Tag Archives: USA Women’s Boxing

West v. Knight: Boxing the way it’s supposed to be!

West V. Knight: Boxing the way it’s supposed to be!

Ava Knight and Kaliesha West, Photo: Mary Ann Owen

Kaliesha West  (13-1-3, 4 KO’s) and Ava Knight (6-1-3, 3 KO’s) fought ten hard Main Event rounds to a draw this past Saturday night at California’s Pico Rivera Sports Arena on what was otherwise a mixed martial arts and Muy Thai fight card.  The judges scored the bout 95-95, 96-94 Knight and 96-94 West.  The draw meant that West was able to retain her WBO female bantamweight title.

Both women fought their hearts out in their second outing together.  In their first meeting, Knight had handed West her only loss.  One can only hope that their likely third match will be as exciting.

In listening to West’s interview after the fight, the resounding message is one of respect for her opponent and a sincere desire to better her sport.  All I can say is what sports-womanship!  And beyond that, a giant Girlboxing shout to advocate for putting  women’s boxing of this caliber on something other than streaming video!

Ava Knight and Kaliesha West, Photo: Katherine Rodriguez

If ever a fight should have been broadcast it was this one! It was a rematch of a terrific fight. It was Kaliesha West’s first outing after a horrific car wreck — and more to the point these two women CAN FIGHT and represent the best in their generation of up-and-coming strong women’s boxers who not only fight with skill but with heart!

Perhaps with National’s going on now, World’s in the Fall and the Olympic trials next Spring some more momentum will swing towards women’s boxing — but I’ve got to say that the continuing black-out of women’s boxing on main-stream American television not only denies a loyal fan base the opportunity to follow their sport, but importantly denies these tremendous fighters an opportunity to grow and progress as athletes.

It’s time to bring the sport to the next level!

For a nice recap of the fight, check out The Sweet Science here.

N A T I O N A L S ! Yep, Women’s Amateur Boxing Rules!

N A T I O N A L S !  Yep, Women’s Amateur Boxing Rules!

Cool fact!  This year’s women’s national champions will give us all a look at the possible Olympians for next year’s Olympic games in London!

The 2011 USA Boxing National Championships are set to begin on June 19th and will run through June 26th in Colorado Springs, Col

As stated on USA Boxing website, “For the first-time ever, one event will serve as a qualifying tournament for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for both male and female athletes with the top four finishers in the three female Olympic weight classes and 10 men’s divisions clinching the critical qualifying spots.”

As a reminder the three Olympic divisions are:  Flyweight (112 lbs). Lightweight (132 lbs) and Middleweight (165 lbs).

So look for the defending champions in the three Olympic weight divisions to rock the house: flyweight Marlen Esparza (Houston, Texas) competing for her sixth straight national championship, lightweight Queen Underwood (Seattle, Wash.) boxing for her fifth title and middleweight Tiffanie Hearn (Louisville, Ky.) vying for her second consecutive middleweight crown and third overall.

The going won’t be easy though as there are a record 36 women vying for the Lightweight title alone this year including 2010 National PAL Champion Stephanie Han (El Paso, Texas), four-time winner Caroline Barry (Boulder, Colo.), former featherweight national champions Melissa Parker (Camp Lejeune, N.C.) and Jody Ann Weller (Pomona, N.Y.), as well as 2010 bantamweight gold medalist Lauren Fisher (Dania, Fla.).

The middle weight division is no lock either with 21 entrants including Franchon Crews (Baltimore, Md.) who was AWESOME in the Pan Am trials, plus former light heavyweight champion Tika Hemingway (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and defending heavyweight titlist Denise Rico (Los Angeles, Calif.) both of whom moved down to the middleweight division in the hopes of making the team.

Action will begin for the Olympic weight classes on Monday with the start of their preliminary bouts.  According to USA Boxing’s rules, the athletes in the three Olympic divisions will need to win their preliminary bouts and the quarter finals to earn a place in Thursday’s semifinal action.  Only Semi-finalist and above will be able to clinch a spot in next year’s U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Women’s Boxing.

The roster of fighters set to compete is impressive to say the least!

2011 USA Boxing National Championships Female Athletes by Weight Class

Light flyweight/106 lbs (Six Boxers)

Natalie Gonzalez, New Rochelle, N.Y., Elizabeth Rodriguez, Gilroy, Calif., Lisa Ha, Honolulu, Hawaii, Vanessa Guzman, Chula Vista, Calif., Marina Ramirez, Las Vegas, Nev., Amy Sowers, Bozeman, Mont.

Flyweight/112 lbs (22 Boxers) – Olympic

Tyreishia Douglas, Baltimore, Md. (2010 USA Boxing National Championships silver medalist), Noemi Bosques, Pinellas Park, Fla., Megan Rembold, Oswego, Ill., Marlen Esparza, Houston, Texas (Five-time National Champion), Alicia Avila, Colorado Springs, Colo., Jamie Mitchell, Pacific Grove, Calif., Bernice Hernandez, Las Vegas, Nev., Christina Cruz, New York, N.Y. (2010 National PAL Champion), LaTonya King, Harrison, Mich., Heather Han, El Paso, Texas, Rhonda McGee, Vacaville, Calif., Nicole Pasillas, Aurora, Colo., Autumn Anderson, Bellevue, Neb., Paola Estrada, Palmdale, Calif., Cassandra Mendoza, Greeley, Colo., Alex Love, Monroe, Wash. (2010 USA Boxing National Championships bronze medalist), Cynthia Moreno, Guadalupe, Ariz. (2008 National Champion), Taversha Norwood, Marietta, Ga., Virgina ‘Ginny’ Fuchs, Baton Rouge, La., Tiffany Perez, Hammond, Ind., Ashlee Reyes, San Antonio, Texas, Maryguenn Vellinga, Salt Lake City, Utah

Bantamweight/119 lbs (12 Boxers)

Amanda Pavone, Burlington, Mass., Rayleen Williams, Lincoln, Del., Rosa Rodriguez, Miami, Fla., Tiffany Griffin, Chicago, Ill., Shanice Herron, St. Louis, Mo., Shanne Ruelas, Fresno, Calif., Bryonna Jumandig, Tacoma, Wash., Haley Pasion, Waipahu, Hawaii, Nephateria Miller, New Haven, Conn., Lindsay Bartels, Omaha, Neb., Amanda Pavone, Burlington, Mass., Erica Rosenburg, Fountain, Colo.

Featherweight/125 lbs (10 Boxers)

Heather Hardy, Brooklyn, N.Y., Alecia DeFrank, Rickey, Fla., Ronica Rodriguez, Lansing, Mich., Carissa Casey Morton, San Francisco, Calif., Lori Argumedo, Commerce City, Calif., Andrea Peters, Ft. Carson, Colo., Elizabeth Leddy, Portland, Maine (2010 USA Boxing National Championships silver medalist), Kristen McKnight, Angien, N.C., Asia Stevenson, Washington, D.C., Emily Dagnan, Jasper, TN

Lightweight/132 lbs (36 Boxers) – Olympic

Comel Chandler, Brooklyn, New York, Tiara Brown, Lehigh Acres, Fla., N’yteeyah Sherman, Barberton, Ohio, Marianne Kraus, Indianola, Iowa, Jeanelle Leal, Corpus Christi, Texas, Earnestine Wesley, Garland, Texas, Amorena Baca, Denver, Colo., Jayli Fimbres, Newton, N.D., Brenda Gutierrez, Sacramento, Calif., Maira Madrigal, Wenataliee, Wash., Lisa Porter, Northridge, Calif., Caroline Barry, Boulder, Colo. (Four-time National Champion), Melissa Parker, Camp Lejeune, N.C. (2009 National Champion), Mikaela Mayer, Marquette, Mich., Stephanie Han, El Paso, Texas (2010 National PAL Champion), Queen Underwood, Tacoma, Wash. (Four-time National Champion), Jody-Ann Weller, Pomona, N.Y. (2010 Featherweight National Champion), Darina Mims, Greensboro, N.C., Tiara Brown, Lehigh Acres, Fla., Bertha Aracil, Yonkers, N.Y., Storm Chandler, Brooklyn, N.Y., Robin Conroy, Wilmington, N.C., Stefanie Taylor, West Hills, Calif., Jasmedh Rosales, Los Angeles, Calif., Micaela Arce, Reno, Nev., Rita Martinez, Las Cruces, N.M., Madeline Guzman, Perth Amboy, N.J., Jessie Owens, Virginia Beach, Va., Amber Smith, Ft. Worth, Texas, Selina Barrios, San Antonio, Texas, Alecia Gutierrez, Chicago, Ill., Ishika Lay, Jacksonville Beach, Fla., Takesha Edward, Houston, Texas, Lauren Fisher, Dania, Fla. (2010 Bantamweight National Champion), Sherry Whetten, Tucson, Ariz., Kymmberli Stowe, Millersville, Pa.

Light welterweight/141 lbs (12 Boxers)

Kathleen Walsh, Rankankama, N.Y., Samantha Griffith, Pittsburgh, Pa., Rebecca Laborde, Tampa, Fla., Cashmere Jackson, Cleveland, Ohio (2010 USA Boxing National Champion), Jessica McCaskill, St. Louis, Mo., Urbana Hernandez, El Paso, Texas, Ariel Beck, Deer Lodge, Mont., Luvisa Matali, Denver, Colo., Griselda Madrigal, Wenataliee, Wash., Rachell Wehrle, Stafford, Va., Kendra Macon, Charlotte, N.C., Kristin Gearhart, Oak Park, Ill.

Welterweight/152 lbs (Seven Boxers)

LaTarishia Fountain, Flushing, N.Y., Christine Poulauskis, Oakland Park, Fla., Amournix Stamp, Milwaukee, Wis., Lindsey Soderberg, Holt, Mich., Faith Franco, Duarte, Calif., Jen Johnson, Kalispell, MT., Diona Wigand, Lexington, Ky.

Middleweight/165 lbs (21 boxers)  – Olympic

Christina Jenson, Centereach, N.Y., Franchon Crews, Baltimore, Md. (Four-time National Champion), Heather Bassett, Jackson, Tenn., Audrey Drew, Dallas, Texas, Tara Weisshaar, Burlington, Colo., Amy Castillo, Bakersfield, Calif., Fallon Farrar, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, Tiffanie Ward, Hacienda Heights, Calif., Raven Barnes, Marquette, Mich., Kalita Marsh, Smithfield, N.C., Denise Rico, Los Angeles, Calif. (2010 USA Boxing National Champion), Alyssa DeFazio, Peoria, Ariz. (2009 National Champion), Tiffanie Hearn, Louisville, Ky. (2010 Heavyweight National Champion), Dara Shen, Fairfax, Va., Melinda Levasseur, Magnolia, Del., Tika Hemingway, Pittsburgh, Pa. (2009 Light Heavyweight National Champion), LaTeisha Darden, Wilmington, N.C., Danyelle Wolf, San Diego, Calif., Maria Dominguez, Wouchula, Fla., Jennifer Egan, Mohopac,NY, Marie Ybarra, Greeley, Colo.

Light heavyweight/178 lbs (1 Boxer)

Kimberly Olech, Canton, Ohio

Heavyweight/178+ (3 Boxers)

Natalie Pacheco, Bronx, N.Y., Charnita Johnson, Columbus, Ohio, Natacia Manuma, Mililoni, Hawaii