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The Best and the Worst of 2007!

Another year has gone by and it is time to have the "hot"
picks and "not" picks for  the year 2007! 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!


2007 Special Tribute - R.I.P.
Lilly Rodriguez - Amanda Lyons - Asia Mays

Final Tribute
Final Tribute
Final Tribute



Fighter of the Year
Holly Holm
More on Holm

Holly Holm, who made her own history when she fought for six world title bouts, to exceed Giselle Salandy's five belt fight in 2006.  She fought an impressive and hard-fought fight against highly respected Ann Marie Saccurato for the IFBA, WIBA, GBU, WBC, IBA, and WBC welterweight world title bouts.  Holm is ranked #1 in the WBAN independent ratings with the highest score of 16008.  She also defeated Chevelle Hallback, and high-ranked Angel Martinez for a third time. Runner up:  Carina Moreno  [Holm receives plaque at Press Conference]



WBAN "Top Honors"
 of the Year
Ann Marie Saccurato
More on Saccurato

It was astounding to see through the voting from boxing fans this year, the notice that Ann Marie Saccurato, of Plains, New York, has received through her pure no-nonsense ferocity that she displayed in 2007.  She took on some very tough fights, not in her hometown-but others hometowns.  Saccurato did not play it safe---she went to Japan, and fought Emiko Raika; she went to New Mexico and fought Holly Holm--and she last fought in Lemoore, CA,  and KO'd Jessica Rakoczy in the 10th round for the WBC lightweight title.  If this sport had more "Saccuratos" in it---there would be no stopping the sport moving up to another level.  



Most Inspirational Boxer
 of the Year
Susianna Kentikian
More on Kentikian

Susianna "Susi" Kentikian, currently 19-0-0 (14 KO) is a true "spitfire" in the ring.  She has been selected for a second year for "Most Inspirational" with WBAN.   Kentikian has one of the most compelling stories to tell about her personal life, and about her venture into boxing, and where it has taken her. On December 7, 2007, Kentikian won the WIBF Flyweight title, a title that Regina Halmich held for years before recently retiring.




Top European Fighter
Natascha Ragosina
More on Ragosina

Honorable mentioned:  Sophie Mathis, Regina Halmich, Susi Kentikian, Ina Menzer




Highest Achievements
 of the year

Regina Halmich
More on Halmich

Regina Halmich has been chosen for the second year with WBAN as obtaining the highest achievements that a female boxer has accomplished in 2007, in the sport.  It is almost a two-edged sword with this award, because WBAN would be tempted to list Regina as one of the biggest disappointments for 2007 because she has retired  from the sport and we obviously do not want her to retire!   Regina has displayed grace, and pristine sportsmanship throughout her career---and she has been a good business woman who has been able to financially achieve something from the sport--it is with almost surety that she will succeed at anything she does in the future outside the ring and with a very successful cosmetics line already established, perhaps an online MBA is something that she is considering.



Top Amateur of the Year
Katie Taylor
More on Taylor

Taylor of Ireland,  is truly a role model for any woman boxer in this sport whether she is an amateur or a pro.




Top Rookie of the Year 2007
Anabel Ortiz

Anabel Ortiz of Mexico, 3-0, has had three pro fights this year, and had an impressive win in her third bout with a 10-round decision over Delia Lopez.  Ortiz moved up to being ranked #5 with WBAN in the junior flyweight division---NOT BAD for a rookie!




"Boxing fans loved this action-packed bout"

Biggest KO of the Year
Ann Marie Saccurato
vs. Jessica Rakoczy
photo by Alan Messick

On September 27, 2007, at the Tachi Casino, in Lemoore,  California,  Ann Marie Saccurato, became the new WBC Lightweight world champion when she stopped Jessica Rakoczy, 134, Las Vegas, Nevada, 1:58 seconds of the 10th round.




"Skeptics criticized
this matchup..."

Biggest Upsets of the Year!
Dominga Olivo vs. Jelena Mrdjenovich
December 7, 2007
photo by Alan Messick

Who would have "Thunk"?!  Dominga Olivo travels to Edmonton, Canada, with a 4-2 record, and she fights Jelena Mrdjenovich, 21-2, in Jelena's home turf in a 10-round title bout and has a draw with Mrdjenovich.

"The Huracan" proved WBAN wrong in this prediction!"

Melissa Hernandez vs. Layla McCarter
Apri 27, 2007 (Rematch)
photo by  Mary Ann Owen

WBAN thought that Melissa "The Huracan" Hernandez had made a career error when she agreed with short notice to fight Layla McCarter in a rematch. In their first fight McCarter stopped Hernandez. But, Hernandez did not let that stop her from avenging her loss, and she took the fight and won by an eight-round (3-minute rounds) majority decision!

Dierdorff's biggest win

Brooke Dierdorff vs. Mia St. John
April 20, 2007

In Merrillville, Indiana, Brooke Dierdorff  pulled an upset when she beat seasoned veteran Mia St. John. Dierdorff  won by a six-round split decision.  Dierdorff took the fight as a late replacement for Rita Figueroa who received an injury during training and could not fight St. John.

Viktoria Oleynik vs. Zhang Xi Yan
December 14, 2007

In another big upset, 1-9-1 boxer, Viktoria Oleynik,  defeated world champion Zhang Xi Yan by a six-round unanimous decision!  Oleynik [Olenik], has fought some of the top women boxers that have included Jane Couch, Ina Menzer, Frida Wallberg.




Top Fights of the Year
(not in any particular order)
Chevelle Hallback vs. Terri Blair
July 2, 2007
Photo by Mary Ann Owen

Kelsey Jeffries vs. Rhonda Luna
March 22, 2007
Photo by Mary Ann Owen

Susi Kentikian vs. Nadia Hockmi
May 25, 2007
(first fight in 2007)

Ann Marie Saccurato vs. Jessica Rakoczy
September 27, 2007
photo by Alan Messick

Jessica Rakoczy vs. Terri Blair
May 17, 2007
photo by Alan Messick




The "Road Warriors" of 2007

Ann Marie Saccurato
More on Saccurato

Terri Blair
More on Blair

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.



Biggest "Comeback" Boxer
 of the Year
Ada "The Ace" Velez

Ada "The Ace" Velez last pro bout took place in January of 2004, after she had a controversial loss against Anita Christensen in Denmark. Velez returned to the ring August 10, 2007, where she took a tough fight against Jeri Sitzes.  She then fought Jackie Chavez in a six-rounder defeating Chavez in her home turn.  Velez, then went on to fight Kasha Chamblin for the IBA World jr. featherweight title, winning that bout and becoming a world champion in her "come back". 



Most Improved Boxers
of the Year 2007

Carina Moreno
More on Moreno

Holly Holm
More on Holm

Eileen Olszewski
More on Olszewski




Hottest Rising Stars in
the Sport 2007
(Barber - Julaton tied for this award)
Jenifer "The Razor" Barber
More about Barber

Ana  "The Hurricane" Julaton
Video Streaming of Julaton vs. Valentini




Best-Kept Secret in
Women's Boxing

Dominga Olivo

Folks...Be on this lookout!

This "Best-Kept Secret" in women's boxing this year goes to Dominga Olivo, of New York. Olivo's current record is 4-2-1 (0KO). Olivo appears to be afraid of no one in the sport so far.  She took an eight-round bout against Layla McCarter in Colorado, who is a world champion and veteran boxer with over 40 pro bouts on her record. She lost to McCarter by a close majority decision.  Olivo did not opt to fight an inferior opponent in her next pro bout---She took on a title bout against Jelena Mrdjenovich, 21-2-0 (11KO).  The fight was in Mrdgenovich's hometown. The fight ended in a draw. Olivo fought five times in 2007 with competent opponents.



Boxer who took on "ALL" tough opponents in the year 2007
Ann Marie Saccurato

Belinda Laracuente
Dominga Olivo
Honorable Mention:  Kelli Cofer, Jane Couch, Chevelle Hallback, Galina (Koleva) Ivanova, Dakota Stone



Sveltla Taskova in Action

"It's Time to Stop Being an Opponent" Award 2007
Svetla Taskova

Either Svetla Taskova did not heed WBAN's advice to stop being "an opponent" when she was our 2006 pick for this award or she does not visit WBAN on the net.  In 2006, she accumulated a boxing record of 4-17-1---not winning a fight since 2000.  This year she has lost another four fights, bringing her record to 4-21-1 (1 KOs). 




The "Coolest" Award
Received by a Boxer in 2007!

Jane Couch

Jane Couch, a history-making boxer and multiple world champion, was presented with  the MBE award at the Buckingham Palace.  Check out the video featuring Jane at the Buckingham Palace with her award.




Craziest Headlines in 2007!
Joe Frazier files suit against daughter
Smokin’ Joe Frazier filed lawsuit against his daughter, Jacqui Frazier-Lyde, female boxer. Link to Headline  That was some crazy headline to read about Jacqui, an attorney having a lawsuit file against her by her own dad.  We believe this case was dropped by the father at a later date.
Jack LaLanne Offers up wife to fight 92 year old!
Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction, and in this story, it could not be more true.  91-year-old Roland Fortin, a fitness guru in Florida, challenged Jack LaLanne, 92 years old, to a four-round (2 minute) round boxing exhibition. In a video interview Fortin said that he was dead serious.  LaLanne offered up his wife--needless to say this match never took place--but it was definitely one of the craziest Headlines we saw in 2007. Some Website actually ran a poll on this challenge from Fortin!
Thai woman boxer fights her way out of prison
Yep, that is one crazy headline!  In Thailand they reported that they would release female pugilist Siriporn Taweeksuk from prison reducing her 10-year jail sentence by three years after she won the women's light-flyweight belt for the kingdom. "We will release her on June 13th [2007] because she has won glory for Thailand,' said Nathi Jitsawang, director general of the Corrections Department.



Most "Worn Out" Phrase for 2007
"My Fighter Needs one or two more 'Tune-Up' fights."  Boxing Managers and promoters seem to feel the need to say that they need to get a "Tune-Up" fight for their boxer.  What response does WBAN have about "Tune-Up" fights?  ---- Tell somebody who cares.  Apparently these people need to review WBAN's definition for "tune up" fights.  We call them "Tuna" fights---because there is almost ALWAYS something smelly about them.



The "NOT SO HOT" In Women's
Boxing For the Year 2007!


B-O-R-I-N-G Matchups - Second Year
This will be a second year running for this "Not so Hot" in women's boxing. 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, and now 2007!   We are still continuing to see some very poor matches made in the sport.  When will that end? Probably never---but women boxers and their teams do need to wake up and smell the roses that the popularity of women's boxing will dwindle if those who continue to make these lame tune-up fights keep putting them on their cards.


Excuses, Excuses, and more Excuses
WBAN has heard more excuses in every variety that we could probably write a book on the many excuses we hear why a fight does not take place.  We have seen way too many good matches go to the way side because of excuses.  There have been some excellent matches in 2007, but we need more for this sport to thrive.


Outrageous Rankings in 2007
We will spare the embarrassment of who has these listed - boxing fans can find them with a little surfing on the net.  Savanna Payne – record: 0-1-0:  Ranked #6 Cruiserweight: She makes her pro debut in 2007 as a cruiserweight. She gets TKO’d in the second round, and she is ranked #6 as a cruiserweight---only in the world of women’s boxing!;  Sharmaine Fletcher -  record 0-1-0:  #6 Light Heavyweight -Folks this girl has ONE fight. She was stopped in the first round by KO, by another pro debuter, and she rises to the ranking of #6 in the world;
Batroba Lihavi – record  0-2-0:  # 7 Light heavyweight - "Ms. Winless"  has had two pro bouts in 2007 – losing both---but wa---la, there she is ranked #7 in the world;  Genevia Buckhalter –  record 2-12-1(2KO) #9 Light Heavyweight - Genevia has not fought since March of 2005.  She had not won a fight since 2001! And, Mona Nelson – record 1-3-0 (0KO)  #10 Heavyweight - She had a fight in 2006,  2004 and 2003.  Her only win was a fight that took place 10 YEARS AGO!  Yep, on June 21, 1997, she won her only  fight when she made her pro debut in Syracuse, New York.



Lastly----What were some of the Comments that the Boxing Fans wrote in about on the Voting Survey?

Comment:  I was disappointed that Sumya Anani was once again frozen out of the sport, it seems now like an amazing talent has been lost to the sport.

Comment:  I believe the Jennifer the Razor, will the best female boxer next year. Because she has been working so hard in her goals in becoming one of the best.

Comment: Laila Ali tucking her tail between her legs and retiring from boxing. People wanted to see her fight Anne Wolfe and she disappointed her fans. She deserved to loss on Dancing With The Stars.

Comment:  It's been a good year for women's boxing, and things are looking up for 2008.

Comment: I hope that the sport continues to rise and that people begin to realize that the sport is genuine.

Comment:  Layla [McCarter] is the only one that fights out of the country and "WINS".  Her first fight with Melissa Hernandez was great, right in Vegas.

Comment: Hollie [Dunaway] fought a tough fight in Germany with Julia Sahin, sd, then took on Mary Ortega at home a big win, but then also fought and won against Stephanie Dobbs in Lemoore. She fought Carina Moreno for the WBC in California,  on short notice. Hollie gives 100% on each outing.

Comment:  Carina Moreno fighter of the year. -Fought 4 title fights this year. -Received 2 female fighter of the year awards. WBC @ NABF - 1st female ever to received an award at the World Boxing Fame of Fame. 1st female on the cover of Premier Round Boxing Magazine.

Comment: [Disappointment] That the sport still isn't given it's due.

Comment: [Disappointment] No fight set up between Holly Holm & Mary Jo Sanders.

Comment: I can understand Laila Ali's absence from the ring due to her more lucrative and burgeoning media profile but it's disappointing there was very little action from fighters like Leatitia Robinson and Ann Wolfe - there are fighters out there for them to face e.g Ragosina, Ramsey, each other!!

Comment: [Disappointment] Not being able to see enough of the women's bouts on TV  or even on the internet.

Comment: [Disappointment] Laila Ali not Fighting Ann Wolfe.

Comment: [Disappointment] Layla McCarter not fighting Holly Holm.

Comment: [Disappointment] The void of quality women's bout on TV, and the failure of promoters to include a women's bout on cards.

Comment: [Disappointment] Laila Ali, Mary Jo Sanders, and Valerie Mahfood.

Comment: [Disappointment] Great female fighters not shown on TV.  (there are to many to list)

Comment: [Disappointment] Ali not fighting Ann Wolfe or top fighters.

Comment: [Disappointment] That there was still no match between Laila Ali and Anne Wolfe.

Comment: Jelena Mrdjenovich vs. Dominga Olivos. Jelena cannot win in her own place.

Comment: [Disappointment] NABF stripping Jeri Sitzes' of her title.

Comment: [Disappointment] No Mrdjenovich-Garside fight.

Comment: [Disappointment] No Women's Pay Per View Shows.

Comment: [Disappointment] Only one live TV all women's show.

Comment: [Disappointment] Mary Joe Sanders vs Holly Holm not being made.


NOTE:  WBAN would like to thank the boxing fans and the WBAN writers and contributors who all gave valuable input to the 2007 Yearly Awards!  We appreciate the time that everyone took to send in their picks and their comments.

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