Just recently, I met up with female boxing veteran Sharon Gaines, who
fights out of Las Vegas, Nevada. She is just one of many boxers
in this sport that "just" wants to fight---and with that said,
to also be treated fairly in the sport.
Gaines is one of many female boxers who experience the
frustration of getting fights, negotiating fights, and seeing
fights fall through. She is among many others female boxers who
experience even greater frustration when a fight has actually
been negotiated, agreed upon, waiting for the contract---just to
see the contract never arrive.
WBAN will share with our readers what Gaines has gone through
recently in regards to trying to negotiate fights.
After Gaines fought Irma Sanchez, in August of 2012, Gaines said
that she received a lot of pressure to fight a high-profile
female boxer at 117-118 pounds. When she said that weight was
too high at 117-118, she then felt pressured to fight at 115
Gaines said that the high-profile boxer had not fought at that
low of weight in years, so then the "fight offer" was made at
115 +1. Gaines said that even though it was one of the top
female fighters in the sport---the purse and negotiated items
were not worth her time. "I am comfortable at fighting at 112 or
less weight---not 115 lbs.," added Gaines. Gaines said "no" to
Shortly thereafter---another potential "fight offer" came
in. Gaines said that she got an offer to fight a world champion,
with less than a two week notice, and that she accepted the
offer. Gaines said, "I was very excited about this fight, but
then I was told that there was a 'mistake' in the purse amount
that was originally offered."
Gaines told WBAN, "the purse was already lower than what I had
wanted to fight for---which was not much at the beginning----but
then they took the fight offer down $1,000 from the original
agreed purse to fight a world champion----so I said no."
Which now brings us to the latest fight offer for Gaines...
Gaines received a "fight offer" to fight Keisher McLeod-Wells,
of Brooklyn, New York, on February 21, 2013, in "New York". The
person who was offering the fight to Gaines, said that the fight
was a six-rounder, at 112 lbs., $1500 purse, and two airline
tickets. Gaines said that she would first check with her
Gaines then came back to the table with a "counter offer" of
$2000 purse, three airline tickets, and eight rounds. Gaines
also stated that she offered to come in at either 110 or 112
lbs. According to Gaines, the counter offer on all three
issues were turned down.
Gaines said after the counter offer was turned down---she stuck
to what she wanted but then made a point to let them know that
with her, ALL of her medicals were done, from the MRI to blood
work to eye exam.
Gaines said she later received a phone call with a counter
offer, with they would pay $1500, three airline tickets, or
$2000, two airline tickets, and that in "no way" would they go
for an eight round bout because there was no room on the card
Gaines said that she again stuck to what she wanted for the
fight which was $2000, with three airline tickets but that she
would go for the SIX rounds. But that THEN again....the offer
was turned down, and she was told, that if she was not going to
take what was offered, then not to waste "their" time.
Gaines told WBAN that she responded with, "Okay, I won't. You
can look for someone else."
But folks....this is not the end to this on-going fight offer
Gaines said a couple of days later she receives a phone call,
and that she was offered the fight for $2,000 and three airline
tickets, and that they had come to an agreement to pay that.
Gaines was then asked, "Do we have a deal?" Gaines said she
responded with, "yep! I'm in".
The person negotiating the fight with Gaines then proceeds to
tell Gaines that she [Gaines] will need to call the Nevada
Athletic Commission right away, and get her medicals sent over.
Furthermore, Gaines was asked to provide the names, date of
births of her and her two team members who were flying with her
to New York. Gaines was told that that info was needed it
as soon as possible. Gaines was also asked for an email address
so that the contract could be sent to her on Monday, as the
offices were closed over the weekend.
Gaines stated that she complied with what was requested of her,
sending the personal information of all involved with the
airline tickets, her email address, and said she was told the
matchmaker that she would get her medicals sent on Monday.
Well....when Monday rolls around, Gaines keeps checking her
email for the boxing contract---and no contract. [Have we
NOT heard this countless times in this sport? Gaines is
certainly not alone with the "contracts in the mail."]
Gaines said that on Monday, she checked her email several times
just to NOT see any contract. She said that she ended up text
messaging the matchmaker a few times---and then at about 9:00
p.m., she FINALLY sent a text saying, "what's up with the fight?
I didn't received a contract today."
Gaines said that shortly thereafter she then got a phone call,
and was told by the person negotiating the fight that they were
so, so sorry, and that they got another boxer with a 0-3 record.
Gaines said that she had asked for the opponent's name and was
texted the name "Nedel". Gaines said that she had also asked
about the commission approving the fight with the 0-3 boxer, and
received no answer.
But FOLKS...It DOES not end here!
Just as we were ready to publish this story....Gaines told WBAN,
my disappointment in not getting the fight against Keisher, I
continued to train as I always do. We had set up sparring
against taller opposition, as Keisher is 5'8", and we canceled
that. Then on Friday Feb 8 (5 days later) I missed a call from
the matchmaker and then received this text "Fights available the
girl can't make weight." Text was sent at 1:00 p.m. PST."
"I went back to my original request of eight rounds. We had
agreed upon six the week before when they ended up finding
someone else, but now, with the fight being less than two weeks
away (which would allow for only one more week of hard training)
I wanted eight rounds."
monetary offer was increased and was very good for six rounds,
but they did not agree to eight rounds. I was told that there
was simply not enough room on the card for an eight rounder..
Due to the lack of time to prepare my team decided we did not
want to risk me getting another close decision loss, a greater
possibility in six rounds, and we said no to the fight. So, once
again, I thought it was a done deal."
"But many hours later on Friday Feb 8, I missed THREE calls from
the person negotiating the fight and ended up with two texts'
both reading "They said they will do 8 rnds for $3000."
was out to dinner and texted that after seeing my clients in the
morning and consulting with my coaches, I would have an answer
no later than noon or 1:00 the next day."
"After talking to my coach and advisor we decided this was a
good deal and felt in eight rounds I'd win. I texted the
matchmaker with the news that we would accept the latest offer!"
"The person negotiating the fight responded "OK" and asked for
the full names of my travelers going with me. Also said to go
get my blood pregnancy test and have my meds sent over from the
Nevada Commission. Our team went into action, set up sparring
that very day with tall opposition and again on Monday. On
Monday afternoon after training I got my blood pregnancy test
(the only medical I don't have). I continued to text the person
making this match, throughout the day Monday and Tuesday Feb
11, 12. with No Response! "
"Finally, sensing something was off, I received a call from the
negotiator of the match, late Tuesday, February 12th, with the
'You won't believe this, you're going to kill me, but the New
York Commission won't approve you for eight rounds against
"I was asked again if I'd go six. At this point, I had a bad
feeling. I highly doubted that they New York Commission wouldn't
approve us for eight rounds and regretfully I said no again to
the offer for the six round bout. I love to fight and this was a
hard decision, but in my own opinion the way this was handled
was getting questionable."
After doubting this info, based on my knowledge of the boxing
background of McLeod, and other factors, my coach and I did
contact the New York Commission on February 13th, and I was told
that my name was never submitted to fight McLeod, not for a
six-rounder or an eight round bout. In fact, they had never
heard my name mentioned in regard to this fight. They were asked
to approve a fight against two other mentioned female boxers,
which one of those two names, Jacqueline Parker, a former
amateur boxer, with a 1-0 record, fighting a four-rounder in her
pro debut, is in fact McLeod's opponent on February 21. [This
was verified through the New York Commission.]
Gaines concludes with the following: " As I said---I do not have
a problem with McLeod, or her team or her promoter or whomever
not wishing to go eight rounds with me, But one thing I do have
a problem with is being misled in negotiating the fight."
Gaines: She has had 26 professional fights, with a 11-14-1 (3KO)
record. She has fought some of the best in this sport that
includes, Ava Knight, Irma Sanchez, Carina Moreno, Hollie
Dunaway, Alesia Graf, Cindy Serrano, and Frida Wallberg. She is
a well-seasoned boxer, who has taken many fights in her
WBAN Comments: This story is not to put down any particular
fighter, or negotiator (matchmaker) of fights---it is to
demonstrate the frustration that not only what Sharon Gaines has
gone through, but MANY female boxers in the sport.