27 year old, 5' 7",
139-143 lbs., is one of the top women boxers of the world. Leah was born on July 28,
1972 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She is one of three children. Leah graduated
from Penn Manor High School in 1990. While not in the boxing gym, Leah works as a
project coordinator for a recycling & wrecking company. Beside boxing, some of Leah's favorite hobbies are gourmet cooking, dancing, and
interior designing. She took up the sport of contact fighting initially in 1993 when
she joined Nye's gym - (She trained with Nye until about May of 1999). In 1996, she earned a black belt and started competing in
kickboxing. Her record in kickboxing is 13-0 where she competed in the FFKA (Fight
factory Karate Association. Nine of those wins were through KO's.)
|Leah started boxing as of March 5, 1995, where she
fought five unsanctioned boxing matches and won all five. She then had three amateur
matches for USA and Golden Gloves, and won all three matches.
On August 22, 1996, Leah had her debut as a
professional boxer in York, PA. She KO'd Shara Holmes in 50 seconds of the first
Some of the Highlights of Mellinger's boxing career:
**On August 7, 1997, in Ledyard,
Connecticut, she fought Jane Couch (138
1/2), but lost to an unanimous eight round decision.
**On November 6, 1997, in Bilox, Mississippi, she
defeated Gina Nicholas in a split decision. She fought Nicholas in
the welterweight division.
**On February 21, 1998, in Lancaster,
Pennsylvania she gave Lisa Ested her first loss in an Welterweight six
rounder. The card was put on by her manager, Terry Nye.
Mellinger's boxing record moved to 5-3-1.
On March 21, 1998, at the Tropicana Casino, in
Atlantic City, Mellinger (140), fought Fredia
Gibbs (138) in a 10-round IFBA Jr. Welterweight championship
title. She defeated Gibbs, and her record moved to
6-3-1. (WBAN has the video that is archived for
historical purposes only).
On September 11, 1998, in Atlantic
City, New Jersey, Mellinger pulled off a split decision against Kathy
Collins (138) in a ten-round title fight for the IWBF and IFBA Jr.
Welterweight Championship. Mellinger's career was
going strong, and she had appeared in a feature story with Kathy Collins
on 20-20 that was a story about leading up to this fight. (WBAN
has the video that is archived for historical purposes only).
On November 6, 1998, she fought
Robyn Covino, of Hollywood, California. in a Jr. Welterweight bout.
The fight was an eight-round bout, and she won by a unanimous
decision. WBAN's Roaming Reporter covered this fight exclusively,
and took photos of the event. Mellinger's record was then
8-3-1. Covino, who didn't appear to have much success in women's boxing
fell to a low 1-6. Mellinger was also the IWBF/IFBA junior
welterweight champion at the time of this fight. What
was a curious thing about this match was that it was the main event, and
Covino was listed as a world class contender, but being 1-6 as a boxer
didn't seem to fit the description on the boxing program.
On December 3, 1998, at the Days Inn
in South Whitehall, Pennsylvania, Mellinger fought Shakurah Witherspoon in
a tune-up Jr. Welterweight four-rounder that resulted in a unanimous
decision (40-36 all three judges) for Mellinger. Her record rose to
9-3-1, and Witherspoon, who's record was declining quickly fell to
On March 14, 1999, Leah Mellinger's
winning streak came to a halt when she fought Daniella
Somers. WBAN had conducted a public survey to see how boxing
fans would vote on who they thought would win. Mellinger had
received most of the votes that she would defeat Somers, and many were
surprised when she lost the fight. She traveled to Antwep, Belgium, and
lost a ten-round decision, and the IWBF Jr. Welterweight belt.
On top of her losing the fight, Mellinger was very upset when she returned
to her room, and her purse, and some boxing gear had been stolen out of
In May of 1999, shortly before Mellinger's fight
with Hannah "The Vegas" Fox, the challenger of Mellinger's IFBA
Jr. Welterweight belt--Terry Nye made it public that he was no longer
Melinger's manager. The next shocker came when it was announced that
Terry Nye would be working with Mellinger's opponent --- Hannah
Fox! Some boxing fans were disillusioned by Nye changing sides
so quickly after he and Mellinger had broken relations.
On June 11, 1999, in Bossier City,
Louisiana, Mellinger fought Hannah Fox. Before the fight, at the
weigh-in, Nye was able to shake Mellinger up by saying her breast
protector was not legal. Even though he should have had knowledge
being her trainer/manager for years that she was wearing the same one that
she had always used when she fought under his wing.
That "display" by Nye of knocking
Mellinger's concentration before her fight with Fox was a clear indicator
to many boxing fans that there was an undercurrent of "get back"
on Nye's part. Although other boxing fans said, "Anything is fair in
love and war."
Mellinger lost the fight---but many
boxing fans did not accept it as a loss for her, due to the emotional
upset that many felt Nye had caused. Sue TL Fox viewed the video of
that fight, and it appeared that Mellinger's heart was not in and that
Hannah Fox wanted it more. Also, even though Mellinger was not
fighting to her full potential, which was very understandable, the video
could not hide her very technical and excellent boxing skills.
(WBAN has the video that is archived for historical purposes only).
On July 31, 1999, in
Santa Ynez, California, Leah Mellinger fought Lisa Holywyne for the Jr.
Welterweight P.B.I. belt (Federation was virtually unheard
of) and WBAN had contacted the promoters of this event to get more info on
the belt itself. ) They had little information to supply and
merely told TL Fox that they said that they made Mellinger of the
"named champion" of the belt without a championship fight.
She fought Holywyne, who is from Texas, and won by a ten-round unanimous
After that fight with
Holywyne, Mellinger just kind of disappeared out of the limelight. . . . .
On March 24, 2000,
the Lancaster New Era, a local newspaper in Mellinger's home town
interviewed her and she said that she was getting back into the action as
early as the end of April.
June 9, 2000 - Zembo Temple in Harrisburg,
Mellinger and former IFBA/IWBF Junior
Welterweight champion defeated Shakurah Witherspoon
with a four-round unanimous decision. Mellinger moved
her record to 11-5-1 and Witherspoon dropped to