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All Fem Pechanga Fight Card Preview

BY David A. Avila ON July 01, 2007
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TEMECULA, CALIF.-One of the strongest all-female boxing shows of all time takes place Monday July 2, at the Pechanga Resort and Casino and features Elena “Baby Doll” Reid against IFBA flyweight champion Shin Hee Choi.

For the second time in a year Fox Sports Net’s the Best Damn Sports Show in coordination with Roy Englebrecht Events presents a talent-filled women fight card featuring two world title fights.

It doesn’t get better than this.

First, in the main event, Reid attempts to unify the flyweight title against Korea’s Choi a fighter who spurned a fashion model career for the boxing gloves.

“I’d rather box than model,” said Choi, who stands about 5-5 in height and is fighting for the first time in the U.S. “I can always go back to modeling after boxing.”

Choi’s father boxed and she liked sport as a way to keep the pounds off.

“I started boxing to keep my weight down. I liked working out in the boxing gym,” said Choi (8-1, 4 KOs). “My trainer also worked with my dad. That’s how I met him.”

The tall statuesque fighter made a name in her native country with back-to-back knockouts over Japanese fighters. She knows all about Reid.

“She is a southpaw and has a lot of strong punches,” says Choi, 24, from Seongnam, Korea.

Choi had always wanted to visit the U.S. and also has plans to visit Europe.

“I was excited that I could fight in America,” Choi says. “After I win this fight I want to go to Europe and fight Regina Halmich.”

Reid, who fought Halmich twice to a draw and a decision loss, expects an aggressive style when she steps in the ring.

“She’s tall but that means there is more to hit,” said Reid, who is the WIBA flyweight titleholder. That title won’t be on the line. “I’ve always done well against tall fighters.”

Blair vs. Hallback

If that’s not enough, two of the strongest lightweights in the world face each other when Terri Blair and Chevelle Hallback (25-5-1, 11 KOs) collide in an eight round fight.

Blair (9-12-2, 6 KOs) twice stopped Sumya Anani one of the most feared female fighters in the last 10 years in back-to-back fights.

“I’m just here to fight,” says Blair, 31, a shipping clerk from Louisville. “If someone wants to fight, I fight.”

Anani had looked for a fight for several years and was desperate for a fight when Blair emerged as a willing opponent. The left-handed Blair forced the referee to stop their first encounter in the 10th round of a scheduled 10 round fight. Anani protested the stoppage.

“I understood that she felt it wasn’t a good stoppage so I gave her another chance,” Blair said. Two months later Blair stopped Anani again but in the ninth round of the rematch.

“She was tough and durable.”

Hallback, a speedy and powerful fighter too, is coming off a loss to junior middleweight and welterweight titleholder Holly Holm.

“I never got hurt in that fight but I just wasn’t myself. I don’t know what happened,” said Hallback, 35, about her loss to Holm. “I want a rematch.”

Now Hallback faces Blair who beat a fighter that she wanted to meet in the ring.

“I know Sumya Anani hits hard and is a good fighter but who knows how well she can take a punch,” said Hallback the IBA junior lightweight titleholder. “I know I can take a punch.”

IFBA featherweight title

Kelsey Jeffries (37-9-1) is defending her IFBA featherweight title she won back in 2002 against the talented Layla McCarter. She’s defended that title five times including her brutal battle against top-ranked challenger Rhonda Luna that ended in a split-decision victory.

“That was my toughest fight,” said Jeffries, 31, who’s been fighting professionally since 1999. “Rhonda Luna is a great professional fighter. She was such a tough opponent.”

Jeffries faces the hard-hitting Donna Biggers (19-4-1, 16 KOs) of South Carolina.

“I’m expecting the best Donna Biggers she can be because she’s fighting for the world title,” says Jeffries a firefighter in Northern California. “Never underestimate anyone.”

Biggers will have Mia St. John as her corner person during the fight.

“She asked me to help her out,” said St. John who fought Biggers two years ago in China. “I’m here to help her.”

Though Jeffries has been in many wars throughout her career, she’s determined to fight great opponents for one reason only.

“I want women’s boxing to rise to another level,” Jeffries said. “It’s not about the money for me, it’s about raising the sport and attracting more women to join the sport.”

Also on the fight card will be strawweights Melissa Schaffer (9-5, 5 KOs) in a six-round bout against Sandra Ortiz (7-4-1, 4 KOs). Plus, Elizabeth Villareal (4-3) meets Brooke Dierdoff (4-0, 3 KOs) in a six-round featherweight contest. All the fights will be televised at a later date on Fox Sports Net The Best Damn Sports Show Period.

For tickets or information call (888) 732-4264.

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