Reid Unifies, Hallback/Blair In Fight Of Year
TEMECULA-Elena “Baby Doll” Reid battered Korea’s Shin Hee Choi and grabbed her IFBA flyweight title with a nonstop display of combination punching and cool calmness on Monday night at the Pechanga Resort and Casino.
And that was just part of the night that saw a slam bang slugfest among several other women prizefights.
Reid proved her experience in world title fights and overall ring experience was too much for Choi (8-2, 4 KOs) who was fighting for the first time outside of her native soil. Reid has fought in Germany twice.
“My trainers prepared me perfectly for this fight,” said Reid (19-5-3, 5 KOs), who fights out of Las Vegas, Nevada. “My timing on my punches was perfect.”
At the sound of the first bell Reid repeatedly caught Choi with lead left hands that knocked the taller Korean fighter backward. Every time Choi was about to fire a punch, Reid would fire and land first.
“We saw a lot of tape on her,” said Reid. “We knew all about her style before the fight.”
A one-two combination dropped Choi in the third round. It looked like she slipped on Reid’s foot, but she was caught by a punch and referee Pat Russell scored it a knockdown. Choi got up and a few seconds later was caught with a straight left hand and down she went again. But Russell saw Choi slip on Reid’s foot and ruled it a slip.
For most of the 10 rounds Choi seemed surprised that her usual style wasn’t enough for the shorter but more accurate Filipina. In almost every round the Korean’s head was violently snapped back by Reid’s strong blows.
Choi’s best round took place in the sixth round when she finally connected her right hand. But a few adjustments by Reid resumed the one-sided onslaught. In the seventh round it looked like Choi was ready to fold, but she kept battling as best she could despite the firepower coming back from Reid.
The petite fighter called “Baby Doll” could not be stopped on this night.
“I’m the hungriest fighter out there,” said Reid who now has both the IFBA and WIBA flyweight titles. “Now I’m the true flyweight world champion.”
The judges scored it 100-89 three times for Reid.
“I owe it to my trainers,” Reid said.
Reid says she’s ready to fight any contender whether its in the U.S. or overseas.
Though Choi was beaten convincingly, her grit and determination proved why she was able to grab the world title in the first place. But on this night, skill prevailed.
IFBA featherweight champion Kelsey Jeffries expected the best from Donna Biggers (18-5-1, 15 KOs) and she wasn’t far from the truth. Though she defended her title with a unanimous decision win after 10 rounds, the surprise was Biggers lasting the distance with her movement and angles.
“I’m not surprised it went the distance. The girls I fight always bring their best,” said Jeffries (38-9-1,) who defended her title for the sixth time. “The girl can punch. Now I know how she got 15 knockouts.”
Though Jeffries won every round on all three judges score cards, many thought it would not last more than two rounds. Biggers was stopped by Layla McCarter in her last fight in April.
“Nothing comes easy for me,” Jeffries said.
Hallback wins war against Blair
In a lightweight elimination bout it figured it would be one of the best slugfests of the year when you pit a boxer-puncher like Chevelle Hallback and brawling slugger like Terri Blair. It was that and more as the two battered each other with precision and skill.
“Man, it was a rough fight,” said Hallback (26-5-1, 11 KOs), considered by many one of the best female fighters pound for pound.
From the first round the impact of their punches on each other awed the fans who did not know what to expect from Blair. Hallback had lived in Temecula for two years so many fans were aware of her skills, but not Blair’s.
Blair, who fights like a female version of Gene Fullmer, never stopped moving forward despite the bombs being unleashed by Hallback like sizzling missiles.
Whenever Hallback hesitated Blair would fire crunching left hands to the body and head that sounded like cherry bombs.
“She never hurt me. Well, she never hurt me in the fight but after the fight those body shots she landed bruised my ribs,” said Hallback. “My trainer kept telling me to fight outside but you know me, I like to fight on the inside too. I felt I was doing alright inside.”
The fifth round started rather bizarre with Hallback’s chest protector slipping out of place from a punch. She tossed it out and without hesitation proceeded to engage in a toe-to-toe exchange with the heavy-handed Blair of Louisville. After furious punches were landed for what seemed a minute, the round ended to loud applause. It could be the round of the year for female fighters and perhaps the fight of the year.
“It’s easy to see how she beat Sumya Anani that girl can really punch,” said Hallback. “Forget about her record, she can really fight. She’s very good.”
The judges scored it unanimously for Hallback’s sharper punches 79-73, 78-74, 77-75.
“I don’t agree with the judges scores. I felt it was a lot closer,” said Blair (9-13-2, 6 KOs). “But Chevelle is a great fighter.”
Shaffer beats Ortiz
In a minimum weight contest Melissa Schaffer (10-5, 5 KOs) proved too quick and too strong for Sandra Ortiz (7-5-1) of Topeka, Kansas. From the first round on Schaffer used her southpaw stance to deliver quick shots to Ortiz’s head with little danger of counters. A clash of heads in the third round of the fight ended in a bloody nose for Schaffer. In the fifth round Tacoma’s Schaffer returned the favor and bloodied Ortiz’s nose with left hands. All three judges scored it 60-54 for Schaffer.
A featherweight bout between Brooke Dierdorff of Illinois and San Antonio’s Liz Villareal ended in a technical draw after three rounds. Though Dierdorff had her way and connected with some vicious punches in three rounds, an accidental clash of heads caused a cut on the side of Villareal’s eye. According to California rules if a fight does not go into the fourth round, a cut caused by an accidental clash ends in a technical draw.