Fighter of the
Kelsey "Road Warrior"
(Second Year pick!)
This was a VERY difficult
pick this year with many runner-ups. Runner up: Laila
Ali, Mary Jo Sanders, Sumya Anani, Jessica Rakoczy, Ann Wolfe, Wendy
Rodriguez, Bettina Csabi, Mia St. John. Kelsey is the
IFBA World Featherweight Champion!
Achievements of the year
Bettina "Box Princess"
Csabi, undefeated, and a
fantastic boxer and champion from Hungary, not only a boxer,
but she has earned her doctoral degree in Europe at the same time.
Bettina received a doctoral degree
in law in Szeged, Hungary, from the
faculty of law in
2003. In 2004, she has had six fights, including winning the
GBU Bantamweight title.
Boxer of the Year
Sumya "Island Girl" Anani
Notice we did not say “most
feared” because we will give opponents and their teams the benefit
of the doubt that the general reason given for not fighting Anani is
due to wanting a higher purse with Television. So....Anani has
been named the “most Avoided” because Anani would literally fight
anywhere, anytime, if given the opportunity, but getting another
boxer in the ring with her is nearly impossible!
Boxer who took on "ALL" tough opponents in the year 2004
Jerri Sitzes has been picked by
WBAN as the boxer of the year who took on ALL tough opponents that were
difficultt fights, without succumbing to fighting less-skilled opponents
to pump up her record. Sitzes fought Kelsey Jeffries, Lisa Brown,
Melinda Cooper, and Mary Elizabeth Ortega. Sitzes, with a
misleading record of 5-6-1 (3KO), is definitely a boxer to be
Hottest Rising Stars of the year!
Mary Jo Sanders
Sanders, who fights out of
Detroit, Michigan, undefeated at 13-0-0 (4KO), has fought and
defeated some tough competition this year. She earned her first
belt when she defeated Chevelle Hallback for the IBA Jr.
Welterweight Title. Sanders has fought many very good
opponents in her young career in the sport thus far.
No other word to describe Melinda than a "boxing sensation."
Cooper has been boxing since the age of 12, has an extensive successful
amateur background, and turned pro at 17. She fights out of
Las Vegas, Nevada, and has accumulated a 13-0-0 (8KO). Cooper is
another boxer having some tough times finding opponents to step into the
ring with her. She is not only a highly technical boxer, but is an
exciting boxer to watch in the ring. A REAL Rising Star in this sport!
Most Improved of the Year
Inspirational Boxer(s) of the Year
Valerie “The Wolfe” Mahfood.
Mahfood is one of the most resilient boxers in the sport today.
Mahfood keeps a positive attitude no matter what she is
confronted with. Mahfood approaches the sport with not
taking herself or others too seriously. She is truly an
inspiration to others, and a positive influence for other women
O'Neil, a mother of five, is an inspiration and a role
model for women boxers and has made her country of Guyana
extremely proud of her accomplishments. She has made
great achievements in the sport, including winning the
first-ever world title in Guyana, when she defeated United States
Top European Fighter
Jane "The Fleetwood
|Jane Couch not only
fought in one the BEST fights of the year against Jaime "The
Hurricane" Clampitt, but she was named WBAN's July 2004 Fighter of
the month. Couch will fight anywhere, which she has shown time and
again, when coming over to the United States to take on the very
best competition. Runner Ups: Bettina Csabi and
Best-Kept Secret(s) in
Leatitia Robinson, a talented boxer out of Chicago, is a "sleeper"
in waiting for Laila Ali. Robinson has a strong amateur
background and has been impressive since turning pro. She IS the
TOP "Best-Kept Secret" in the year 2004!
Wendy Rodriguez, 108
lbs., NABA Women's Junior Flyweight World Champion, is a
definitely women's boxing "Best-Kept Secret", although she has been
boxing for years, she keeps a low-profile, and boxing fans have no
idea what a little dynamite boxer she is. Rodriguez will also
fight ANYONE, ANYTIME, and puts on a great show anytime she is in
of the Year
|Emily Klinefelter, 110
lbs., open, of Iowa City, has won many titles, including the
International Gold in Taiwan this year. Runner up this year is
Stella Nijhoff , 119, open, of New York.
of the Year
Molly McConnell, boxing a short time as a pro has already
accumulated a pro record of 3-0-0 (1KO). She has paid her dues
in this sport by competing in the amateurs for years before deciding
to turn pro. Her amateur experience has paid off and she is
off to a great start as a pro! Runner up:
Best Fights of the Year (Tied)
Jaime Clampitt vs. Jane
In a fight between Jane "The Fleetwood Assassin" Couch, 140,
and Jaime "The Hurricane" Clampitt at the Foxwoods Resort Casino,
in Mashantucket, the two brought down the house. The Boston Globe wrote:
"In a spirited co-feature, 35-year-old Jane Couch won a
close but unanimous decision over crowd favorite Jaime
Clampitt to wrest the International Women's Boxing
Federation and NABA women's junior welterweight titles. The
10-round slugfest had the audience on its feet through the
closing stanzas, as neither boxer took a step backward."
Layla McCarter vs. Chevelle Hallback
At the Pala Casino, in California, and televised on ESPN2 "Friday Night
Fights" At the Pala Casino, in California, and televised on ESPN2
"Friday Night Fights",
Chevelle "Fists of Steel" Hallback
defended her IBA world title when she won a 10-round unanimous decision over
Layla "Amazing" McCarter
in a non-stop action packed bout that was featured as the co-main.
This was the best fight of the night and of the YEAR in Women's
Boxing. ©Photo by Tony
of the Year
Ann Wolfe vs. Vonda Ward
|There was no doubt that
this fight would be the Biggest Knockout for the year 2004.
Ann Wolfe, at 5'9" took just 1:06 seconds to knockout Vonda
Ward, 6'6". Ward was
carried out on a stretcher after being on the mat for 10
minutes. (By the way, WARD has made a fantastic comeback
defeating Marsha Valley.)
Boxer of the Year
Mia "The Knockout" St. John
St. John nearly had a fight on an
average of one a month. She had 11 fights over the year of 2004. A Close
second was Stephanie Dobbs who fought nine times!
Biggest Upsets of the Year
Jerri Sitzes Stops Mary Ortega
In Kansas City, Missouri, where
hometowner Mary Ortega, takes on most of her foe, was
surprisingly stopped by Jerri Sitzes, 117. Sitzes TKO'd Ortega in
the fifth round of a scheduled six-round bantamweight bout.
Ann Wolfe vs.
Many boxing fans nominated this
fight as the biggest upset, although in terms of Wolfe KO'ing Ward
in the opening round, at the time just prior to the fight, WBAN's
feedback from boxing fans was that Wolfe would defeat Ward. So in
that aspect it was not an "upset" other than how quickly the fight
ended. WBAN will list it as an upset due to the response from
boxing fans who viewed it as the biggest upset.
The "NOT SO HOT" In Women's
Boxing For the Year 2004!
Biggest Rip Off of
Elena Reid vs. Regina Halmich
It happened on September 11, 2004, (of all days), in Karlsuhe,
Germany, when Elena "Baby Doll" Reid of the United States did
not take home a world belt after being ripped off after fighting Regina
Halmich of Germany. EVEN the boxing fans from Germany could not believe
the decision. The judges scored it 98-94 Halmich, 97-93 Reid and
97-97 for a draw. The media called two of the judges scores
"Opps I did it
No....there is no relation in regards
to Britney Spears hit song "Opps, I did it again" and the Boxer -
Donna Biggers. But it may be a good ring tune for Biggers if she
keeps fighting the same opponent, as she did when she fought Nicole
Perkins three times in a four-month period! Oh, yes, Biggers
scored three BIG KO's on her already questionable and pristine 11-0-1
record. Biggers fought and defeated Perkins on 11/19/04,
8/28/04, and 07/17/04, with Perkins never making it past the second round.
"The Dirty Fighter"
June 25, 2004 - Edmonton, Canada
This cannot go to none other than Edmonton's Amy Johnson.
WBAN was in disbelief when we viewed the fight tape and watched Johnson
fighting Tonya Harding with dirty tactics as trying to lace/scrap with her
gloves on Harding's face. The fight took place on June 25, 2004,
in Edmonton, Canada.
Outrageous Request to
WBAN for the Year
WBAN received an outrageous request for contact information for 26 female
boxers that were being considered for an upcoming card in November of 2004.
These 26 boxers were to fight some very highly quality opponents. Out
of those 26 boxers who were on the list for assistance to this particular
promoter/matchmaker of this upcoming event----only ONE boxer had ONE win on
her record! AND almost EVERY boxer that was listed, had not had a fight from
two years to 13 years. OUTRAGEOUS!
Biggest Mismatch of
Too many to list,
especially with some of the inferior world title bouts that took place in
2004. If boxers, trainers, matchmakers, managers, promoters, and
FEDERATIONS want this sport to flourish, stop this insanity of these awful
world title fights that are taking place, and world champions fighting
inferior opponents. Everyone needs to step up to the plate
and move this sport to
another level. Stop making excuses---take viable opponents, and
fights. No Guts...No glory.
HOT COMMENTS FROM
SENT INTO WBAN!
Inspirational: Brenda Bell-Drexel
She keeps going on! And has not giving up and willing to fight anyone!
of the Year: Laila Ali
At times she has not chosen the best fighters to fight, but she deserves
this award for staying busy and keeping the sport in the spotlight,
especially at a time when it needs it most.
of the Year: Leatitia "Baby Girl" Robinson
Leatitia Robinson has shown she is capable of fighting and winning
consecutive championships to include stepping up in a different weight
of the Year: Mia “The Knockout “ St. John
The world nominates Mia St.John for WBAN "Fighter of the Year" Award 2004.
Mia was the busiest this year, she made the most money this, she single
handedly gained more X-posure for female boxing this year. Lastly, she
challenged some of the high profile fighters in her division who declined
the opportunity to fight her this year and she closed 2004 with a BIG Bang!!
TKO, first round, at the Staple Center, on the Tarver vs Johnson card one of
the greatest cards since Muhammid Ali and Joe Frazier. It might not be what
you want but it is what it is so let's keep it real, Mia St. John WBAN
"Fighter of the Year" 2004 !!!!
of the Year: Jessica Rakoczy
She is one of the best female fighters around and does not get the
recognition she deserves.
Improved: Laila “She Bee Stingin’ Ali
She did not have much technique and ability at first, but through continued
improvements she has proved to be one of the best female boxers around.
Inspirational: Ann “Brown Sugar” Wolfe
She is a true inspiration, someone who has beaten the odds and overcome
tough times to reach a level of being one of the best boxers in women's
of the Year: Kelsey Jeffries
Busiest champion who takes on them all.
Inspirational: Vonda Ward
A boxer's toughest fight is the one after a bad ko. She not only came back,
but came back and won.
Kept Secret: Laila Ali
I picked Laila after seeing her fight with Gwendolyn O'Neil.
of the Year
Jane Couch vs. Jaime Clampitt deserves "Fight of the Year" without
contention IMO. Yes, Jaime is my wife - so I guess I am biased. But if that were the
case than why would I want a "loss" to be highlighted? I do, because I think
Jane & Jaime made THE best fight in women's boxing in 2004 bar none and they
both should be commended.
of the Year: Eliza Olson
Win or lose Eliza fights anybody, anywhere, anytime.
Inspirational: Valanna McGee
Valanna comes from a little town in northern California, where most people
have not even heard of pro women boxers. To train pretty much out of
her garage and advance as far as she has is very inspirational.
Improved: Mia St. John
Her past fight were sloppy but now her technique has improved so much.
of the year: Kelsey Jeffries
Girl is always busy.
of the year: Kelsey Jeffries
Only person on my list to make the top five two years in a row. I must say
that Mary Jo Sanders is a close second though.
Inspiration: Jessica Rakoczy
First a 13 month come back from an auto accident, then a 6 month come back
from a leg injury.
Improved: Kristy Follmar, Cindy Serrano, & Carino Moreno
All went 4-0 in 2004 and are true contenders. Follmar has been boxing
longer, and her 14-1-0 (9) record should lead to a title fight in the near future.
European Fighter: Myriam Lamare
She had a great year 5-0 against ever tougher opponents. I must give an
honorable mention to Bettina Csabi, but some of her opponents were novices.
Kept Secret: Leatitia Robinson
Mahfood, Epillon, and Reis this year, but her division is mostly overlooked.
Honorable mention goes to Wendy Rodriguez who just doesn't get the press
coverage she deserves.
Rookie of the Year: Cristy Nickel
She lost a decision during her debut, then ran off six strait victories, 4
by KO. I give honorable mentions to two Jr. Welters, Ingrid Hayes and
Tawnyah Freeman, both 4-0 with 3
Upset: Mariana Juarez vs. In-Young Lee
On paper, it looked like a mismatch, then Juanita pulls off a decision in
Korea. Honorable Mention to Natalie Toro for her win over Jane Couch.
Inspirational: Stephanie Dobbs
She continues to always mix it up and is always busy.
Improved: Kelsey Jeffries
After losing 8 fights she has won like 20 in a row?
of the Year: Ann Wolfe
For the best KO ever seen in women's boxing, against Vonda Ward.
Upset of the year: Ann Wolfe vs. Vonda Ward
Never thought I would see that girl go down like that! She can be the
next unstoppable force in the game.
Inspirational: Jaime “The Hurricane” Clampitt
She went through a lot, having her trainer die and all, but never once did
she make an excuse.
Improved: Mia St. John
She's actually trying to fight good opponents, finally. At least she's
Upset of the year: Ann Wolfe vs. Vonda Ward
champion knocked out in the first minute of the first round. what more needs
to be said?
of the Year: Melinda Cooper
I feel she has made a name for herself and she has done an exceptional job.
She has been boxing for how long? and she already is in the process of
getting a title fight.
kept Secret: Kara Ro
Girl has huge Knockout Power.
Amateur of the Year: Jennifer Han
She's the only boxer who's weight class is packed to the fullest!!! She
fights the best topped ranked girls, even the up and coming. She's the best
as of right now. She works hard, goes to school and boxes.
Upset of the Year: Couch vs. Clampitt
First everyone wanted to see Jaime fight Jane, which was very very
disappointing. Then, we see a match between Clampitt and Olson that was one
round short of terrible. On top of that, Jaime clearly lost that fight, but
do you think they would be fair, no way. A show put on by CES could not let
their best lose, so what happens? A draw. It's bull, Jaime got rocked and
Olson deserved that belt.
European Fighter: Bettina Csabi
Every time I read about her, she's chalked up another win. I'd wish there
were MORE international bouts. I would like to see more of her.
Inspirational: Valerie Mahfood
"Takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'" --old Timex commercial.
Kept Secret: Eliza Olson
Really good skills! Smart Boxer!
Inspirational: Television actress – Hillary Swank
She has made a contribution in the effort to make Female Pro Boxing
legitimate. I'd list Clint Eastwood too, but, he's not a woman.
Upset of the year: Wolfe vs. Ward
Ann Wolfe KO'd Vonda Ward in first round.
The reluctance of better fighters matching against each other
meant few top fights in 2004. The best were Munoz/Nava, Rodriguez/Zamarron,
Hill/Weickenmeire, Christensen/Velez, and probably the years two top upsets,
Toro/Couch, and Juarez/In-Young Lee. Unfortunately, Wolfe/Ward was a one
round bust, and Halmich/Reid was a robbery draw.
Two significant events happened: Burton/Reis televised on SHOWBOX,
and a North Korean, Kwang Ok Kim fighting as a pro, in China (the site of
the next Olympics).
Get Jaime and Jane to fight. Then after Jane wins back her belt,
go after Olson.
Women's boxing needs more innovation and strategic decision making
at all levels to help push it to the next level. These girls need more
television exposure, more coverage in popular boxing magazines, higher
purses to entice mega fight-deals, and perhaps short or long term
promotional ventures with male boxing promoters to help attract more
interest by allowing the women to put their talents on display. I have seen
a lot of girls out there whose boxing talent is awesome.
I would suggest that WBAN add a component to it's website to solicit input/
or ideas from visitors of the website. Then, a group of individuals evaluate
comments to figure out how to best transform them into actionable plans that
ultimately add value to the sport for females. It would be nice to see the
women's boxing community get the exposure, respect, and earning that it
List for 2005 by boxing Fan: 1. For women's boxing to finally be accepted
by more of the boxing fans at large. So that all of the women fights get
there just reward for being in the sport; 2. For the promoters finally to
realize they need to pay the female fighters more for there fights. so that
any fighter who needs an opponent as a sub for another can find a quality
opponent. How many has that happen to that is never heard of.; 3. To have
the TV networks broadcast more women fights on TV. So that the sport can
sell it self to the fans: 4. Make the divisions mean something. By having
the champions defend there titles against opponents from there divisions.
Without better divisions in the sport it will never grow: 5. Finally have
much much waited fights take place that the fans want to see. Especially
the too long over due Christ Martin - Lucia Rijker fight. Ali-Wolfe also
needs to be held. Besides other ones that I cannot think of.
to All who participated in the WBAN POLL to help in this year's picks!