5'8" Jessica "Ragin'" Rakoczy (b. April 14, 1977) is from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
Rakoczy's mother died when Jessica was fifteen, leaving her to fend for herself in life as her father "wasn't in the picture." She says the experience has made her a stronger person. As a high school athlete she competed in hockey, baseball, football, soccer, track and swimming. She was twice voted her school's athlete of the year. She says that her high school friends and opponents aren't surprised that she took up boxing, as she was "always aggressive"!
She began boxing at age 20 and competed for two years as an amateur at the local and provincial level in Canada.
At the 1998 Ontario championships in St. Catharines, Jessica won her first two fights with first- and second-round knockouts, then went on to take the provincial bantamweight title with a unanimous decision over a more-experienced opponent.
Rakoczy was considered for the Canadian national boxing team but a multi-car accident that injured her neck, shoulder, back and knee prevented her from competing. A planned second run at making the Canadian national team ended when she broke her wrist on a sparring partner's head!
She then met and sparred with pro hockey enforcer Marty McSorley at Hamilton's Regency Boxing Club. McSorley was so impressed that he offered her the financial support needed to kick-start her pro boxing career. "He's a wonderful guy and he's helped me a lot," says Rakoczy.
Jessica made her pro debut on October 21, 2000 in Philadelphia, Mississippi, with a first round knockout of the busy, many-named but winless Pamela Sepulvado (a.k.a. Kris Vado, Federal ID# LA050112) of Shreveport, Louisiana, who fell to 0-8-1.
On December 3, 2000 at Miccosukee Indian Gaming in Miami, Florida, Jessica weighed in at 139½ lbs and moved to 2-0 with a first-round TKO over Josephine Bracamontes (136 lbs) of Orlando, Florida, who dropped to 0-2. This bout was stopped when Bracamontes was unable to defend against a series of rights to her head. (The picture of Jessica shown at the left was taken at this fight by Sandy Goldberg.)
On January 21, 2001 at Sunset Station in San Antonio, Texas, Rakoczy weighed in at 135¾ lbs and won a four-round unanimous decision over previously unbeaten local fighter Mary Wells (140 lbs), dropping her to 3-1. The last two rounds were shown on Fox Sports, who appear to have taken special note of Rakoczy as a prospect. Women's Boxing Page correspondent Kevin Cockle wrote that in this fight "Rakoczy looks like a decent, rudimentary prospect with good, if deliberate movement, and accurate hands. She should be given credit for executing a fight plan and actually causing Wells to lose; she read Wells accurately, and utilized appropriate measures to beat her. Rakoczy used no combination punching to speak of, no body punching, but Jessica's jab could be special ... she steps in and spears it with tremendous commitment, and with her lanky locomotion and long reach, it seems the logical punch to build on. She has a straight right as well ... as long as she's able to control pace and score up the middle, she'll be effective."
Rakoczy then moved to Las Vegas to train. Her next pro bout pitted her against another up-and-coming prospect, Mikee Stafford of Northridge, California, in her first six-rounder. Their bout at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino on April 1, 2001 saw Jessica recover from an early knockdown and battle back to win a six-round unanimous (58-55) decision. Stafford fell to 2-2 (2 KO's)
On May 20, 2001 at Belterra Casino Resort in Belterra, Indiana she weighed in at 134 lbs and won a six-round shutout decision (60-54 on all cards) over Vikki Clardy (5'0", 131 lbs) of Cincinnati, Ohio, who fell to 2-1. Rakoczy used her height advantage to control Clardy from long range throughout the fight. According to a ringside correspondent, Rakoczy had Clardy in trouble against the ropes near the end of the fourth round but couldn't get the KO.
On July 8, 2001 at Texas Station in Las Vegas, Nevada, Rakoczy weighed in at 134 lbs and won a four-round unanimous (40-36) decision over a game Imelda Arias (136½ lbs) of Mexico, who fell to 8-12 (copyrighted photo at left by Mary Ann Owen)
On August 18, 2001 at Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas, Nevada. Jessica weighed in at 136 lbs and won a six-round unanimous (58-56,58-56,59-55) decision in a rematch with Mikee Stafford (135 lbs). Stafford was cut by an accidental head butt in the fourth round and appeared to fade after this in an otherwise competitive bout. Stafford fell to 2-4, 2 KO's.
On November 9, 2001 at Spa Resort and Casino in Palm Springs, California, Jessica won a six-round unanimous decision over Michelle Linden of Florida who fell to 6-3 (6 KOs). Linden was coming off a year-long layoff after being KO'd by Britt Van Buskirk and she didn't pick an easy comeback opponent. Linden tried to outmuscle Rakoczy at close quarters and in the clinches, but Rakoczy's boxing skills, jabs and combinations won the day.
On February 17, 2002 at the Stardust Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, Jessica pounded out a clear six-round unanimous decision over the IFBA Featherweight champion Layla McCarter, also of Las Vegas, in a 135-lb bout. There were many fast-paced exchanges and both landed solidly at times, but Rakoczy looked sharper and controlled the action better on her way to a 59-55,59-55,60-54 decision. McCarter slipped to 9-6-3 (2 KO's) with the loss.
On April 30, 2002 at Santa Ana Casino Star in Bernalillo, New Mexico, Jessica (135½ lbs) had little problem winning a six-round unanimous (59-55) decision over veteran Gloria Ramirez (135½ lbs) of Sunland Park, New Mexico, who fell to 8-11-3 (2 KO). Rakoczy elected to stay on the outside and work her jab. Ramirez seemed unwilling to mix it up with her until the final round, drawing some boos from the 1000-strong crowd.
On July 9, 2002 at Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills, California, Jessica won by a TKO at 1:00 in the first round over Gail Muzzey of Newhall, California in a lightweight bout. Muzzey failed to answer several hard right hands from Rakoczy, bringing the referee in to stop the one-sided punishment. Unranked Muzzey fell to 2-2 (2 KO). The ``fight" was carried on ESPN2's Friday Night Fights.
On November 22, 2002 at Palace Indian Gaming Center in Lemoore, California, a live crowd estimated at 1750 saw Jessica (135 lbs) win by TKO over Cheryl Nance (5'5½", 135 lbs) of Greensboro, South Carolina at 0:51 in the fourth round. Nance, who looked out of shape and was at a significant reach disadvantage, had been backed into the ropes and wasn't fighting back when it was stopped by referee Pat Russell. Nance had pressed the action in round one and tried to engage Rakoczy in a slugfest. Rakoczy complied for about half of the opening round but then began to work at longer range where she had a clear advantage. The second round began with Rakoczy more willing to press the action, and she dropped Nance with a straight left that opened a cut under her left eye. The cut wasn't a factor but Rakoczy controlled the rest of the fight from longer range. She got the upper hand in the fourth and earned the stoppage with Nance covering up against the ropes. "I'm fighting people with [good] records and beating them," Rakoczy told reporters. "I have a great trainer. We've been working together for two fights now, and we're getting better and better." Nance fell to 6-9-0 (6 KO).
On January 17, 2003, she returned to the Palace to take on undefeated local favorite Jenifer Alcorn (5'7", 133½ lbs) of Fresno, California over ten rounds for the vacant IWBF Lightweight title. Rakoczy (134¼ lbs) came out on the short end of a controversial split (96-94,92-98,98-92) decision. Jenifer Alcorn had carried the fight to her aggressively, but Rakoczy moved well and threw great combinations throughout a hard-fought bout that had a standing-room-only crowd on its feet. Alcorn was cut on her forehead by an accidental clash of heads in the third round and suffered a broken nose. Rakoczy, who had boxed effectively in what may have been her best ring performance yet, immediately asked for a rematch after the wildly discrepant split decision. Alcorn, who also held the WIBF Lightweight title, advanced to 15-0-0 (10 KO). [Fight Report/Photos by Steve Cummings, who took the photo above; see also the MPEGs in MPEG/Photo Gallery #87 on the WBAN Records Member Site.]
On February 19, 2004, again at the Palace Indian Gaming Center in Lemoore, Jessica won the IBA Lightweight title with a clear (99-90,100-89,100-89) unanimous 10-round decision over Lisa Lewis of Fresno, California. This bout was the main event of the Hard Road To Glory show promoted by George Chung's American Champion Sports and the Palace. Rakoczy was returning to the ring for the first time since another injury in an auto accident. She began the fight aggressively and decked Lewis with a hard right early in the opening round. Jessica never looked back as she continued to dominate Lewis with her reach advantage and superior boxing skills. As the fight progressed, Lewis began to work her way inside more consistently despite taking a steady barrage from the nimble and quick-handed Rakoczy, but she was unable to turn the tide of the fight and lost by a virtual shutout decision. Lewis fell to 6-8-0 (2 KO). (Fight photos available in Photo Gallery #146 on the WBAN Records Member Site).
On April 15, 2004 at the Palace Indian Gaming Center in Lemoore, California, Jessica (132½ lbs) won an eight-round unanimous decision over Mia St. John (138½ lbs) in a non-title fight that was the co-main event on the card. Rakoczy dominated the bout with her speed and power, occasionally pinning St. John against the ropes with a barrage of overhand rights. For her part, St. John tried to stay out of trouble and look for opportunities to counter the hard-charging Canadian. Rakoczy improved to 14-1-0 (4 KO) with the win while dropping the outgunned St. John to 31-4-2 (13 KO). (Fight photos available in Photo Gallery #162 on the WBAN Records Member Site).
“She is fast, she is strong, but I bobbed and weaved and dodged,” said St. John about her loss. "I had to have really good defense because I knew she was a strong fighter. She really is the fastest fighter I ever fought ... I’d say she is the best fighter I ever fought.” St. John also said she had told her own trainer Robert Garcia about Rakoczy’s skills but that he had shrugged them off, only to be impressed once the fight started! “Robert told me she fights like a dude,” said St. John, who then tried not to let Rakoczy get set for her power punches.
After the decision over St. John, Rakoczy took the microphone and announced that she wants local favorite Jenifer Alcorn of Fresno to come out of retirement for a rematch of their hotly contested battle for the IWBF lightweight title. "Give me a rematch," Rakoczy pleaded, adding "I'm sure everybody wants to see Alcorn in the ring again."
On May 22, 2004 at Warnor's Theater in Fresno, California, about 1200 fans saw Jessica win an eight-round unanimous (79-73,79-73,80-72) decision over Gloria Ramirez of El Paso, Texas. According to Steve Cummings of InTheCorner.Net, "Rakoczy's win over Ramirez saw the IBA champ win seven of eight rounds against a southpaw who employed a lot of movement. The lefty stance and side-to-side work of Ramirez appeared to keep Rakoczy from getting off to her customary fast start, though Jessica pressed forward constantly. Over the first two rounds, Ramirez landed her left often but it didn't have the steam on it like the shots she got back. Meanwhile, Gloria's punches were mostly one at a time while Jessica would move into position and throw combinations when the time was right. Rounds three and four saw Rakoczy get in her best power shots and Ramirez' face started to show some swelling. The pattern continued through the sixth round, Rakoczy coming forward, Ramirez using lateral movement looking to counter. In each frame Jessica would let loose with both hands when in range, and then continue stalking until another opportunity arose. The last two rounds were Ramirez' best, as she finished off the seventh with her best exchange to that point. She answered a Rakoczy attack with her customary left hand shot and when the two battled on the inside, Gloria let loose with an uppercut that found the mark. As the round wound down, Ramirez gave as good as she got, though she didn't win the round. Ramirez did win the eighth, however, as she came out more aggressively and landed clean shots with consistency." Ramirez fell to 9-13-5 (1 KO).
On July 1, 2004 at the Palace Indian Gaming Center in Lemoore, California, Jessica (134 lbs) won an eight-round unanimous (80-72,80-72,79-73) decision over Olivia Gerula (133½ lbs) of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Rakoczy was "too fast and too accurate" for Pereira according to a ringside correspondent. Pereira, whose past fights include battles with Kathy Collins, Melissa Del Valle and Fredia Gibbs, fell to 5-7-2 (1 KO). For more photos and video clips of this bout see MPEG/Photo Gallery #185 on the WBAN Records Member Site.
On December 16, 2004 at the Palace Indian Gaming Center in Lemoore, California, Jessica (135 lbs) TKO'd Dana Kendrick (128 lbs) of Hattiesburg, Mississippi just 34 seconds into the first round of their scheduled eight-rounder. Rakoczy landed a jab and a right cross to drop Kendrick. Kendrick fell to 7-3 (5 KO).
On February 10, 2005 at the Palace Indian Gaming Center in Lemoore, California, Jessica (135¼ lbs) won by a TKO at the end of the second round of a scheduled six-rounder with Mia St. John (137 lbs). St. John, who took the bout at short notice, had been cut over her eye in the second round and did not come out for round three on the advice of her corner. St. John fell to 40-5-2 (17 KO) with the loss For more photos of this bout see Photo Gallery #240 on the WBAN Records Member Site.
On April 1, 2005 at the Palace Indian Gaming Center in Lemoore, California, Jessica (134¼ lbs) won a unanimous (99-91, 98-92, 98-92) ten-round decision over Miami-based Belinda Laracuente (131½ lbs) of Puerto Rico for the vacant NABA women's lightweight title and defending her IBA Lightweight title. Although Jessica lost only two rounds on any judge's scorecard, she was critical of her own performance. "I should have been a lot busier," she said, "she was really awkward. I've never fought anyone who fought like that before. … It's something we have to work on in the gym." Laracuente fell to 21-7-2 (9 KO). For more photos of this bout by Jessica Trevino see Photo Gallery #250 on the WBAN Records Member Site.
On July 21, 2005 at the Palace Indian Gaming Center, in Lemoore, California, Jessica (133 lbs) retained her IBA World Lightweight title and won the vacant WBC Lightweight title when she stopped Jane Couch (133½ lbs) of Fleetwood, U.K. in the sixth round. The first round was close but Rakoczy outboxed Couch the rest of the way and Couch was soon red-faced from the combination of Jessica's punches and the intense heat ... the fight was the first on a card held outdoors while the temperature was reportedly 104 degrees! WBAN's insider said that when the bout was stopped with Couch taking punishment in a corner in the sixth, some people were upset and thought that it was stopped too soon. For more photos of this bout by Jessica Trevino see Photo Gallery #273 on the WBAN Records Member Site. Jane Couch fell to 25-7-0 (8 KOs) while Jessica improved to 20-1 (7 KO's)
On December 2, 2005 at the
Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino in Lemoore, California, Jessica (135½
lbs) won a six-round unanimous (
On February 24, 2006 at the
Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino in Lemoore, California, Jessica (134 lbs)
won an eight-round unanimous (79-71,80-72,80-72) decision over tough Terri Blair (5'6", 132½
On April 12, 2006 at the Tachi Palace in Lemoore, California, Jessica (136 lbs) TKO'd Angel McNamara (133 lbs) of Cambridge, Maryland at 1:42 of the fifth round to win the WIBA Intercontinental Lightweight title. Jessica controlled the action for the first four rounds then opened up when she had McNamara in trouble against the ropes in the fifth. Rakoczy improved her record to 23-2-0 (8 KO's) while McNamara fell to 6-5-1 (2 KO's).
On September 2, 2006 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, Jessica Rakoczy (132 lbs) and Belinda Laracuente (131½ lbs) of Miami, Florida fought to a no contest when their scheduled six-rounder was stopped at 0:47 in the third round after an accidental head-butt cut Rakoczy.
On December 14, 2006 at the
Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino in Lemoore, California, Jessica (132 lbs)
won a TKO at 1:17 in the first round over unranked Tawnyah Freeman (138
lbs) of Fort Smith, Arkansas for the vacant NABF Lightweight title.
Freeman fell to 8-4 (3 KO's) with this loss.
On January 5, 2007 at the DeSoto Civic Center in Southaven, Mississippi, Jessica (131 lbs) won by a TKO over Jessica Mohs (129¾ lbs) in the second round of a scheduled eight-rounder. Mohs, then ranked #11 at junior featherweight by WBAN, fell to 6-14-1 (1 KOs).
On February 22, 2007 at the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino in Lemoore, California, Jessica (132 lbs) won by a technical decision at 1:12 in the fifth round over Kelli Cofer (133½ lbs) of Willard, Ohio for the WBC Lightweight title. Midway through the round, Rakoczy got in close and landed a vicious left hook to Cofer's head. As the right-handed Rakoczy was weaving away from the southpaw Cofer, an accidental head butt caused a severe cut above Cofer's eye and the bout was stopped. The decision went to the scorecards, where it was 50-45, 50-45 and 49-45 in favor of Rakoczy.
On May 17, 2007 at the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino, in Lemoore, California, a sold-out crowd of 1,450 saw Jessica (136 lbs) win an eight-round unanimous (80-72,80-72,80-71) decision over Terri Blair (133½ lbs) of Louisville, Kentucky in what was described to WBAN as "a very entertaining fight". Rakoczy improved to 27-2-0 (11 KOs) while Blair fell to 9-12-2 (5 KOs).
Rakoczy said after the fight "I
felt like I was in control from the beginning. My coach told me not to
rush it, just be smart. We don't think about fighting for knockouts.
This means the world to me, I lost this belt and now I have it back. I
feel the strongest I've ever felt in my life."
"I got caught with a big punch in the
seventh round and from that point on, I had trouble seeing,"
WBAN contributor Bernie McCoy. "It was my hardest loss. I
hate to lose, but this was the hardest.
February 29, 2008 at the Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino in
Lemoore, California, Jessica (134½ kbs) won a 10-round unanimous
decision over Belinda Laracuente
(135 lbs) for the NABF Lightweight title.
On April 17, 2008
at the Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino, in Lemoore, California,
On April 23, 2009 at the Tachi Palace in Lemoore, California, Jessica returned to the ring at a trim 130½ lbs after giving birth to a baby boy and taking a one year layoff from boxing. She won a six-round unanimous decision over Belinda Laracuente (133½ lbs) of New York in a bout that saw her shake off ring rust in the early rounds to score a 58-56 decision on all three scorecards. According to Rich Bergeron in UnilimitedFightNews.com, "In the opening round, Rakoczy started off slow while trying to find her timing. As the fight continued, Rakoczy used her jab more effectively and found a home for her left hook. Laracuente had some brief moments where she landed some nice overhand rights that won her a couple of rounds. Entering the final stages of the bout, it was clear Rakoczy had found her rhythm and started to land at will." The loss while dropping Laracuente to 23-25-3 (9 KOs).
"Life hit me with a pregnancy and I enjoyed it," Rakoczy told the Fresno Bee. "A year is not too long to be off, but it took a while to get back into it. [Being a mother] is harder than boxing. I love it though, it's the greatest joy I've had in my life." Rakoczy said she wants to regain the women's title she last held in September 2007, adding "It's like a new start."
On July 16, 2009 on the undercard at the Tachi Palace Casino in Lemoore, California, Jessica (127½ lbs) won by a TKO at 1:13 of the third round over Jessica Mohs (134½ lbs) of Oklahoma City in a non-title six round bout. Rakoczy said after the fight, “I went in there and did what I had to. I’m looking to get back in the ring as soon as possible. I feel good and I’m ready to get back into title contention.” Mohs fell to 7-21-2 (2 KO's).
Jessica then switched her attention to MMA competition, compiling an 0-3 record before a TKO win in 2010 that was declared a no contest after she tested positive for banned painkillers. Rakoczy admitted that she had taken a Percocet pill after a sleepless night before the fight but did not inform doctors at the arena. She received a nine-month suspension of her MMA license for the infraction.
On May 5, 2012, Jessica (124 lbs) returned to the boxing ring at the Hard Rock Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada and scored a convincing fourth-round TKO over Brittany Cruz (125 lbs) of Thornton, Colorado who fell to 8-6-1 (1 KO). Rakoczy dropped Cruz in the third and fourth rounds before referee Vic Drakulich stopped it at 1:27 in the fourth. [Video]
On January 24, 2013 at the Coca-Cola Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Jessica (122 lbs) won a ten-round unananimous (99-90x3) decision over Ada Velez (122 lbs) of Hollywood, Florida for the vacant WIBA Junior Featherweight title. According to Michele Emrick of the Nashville Boxing Examiner: "Rakoczy dominated the fight from bell to bell, scoring a knockdown in the first round. When the end came, all three judges had the same score of 99-90. Dewey Cooper, who trains Jessica Rakoczy was pleased with the performance (saying) 'Jessica controlled the entire fight. She got headbutted with 1 second left in the 9th round and got a pretty severe cut over her right eye, but the lopsided score was a direct indication of the way the fight went.' The first round knockdown seemed to have an affect on Velez as she fought passively for the remainder of the fight. This allowed Rakoczy to control the action, leaving little room for any other scores than those the judges gave." The win advanced Rakoczy's pro boxing record to 33-3 (12 KO's) while Velez fell to 20-5-3 (6 KO's).
Jessica was named WBAN's Fighter of the Month for February 2013 in recognition of her win over Ada Velez.
Jessica is managed by Audrey Hein and J. Prince and her trainer is Dewey Cooper, also Almazbek "Kid Diamond" Raiymkulov helps with her corner. For more information about Jessica, please visit her own web site
To check out fight reports, complete up-to-date boxing records for women boxers, with huge digital photos and video coverage of Jessica Rakoczy's fights you can go to the WBAN Records Member Site
Other Jessica Rakoczy links
Page last updated: Monday February 4 2013
WBAN Boxer Bio by Dee Williams