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Behind the Scenes In New Mexico - Part I
By Sue TL Fox
December 8, 2009


(DEC 8) When I first found out that Melissa Hernandez, a boxer known early in the game as a tough young fighter who fought even Kelsey Jeffries, with only a few pro fights on her record----and yet had a draw with Jeffries, was fighting Holly Holm, I was thrilled.

In fact, I proposed a WBAN Independent Belt to go on this fight between Holm and Hernandez. WBAN uses a completely independent board to determine if a fight can go or not on a belt.  The board has  only approved three fights in the whole time that we have had the belts available.  Needless to say, the board has very stringent standards when approving world title bouts.

Because I had never seen Hernandez in person, and only seeing photos, in my error of thought processes, I thought she was taller than her 5'1" stature---I had not paid attention to that fact. So when I proposed the fight to the board----the majority soundly stated, "No."

This is exactly why I have an independent board. It is to keep myself out of trouble with bad decisions---this one would have been one of them---and I thank all who are on the WBAN board for protecting me from myself.

Regardless, this was a great fight if both boxers came to the ring this night on December 4th to give it their best. I decided to venture out to New Mexico to see these two fight.

What added icing on the cake was the fact that not only Holm - Hernandez was the featured main event, which was impressive in itself. We had two other women's bouts on the card.

Jodi Esquibel, of New Mexico, was going to take on an impressive boxer from New York Suzsannah Warner. The two were the co-main event, and I would finally get to meet these two boxers.

Also, they had an undercard event, featuring Amanda Crespin, who was fighting Jessica Sanchez.   I did not know very much about either of these boxers and anticipated meeting them to see a couple of new boxers on the scene as pros.

Out of all of these fighters, I had only met one in the whole time of covering WBAN, and that was Holly Holm.

So I wanted to meet these other women boxers who we have covered from time to time but I never could connect the body with the name, so this was another huge reason for wanting to attend this card.

Before the fight took place, I put out a notice to women boxers that if they were going to attend the event to contact me. [There were many boxers who said they would be going, and when I did get to New Mexico, I finally got to meet Terri Moss, Mischa Merz, Ronica Jeffreys, Patricia Alcivar, Thaddine Johnson, and Victoria Cisneros, and Trina Ortegon, who I had seen on previous occasions.]

Another real cool aspect of this event was I was reconnecting with boxing folks in general, like Amy Greene (what a character! ), John Wilson, a WBAN Correspondent that made his way ALL the way from London, England to see the fight and meet up with me in the process. There are many other boxing folks and I cannot name them all.

So needless to say---I was ecstatic about going to this boxing event, pure and simple---being excited to go would be an understatement.

Leaving Portland, Oregon to Albuquerque, New Mexico

On December 2nd, I arrived Albuquerque, New Mexico, at about 2:30 p.m., missing the press conference. I was lucky enough that there were a couple of people on scene that video'd small clips of Hernandez and Holm, and I was able to link those clips, via YouTube on WBAN so boxing fans could get a glimpse of what had happened and what was said.

When I got to my room, I had a message waiting for me to call Amy Greene, who is a publicist and writer. She was staying at the same hotel as me, and she told me that she was down stairs with Mischa Merz. Merz is a masters amateur boxer from Australia, who wrote the book "Bruising". Merz is writing another book and has been traveling all around the United States meeting up with the boxing community and other female boxers.

First photo taken in Albuquerque - Mischa Merz

As soon as I went down stairs at the bar area of the hotel, I was warmly greeted by Greene and Merz. And, even if I didn't know Amy very well, and a first-time meeting with Merz, it did not take long to feel like I have known both these two for a lifetime.

Greene told me that they were set to go out to eat with retired multi-world champion Trina Ortegon (okay folks,  I adore Ortegon, she was such a warrior in the sport when she was boxing----and she has a light-hearted sense of humor). And did I add that Ortegon is completely crazy and a delight to be around?

I decided to go out with these crazy girls, and it was probably the highlight of my trip. I had a blast with these three!

Yes folks...Trina (right) did pose for these crazy photos!

Amy Greene (left), Mischa Merz (center),
Trina Ortegon (right)

End of evening outside of restaurant--it was freezing outside!

PART II - The Weigh-In

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