WBAN had an opportunity to talk with Sumya "The Island Girl" Anani,
one of the top women boxers in the sport today. Anani talks about the
recent event that she attended on May 9, 2003, at the Osceola's Lakeside
Resort, in Iowa, where Christy "The Coal Miner's Daughter" Martin
was fighting a six-round exhibition with Ragan Pudwill. Anani
also talks about Lucia Rijker, and her last fight with Fredia
Gibbs! And believe me folks, Anani pulls NO punches in THIS
TL Fox: Sumya, I know that you
just attended the event that featured Christy Martin where she fought
Ragan Pudwill in a six-round exhibition….why did you go to the fight?
Anani: I had planned for a month on going to the fight
because a friend of mine from Kansas City was turning pro on the
card....actually, there were three fighters from K.C. on that card, but I
was asked to help in just one of their corners.
TL Fox: When you found out that Martin was going to fight on this
card, what was your initial reaction?
Anani: My first thought was 'Christy is going to think that I
am stalking her like Rijker does....following her to all of her fights.'
TL Fox: . Did you say anything to Martin when you went to the fight?
AND did Martin say anything to you?
Anani: After she got out of the ring, I was sitting ringside
and she walked by me and I put my hand out to tap her glove, and when she
saw that it was me, she shook her head and her gloved hand "NO", as if to
say she didn't want to tap gloves. A reporter friend of mine had asked her
the day before the fight if she would fight me again, and she blew the
question off, making it sound like she was willing to make the fight
happen. (yeah right) After the fight, he told her (Martin) that I
was willing to fight her again. She told him, on camera, that "Sumya can
kiss my ass." I think what she meant to say is "Sumya can kick my ass."
Something else really funny happened. The promoter wanted to introduce me
in the ring, before Christy's exhibition, so I went over to sit by the
stairs, and I happened to be sitting in front of these two ladies. I told
them that I wouldn't be in their way for long. We started talking, and it
turns out, they were Jim Martin's sisters, Christy's sister-in-laws. I
didn't even mention to them that I was the girl that beat Christy. Then,
my trainer Barry, came over and sat next to them, and of course, he told
them that I did beat her. I told them that Christy had really done a lot
for the sport years ago, and had actually inspired me a little to get into
it. They were sweet ladies. I even went up to them after Christy walked by
me at ringside and asked them to pass a message on to Christy----that I
wasn't stalking her.....that she could relax and enjoy the evening.
TL Fox: Do you think at this point in the game that you will
EVER get to fight Martin again?
Anani: No. Never. Besides, I'm the one that won. If she really
thought she could beat me, she would be biting at the bit to fight me
again. I'm moving on to other fighters....I know she will never fight me
again because I beat her at her own game, when she was at the top of her
game. I had only been boxing for 2 years then, she had been boxing for 11
years. She knows now that I am much more experienced, fighting all the top
girls, girls that she never has thought about fighting. It says a lot
about her confidence level that she won't fight top contenders, and has to
fight exhibitions with girls that have nowhere near the experience that
TL Fox: What was the crowd's reaction to the exhibition? Was
Anani: When the crowd figured out that Christy was carrying
this girl, they were a little pee--ode. I could hear people yell stuff
like 'Come on, hit her, Christy.' Boxing fans don't like that kind of
stuff--they pay to see fights, not exhibitions between overmatched
TL Fox: How did Ragan Pudwill fare against Martin?
Anani: Ragan did a great job for someone with the experience she
has. Great job. I look forward to seeing her more in the future. I love
those mid-west fighters. Go Ragan.
TL Fox: Moving ahead on to maybe a "reality" future fight, is there
any particular boxer you would like to mix it up with?
Anani: Yoohoo, Lucia, why aren't you stalking me from fight
to fight? Christy won't fight you, but I will. Beating Christy isn't going
to prove anything anyway. I was lucky enough to see Fashion Emergency and
Lucia was on it. (I hardly ever watch T.V., but a friend was surfing the
channels and found it.) You looked gorgeous, Lucia. But don't let the
fashion industry convince you that you need all that makeup and hair dye
to be beautiful--you are a natural beauty...truly. And at the end of the
show------when you said 'I'll see you in the ring,' I can only hope you
were talking to me. But I can't hold my breath for that fight---I think
Lucia is avoiding me like Christy Martin avoided her.
TL Fox: Can you give some insight to your last fight against Fredia
Gibbs where she apparently hurt her hand, and the early stoppage of that
fight? Would you ever consider a rematch after this incident?
Anani: Honestly, I have a hard time believing that Fredia
hurt her hand. The promoter of that fight sent a doctor back to her
dressing room after the fight. Fredia refused to be seen by the
doctor.....That leaves questions in my mind. First, why on earth would any
fighter refuse to have their 'tools' looked at by professionals.. if there
were a legitimate injury? We're talking about a fighter's hands
here--these are very important to a fighter. An injury to a hand could end
a career. We fought in a casino 30 miles away from the nearest city, and
she might have broken something, and she declines to have a doctor look at
it, who are trained and at the fights for these exact reasons, even LOOK
at her hand?
Second, after watching the tape over and over again. ESPN punch stats of
her only landing 8 punches. I can't see any punch where she could have
possibly hurt it. The way she was acting when they were just taking the
glove off would give you the assumption that trying to hit someone with an
injury would r e a l l y hurt. But during the whole first round, she
showed no sign on her face of any punch hurting her hand, no wincing, no
favoring of an injured hand, nothing. Then, when she came out after the
fight, and even the next night when she worked in Mia St. John's corner,
she didn't have her hand bandaged. She had a sling over elbow. Now, if her
hand or fingers or thumb was injured, that is what should be wrapped
because that is what should be protected...not your elbow. So I can't help
but think Fredia was practicing for her audition to the sequel to
WBAN would like to give a special thanks to Sumya "The Island Girl" Anani
for taking the time to be interviewed! Sue TL Fox