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The Best and the Worst of 2006!

Another year has gone by and it is time to have the "hot"
picks and "not" picks for  the year 2006! There were definitely
the GOOD, the BAD, and the NOT so good this year 
in women's boxing! WBAN ran a survey for BOXING FANS to give them an opportunity to submit their picks!


2006 Special Tribute
Shelby Walker
February 27, 1975 - September 2006
More on "Shelby Girl" Walker




Fighter of the Year
Mangte Chungneijang Merykom
(aka: Mary Kom) of India

Mangte Chungneijang Merykom (aka: Mary Kom) of India, has worked for years to become of one of the best amateur boxers in the sport today.  Mary Kom is a three time world champion who is emblematic of the rise of women's boxing in India. (History First for WBAN - First Amateur chosen as Fighter of the Year)  More on Marykom    



Most Inspirational Boxers
 of the Year

Ann Marie Saccurato
Susianna Kentikian

Ann Marie Sacurato (Top photo) overcame tremendous odds just to be walking today. In 1995, she was a passenger in a devastating car wreck while returning from a volleyball competition at the Empire State Games. The driver of the vehicle was killed and Ann Marie suffered a punctured lung, broken pelvis, hip, two broken legs, a shattered arm, broken ribs and severe nerve damage. She was not expected to live the night, let alone ever walk again.  Saccurato has been an inspiration to other women in the sport. In 2006, she went into Edmonton, Canada, fighting a hometown favorite, Jelena Mrdjenovich, and defeated Jelena in a split decision.  More on Ann Marie Saccurato

Susianna "Susi" Kentikian (lower photo) was born in Jerevan, Armenia and fights out of Hamburg, Germany. She went to Germany with her family in 1996, seeking asylum from the civil war in Armenia, under constant threat of expulsion. More than once the family was dragged out of bed by the German police in the middle of the night and transported to the airport for deportation. Fortunately actual expulsion was avoided through the intervention, of among others, Susianna's boxing trainer Frank Rieth.  Kentikian is NOT only one of the most Inspirational boxers on the scene, she is an exceptional boxer. More on Susianna Kentikian




Hottest Rising Star in
the Sport 2006
Melissa "Huracan" Hernandez
More on Melissa Hernandez




Top European Fighter
Anne-Sophie Mathis
 of Dombasle, France
More on Anne-Sophie Mathis




Highest Achievements
 of the year

Regina Halmich

5'3" Regina Halmich from Karlsruhe, Germany is Europe's best-known female boxer. She is now  51-1-1.  She is also a television personality when she is not boxing.   [Television appearances, and more..]  [More on Regina Halmich]



Top Amateurs of the Year

Mary Kom (India)
Yun Kum-Ju (North Korea)
Ariane Fortin (Canada)
Aya Cissoko (France)
Katie Taylor (Ireland)
Irina Sinetskaya (Russia)





Vanessa Juarez

Kaliesha West

Top Rookies of the Year 2006

Vanessa Juarez

Vanessa Juarez, 18 years old, 5-0-0 (1KO) who came out of the amateurs, with an extensive amateur background,  turned pro in 2006. She fights out of Fort Worth, Texas.  Juarez is part of the new trend we are seeing develop in the sport where the boxer has paid their dues in the amateurs for years before turning pro. More on Juárez

Kaliesha West

Kaliesha West, another 18-year old,  5-0-0, and former amateur boxer and champion turned pro in February 2, 2006.  In West's pro debut she defeated Suszannah Warner. In her last fight in November of 2006, she fought for six rounds against another impressive boxer on the scene, Stella Nijhof and won by a decision. More on West



Top History-Making Fighter
 of the year 2006

Giselle Salandy

Giselle Salandy, just 19 years old, from Siperai, Trinidad, has made her country extremely proud of her accomplishments.  On December 9, 2006, Salandy made boxing history when she fought for five world titles against Mariem Brakache. She won the WBA, WBC, NABC, WBE, and IWBF Jr. Middleweight titles. [More details]



The fight ends in the first round! Video  

Most Controversial "KO"
or "TKO" of the Year
Laura Ramsey vs. Erin Toughill
This fight was originally called into WBAN as a "KO", then we were told it was changed or was a TKO.  No one seem to be in agreement to what had actually happened, so WBAN obtained PERMISSION from AROTO to allow  boxing fans to view the footage of the short fight, so that they could judge for themselves! [More info]




Biggest Upsets of the Year!

Terri Blair vs Sumya Anani (twice)
Blair Stopped Anani twice in 2006, in a ninth round TKO.

Alejandra Oliveras vs. Jackie Nava
In a surprising upset, Argentina's Oliveras KO'd Mexico's Nava, in Tijuana, México, May 2006.




Fight of the Year
Jaime Clampitt vs. Missy Fiorentino




The Most (Avoided) Opponent
Chevelle Hallback
This talented and entertaining boxer has not fought ONE fight in 2006!  We are well-aware of the matches she has tried to get, but has not been considered an opponent by either the fighter or the fighter's team.




The "Road Warriors" of 2006

Terri Blair
More on Blair

Angel Martinez
More on Martinez

It is amazing that some of the most interesting and top boxers in the sport--actually do not have pristine, unblemished records.  In reality, some of the less impressive boxing records of  some of  the women boxers, are the fighters who actually take risks to take fights that are not home-brewed, or on short notice.



Holly Holm

Most Improved Boxers
of the Year 2006

Holly Holm
Holm has accumulated the TOP score on Dee Williams independent World boxing ratings with a score of 14246! Holm continues to look more impressive in the ring with each bout that she takes on. More on Holly Holm

Hollie "Hot Stuff" Dunaway
Dunaway has come a very long way in women's boxing.  She began her boxing career as an opponent, but she proved this year that she is a champion. She took a fight in Hungary, and fought to a 10-round split decision over one of Hungary's top boxers, Krisztina Belinszky.  
More on Hollie Dunaway




THE BUSIEST Boxer of the Year

Savanna Hill (United States)
She fought nine bouts for the year
More on Savanna Hill




Heron Paints a fight photo on her car of her opponent

"Grudge Match" of the Year
Olga Heron vs. Sandy Tsagouris
Heron went as far as to have her vehicle painted with her opponent in the ring from their first fight.  When Tsagouris saw what Heron did, she was not very happy about it.  In the rematch, Tsagouris defeated Heron for the second time.  Maybe it is time for Heron to get a new paint job--you think? [More about this fight]



Jenifer Alcorn poses with world title belt

The Top "Reality Show" boxers
of the year!
Jenifer Alcorn
 ABC's "Wife Swap" Reality Show
 Retired world champion, Jenifer Alcorn, with husband, Brad Alcorn featured in "Wife Swap, where they swap places for two weeks with another family. More on Alcorn  

 Cristy Nickel in Gym

Cristy Nickel
Featured in MTV's "MADE" Reality Show
Cristy temporarily stepped down from fighting to film MTV's hit reality show "MADE" where she single-handedly turned a lazy high school quitter into a hard-hitting boxer in just 6 weeks.  More on Nickel




Best-Kept Secret in
Women's Boxing

Laura"Lady Ram" Ramsey

Folks...Be on this lookout!

This "Best-Kept Secret" in women's boxing is none other than Laura Ramsey.  She had an impressive performance throughout 2006.  She is not afraid to take a fight out of homebrew territory, short notice, and she has proven she has a punch!  She experienced two losses in 2006, but when you look closer at those losses you will see that in one of those losses against Shelley Burton, she took a 10-round world title bout with a 72 hour notice! She fought with the heart of a lion in that bout.  She also took a loss to Erin Toughill, but in the same year, quickly dispatched Erin in a first round TKO in a rematch!



Best Quotes/Comments
 of the Year

Teddy Atlas

"The networks underestimate the intelligence of the fans, they don't give them enough credit. It's like the fast-food outfits who keep hammering that they're giving you a quarter-pound of meat. The public wants good quality meat. They want more than the eighth of a pound they're getting with lettuce, tomato. They bite into it and all they get is the taste of a fluffy roll. And, the other side, don't tell `em you're giving `em a half-pound, when it's really only a quarter-pound. Let `em enjoy good fights, like in the old days."

Bernie McCoy

Take just a moment and think about how often you have heard that phrase, "when the time is right" used in reference to a fight that the entire boxing community was clamoring for. I'm going to estimate 500 times, but then I'm only talking about references to "Martin/Rijker." Add the times that phrase has been used in the same sentence as "Ali/Wolfe" and you're approaching a good sized volume. Now, let's examine that phrase in a bit more depth. Here's what "when the time is right" really means: "Are you crazy? Why on earth would we want to take a bout like that, when we can just as easily bring in a fighter to (fill in the appropriate hometown) that we know is a sure win."

The "NOT SO HOT" In Women's
Boxing For the Year 2006!


Who Is She?

Most Outrageous of the Year

Female Boxer fights with forged documents and pretends to be Liliane Balles! Full Story




Ali with Belts after the fight...

Biggest Hype of the year that fizzled in the ring...

Laila Ali vs. Shelley Burton

The fight between Laila Ali and Shelley Burton received a lot of hype and press---but it did not live up to any expectation, when Burton was outclassed by Ali in this  bout.  The fight was stopped at 1:58 seconds of the fourth round, with Ali controlling the bout throughout the first four rounds. Photo: Mary Ann Owen




Kim Colbert fights Shea in an unorthodox style--stunning the crowd when she wins by a split...

The "Now you See it, Now you Don't" Award

Kim Colbert

Kim Colbert, 2-11-1, (mostly losses on her record) fought Maureen Shea in May of 2006 in New York, and in a surprise upset, wins by a split decision. But then test results come back in a post fight urine test--and Colbert has tested positive for Marijuana according to the commission.  Colbert's win over Shea--came and went after the fight was ruled a "no contest."



Sveltla Taskova in Action

"It's Time to Stop Being an Opponent" Award
Svetla Taskova
Svetla Taskova, 4-17-1 (1 KOs), 36 years old, of Sofia, Bulgaria,  has fought everywhere, except her country since the year 2000.  She fought five times in 2006, losing all five fights in her opponent's home turf.  She has lost her last 15 fights since 2001 on others home turf.


 Biggest Disappointments of the Year

B-O-R-I-N-G Matchups:  There were so many predictable boring matchups.  No one needed a crystal ball to have figured out who was going to win in some of the fights that took place in 2006.   It really comes to a point when one decides to even "bother" to watch a fight, buy a ticket to see a fight---or follow boxers who take boring, pointless, safe,  predictable matches.

W-H-O C-A-R-E-S in 2006:  We heard a lot of "rattling" from the top profiles boxers, and they rattled about this boxer won't fight,  and that fighter won't fight---but they seem to have managed to get "mediocre" boxers to fight---which brings us back to the word, "Boring."  In 2007, boxers do need to stop rattling their mouth, and start fighting some exciting bouts for a change.  The sport is falling asleep from all the talk----and little action. 

Same old excuses in 2006:  Fighters and/or their management give for not fighting out of their venues and hometowns.  "If the money was right, we would fight anywhere."  We have heard it all folks----again, there is not going to be money if boxers and/or their teams make it an "act of congress" to take a fight. There needs to be more consistency in making competitive matches.

Top Worn-out Buzz words:  Referring to a fighter as the "Million Dollar Baby"; and/or "The REAL Million Dollar Baby"...Enough already.


NOTE:  WBAN would like to thank the boxing fans and the WBAN writers and contributors who all gave valuable input to the 2006 Yearly Awards!  We appreciate the time that everyone took to send in their picks and their comments.

Back to WBAN



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