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2012 Will Be The Year for Female Boxing

BY David A. Avila ON November 23, 2011
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Uppercut girls 2From left to right: Kat Rodriguez, Liz Parr, Kaliesha West.

Female professional boxing gave three shots in the arm of competitive prizefighting in Las Vegas.

More than 800 fans including middleweight world champion Sergio Martinez and UFC president Dana White saw three women’s boxing fights at the Texas Station Casino on Sunday. Two of the fights had world title implications.

In all three bouts there was fierce fighting especially in the main event that saw IBF junior featherweight titleholder Ada Velez retain her belt with a majority decision over Las Vegas prizefighter Melinda Cooper after 10 rounds.

All of the women bouts were televised both nationally and internationally which is a rarity in the sport. Several male bouts also took place with Sampson Boxing promoting the entire card.

Despite competing with NFL football on a Sunday afternoon, the lure of women’s boxing was still able to grab a fair amount of fans to venture to the ballroom at the Las Vegas casino. Though another 400 fans could have fit, the crowd was still impressive and very vocal.

Cooper’s support was the strongest of all. It had been almost five years since she last fought in her hometown and her fans attended in force. It was good to see that kind of support.

Though the hometown girl lost by decision against Puerto Rico’s Velez, it was an impressive fight. I had attended their first encounter in Costa Rica and saw a completely different fight on Sunday. Velez made a lot of adjustments to win the rematch too and that showed off the skill proficiency of the sport.

In the other title fight Dominican Republic’s Dahiana Santana made adjustments also in winning by unanimous decision against former champion Stacey Reile. They also had fought in Costa Rica earlier in the year with Reile winning the first meeting.

Seldom are female fight cards staged anywhere outside of New Mexico, where junior welterweight champion Holly Holm has tremendous backing. This past weekend female prizefighting got a boost in awareness.

In January, the amateur women’s boxing program will have its final box offs to determine the representatives for Team USA that will participate in the 2012 Olympics in London. The Summer Olympic Games will be showing female boxing for the first time in its long history.

Women’s boxing just took a leap over the weekend though the numbers don’t reflect the impact. A slow gradual climb will take place over the next year.

These past few years other countries have discovered women’s pro boxing and are benefiting from showing their fights on television. Mexico regularly puts female main events on its television sports programming. Mariana Juarez, Jackie Nava and Ana Maria Torres are the reigning sports figures in that country and are national figures. Peru has Kina Malpartida, Costa Rica has Hanna Gabriel, Argentina has Yesica Bopp and Panama has Chanttal Martinez. Germany has long been the center for women’s boxing where a number of female world champions have served as gate attractions like flyweight Susi Kentikian.

Ana Julaton, who was born in the U.S. and still lives in Daly City, California, is one of the leading sports attractions in the Philippines. Only Manny Pacquiao is more popular than Julaton according to Philippine television ratings.

And only the United States has failed to recognize the attraction of female boxing. That will end next year.

Comment on this article

FighterforJC says:

I think not. Female boxing= special olympics of male boxing

dino da vinci says:

Not so, Fighter4JC. I find, on a fight for fight basis, the women give you a more honest effort, more value for your dollar. I was in attendance for this particular fight card that David is referencing. It was held at the Texas Station in Las Vegas. I hadn't been back there for boxing since I managed a fighter who lost to Johnny Tapia in a title outing. It also happened that Floyd Mayweather, Jr debuted on that same card. Sunday afternoon's show courtesy of Sampson Promotions was the best top to bottom boxing card I've attended in the last half dozen years. And yes, unfortunately, that includes my shows as well.

I think maybe you're not taking into account the fact that the women fight a two minute round and almost all of them don't carry the firepower that the men do. I've been reading your entries for a while now. Certainly you'll agree it requires the exact same amount of courage coupled with the same inherent risks the males face. I'm a boxing fan. I LOVE different styles. Hey, not everybody can take you out with one shot. And that actually, is my favorite "type" of fighter. You know the type. "He couldn't bust a grape!". THAT'S MY POINT! How much moxie does it take to walk into the ring to challenge an opponent who's a big puncher and you're not? That's my fighter! "Well, he was backing up!" SO? That's why the ring is 20'x20' (Used to be 24x24) and not 5x5. Boxing to me is an art form. We are so fortunate to have three guys fighting today that have ridiculous skill sets. Money, Manny, and Juan Manuel. It sickens me (Really, really does!) when I go on THIS forum and read Scareweather, canvasback, and whatever the deragatory term of the day used to describe Manny. Here's what I read: I'm a moron and am completely clueless about what I'm viewing.
Sure, the Boxing IQ of the average fight fan has plummeted in the last 50 years, which is why you have no choice but to talk to a fight fan between the ages of 65 and deceased if you want a stimulating boxing discussion. Now I don't want to go off on a rant here, (Shades of Dennis) and I know that 99.44% of what I wrote here is not directed at 4JC, but...You know what, I'm getting all fired up now...I'm going to go start my own post. That's right. But first I have some errands to run. :-) And people, tell your family you love them. And not just on holidays. Peace.

brownsugar says:

Womens boxing is gaining support in a huge way... I just saw an article where the WBC is going to issue Gold, Platinum, Diamond and Emerald Thongs for the best fighters in each division. Seriously,.. I haven't seen to many matches,.. but Peter Eggs used to make it sound epic and honorable when he posted summaries of his favorite female fights.

mortcola says:

F4JC - Davinci said it in a more civilized way than I would. I train with good female boxers, and good males. I see the work and the skill. I see tremendous skill, intelligence, courage and athleticism on the part of the women - most whom you yourself would not survive a round against.

Your characterization of female boxers as akin to the developmentally and otherwise disabled is not simply ignorant - it is both cruel, incorrect, and wrong, and again reveals you as a person who cannot distinguish his farts from his ideas. You are clearly not unintelligent, so I wonder what exactly leads you to make such a high proportion of indefensible posts? One thing for sure is that you are getting attention for it.

Radam G says:

Hehehehehehe! WOW! "...cannot distinguish his farts from his ideas...." That was a diamond mine spit. I'm going to have to steal that from ya, mortcola. You ain't a meany, but you no doubt have a pure pugilistic killer instinct. WTF! You woulda, shoulda, coulda been one heck of a pro.

I know the mindset of a killa, thrilla, blooda spilla, when I hear and/or see da spit. Danggit! FISTICALLY nuking an arse, is all up in your DNA, I'm willing to bet BIG! Holla!

mortcola says:

You said it Rad. Use it! And, yeah, for a health professional, I really like hitting people.

FighterforJC says:

F4JC - Davinci said it in a more civilized way than I would. I train with good female boxers, and good males. I see the work and the skill. I see tremendous skill, intelligence, courage and athleticism on the part of the women - most whom you yourself would not survive a round against.

Your characterization of female boxers as akin to the developmentally and otherwise disabled is not simply ignorant - it is both cruel, incorrect, and wrong, and again reveals you as a person who cannot distinguish his farts from his ideas. You are clearly not unintelligent, so I wonder what exactly leads you to make such a high proportion of indefensible posts? One thing for sure is that you are getting attention for it.


Before attempting to take the log out of your neighbor's eye, I strongly suggest burning down the entire forest in yours (not you specifically, just "you" in general). MMA fighters train with just as much skill, effort and ethics and what kind of respect do they get on these boards?

As dino da vinci posted, girl boxers generally give a more honest effort, but effort is still only effort. Women are just built differently. They move differently, they punch differently, it's not the same thing. They don't even typically bust up and swell up like men do, and call me old fashioned, but it'd be grotesque and sacreligious to see women's faces beaten to a pulp just like it would be sickening to put watch two mentally retarded athletes try to knock each other's blocks off. Women also have a different psyche and they don't get intimidated by each other the way men do. Part of the allure of boxing is watching another man impose his dominance psychologically over another. With women boxing they just go at it with practically no care.

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