Posts Tagged ‘WBAN

15
Nov
15

Thoughts on Rousey v Holm

Thoughts on Rousey v Holm

rousey15s-10-web

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

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

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

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

ronda-rousey-holly-holm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

02
Feb
14

International Women’s Boxing Hall of Fame!

International Women’s Boxing Hall of Fame!

International Women's Boxing Hall Of Fame

Women Boxing Archive Network’s (WBAN) tireless booster for the sport of female boxing, Sue TL Fox, has announced the creation of  the International Women’s Boxing Hall of Fame (IWBHF).

The IWBHF will recognize leaders in the sport in two categories: Participants and Non-Participants. Candidates for the participant categories will be Retired Female Boxers and Pioneer Female Boxers. Non-Participant categories will include Referees, Promoters, Journalists and Photographers.

The IWBHF board will include Promoter, Tokyo Arnie Rosenthal; Boxer, Alex “The Bronx Bomber” Ramos; Amateur Boxing Judge, Krysti Rosario; Boxing Writer, Bernie McCoy; Women’s Boxing Historian, Malissa Smith; Boxing Writer, Michael O’Neill; Boxing Writer, Rick McLean;  Boxing Writer, Harvey Johnson, and Sue TL Fox herself.

A link to the announcement on WBAN is here: International Women’s Boxing Hall of Fame.

10
Jan
14

Getting the skinny on #womensboxing … WBAN

Getting the skinny on #womensboxing … WBAN

WBAN

If you’re looking for the latest on #womensboxing … Sue TL Fox’s WBAN (Women Boxing Archive Network) remains the place to go!

With a plethora of stories on individual boxers, exclusive interviews, news on upcoming fights, editorials on the state of the sport, and a site loaded with goodies it takes days and days to go through; the site is a MUST GO for anyone interested in the sport.

Starting this month, Sue has opened up her considerable archive of boxing records to the public. It is treasure trove of women’s boxing photos, original documents, video streaming footage, as well as a repository of historical documents.

Sue TL Fox

Set up as a separate (but linked) website, WomensBoxingRecords.com is the most comprehensive website on the Internet for historical information of female boxing.

Named as one of the ten-most significant women’s boxers of all time in last year’s February 2012 edition of Ring Magazine, Sue Fox is more than that — she is a women’s boxing treasure for her years of devotion to setting the record straight in the sport.

As a former boxer with an illustrious career during the great spurt of women’s boxing in the 1970s, Sue also brings all of the passion for the sport that only someone who has actually fought in the squared circle can bring.

She has also been, and remains, an important point of contact for women in the sport. While not exactly a “mothership,” WBAN is a lifeline for denizens of female boxing from amateurs to professionals and everything in between.

If you can … go check it out, just click on the links:

WBAN (Women Boxing Archive Network)

WomensBoxingRecords.com

 

 

29
Jan
13

Jazzing with Melissa Hernandez…

Jazzing with Melissa Hernandez…

Melissa Hernandez v. Jelena Mrdjenovich, Credit:  Rob T Sports Photography/ Rob Trudeau

Melissa Hernandez v. Jelena Mrdjenovich, WBC Title Fight, Credit: Rob T Sports Photography/ Rob Trudeau

There is really no other way to describe WBC Female Featherweight Champion Melissa “HuracanShark” Hernandez in the ring than to say she is pure jazz.

Her fighting style is the essence of improvisation: bending the canon of what is possible in boxing with her left and deconstructing her opponents with each of her pounding rights.

The boxing maxim “kill the body and the head dies” is nothing more than a sophomoric adage as Hernandez dips and twirls her fists in a perfect prose of confusion and mind-numbing brilliance–so much so that watching her is the visual equivalent of the best mash-up that jazz could ever offer.

Supremely confident in her repertoire of boxing movements, she is pure poetry in motion: a swirling, stunning, harming, mugging, hilarious mixture of impossible postures, feints and straight-no-chaser jab, jab, jab, straight right, left hook to the body devastation.

Melissa Hernandez v. Jelena Mrdjenovich, WBC Title Fight, 9/14/2012 (highlights)

I had the opportunity to see her in action recently at Gleason’s Gym. She was sparring, working three rounds with one fighter before the next fighter would move on into the ring. I didn’t get a chance to speak with her so I never did find out why she was in town–but it didn’t really matter. She was so at home, so assured that the years she’s been in Miami seemed to peel away.

The “Huracan” at work, Credit: Mischa Merz

The thing about her as a fighter is she is comfortable in her own skin; so comfortable that she can take as many risks as she needs because there is never any hesitation. It’s as if her prowess in the ring is programmed into her DNA. That is how sure she is.

Sue TL Fox of WBAN had a recent interview with Hernandez worth checking out (link here). Hernandez is waiting for another chance to fight and has otherwise publicly challenged Argentina’s Alejandra Oliveras to put up or shut up when it comes to wanting a WBC title. Time will tell on that one, and meanwhile, Hernandez trains at the 5th Street Gym in Miami, while acting as a trainer to a group of young fighters. With any luck, we’ll get to see her in action soon.

Melissa Hernandez v. Jelena Mrdjenovich, 6/24/2011 (complete fight)

21
Nov
11

Women’s Boxing Results: IBF Championships 11/20/11

Women’s Boxing Results: IBF Championships 11/20/11

Ada Velez retains IBF Super Bantamweight Title, Photo: Chris Cozzone

In a stunning evening of women’s boxing at its best at the Texas Station Casino in Las Vegas, Ada Velez (20-2-3, 6-KO’s) retained her IBF Female Super Bantamweight championship belt in a hard-fought contest against Melinda “La Maravilla” Cooper (21-2, 11-KOs).  The judges scored the bout 98-92, 97-93 , 95-95 giving Velez a majority win. People on the scene found the third judges score surprising as they otherwise had Velez decisively dominating Cooper throughout the bout.

In what was an upset win, Dominican fighter Dahiana Santana (28-6, 12-KOs) soundly defeated former champion Stacey Reile (10-4, 4 KOs) to become the new IBF Female Featherweight Champion.  Both boxers fought a hard tough fight with the final decision scoring noted as 98-90, 97-90, 97-91.

The undercard bout with Las Vegas’ own Tatina “Lil Tyson” Anderson (5-1-1, 4-KOs) was no less exciting with her third round stoppage of  Victoria Cisneros (5-13-2, 1-KO).

Sue Ti Fox of WBAN covered the fight along with photographer Mary Ann Lurie Owen.  I highly recommend checking WBAN for some fabulous photos and cover on the bouts.  The link for the quick results is here.  I’d also recommend checking back later for her longer piece.

Chris Cozzone also covered the fight for Fightnews.com.  His piece is here.

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.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

12
Jul
11

Women’s Boxing Updates

Women’s Boxing Updates.

Ana Maria Torres!

Ana Maria Torres, Photo Credit: Enrigue Perez Heurta, Demotix

Ana Maria Torres who will be meeting Jackie Nava on July 30th in a rematch of their “battle royal” from last April was honored in Mexico City, Mexico by the president of the boxing commission, Rafael Herrera Lemus for her twelve years at the forefront of women’s boxing in Mexico and the world.

Long considered a leader in women’s sports in Mexico, she has become an important role model and inspiration for women all over Mexico.  Girlboxing sends our warmest congratulations to Ana Maria Torres for her continued success in the women’s boxing.

WBAN Top Ten TIPS for Women Boxers + a new member of the WBAN Resource Team

Over at Women Boxing Archive Network (WBAN), Sue Fox has a terrific piece out today with her top ten tips for women boxers — or how best to promote oneself.  Her ideas are solid gold for any women interested in propelling their professional boxing careers. This must read piece is here.

WBAN has also announced that Mischa Merz has joined the WBAN Resource Team. Mischa recently published her second memoir, The Sweetest Thing.  Making her home in Melbourne, is a talented fighter and former National champion.

Argentinian Women Boxers!

Argentina's Yesica Bopp (left) won the WBA/WBO light flyweight title in June, Credit: Reuters (curtesy BBC)

The BBC’s website carried a terrific piece on the state of women’s boxing in Argentina on July 2nd.  Entitled, Why Argentina is producing women boxing champions the piece notes that note only are women joining the sport for the love it, but are also finding that they can earn a decent living. Women are gaining sponsors, and finding respect in the sport that includes national TV coverage — something sorely lacking in the United States.  The article is well worth the read if for no other reason than to show the state of women’s boxing as a global phenomenon in the run up to the 2012 Olympics.




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