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BabyFace Boxing, mecca of female sparring in NorCal
By Blanca Gutierrez
September 17, 2010


(SEPT 17) From young talented amateurs to seasoned former and current female professional fighters, girls and women lace up their gloves on Saturdays at BabyFace Boxing to participate in the most exciting all-female sparring in the bay area.

Former Professional Heavy Weight World Champion Martha Salazar, former IFBA Middleweight, WIBF North American Super welterweight World Champion Gina Guidi, former WIBF and WBO Junior Welterweight World Champion Eliza Olson, former pro boxer and former amateur California State Atom weight, Flyweight Kick Boxing Champion Blanca Gutierrez and former amateur boxer and coach Nancy Crolius all share the love of the sweet science and coach the young female talent coming up in the ranks.

Megan Siordia, 11 years old (left), spars with Serena Greene, 13 years old, at BabyFace Boxing. (Photo by Lupi Beagle)

At Babyface, we have a friendly gym environment for all-female boxers and kick boxers alike, eight years old and up, no matter your home gym. Although BabyFace Boxing teaches boxing and MMA for males and females, we have a lot of female fighters coming to BabyFace. I relate to female boxers and kick boxers. We have heart, we are game fighters, we go against the grain. Boxing builds confidence, stamina, physical fitness and helps with self defense in a bad situation.

It's difficult to get a fight when you are a female pugilist girl or woman, let alone taken seriously by male coaches. Most times the women have to travel out of state or to tournaments to get fights. At BabyFace we get as many female fighters together to spar.

and get some consistent training in so that when there is a fight, we are ready to go. Most of us are female coaches but we do have some male coaches who are excellent role models that really take the girls seriously. You can count those male coaches on one hand and I feel we have them in the gym during our sparring sessions.

Paris Alexander, former California Bantam weight champion, is a huge supporter and coach. We all feel comfortable when Paris is around. He is skilled, knowledgeable and has a positive attitude and is one of our absolute favorite male coaches. Dee Pooler, Martha Salazar and I coach out of Velarde's gym in Fresno. Coach Pooler brought five fighters Saturday. The Fresno girls brought their best game and we had some really great matches. Our own Keynoe Fenner at BabyFace is a trainer for our competition team and is a very valuable asset to our girls. He and Coach Charlie Hilder, both Black Belts, bring their martial arts discipline and drills to add to our growing BabyFace Fighting Squad.

We have the biggest female following in all of northern California, as sparring goes and we see some great matches in the gym. Sometimes feeling a bit left out in a male dominated sport you have to go above and beyond to get the fights, recognition, and the funding you need as an athlete. In 2012 the Olympics are accepting females in competition. We have some young talent here. We have some very mature talent here and what we are doing is keeping a positive spirit alive as well as grooming young female athletes to hopefully have one of them be the first female Boxing Olympian.

Upcoming events at BabyFace Boxing:

Eliza Olsen is throwing a Boxing Boot camp that can guarantee results. You work out five days a week four weeks straight and you will lose weight and inches. You will also learn boxing fundamentals and gain that confidence needed when faced with a turbulent situation. That camp starts Sept. 27. Work out from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. No excuses. You can do it. Get in the best shape of your life.

On Sept.12 at 12 noon we are having an all female sparring event at BabyFace. Females from all over northern California give it their best.

We are currently building our boys and girls boxing team and always looking for new athletes. We offer one free introductory class 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Many of our athletes use boxing as cross-training for other sports like football and soccer, and have found boxing a successful tool for building stamina, strength and coordination.

Editor's Note: Blanca Gutierrez is owner of BabyFace Boxing, located on Crespi Drive.

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