Junior welterweight Myriam Lamare was born on January 1, 1975 at Saint-Denis (Seine Saint Denis) in France. She began her boxing career at age 18. She lives in Marseille where she trains at Challenge Boxing club under Louis Lavaly and works as a sports instructor for the city.
Always an athlete, Myriam Lamare discovered boxing when "one day, a teacher of American boxing suggested that I come to try out in his club: fifteen days later, I was on my new course."
In savate, she won the French championship in 1999 and 2001, was European champion in 1998 and 2000, and the world champion in 1999, compiling a 19-1 record.
As an amateur boxer she was French champion in 1999, 2000, 2002 and 2003 and also won several European and world championships.
On May 7, 2000 in the 63.5-kg (139-lb) final of the Feenix Box Cup international tournament in Turku, Finland, Myriam defeated Canada's Tanya Robertson by a 17-10 score to win her first international title.
On April 14, 2001 at the inaugural European Women's Championship in Saint-Amand-les-Eaux, France, she defeated Nikoletta Gavka of Greece to become the first European 63.5-kg women's amateur champion.
In October 2001, she returned to the Feenix Box Cup competition in Turku, Finland, again competing in the 63.5-kg division. On October 5 she defeated Frida Wallberg of Gøteborg, Sweden by a 10-5 score. On October 6 she won by a first-round stoppage (RSC-1) over Yasemin Ustalar of Turkey, and on October 7 she edged Terhi Lukka of Finland by 15-14 to win the final.
In November 2001 she competed
in the 63.5-kg division at the Inaugural AIBA World Amateur
held at the
Scranton High School in Scranton, Pennsylvania, USA. On November 29,
Myriam stopped Nataly Ostromouv
of Israel by RSC-1 in her quarterfinal bout. On November 30, she
defeated Donna Mancuso
of Canada by 19-12 in the semifinal. In the final on
December 2, Frida Wallberg
of Sweden avenged
her loss to Myriam at the Feenix Box Cup by a 12-10 score to take the
Myriam returned to the AIBA World Women's Championships in October 21-27, 2002, this time in Antalya, Turkey. She defeated Yasemin Ustalar of Turkey and Ida Gasanova of the Ukraine to take the 63.5-kg gold medal.
In May 2003 at the European Championships in Pecs, Hungary, Myriam defeated Anastasiya Savinova of the Ukraine by RSC-1 on May 15 and won the final over Maria Karlova of Russia by a 16-4 score on May 16.
July 4, 2003 at Futuroscope in Poitiers, France, she won by a first
over Virginia Chaillou of France, in her final amateur bout. This
brought her total amateur record to 48 wins and
just 3 losses.
On November 14, 2003 in Levallois, France, Myriam (141 lbs) TKO'd Laura Stefanescu (140 lbs) of Romania in the first round.
On December 16, 2003 at Palais des Sports Marcel Cerdan in Levallois, France, Myriam (138¾ lbs), then ranked #20 at junior welterweight by my computer rankings, won a six-round decision over then #16 ranked lightweight Elena Tverdokhleb (136 lbs) of Kiev, Ukraine, who slipped to 3-3-0 (2 KO).
On March 20, 2004 at Palais des Sports, Lyon, France, Myriam (137¼ lbs) won a six-round unanimous decision over then #26 ranked junior welterweight Borislava Goranova (136¾ lbs) of Sofia, Bulgaria, who fell to 2-8-0 (0 KO).
On April 29, 2004 in Levallois-Perret, France Myriam (139 lbs) won a six-round decision over Larisa Berezenko (141½ lbs) of the Ukraine.
On May 28, 2004 at Zenith d'Auvergne, Clermont Ferrand, France, Myriam (139 lbs) TKO'd pro debut fighter Monica Herzilla (140 lbs) in the first round of a scheduled eight rounder.
On July 10, 2004 at La Palestre in Le Cannet, Myriam (136¾ lbs) won an eight-round decision in a rematch with Elena Tverdokhleb (132¼ lbs) of Kiev, Ukraine. The fight was full of action and fiercely contested. “I’m pleased because it’s the first time I’ve gone eight rounds and I’m not tired,” commented Lamare. “I think I boxed better this time than the last time I fought the Russian (sic), but I could do with a bit more power.” Tverdokhleb fell to 4-4 (3 KO's) with the repeat loss to Lamare.
On November 8, 2004 at the Sports Arena in Paris, France, Myriam (139¼ lbs) won a 10-round unanimous (100-90,100-90,100-90) shutout decision over Eliza Olson (140 lbs) of Redwood City, California for the inaugural WBA Junior Welterweight title. Olson fell to 8-4-2 (2 KO's),
On April 29, 2005 at the Palais des Sports in Marseille, Myriam (139 lbs) defended her WBA Junior Welterweight title by defeating Elena Tverdokhleb (136¾ lbs) of the Ukraine when the referee stopped the unequal contest at 1:06 in the tenth round. Lamare was never in any trouble in this fight and dominated from beginning to end. Tverdokhleb, who ended the fight with her left eye completely closed, fell to 4-6-0 (3 KO) with her third loss to Lamare, and the first within the distance. Myriam told reporters after this fight: "This wasn't my hardest fight. Elena took far too many punches -- I know because my right hand still hurts. The referee should have stopped the fight earlier. I wasn't trying to knock her out: simply to box effectively."
On July 9, 2005 at Le Cannet, France Myriam (139¾ lbs) retained her WBA Junior Welterweight title with a third-round TKO of 19-year-old Iva Weston (140¼ lbs) of Trinidad. According to WBAN's correspondent: "Weston had begun well enough, using her reach and a snapping left jab to keep Lamare at bay, but the fight began to slip away from her the moment she threw the right: Lamare ducked under it and hit her with a left to the solar plexus that bent her double and set the pattern for the fight. Moments later, Lamare scored again with a left hook to the waist band, followed with another left to the ribcage and a right hook to the liver, and Weston’s posture became stiffer and her movements more cramped as she began to lean over in an attempt to protect her chin with her hands and her body at the same time with her elbows. “Hit her behind the elbows,” Lamare’s trainer told her during the round break. “Then take her out with an uppercut. She’s leaning forwards.”
"Weston had her best moment in the second round, when she surprised Lamare with a left-right combination and began chasing her across the ring, flailing with both hands. It was her uncle, apparently, that had suggested she took up boxing, because she was always getting into fights at school, and here it was as though she’d forgotten everything she’d learned in the gym and was back in the schoolyard. “Knitting,” the commentator called it. “It’s completely different from the style of boxing practiced by Myriam Lamare.” Normal service was resumed within moments as Lamare connected again with a hook to the liver, followed by a left to the forehead. Fifteen seconds before the end of the round, Weston lunged with a straight left, Lamare ducked under it and threw the uppercut. Weston appeared to take it on the breast rather than the chin, but it hurt her just the same, and now it was Lamare driving Weston all round the ring, staggering her twice with left hooks before doubling her over with a hook to the belly that would have finished the contest had the bell not come to Weston’s rescue. In the round break, the same mantra: ““Make life hard for her. Break her down below. Then throw the uppercut.” The collapse came quickly in the third round. After freeing herself nicely from the corner with a hard left (spoiling it somewhat by missing widely with the following right), Weston took a left-right combination to the head followed by the same to the body in the next exchange, and resumed her stoop. Holding her left elbow too low – doubtless with the idea of protecting her liver— she was surprised when Lamare led with a right that struck her hard on the temple and effectively ended her resistance. Realising her opponent was hurt, Lamare switched to full throttle, driving her back into the corner, and as Lamare continued to pound the body, Daniel van de Wiele, realising that Weston was no longer fighting back, stopped the contest." (More fight photos here).
On December 5, 2005 at the Palais Omnisport in Bercy, Paris, France, Myriam TKO'd Jane Couch of Fleetwood, U.K. with seven seconds left in the third round for the vacant WIBF Junior Welterweight and the WBA Junior Welterweight title. WBAN's correspondent wrote that "after a rollicking from Lamare's trainer for going backwards and letting Couch take the initiative in the first round, Lamare stood her ground in the second and third and muscled it out with her. Very quickly her class began to tell, and she got the upper hand. Lamare landed a right cross and began to open up. Within 10 to 15 seconds she had Couch flat-footed and staggering in the centre of the ring. To me (and obviously to the referee as well) it looked as though Couch was about to get hurt - perhaps quite badly -- she has this bullock-like strength, Lamare -- but at the actual moment the referee stopped the fight, Couch appeared to be regrouping and there were only 7 seconds to go to the bell, so she was very angry with the stoppage. Someone explained that the referee did not have the option of giving Couch a standing eight count and he obviously was not prepared to take the risk of letting it continue." Couch fell to 26-8-0 (8 KOs).
On March 18, 2006 at Palais des Sport Marcel Cerdan in Levallois-Perret, France, Myriam (139¾ lbs) retained the WBA Junior Welterweight title with a ten-round unanimous (99-92,97-94,99-91) decision over Florida-based Puerto Rican Belinda Laracuente (134½ lbs). This was a good, high energy fight throughout with TV commentators saying that Laracuente was easily the best opponent Lamare had faced. Lamare said she enjoyed the fight as every round was different and hoped they'd give Laracuente a rematch. There was some booing as the lop-sided scores were announced; the TV commentary agreed that Lamare had won but only by two or three rounds, not by the wider margin on two scorecards.
On July 14, 2006 at Le Cannet, France, Myriam (139¾ lbs) won a convincing (98:93,97-93,97-93) ten-round unanimous decision over Belinda Laracuente (135¾ lbs) in a rematch of their March bout. According to WBAN's correspondent, "Despite another stylish display and hampered by an injury to her right hand, Belinda Laracuente failed for the second time to do any real mischief last night to the WBA super lightweight champion". Laracuente's record fell to 22-14-3 (9 KOs) while Lamare remained unbeaten as a pro boxer at 14-0-0 (7 KOs).
On December 2, 2006 at the Palais Omnisport in Bercy, Paris, France, Anne-Sophie Mathis of Dombasle, France TKO'd Myriam Lamare in the seventh round to win the WBA and WIBF Junior Welterweight titles. As described by WBAN's correspondent the fight was "a real thriller, with Mathis – the more accurate puncher – generally in control and seeming on several occasions to have Lamare hurt, only for Lamare to counter-attack with a feral intensity, driving the gangling blonde backwards to restore the balance ... until the last time. Mathis had hurt her earlier in the seventh and Lamare had recovered, throwing her massive, looping left hook, (and missing), but you could see she was unsteady now on her feet; and as she shoved Mathis backwards to escape from the ropes, she was caught by a short right; then another a few seconds later; then a third – beaten to the punch as she threw the left for umpteenth time without connecting – and suddenly there was nothing! Mathis drove a left, a right, and a left through her guard; then a looping right round the outside that caught her on the side of the jaw, followed by a left a split-second later, and the rout was total: Lamare's dense, muscle-bound body began to go backwards, slowly at first, but then with gathering momentum, the way a car does when you have to bump-start it on a cold morning, as the blonde drove her backwards into the corner with a cruel, exultant, snarl. And just as the first commentator was correcting "Elle est fatiguée!" ("She's tired!") to "Elle est KO debout!". ("She's out on her feet!") "… MYRIAM EST KO DEBOUT!!", the other cut in with "Il l'a arrêté!" (He's stopped it!). And indeed he had. And Mathis was the new world champion." .
On June 29,
2007 at Palais des Sports in Marseille,
Bouches du Rhone, France, 5,500 fans saw Anne-Sophie Mathis (139½
Dombasle win a ten-round majority (98-93,98-92,95-95) decision over
Lamare (140 lbs) in a rematch for the WBA Junior Welterweight title.
The much shorter Lamare pressed the action early and scored well with
jabs on the way in and
with damaging hooks once inside. However, by the fourth round Lamare
began to tire from
what appeared to be an effort to knock Mathis ut early, and Mathis then
began to take
control of the bout with clinical precision. Lamare began to back out
of punishing exchanges,
but the hard-hitting Mathis was able to walk her down and dominate the
action with her power and size advantage. Mathis improved to 16-1 (14
On May 3, 2008 at the Palais des Sports in Marseille, France, Myriam Lamare TKO'd Angel McKenzie of London, U.K. in the sixth round of a scheduled six-rounder. McKenzie fell to 2-8 (0 KO's) with the loss.
On June 27, 2008 at the Palais
des Sports in Toulon, France
On January 23, 2009 at the Isleta Casino and Resort near Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, Holly Holm (145½ lbs) of Albuquerque won a closely-contested 10-round unanimous decision over Myriam (144½ lbs) for the WIBA Welterweight world championship. Chris Cozzone of New Mexico Boxing wrote that: "Holly Holm outboxed -- but did not outslug France's Myriam Lamare over ten rounds to retain her WIBA welterweight belt. Holm built up an early lead, landing crisp rights on her foe, but Lamare came alive in the late rounds, bombing Holm with big rights and looping lefts. The scorecards read 96-94, 98-92 and 97-93 for Holm." Most observers agreed with the narrower margin in what was clearly a severe test for Holm, who said “She hit me with a few ringers ... None of them had me going out. I didn’t see any stars, but they were pretty hard shots. It was definitely one of my toughest fights, but I felt I won. It was a chess match and there are a ton of things I could improve on, but I feel good about the fight.” Lamare had prepared for the fight by training at high altitude for a couple of weeks at Big Bear, California under the tutelage of undefeated former world champion Lucia Rijker, who cornered for her in Albuquerque. Holm improved her record to 23-1-3 (6 KO's) with the win.
On October 9,
2009 at Salle Vallier
in Marseille, France,
Myriam Lamare won an exciting ten-round unanimous (99-92,99-90,100-89)
On November 6, 2010 at the Complexe sportif du Val de l'Arc in Aix-en-Provence, Bouches-du-Rhône, France, Myriam Lamare TKO'd Italian-born Lucia Morelli, who fights out of Offenburg, Germany at 0:57 in the sixth round of a scheduled ten-rounder. Lamare had dominated this defense of her WBF Junior Welterweight title but Morelli was still on her feet. Morelli, who fell to 15-2-0 (7 KO's), protested fiercely against the referee's stoppage, but she had been on the receiving end of a series of heavy punches.
On September 9, 2011 at Stade de l’Est in Saint-Denis on the French island of Réunion, Myriam won a ten-round unanimous (98-92,100-90,100-91) decision over Lely Luz Florez of Monteria, Colombia defending the WBF Junior Welterweight title. The WBF web site reported that "Lamare and Florez fought at a high pace from the start, and both had their share of success in a first round that probably belonged to the gutsy challenger. But from the second round Lamare got her combinations flowing, and her speed and counter-punching got the better of Florez. Rounds three through six also had Lamare in control, as she worked well with her jab and often connected with beautiful uppercuts. When Florez managed to get close, Lamare fired off excellent body shots to slow her down and followed up with more stinging shots to the head. In round seven Florez seemed to get her second wind, and the South American girl swept the round to stay in the fight on the scorecards. But in round eight it was Lamare back in control, and the 36-year-old Marseille-resident got back in her rhythm to take the rest of the bout." Lamare improved to 20-3 (11 KO's) while Florez fell to 17-6 (7 KO's).
On November 5, 2011 at the Palais des Sports in Toulon, France, Myriam Lamare (140 lbs) won a 10-round unanimous (99-91,98-92,96-94) decision over Chevelle Hallback (139 lbs) of Florida, USA for the vacant IBF Junior Welterweight titlle. The judges' scoring appeared to be somewhat generous towards Lamare, who moved round the ring well and boxed effectively while Hallback was the aggressor for most of the later rounds. Hallback started cautiously behind her jab but later went to the body to try to slow Lamare down then tried to loop punches past Lamare's quick defense. Neither was ever in trouble for long although Hallback occasionally caught the straighter-punching Lamare with powerful flurries. The well-fought and entertaining fight between two of the world's most experienced female pro boxers was televised on EU Eurosport. Lamare improved her record to 20-3-0 (10 KO's) while Hallback fell to 28-8-2 (11 KO's).
On October 20, 2012 at Salle Schmitt in Sedan, Ardennes, France, Myriam Lamare won an eight-round decision over Floarea Lihet of Bucharest, Romania, who fell to 10-12-4 (3 KO's)
On November 20 2013 at Halle Monconseil in Tours, Indre-et-Loire, France, Myriam Lamare (145 lbs) won an eight-round decision in a non title fight with Loli Munoz (136¼ lbs) of Barcelona, Spain, who fell to 12-13-3 (7 KO's) with the loss.
On February 1, 2014 at Arena Nord in Frederikshavn, Denmark, Cecilia Braekhus (145 lbs) of Bergen, Norway won a clear ten-round unanimous (100-89,100-90,100-89) decision over Myriam Lamare (143 lbs) defending the WBA, WBC and WBO Welterweight titles. The normally aggressive Lamare appeared reluctant to close with Braekhus and more intent on staying away from her combinations, and spent much of the matchup on defense. Braekhus was rarely in any trouble during the match as she coasted to a 24-0-0 (7 KO's) record while Lamare dropped to 22-4 (10 KO's).
Myriam has described the difficulties that female boxing faces in France: "The problem is that our sport brings little money back to the organizers, who are not interested in female boxing. It also does not match the ethics of sponsors, and television does not want to launch out. In fact, it is hard for people to imagine two girls taking blows. It is a question of culture specific to France, but one can't allow oneself to have a judgment on something which one does not know. The French Boxing Federation did everything so that our sport evolved and moved forward in the best possible way in a very short time. For example, it organized the first European championships in history. It also set up a whole series of training programs. Unfortunately, there are not many female boxers at a good level, we are in a building phase."
Asked about the pressures she feels as a boxer, Myriam says "I do not feel the pressure. I feel an emotional wave at the time of the weigh-in, and then in the cloakrooms, where I return two hours before the coming fight. But I have noticed that, a long time before, my body prepares itself at the limit, there are extraordinary things which take place organically so that I will be in phase with the fight. I think there is an unconscious process which enables me to be in full possession of myself on the D-day. My body does not undergo pressure, since it prepares, and then, one can relax! Louis and I like to prepare with music. That relaxes me, and also enables me to put aside this 'wild' side which comes out from me as soon as I leave the cloakroom!"
"On the other hand", she adds, "when I am on way towards the boxing ring, when I hear the announcer and the cries of the public, I have goose bumps, a shiver of pleasure! I am then in a tunnel, and nothing around me matters. I feel that I am ready for combat, and my spirit is projected up there towards the boxing ring. I adore that moment."
"For me, boxing is much easier to live than everyday life ... when you are a bread-winner, you have responsibilities towards others, and life is not made of gifts ... it is not easy. In the ring, your destiny is your own, and you are the Master."
Myriam has said that she intends to retire from competition by 2010, and she already has such projects in mind as opening a restaurant, world travel and having children. But for now, she says that she intends to become one of the best female boxers in the world and to keep her title as long as possible.
Myriam Lamare's management:
Other Myriam Lamare links
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Page last updated: Monday, 3 February 2014
WBAN Boxer Bio by Dee Williams