Female Fighter Of The Year 2010: Kaliesha West

BY David A. Avila ON December 30, 2010
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Kaliesha “Wild Wild” West not only took the west, but she took the east, south and north in an impressive year of proving she could fight and beat the best. For that, she is the Female Fighter of the Year.

West took her “fear no one” attitude and cleaned up several global regions like a modern day paladin. When judges gave her bad decisions for two successive draws, she pulled the trigger and subsequently put two knockout notches on her belt.

The bantamweight also made history in becoming the first world champion from her boxing crazy area called the Inland Empire. It’s the new breeding ground for prizefighters located 60 miles east of Los Angeles. West beat them all for the world title.

First, was a battle against former world champion Ada Velez. Though judges ruled it a draw it showed that the 23-year-old West had speed and skills to match Puerto Rico’s experienced Velez. It ended in a draw but that night the judges were off on two fights including the West-Velez fight. The superior firepower belonged to West that night.

Next, a journey to Denmark where West faced former world champion Anita Christensen.

The tall Danish fighter had the home town crowd, European judges and the weather in her favor though the fight was indoors. But after 10 rounds that saw Christensen rarely land a clean punch, the fight ended in a draw. West out-boxed her for five rounds then battered the taller Danish girl the rest of the way. The fight ended in a draw.

Disappointed but undeterred the Southern Californian accepted a fight against Brazil’s hard-hitting Vannessa Guimaraes. The fight took place in South America in Lima, Peru. With back-to-back draws in previous bouts, West loaded up with the big guns. After several rounds West began proving to the Brazilian girl that she had the bigger power and proved it with a three-punch combination to the body and head that forced the Peruvian referee to stop the fight. Guimaraes’ head snapped back so violently she might have suffered whiplash from a West left hook. Eyes opened that night for those doubting the California girl’s power.

The climax to West’s impressive year came on Sept. 18 at the Staples Center on a Golden Boy Promotions fight card. It was the first time ever a female world title fight was held in that arena and the first time Golden Boy staged a female world title bout.

West did not disappoint.

That night she knocked out Angel Gladney in the seventh round with a spectacular left hook that ignited the crowd at the huge arena. She also won the WBO bantamweight world title to end a very good year.
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The 22-year-old West is the Female Boxer of the Year.

Runner up was Canada’s Jeanine Garside who broke Ina Menzer’s winning streak to grab the featherweight world title. Garside had suffered some disappointing losses fighting overseas but not on July 3 in Germany. Beating Menzer in her home turf was a pretty impressive feat for Garside.

Others who had a great year in 2010 were Thailand’s Usanakorn Kokietgym, Mexico’s Ana Maria Torres and last year’s winner Kina Malpartida of Peru.

Fight of the Year

Ana Julaton vs. Maria Villalobos

San Francisco’s Ana “The Hurricane” Julaton blew into Ontario, Canada to meet Mexico’s Maria Villalobos on June 30 on a televised bout. Both did not disappoint.

After 10 bloody and brutal rounds of combat Julaton pulled out a split-decision victory over the Mexican girl. The Filipina prizefighter was badly cut and refused to wilt as she punched her way to victory that had the crowd roaring its approval. It was no accident. Both women are known for action.

Round of the Year

California’s Rhonda Luna and New York’s Ela Nunez fought on equal terms in a back and forth battle on Oct. 28 at San Manuel Casino. With the GBU junior lightweight title on the line, Luna and Nunez unleashed a fusillade of blows in round 10, the final round of the title bout. It was a climactic ending that saw Luna finally win a world championship but not without Nunez looking to end the fight with one punch.

Knockout of the Year

Kaliesha West’s knocked out Angel Gladney in the seventh round on Sept. 18 at the Staples Center in L.A. Their fight began slowly as the usually aggressive Gladney decided to fight defensively. Both approached each other cautiously for three rounds with jabs, feints and back-stepping, then the punches began to flow. After an exchange of punches including some impressive body shots, West landed a perfect left hook to Gladney’s chin and down she went. The crowd was amazed at West’s single punch knockout. So very few women’s bouts are included in a major fight card. That night West showed that women can entertain and fight skillfully too. She also proved that women can bang.

Most inspirational

Jennifer Barber captured the IFBA junior lightweight world title by defeated Ji-Hye Woo on Dec. 11 in Seoul, South Korea. Despite losing her first world title bid when she traveled to France to face Myriam Lomare in 2008, she eagerly accepted the challenge to travel to South Korea to face Woo who had successfully beaten five title challengers including Rhonda Luna and Jeanine Garside. Northridge, California’s Barber won by unanimous decision. It’s not easy going to another country and winning by decision.

Comment on this article

Radam G says:

RIGHT ON! Aight Now! TSSU is giving the ladies da mad luv and much equality. A lot of the times the women are doing their thing in dat squared jungle while the guys are bullshyting. Just imagine! How many boring lady bouts you have seen lately? That is what I thought! You have not. Because you are honest or a punk that does not watch and think that women shouldn't be into da paid pugilism biz. Well! They are here now! Suck it up, accept it and move on! And they got the skills, so it is time to pay them phat, so that they can pay their bills. Let "The million-dollar baby" become a reality. My prediction is K "Skills, Skills da whole world" -- I mean K "Wild, Wild" -- West will be among the first ladies to get paid a million dollar for a bout. Time to hit da pit! ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ! Holla!

MisterLee says:

nice! where's eggs? the ladies and the lighter weight class of men is where it's at. go west! go julaton!

the Roast says:

If the women's fighter of the year falls in the forrest and no one has ever seen it, does it matter? Take up tennis sweetie. My girl Maria is the highest paid female athlete of all time and she is only 23. Come home Eggman!

Isaiah says:

Womens' boxing is like a circus freak show. You make look out of curiosity for a short time, but most people will quickly become bored, (even women) and watch something more legit. They have every right to fight eachother and set it up in the pros if they want, but the public voices their opinion no matter how much this liberal nonsense is shoved down peoples' throats and MAJORITY rules. People rather see men in hand to hand combat and it shows by a HUGE margin. So go ahead, show your little women's boxing. (Aww, how cute.) The ratings and pay while compared to the men's combat just doesn't lie and I bet it'll hardly ever change much. People like watching woman in MOST sports such as tennis, golf, swimming or basketball, but if you want to have your pretty little face smashed in, don't expect a VAST MAJORITY to stomach that. The numbers in ratings and pay don't lie. Sorry you politically correct, Liberal agenda, smothering a-holes. I GUARANTEE MANY women will even laugh at this nonsense, much less, the men. It's a joke to almost everyone and last I checked, besides West, and a few other decent looking women in this, most of them look like roided up shemales anyway.... and they expect men to take this seriously? LOL!

Editor Mike says:

Isaiah, I don't think striving for equality is a liberal agenda thing. The market can choose or ignore this side of the sport if they wish. And if you have offspring, girls, won't you want an equal playing field for them?

Radam G says:

Wow! Americans are often late to the fight, victory and/or party. It must be an innately case of Metathesiophobia. Women boxing is big time and big money in all of Europe, most of Asia, Australia, South America, Latin America and South Africa. Women boxing will even be in the Oympic Games next year. Boxing was still illegal in some states of the United States as late as the 1950s. And even between different races, it was not premitted. [And the men use to even be the ring girls, and some scary-looking, UGLY ONES before they turned it over to the gorgeous ladies.] I will give Golden Boy Productions BIG credit for being a pioneer for the game and putting K West on a major card. Now in the wind, even Don King Productions are speeding to get on that equality train, and rumors are that he is getting ready to outdo Big Money O -- Oscar de la Hoya. In da game, we recently lost three of the GIANT FEMALES. They never boxed, but they were very essential. Like in the words of the late, great Godfather of Soul, singer James Brown, who use to be a "prize fighter," himself, "This is a man's world, but it will be nothin' without a woman or a girl." These wonderful ladies have ascended to heaven. Now it is only fitting that in their honor, GREAT respect and opportunities be given to female boxers 2011. Holla!

brownsugar says:

Radam,.. interesting history lesson,.. I googled your word and was mildy suprised to find the definition:Metathesiophobia (noun) - The persistent, abnormal, and unwarranted fear of change. Symptoms usually include shortness of breath, rapid breathing, sweating,.. **** I couldn't see myself leading my grand daughter to womens boxing,.. but I have one in particular who has the highest threshold for pain that I've seen on any human being,.. plus she's agressive and resorts to violence at the drop of a hat.. Yes we are working with her on that to teach her some socially acceptable options,.. but this girl is as natural a fighter as they come. If she happended to find her way to the sport on her own it's comforting to know that there's an official intrastructure that supports Womens Boxing on both a professional and amateur basis

Pete Egley Jr says:

Hey guys. I haven't had the opportunity to see Kaliesha West on TV or anything like that yet, but I hope there is a Kaliesha West-Ada Ace Velez rematch. I know the writer thinks different than what the judges did, but I remember reading about the match and that West felt Velez's experience when the two clashed. I'm just sayin' that West needs to put an actual L on the Ace. Anyway, I think that Holly Holm is clearly and without question the best fighter of 2010. You beat Ann Marie Saccurato (WBC Lightweight Champ) a SECOND time and that's quite an accomplishment. Also, the "bad girl" of boxing Melissa "Huracan" Hernandez (something of a protege to respected boxer Belinda "Brown Sugar" Laracuente) is rightfully being touted elsewhere and I agree as the most entertaining, as well as in my opine biggest-hearted boxers you're likely to find. She's accomplished a lot quite quickly since jumping in against the best of the pros after a notable amateur career (Huracan appears in the documentary about the Golden Gloves called The Life of Million Dollar Babies - I got a copy of the DVD from the director when it was still titled Golden Gloves). Not to go overboard, but even Ana Julaton's people I believe have referred to Ms. Hernandez as "Lady Camacho." Lindsay Garbatt (who actually decisioned and then had a draw with Hernandez) and big puncher Jeannine Garside have been doing impressive things that I've read about. Anyway, Kaliesha West does seem pretty cool. I hope to see Melinda Cooper. Avila's writing on her has piqued my interest. She's been boxing since a young girl, so her skills must indeed be quite amazing - hope she gets more exposure. And 2011 I guess Layla McCarter is returning to the ring. And good luck to Chevelle Hallback on her continued quest for an HBO or Showtime showcase! I'm glad TSS regularly gives the women some ink. It's where I learn a lot about who is who, and (belated) Happy New Year to everybody.

the Roast says:

The Eggman has washed up on shore! What's up Pete? Where you been? Have you seen Robert Curtis, Salt Lover, or AFN? I'm getting a little worried about those mo fo's.

Pete Egley Jr says:

Hi Roast-man!! LOL Nah, I'm not sure where those guys are, hope they're doin' fine. I haven't watched much tennis lately but (I think she's finally retired now?), but I was really interested when Martina "The Swiss Miss" (LOL) Hingis had that cool comeback for awhile. I've liked players like Jennifer Capriati (who doesn't, right), just many of the players that have been around during the same period of time that Hingis was on the scene. I'll have to try to catch some women's tennis on TV in the future - not familiar with who the newer players are. I'm looking forward to the new season of Friday Night Fights - that's pretty much how I see any fights with livin' in the Midwest. I'm really not up to date on the current fighters in men's boxing outside of the names that get the press most, so I'm looking forward to who I might see on FNF. I'm still intrigued with, well, is David Haye (I think he will) gonna actually get in the ring with one of the brothers Klitschko. And is Donovan "Razor" Ruddock serious about a comeback? He looks great in that interview with Al Bernstein. Anyway, I know this particular thread is about the female fighters. I think Mia St. John deserves some mention for her involvement with Mental Health Awareness. I've never had boxing gloves on in my life, but as a boxing observer, St. John progressed into a solid fighter. I think she's retired from the ring now, but she's using the platform of her various successful pursuits and should be applauded for stepping up to do something really cool like this. I have a lot of respect for anyone that gets the message out. Ciao.

the Roast says:

Yo Eggs, I'm glad you made it to the new site. We are still missing some key Regs but they will find us sooner on later. Hingis was a party girl. Her career was derailed by injury, the fact that she was to small to bang with the big babes who took over. There was a suspention for coke usage. She said she didnt do it. Sharapova is my girl. The backup Laker got nothin on me. Mia always gets my attention. Her heart is in the right place. I hope the Razor stays away. Peace out bro.

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