||Karen Bill was born in Mechanicsburg, PA October 21, 1967 the
youngest of four children, then moved to Fairless Hills
(suburb outside NE Philadelphia) in 1969. Karen has been involved in
sports since she joined boys’ Little League baseball at age 10,
stating there were no girls’ teams to join. She lettered in four
varsity sports in high school, and was a drummer in the school
As a member of the PA State Champion
track team in 1985 at Truman High School, she was the first female
to compete in the javelin, discus, and shot put events at the PA
State Championships. While earning a bachelor’s degree in Health
Policy & Administration at Penn State, Karen was the captain of
both the track and rugby teams and led the track team to win
back-to-back ECAC Championships.
She joined the US Army in 1992 to
learn physical therapy. Playing on championship basketball and
slow-pitch softball teams, winning the Post racquetball tournament,
and holding the Post record in the javelin, discus, and shot put
Karen was named "Ft. Sill Athlete of the Year" in 1995.
She competed in the 1995 World Military Games in Rome, Italy and the
1996 US Olympic Trials (for women’s hammer throw) in Atlanta, GA.
After receiving an Honorable Discharge from the Army in 1998, Karen
began a career in home health physical therapy in Lawton, OK. She
finds great satisfaction assisting homebound patients (such as
victims of cancer, stroke, and motor vehicle accidents or
debilitated elderly) regain strength and function to improve their
quality of life.
Karen started professional boxing in
May 1999, stepping into the ring as a last-minute replacement to
allow a female fight on the card. Coach Gill Pelletier noticed the
potential and asked Karen to come to his gym and get into shape.
Besides working PT 40-50 hours a week, Karen trains 5-6 days a week
in the gym to go from a heavyweight taking a pounding from Keisha
Snow, to light-heavyweight winning by KO over #4 ranked Buckhalter
and giving a battle to IBA belt-holder Suzy Taylor, to
super- middleweight sending Laila Ali to
the canvas. Karen now carries a weight of 165 pounds, and trains
regularly in the gym to be ready for any fight put to her!
In her last fight as a pro on September 8, 2002, she defeated
Cassandra Giger, 172, in Lawton, Oklahoma. Karen, 173,
defeated Giger by a four-round majority decision.
WBAN's Sue TL Fox had the opportunity to meet
this exciting and entertaining boxer in July of 2000, at the Regent Hotel &
Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, when Bill fought Maria Johannson,
defeating Maria by TKO in the second round. Fox was able to see first hand
how talented Bill was in the sport. [Top Photo by: Sue Fox]