Posts Tagged ‘Kaliesha West

10
Jun
12

Exclusive Interview with Sonya Lamonakis set to fight on June 14th @ Roseland Ballroom!

Exclusive Interview with Sonya Lamonakis set to fight on June 14th @ Roseland Ballroom!

Gleason’s Gym’s own scholar and favorite female heavyweight Sonya Lamonakis (6-0-1) will be returning to Dibella Entertainment’s Broadway Boxing in a rousing six-round rematch against Tiffany Woodard (4-6-2) on June 14, 2012 at the storied Roseland Ballroom.

Lamonakis and Woodard have met twice before. While Lamonakis has won both fights, their last outing also under the Broadway Boxing banner at Mechanic’s Hall in Worcester, Massachusetts in August 2011 resulted in a split decision win.

Lamonakis and Woodard, August 2011

While Lamonakis has been hard at work prepping for this bout, she’s also been finishing up the school year at the Family Academy school in Harlem. In between her busy schedule, Sonya agreed to do an interview with Girlboxing.

1. You’ve got a fight coming up against Tiffany Woodard on June 14th as Roseland Ballroom in NYC as part of the Broadway Boxing series. Your last time out with Tiffany you won by a split-decision over six rounds. What is your game plan against her this time out?
This will be our trilogy. She is a tough opponent not to be taken lightly. We are both coming off a draw and want a win. I plan on working angles and combinations. I will be more active than the last time I fought her.
2. You are 6-0-1 now, that’s quite an achievement.  What are you looking to achieve with a win against Woodard?
A win! Again, I’m coming off a draw and I need to get that W and get ready for a title fight in the future.
3. What has your training been like for the fight?  I know your semester is winding down, but you are still working full-time as a teacher in Harlem. How are you able to make things work?
Training has been a little crazy.
I fired my trainers and will have Buddy McGirt in my corner. He worked with me about two months ago when he was here training a fighter for a big fight for about a month. Unfortunately, he went back to his home in Florida and I was lost without him. I attempted to work with “Blimp” Delon Parsley and Lennox Blackmore, but neither of them were to aggressive with my training and took it too lightly. I felt I was not being taken seriously enough and needed a change.
Work is winding down and the summer is here. I am delighted to greet it. I do my best to balance my career and my hobby. I always put my students first. One Saturday a month I set up a trip for my students to take them out of the city on a hike, or adventure so they can breathe some clean air and work on confidence, self-esteem, and finding themselves.
4. Kaliesha “Wild Wild” West issued a press release with her father and trainer Juan West stating that while women work as hard as men in the fight game, they are not catching any kind of breaks for fight promotions or TV air time. I know that you’ve had a great relationship with Lou DiBella and Broadway Boxing here in New York, but do you feel that Kaliesha has a point?  Are things really tough right now for female pro boxers trying to gain the experience, recognition and opportunity that comes with televised fights?
Unfortunately, women are not getting what they deserve. I have never been told or heard that my fights are boring or are not worthy of television. I dream of the day that I will fight on ESPN Friday Night Fights, or even Showbox, or HBO Boxing. For now, I am thankful that Lou allows me on his cards and always gives me TV time on SNY and MSG. It’s baby steps for women. Even as an amateur I had to fight against the odds to create a path for the women to get where they are today. I am proud to be part of the movement that opened up women’s boxing at the amateur and professional level.
5. You’ve only fought two fights since last April, one in August one in January–can you tell us what’s been going on in the women’s heavyweight division and why there seem to be so few fights?
Boxing is an expensive sport. The promoters want to make money. There is not a lot of money in women’s boxing. With the more wins I get the harder it is to find opponents. There are a lot more heavyweights but not ones that want to fight me. They ask for a lot of money and my promoter can only pay so much. It’s not like Lou is making $100,000 off my fight. I sell tickets to cover my purse and my opponents. I’m waiting for an offer from a woman on her card so I don’t have to worry about tickets and I can be the guest on a show.
6. Sonya, you are an inspiration to so many people not only as a boxer, but as a teacher and in your work against bullying. Your personal story is also one of redemption, hope and faith. Tell Girlboxing readers about your work in the community and how it is affecting the lives of young people?

Teaching school and guiding children is something I’m good at. I am positive role model for the children academically and personally. I attended colleges and received masters degrees and hold five different New York State Education Certifications in a variety of fields. I’m also an athlete and the students can relate to me. I love all my children and find the good in each of them. I do my best to instill values and morals in them that will lead to towards successful lives. I tell them that if they want to have choices when they are older they need to have an education. Without an education you have no choices to make. You have to take whatever job you can and do your best to survive. As an example, remember that episode on the Cosby’s when Bill gave his son fake money and had him pay bills until he ran out quickly. At that point he wanted more things, but he had no money left. So without an education, your choices will be limited, but with an education you can go anywhere.

7. One last question — with the debut of women’s boxing at the 2012 London Olympic Games, what do you feel most proud of?
I feel proud to be a part of the movement that accomplished this mission. I attended meetings, competed in the Nationals, signed petitions, advocated for the women and being an amateur boxer allowed me to be part of the debut of women’s boxing. I look forward to the Olympics and hope that it opens the doors for more women in the future of boxing.

Check out Sonya’s new sponsor website here!

For tickets to Sonya Lamonakis’ Broadway Boxing fight at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City contact Gleason’s Gym: 718-797-2872.  Tickets are: $45, $65 and $85.  The first bout is at 7:00 PM.

09
Jun
12

Kaliesha “Wild Wild” West fighting hard to fight!

Kaliesha “Wild Wild” West fighting hard to fight!

Kaliesha “Wild Wild” West (15-1-3, 4-KOs) is the current WBO female bantamweight champion having most recently defended her world title in April against the Argentinian fighter Claudia Andrea Lopez in Baja California, Mexico.

What she isn’t getting is the kind of support and boxing opportunties a fighter of her skill and caliber should be getting.

Kaliesha was featured in a recent MUST SEE Transworld Sport video in which she explains the dilemma of what it means to have to fight hard to fight.  Please watch it.

The following is a press release issued by Kaliesha and her father Juan West — I am publishing it in full because this is powerful stuff.

Kaliesha West & her Father/ Trainer Juan West 
Press release: Jerry Hoffman
Boxing friends,
Women’s boxing is being stymied in America by promoters who refuse to throw them a bone. No TV fights, very few undercard opportunities, and a constant dismissal of the potential interest and consequently dollars that would be generated if a major player in the business were to make a commitment and embrace the female boxing scene. MMA makes that effort. Boxing does not.

Hope you will enjoy this 13 minute piece on current World bantamweight Champion Kaliesha “Wild Wild” West who fought in Monterey a couple times earlier in her career.http://youtu.be/dIKfx1Fls7M

Somehow, California is blessed with other female boxing greats who remain unknown to fight fans. Tremendous Northern California talents such as Ava Knight, Ana Julaton, and Melissa McMorrow have won World Titles by traveling into hostile Mexican and European venues to upset the local promoter’s fighters…but the recognition and notoriety that would be afforded to men World Champions accomplishing the same triumphs remain mute.

The “Old Boy Network” of established American promoters continue to keep women’s boxing off the fight fan’s radar by design. Their intent is not to offer opportunities and open up new potential markets. Golden Boy, Top Rank and other promotional companies who can make a difference refuse to do so, for fear of looking “soft” among their colleagues. It’s time for them to man up and seize the challenge and enjoy the benefits of expanding the scope of the sport, operating in the “interest of boxing” rather than self serving male dominated discrimination.

Women’s boxing is an Olympic sport for the first time, but it’s unlikely any American will medal at the London Games this summer. If American women were to be promoted in their own country, aspiring females would be inspired with potential returns for their dedication.

The noted pro boxers above have achieved Championship status despite prejudice in their own back yard. Their accomplishments overcome the long odds against them. They are compelling and entertaining fighters with talent who remain anonymous in the public eye, because the entities who could easily elevate their status, refuse to do so.

 

 

10
Apr
12

Great championship boxing on April 14th: Kaliesha West v. Claudia Andrea Lopez!

>>>UPDATE>>>

Kaliesha West retained her title through ten rounds of fighting against challenger Claudia Andrea Lopez.  West won by majority decision with the judges scoring the bout 98-92, 98-92, 95-95.  Having live tweeted the bout, it is really hard to see how the third judge could have scored it a draw.  West was firmly in control, though the fight was tough and Lopez’s southpaw style took some getting used to.  Kaliesha has been quoted as saying, “Lopez was a crafty veteran who was aggressive during the entire fight. Other boxers avoid her because she is a tough lefty, who has experience fighting good competition. She was what we expected and then some.”

The fight is now on YouTube (albeit in Spanish).  You be the judge!

 

Great championship boxing on April 14th: Kaliesha West v. Claudia Andrea Lopez.

The pride of California, Kaliesha “Wild Wild” West (14-1-3, 4-KOs), the current WBO Bantamweight Champion will be defending her well earned title against Argentina’s own Claudia Andrea “La Chica 10” Lopez (18-5-0, 4-KOs) at the Ernesto Ruffo Appel Municipal Gymnasium, located in Rosarito B.C. Mexico.

For those with access to Televisa, the 10-round, championship take-no-prisoners bout will air as part of their weekly boxing series “Sabados de Corona.” The fight card is presented by Box Latino, and is slated to be led by seven-time world champion, Mexico’s Erik “El Terrible” Morales.

West first won the WBO Bantamweight title in September of 2010 and will be offering her third WBO title defence.  Her last fight was in August 2011 when she won handily over Jessica Villafranca by unanimous decision.  This will be West’s third fight in Mexico – a place she is beginning to call home especially as there are excellent boxing opportunities for her there.

West’s opponent, Claudia Andrea Lopez has the reputation as a fierce competitor and is taking this fight after winning four straight bouts.  A champion in her own right, she is the current WBC Latino Super Bantamweight champion, however, her title will not be on the line in her fight on April 14th,

Boxing News 24 has quoted West’s father and coach Juan West as saying,  “I’ve done my research and Lopez is the type of fighter that managers avoid. She’s strong, left-handed, has a solid chin and she’s a champion. She’s had some close losses to highly rated fighters. This is an opportunity for Kaliesha to make a statement and take her game to another level. She is on a mission to gain the respect of the boxing community and to build a broader fan base by grabbing the attention of casual sports fans.”

For women’s boxing fight fans who happen to be in Mexico, tickets will be available at the Ernesto Ruffo Appel Municipal Gymnasium box office or by calling the offices of Bobby D. Presents at +1 (619) 420 8866. On fight night, the doors will open at 5pm, with the first fight starting at 6pm.

30
Sep
11

Women’s Boxing: Ana Julaton’s WBO Super Bantamweight title defense, tonight (9/30/11)!

>>>>UPDATE>>>>

Ana “The Hurricane” Julaton handily defeated Jessica Villafranca to retain her WBO Super bantamweight title last night.  Julaton won a unanimous decision with the judges scoring the ten-round bout, 98-91, 96-93, and 97-20.  Julaton sustained a small cut to her forehead froms an accidental head butt.  The fight, however, was able to continue.  

Women’s Boxing: Ana Julaton’s WBO Super Bantamweight title defense, tonight (9/30/11)!

Ana “The Hurricane” Julaton (9-2-1, 1-KO) has been training her heart out at the UNLV Boxing Gym in Las Vegas, Nevada in preparation for her WBO Women’s Super Bantamweight title defense against the 18-year old Mexican fighter, Jessica Villafranca (12-3-0, 6 KOs).   The bout will be contested at the Polifuncional in Kanasin, Yucatan, Mexico.

As with Kaliesha West before her, Ana Julaton, is bringing her exciting lightening fast boxing style, honed by Freddie Roach to Mexico, in what appears to be a the beginnings of a trend for elite women fighters from the United States.

As Girlboxing has written before, Villafranca lost her last bout to Kaliesha West in a tough ten-round slug fest in August.  With Villafranca’s fight against Julaton, however, she will be fighting at her natural super bantamweight, so that may well mean that she will fight better and stronger.

Whatever the outcome, Julaton’s decision to take her game to Mexico will hopefully mean more opportunity and exposure as the fight will not only be televised on Mexico’s GMA-7, but on Philippine television as well — plus it will likely be easy to find on streaming video.

For some further insights into Ana Julaton’s life in and out of the ring, Chris Robinson has a terrific interview in the Las Vegas Examiner that is well worth the read.  The link is here.

09
Sep
11

Ana Julaton set to fight Jessica Villafranca in Mexico!

>>>>UPDATE>>>>

Ana “The Hurricane” Julaton handily defeated Jessica Villafranca to retain her WBO Super bantamweight title last night.  Julaton won a unanimous decision with the judges scoring the ten-round bout, 98-91, 96-93, and 97-20.

Ana Julaton set to fight Jessica Villafranca in Mexico!

Current WBO Super Bantamweight champion, and the darling of California and the Philippines, Ana Julaton (9-2-1, 1-KO) will be defending her title against Mexico’s own Jessica Villafranca (12-3-0, 6-KOs) on September 30th at the Polifuncional in Kanasin, Yucatan, Mexico.

Ana Julaton

Julaton will be the second American championship boxer in as many months to defend her title in Mexico, following on the heals of Kaliesha West who successfully defeated Villafranca last month in a highly rated showdown broadcast on Mexico’s Televisio network.

“I want to show the Boxing World that I will fight anyone, anywhere, at any time and will do my utmost to represent the proud Filipino nation in the great traditions that they have come to expect,” said Julaton in a recent press release announcing the bout.

Kaliesha West and Jessica Villafranco, Photo: HG Boxing

With respect to the matchmaking for this bout, Villafranca is an interesting choice given her recent fight record.  The 18-year-old fighter lost a match to Erica Farias at 133-1/2 pounds this past February when she was dropped in the first round. Villafranca went down to 121 pounds for her next bout on August 7th against Maria Jimenez and won (purportedly near her natural weight), and then dropped down to 118 pounds to fight against Kaliesha West on August 20th.  Given Villafranca’s relative size, that’s a lot of weight to gain and lose over a short period and while she will be fighting Julaton at 122 pounds, her weight fluctuations may well affect her fighting abilities.

The other interesting aspect of this fight is the fact that as popular and well-promoted as Julaton’s fights have been — her fight team is electing to go to Mexico where women’s boxing is not only popular, but given the respect it deserves in terms of media exposure, live television coverage and fans in the stands.  The question is how self-fulling is this?  Is it a case of — if you promote it they will come?  It sure seems like it because by putting the product out there, fans have obviously voted with their support which would seem to be why women’s boxing has heated up of late.  It is also an impetus for women to take up the sweet science — which will only serve to improve the sport.

The Julaton-Villafranca bout is being promoted by Orion Sports Management and Yucatan Boxing and will be broadcast via the Philippines GMA Network worldwide. It is also expected that the bout will be televised on Mexican television as well as available via video streaming on-line.

02
Sep
11

Friday Night Fights of our own – 9/2/2011

Friday Night Fights of our own – 9/2/2011

So here’s the deal.  I know I had a post yesterday noting the outstanding women’s bouts over the weekend, but over at WBAN, they’ve posted a piece by Jerry Hoffman that in its essence asks why Golden Boy Promotions is failing to put women’s bouts on their fight cards in California, not to mention televising women’s bouts on HBO, Showtime & ESPN!

It is a good question considering how popular women’s boxing is on the other side of the California border in Mexico where women’s bouts are routinely promoted and televised. Case in point, Californian Kaliesha “Wild Wild” West who has taken her WBO title and her boxing future to Mexico’s HG Boxing Promotions.  Why?  Can you guess why?  What were her opportunities going to be if she couldn’t get the promotional commitment or exposure she needed to get to the next level?

All I can say is it’s a damn shame because the talent and the desire are continuing to explode at all levels, but without support it’ll continue to disappoint even as other countries in the Americas such as Argentina, Uruguay, Panama and Mexico have become the destinations of choice when it comes to opportunities for quality fighting.

I’d love to hear what people are thinking about all of this so please add in your  ten cents worth.

BTW, here’s a video of fighter you will not get to see this weekend (read why in the WBAN article linked above), California’s 4-time women’s champion Carina “La Reina” Morena (21-3, 6-KO’s).

The YouTube video shows her boxing her heart out as she fought valiantly on January 29, 2011 in her 10-round title challenge against reigning WBA and WBO Female Light Flyweight title holder, Argentina’s own Yesica “Tuti” Bopp (16-0, 7-KO’s). And yes, the fight was heavily promoted and televised because it was held in Argentina. (The fight starts about 10:00 minutes into the video.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

20
Aug
11

Reminder! Great Women’s Boxing tonight, 8/20/11!

Reminder! Great Women’s Boxing tonight, 8/20/11!

There is some terrific women’s boxing going on tonight!

First off — if you can get Mexico’s Televiso do because there are two fabulous female bouts on HG Boxing’s “Triple Corona” fight card! (Luckily for those of us who can’t get it live, the full bouts will likely be put up on YouTube.  You might also try to find a live video stream for some coin.)

The two co-main feature women’s bouts will include IBF female flyweight world champion Arely “Ametrallado” Muciño (13-0-1, 8 KO’s) defending her title against Susana Vasquez (5-5-1, 2 KOs) in a ten-round bout.  The other co-main feature female bout is none other than California’s own WBO female bantamweight champion Kaliesha “Wild Wild” West (13-1-3, 4 KO’s) defending her hard-won title against Mexico’s own Jessica Villafranca (12-2, 6 KO’s)

Over on the East Coast, Gleason’s own scholar, the ever-popular female heavyweight Sonya Lamonakis (5-0, 1-KO) will be fighting a tough rematch against Tiffany Woodard (4-4-1, 3-KO’s) at Mechanics Hall in Worcester, Massachusetts on the Broadway Boxing card.  To quote Sonya, “it’s going to be war”, and nothing new for a Lamonakis fight night!

 




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