The Best and the Worst of 2009!
Another year has
gone by and it is time to have the "hot"
picks and "not" picks
year 2009! There were definitely
the GOOD, the BAD, and the NOT so
good this year
in women's boxing!
What could easily be the
saddest day in 2009 for women's boxing, on January 4, 2009, Giselle Salandy,
21 years old, died in a tragic car accident in Trinidad and Tobago.
Salandy was a huge boxing star in her country, and she was not only
a champion inside the ring, but outside the ring. She would give
presentations to youths in her country, and other public service
tasks to represent her country in a positive light.
Salandy made history twice in women’s boxing, by first becoming the
youngest world champion at age 14, and then fighting for six world
title belts in a unified championship bout in 2006. Salandy
had defended three of her world titles on December 26, 2008--- just
prior to her death.
|What set Gerula on top was not
only did she take very tough bouts, but she fought in
others hometowns and countries. On March 3rd, in
Tokyo, Japan, Gerula,
of Canada, defeated Japan's
Fujin Raika by an eight round split decision. In April, at the Shaw
Conference Centre, in Edmonton, Canada, Gerula, won a 10-round unanimous decision over
Edmonton's Jelena Mrdjenovich. The two were fighting for
the WBC junior lightweight world title. Gerula then went
to France in December, and successfully defended her
WBC junior lightweight title against Myriam Chomaz of France
winning by unanimous decision.
|Junior welterweight Myriam
Lamare, not only came to the United States in 2009 to fight
Holly Holm in a highly competitive bout---but she soundly
defeated Ann Marie Saccurato for not only the WBF World title
belt but the history-first WBAN Independent belt
|Katie Taylor of Ireland, continues
to be one of the world's top amateurs and will be a tough
fighter to beat at the 2012 Olympics when we will see a
History First, with women boxers being included in that
upcoming historical event for the female boxers. Taylor
continues to be a role model and has brought a lot of positive
attention to the sport in her country, and worldwide.
Taylor has been named WBAN's Top Amateur of the Year in 2006,
2007 and now 2009!
|Esther Schouten is an
inspiration to all. On the top of her game, she was KO'd
by Cancer a while back---but this did not detour her from what
she wanted to do. After she went through Chemo and
Radiotherapy, she returned to the ring in 2008 to train for a
comeback. She has had eight fights in 2008 and 2009,
winning the WIBF junior featherweight world title belt against
Bettina Volker in July of 2009.
|Holm is not only an accomplished
boxer inside the ring, but considered by many to be one of the
best pound for pound boxers in the sport at this time. It was
announced in February of 2009, that she received top honors by
being named the 2008 Ring Magazine Female Fighter of The Year.
Holm, who has a huge fan base in her area, will fight to a sold
out crowd anytime she is featured on a card.
|Not only did Amanda
Serrano fight five times in 2009 as a rookie, but she
took on significant competition. In her last fight
in 2009, she took on a very tough opponent Ela Nunez
(The boxer who stopped the now world champion Kina
Malpartida in 2007). Serrano had a four-round draw against
Nunez. Serrano also moved around to outside venues
to fight some of her opponents, including traveling to
the Dominion Republic for one of her fights.
Advocate of the Year
Christy Halbert, Ph.D.
|Christy Halbert, Ph.D. is a
certified elite-level amateur boxing coach, and has represented
the United States as a coach in several international events,
including the first women's World Championships. She is also a
nationally certified amateur boxing official. Dr. Halbert
conducts certification clinics and workshops for coaches and
officials. She strives to teach boxers how to understand boxing
so that they can make smart decisions about training and ring
strategy. In 2001 she founded Boxing Resource Center, a
boxing program and club dedicated to teaching boxing principles.
The International Olympic Committee gave the final okay to
include women's boxing this year for the summer games in
London in 2012, and Halbert played a significant part in
advocating for the sport to get this to happen.
|Marcela Acuña, 33-5-0 (16 KOs)
of Argentina, has been a huge force for the sport within
Argentina for many years and has brought much attention to
women's boxing. This year she revenged her loss by
defeating Alicia Ashley for the WBC Junior featherweight belt.
In one media source they reported that Acuña was looking for
rematch with Oliveras for her final fight this December, then
retiring to a political career, with Yesica Bopp as her
successor in women's boxing for Argentina. Whatever Acuña
decides to do, she has earned "Top Honors" with WBAN for the
many years she has dedicated to the sport.
of the Year
Zita Zatyko. Zsofia Bedo,
Yesica Marcos, Marisol Molina,
|All five of these female
boxers had a total of eight fights for the year, and we
had a five-way tie! The record breakdown of these
boxers were the following: Zsofia Bedo, 2-6; Zita
Zatyko, 7-0-1; Yesica Marcos, 7-0-1, and ranked #9 in
her weight class with WBAN (inset photo); Marisol
Molina, 6-2;, and Borbala Kocsis, 7-1.
|WBAN cannot say enough
about this boxer. Serrano is what WBAN would consider
"old school", and when we say that--- it is truly a
compliment. Serrano, a very young boxer, who began
her pro career this year, has shown the heart of a
lion---that is probably the highest compliment that WBAN
can give a boxer. Serrano has tried desperately to
stay active, fighting any and everyone, and she really
doesn't care if she risks a loss, or where she fights.
Through all of this she has still remained unscathed
with a 4-0-1 (3KO) record---fighting some very tough
opponents thus far!
|Ana Julaton had a very
impressive win this year when she fought tough veteran
Kelsey Jeffries, and won a 10-round decision for an IBA
World Title. She then had another world
title fight against Donna Biggers, and won another world
|This girl is a
character! She is extremely entertaining and
sometimes (controversial), but no one can say that
Melissa Hernandez is not one of the most entertaining
boxers in the sport. She can certainly liven up
any press conference or weigh-in with her "Bad Girl"
|After over a nine-year
break from the sport, with Jolene Blackshear's last
fight taking place in February of 2000, she returned to
the sport and convincingly won her return to the ring in
her first fight after the long layoff. In
just her second bout on her return, she fought for a
world title in South Korea. There was controversy
over the decision of that fight---but anyone viewing the
footage would more than likely agree that Blackshear
defeated her hometowner opponent.
The "Cool" in 2009
|What could have been
another sad story in 2009, became a time of hope when
Rita Figueroa, who was seriously injured after a fight
she had in 2009---and she survived. Rita told WBAN
on November 24th, "I thank God everyday, and I am
doing really good considering my friend Francisco
Rodriguez suffered a similar injury and passed away
yesterday following his brain surgery."
2009, the IBA gym had undergone a beautiful makeover
when Tony Rila of the IBA
flew in a fantastic artist who created artwork on all of the walls of the
IBA Boxing Gym that is located in Las Vegas, Nevada!
Slideshow of the artwork Photos by Rick Pineda
Boxers Approved to
Participate in the 2012 Olympics
August 13, 2009
|It took a lot of work
and dedication on the part of many in the sport, but it
finally happened! Women Boxers have been approved to be
included in the 2012 Olympics in London. Christy
Halbert told WBAN, "2009 will be an exciting year for
boxing and for LetThemBox.org. By October of this year we will know
if women's boxing events have been added to the 2012 Olympic Games. 2009 marks the last round in our fight for 2012
inclusion, and LetThemBox continues to play an important part in the
movement to get women's boxing into the 2012 Olympic Games.
Good job Christy and all who helped in getting this
Rijker inducted into World Boxing Hall of Fame
|On October 24th, 2009,
Lucia Rijker, 17-0 (14KO), was the first female boxer
(retired now) to be inducted into the World Boxing Hall
of Fame. The WBHF is the smaller of the two recognized
boxing halls of fame, the other being the International
Boxing Hall of Fame.
|WBAN, for a second
year in a row, has made boxing history for women's
boxing. In 2008, we had two WBAN Independent Belts
fought for in the United States. Never before in
the history of the sport has there been any organization
that had an independent world title belt for women
boxers. Male boxers had Ring Magazines belts up
for grabs---but that was solely for male boxers. So in
2009, we again made history by having the first-ever
WBAN Independent belt that was fought for in Paris,
France. We now have three champions: Holly Holm,
Junior Middleweight; Chevelle Hallback, lightweight, and
now Myriam Lamare, junior welterweight.
Kelsey Jeffries in one of
the best Boxing Documentaries
After The Last
|As one of the best
documentaries that WBAN viewed in 2009. Jeffries was part of the documentary
where the film crew followed her at various times over the past
three years, documenting the consistent effort she puts forth in
order to perform at the level she does.
The film crew also filmed Jeffries at college when she was in class.
They also went to training camp with Jeffries and
Anderson in Vero Beach, Florida, and to fights in Cancun, San Jose,
Pechanga Casino, Albuquerque, and Oregon. Jeffries is the “Success”
story of the film, which shows that male or female, a fighter is
special, and the best ones can really fight, regardless of their
gender. Kelsey reflected the " Heart and Soul " of one fighter and
the price the best ones pay to do that which they love including the
Trials and Tribulations along the way.
|How in the world could
it get any cooler than to have Lucia Rijker work a
boxer's corner? Rijker, who was featured in the
best movie of the year Million Dollar Baby, and has been
a very high-profile fighter for many years, inducted
into the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 2009. worked
Myriam Lamare's corner when Lamare came to the United
States to fight Holly Holm. Rijker also trained
Lamare prior to this mentioned fight.
Topped the Ratings
Halana dos Santos
|In June of 2009, as
predicted, the fight that took place in Peru between
Kina Malpartida vs. Halana dos Santos drew almost three
times as many television viewers as the popular show
Gisela Valcárcel's "El Show de los Sueños". That
was a very "cool" thing that happened in women's
boxing---Malpartida is very big in Peru!
The "Not-So-Good" picks....
Biggest Shocker of the Year
convicted of multiple murders
|On August 15, 2006,
WBAN ran a story about a former photographer Dale
Hausner, who provided coverage for WBAN with
photographs of events that took place in Arizona. At
this time in 2006, Hausner was arrested, along with
a roommate, in Arizona, where he was facing
allegations of murders (serial murderer), and a
string of other crimes that terrorized his area in
Arizona. AP reported this year that Hausner was convicted
of six murders, and 18 attempted first degree murder
charges, two conspiracy to commit first-degree
murder charges 16 aggravated assault charges, 23
drive-by shooting charges, nine animal cruelty
charges, three counts of discharging a gun at a
structure, one count of unlawfully discharging a gun
and two counts of arson of an occupied structure. He
was found guilty of 80 counts out of the 86 charges
he was facing. Hauser received the death penalty for
Missing in Action
|These two women
boxers are a couple of the most talented boxers in
the sport. And yet, Melinda
Cooper (top photo) only fought one four round bout
in 2009, and Chevelle Hallback (WBAN's lightweight
champion and multi-world champion) did not fight at
all in boxing. When the level of talent that
these two boxers have and they cannot make the type
of purses they should be getting and not getting the
top-level fights they deserve in this sport---it is
"not so hot" in women's boxing.
World Title Bouts
Too Many to list....
|When in the world
are these federations going to get it? Why are
we seeing winless boxers, non-ranked boxers, boxers
with 7-8 losses going into world title fights to
fight for championships? It is
absolutely pathetic in some of the supposed "title"
fights we are seeing and it just seems to appear
that the bottom line for these federations are
sanctioning fees, and whatever they gaining by
approving some of these poorly matched title bouts.
Biggest Weight Difference
Title bout of the Year
|Who would have thought that
multi-world champion super middleweight Natascha Ragosina
would go up several weight classes to fight a much heavier
(60 lbs. more) boxer, Pamela London in the heavyweight
division. There are very good reasons for having
weight classes in boxing, and this was just a tad bit too
much weight to give away.
One of the STRANGEST
Incidents of the Year!
|In August of 2009, retired
professional boxer Roger Mayweather had been arrested on
charges of coercion with force and battery-strangulation and
booked into the Clark County Detention Center. Mayweather,
brother of welterweight Floyd Mayweather, was accused of
harassing female boxer Melissa St. Vil, at a home he owns on
Trotwood Lane in Las Vegas, according to a Metro police
arrest report. Police said they found St. Vil being
held by Mayweather and coughing up blood when she was let
go. They said paramedics found signs of strangulation on her
throat and defense wounds on the side of Mayweather's face.
Police also said after being struck in the ribs several
times and choked to near-unconsciousness, St. Vil fought
back with a lamp. A laceration was found on Mayweather's
head, and the lamp was found to have blood on it, the arrest
report said. St. Vil told police she heard Mayweather
knock on her door, but she did not answer it. She said as a
boxer, she had trained with Mayweather about three months
ago, but was now training under new people. She said her
roommate was renting the home from Mayweather. St. Vil
said Mayweather has been following her and harassing her.
"Interim" Title Belts - "Interim" Boxing Champions
|Isn't this sport confusing
enough with all of the alphabet federation belts? Do we have
to add to that confusion by having Interim title bouts and
Interim Champions when the organization already has a
Comments" in 2009
Comments of the Year
|Kaliesha West - January 9, 2009
-To all promoters, the media, news, advertisers, magazines, HBO, and
Showtime…Give women in boxing the same opportunity in this land of
opportunity that you give to men in boxing; treat women boxers as
equals, this the start of a new era. There are more great women
fighters out there that are training every day draining our bodies
and deserve to be in the same position as a top professional male
fighter when we retire. Women lack the same opportunities in the
Comments of the Year
|Nicole Woods -We as athletes have to show promoters
and networks that we can command a market. For example, Holly Holm
and Mary Jo Sanders have proven they can do that in there individual
hometowns. If you look around, boxing is not the only sport
that is going through this dilemma. Look at the WNBA. The WNBA plays
35 regular season games compared to the NBA who plays 83. If
the networks and owners of these teams thought it was more money to
be made they would add games to the season. Women have buying
power----but we just don’t use it. How many of you have supported
a WNBA game this year?
WBAN would like to thank everyone for their input in the
2009 Yearly Awards. There are a few categories not
included in 2009, that that is due to not having enough
information, or fighters not really dominating in those