Hector Roca.

The clinic is open to anyone with a desire to learn the fundamentals of the sport — and for those who have more skills, opportunities will be offered to perfect your talents.

Having first walked into the door at Gleason’s in 1997, I can personally attest to the genuinely supportive atmosphere of the gym, which has always been particularly inviting to women. It’s also meant that I’ve had the chance to observe first hand the explosion in Women’s Boxing  — as well as the chance to applaud the prowess of Gleason’s many boxing alumni!

Girlboxing recently had the chance to sit down and talk with Gleason’s Gym’s owner Bruce Silverglade about Women’s Boxing (see video below).  As an early proponent of the sport, Bruce has been a champion in his own right through his strong advocacy for Women’s Boxing and continues to provide opportunities for women in the sport from Saturday boxers on through dedicated pros.

Spaces are still available for the chance to perfect your boxing prowess or take the plunge into your first foray into the ring. If you are interested contact Bruce Silverglade at Gleason’s Gym.  The telephone number is: 718-797-2872 and the email address is: info@gleasonsgym.net.  The cost of the clinic is $299.00.  You can also sign-up to participate in the All Female Boxing Show by contacting Angela Querol @ 718-797-2872.

27
Jan
11

Snow Day!

Snow Day!

Snow Day in New York City, 1947

NYC Public Schools are closed today for a snow day!   While not exactly as rare as a Yeti sighting in the Florida Everglades, it’s pretty cool for the City’s kids if a pain in the you-know for parents who still have to scramble to get to work.

Meanwhile, it means an extra day for catching up on chores and fun stuff such as an expedition through the snow bound streets of Brooklyn to Gleason’s Gym — ’cause knowing Bruce Silverglade, Gleason’s will be open!

If you can’t get to the gym … here’s a fun how to.




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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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