The "Best" , The "Coolest" to the "Most Outrageous"!
Another year has
gone by and it is time to have the "hot and Not" Picks
This year was one of the most difficult years
to determine our TOP picks--mainly because we have so many "élite"
female boxers in the sport at this time! Due to this difficulty, WBAN has
elected to list more than one boxer in certain categories to give our due
respect for those fighters who have worked hard throughout the year to
qualify for that top pick!
Knight was also our top pick
for two separate months in 2012, being chosen as fighter of the
month in July and November.
Fighter of the
of the Year 2012
Ava "Lady of Boxing" Knight
IBF Flyweight world champion
Ava "Lady of Boxing Knight, 10-1-3 (5KO), of Chico,
California has proven without a doubt what a "warrior" she
is in the sport. She fought in Mexico in her last four
fights, and won every fight out of her area. One of her
biggest wins was for the WBC Diamond flyweight title against
Mariana Juarez in October, defeating Juarez by decision.
If the sport could make a cookie cutter version of any
boxer, Ava would be top on the list. She fears no one
she has had no problem fighting out of venue. Knight is
truly an amazing and talented boxer in the sport.
Taylor: “It is an honour for me to be
nominated AIBA Women’s Boxing Ambassador. I cannot wait to start in
this role. I want to help further elevate women’s boxing to ensure
it sits at the pinnacle of sporting achievement.”
of the Year 2012
All "Gold" Medal Winners
in 2012 Olympics in London
[in alphabetical order]
All three of these top
female amateur boxers in the world are the "cream of the
crop" in the sport. All winning a GOLD medal in the
2012 Olympics in London.
IN the ring, OUT of the ring, these three TOP Female
Amateur boxers represent
the sport at it's BEST!
Nicola Adams of Britain, according to the
Daily Mail, almost gave up boxing because no one
would sponsor her, forcing her to work on a building
site and as a soap opera extra. But Adams prevailed,
and became Britain’s first ever female Olympic
boxing champion. [photos
and story on Adams] Adams told one
reporter when asked if the GOLD medal would change
her. Nicola responded with a smile, "Gold medal? I’m still
the normal Nicki that everyone knows, walking my
dog." Adams was the FIRST to win the GOLD at
the 2012 Olympics!
Claressa Shields of the United States,
another TOP WBAN pick of the year, is not only a GOLD medal winner, but
was the third boxer to win the Gold medal winner at the
1012 Olympics. [photo
and story] Shields, at only 17 years old is the
second-youngest boxer to ever win gold in either men's or
women's boxing. WBAN had a "ringside" opportunity to see Shields
fight in action at the history-making first ever USA Olympic Trials, in Spokane, Washington
in February 2012. Of all the amateurs
boxers that we had an opportunity to see in action
she was definitely one of the outstanding "stand
Even thoughKatie Taylor of Ireland, is
considered "the MOST popular athlete in Ireland"
she is also described as
humble, respectful, modest, unaffected, lovely, tough,
quick, smart and loyal." Taylor has won a
multitude of awards in Ireland, in addition to being
named this year as the International Boxing
Association (AIBA) Women’s Boxing Ambassador, to
help in the lead up to the Rio 2016 Olympics.
Taylor was the SECOND female boxer to receive a GOLD
medal at the 2012 Olympics.
said, “It is an honour for me to be nominated AIBA
Women’s Boxing Ambassador. I cannot wait to start in
this role. I want to help further elevate women’s
boxing to ensure it sits at the pinnacle of sporting
achievement.” Taylor represents female boxing
at it's finest and it is no wonder that she was one
of three top picks for this years awards!
of the Year 2012
In a third year in a row,
Cecilia "First Lady" Braekhus, 21-0-0 (5KO), has AGAIN
been named WBAN's Top European Fighter of the year.
She was picked in 2010, 2011 and again in 2012! Braekhus
currently fights in the "welterweight" division.
Braekhus has fought the best, and remains undefeated, and
she looks forward to 2013, anticipating fighting Holly
Holm in what would be considered one of the top matchups of
the year if this fight does get negotiated.
Top Latina Fighter
of the Year 2012
Mariana "Barbie" Juárez was born in
Santa Ursula, México. She grew up in Coyoacan, a "colonia"
in México City, with two sisters and two brothers.
Juarez began her professional boxing career in December
1998. She has continued to box as a pro for fourteen
years, becoming a world champion for many years with the
Juarez fought in one of the highest-profile female bouts
in 2012 when she faced Ava Knight, for the WBC Diamond World
title. Juarez has accumulated over 40 pro fights on her
record with five fights in 2012 that were all
10-round bouts, four being for a world title. She
successfully defended her WBC Flyweight title three times
out of those five fights in 2012.
Mia St. John is a 3-time World and
International Boxing Champion
Boxers of the Year 2012
Mia St. John
[in alphabetical order]
Both Rola El-Halabi and Mia
St. John are WBAN's 2012 Top "Most Inspirational boxers" of
Rola El-Halabi, 11-0-0 (6KO),was set
to fight in April of 2011. While she waited in her dressing room
ready to fight her opponent at any moment---her
stepfather took it upon himself to shoot Rola. Of all
appearances no one even dreamed that she would ever re-enter
boxing after this tragic event but in 2012, we received news
that she was again training very hard and planning to
fight professionally again! [Behind
the scenes report that we ran at the time of the shooting]
Mia "The Knockout" St.
47-12-2 (18KO), of Oxford, California. Where
does one even begin to talk about what St. John has done in
the sport---IN and OUT of the ring! St. John has literally
traveled every possible road as a professional boxer
fighting from 1997 to present time. It was a very big
year for her in 2012, when she was finally able to rematch
with Christy Martin on a Roy Engelbrecht card. She beat Martin and won the WBC
Junior Middleweight World title. She held on to that title
until she fought Tiffany Junot in November of 2012.
St. John is an inspiration to others as she is a strong
advocate outside of the ring. She founded the
Mia St. John
Foundation, "El Saber Es Poder/Knowledge Is Power" to
empower our youth by providing educational material,
equipment and development of Health & Wellness programs. In
addition, St. John also is extremely active in attending
countless events, commentating, doing television, and the
list goes on.
Boxer of the Year
Kaliesha "Wild Wild" West
Out of all of the many
fights that WBAN covered in 2012, the most entertaining
female boxer that we had the opportunity to see ringside,
was none other than Kaliesha "Wild Wild" West.
West was fighting for the
IFBA world title against Christina Ruiz in Pomona,
California. In this mainliner on the card, West came
out in one of the most unique boxing outfits that we have
see in 2012, mask and all. It was quite
entertaining, and something most female boxers do not
venture to do.
West is not only an outstanding female
boxer and multi-world champion, but she is one of the most
enjoyable and exciting to see in the ring! photos: Mary Ann
experiencing four losses out of her last five fights, Moreno travels
to Germany and defeats their top female boxer Susi Kentikian for the
WBA world title....
In the Year
Holly "The Preacher's
Daughter" Holm, 32-2-3 (9 KO) had a
huge comeback when she had a rematch with Anne Sophie Mathis on June 15, 2012, at the
Route 66 Casino & Hotel, in Albuquerque, New
Mexico, promoted by Fresquez Productions,
Inc. Many who follow boxing, were
amazed that Holm would return in a rematch
with Mathis so soon after their first
fight, where she was stopped in the seventh
round by KO. In fact, Holm did not
take any other fights to "tune up" before
facing Mathis---and in their second fight,
Holm reclaimed her belts winning by a
10-round unanimous decision!
had a huge comeback in the sport when she
defeated Mia St. John in a 10-round WBC
World Title bout, promoted on a Promoter Roy
Engelbrecht's boxing card, and taking that fight on
"short notice." Prior to the title fight, Junot,
who turned professional more than six years ago, after a
successful amateur career, had not had a bout since July 2011
when she dropped a six round decision to Kuulei Kupihea in
Hawaii. That gap in Junot's ring resume was due to the fact that
the boxer, at the time residing in and
fighting out of Houston, returned to her New
Orleans hometown, after the Hawaii bout, to
assume primary caregiver responsibility for
her father who was diagnosed with lung
cancer in September 2011 and succumbed to
the disease in December. [Junot
talks about her loss in 2011 in an article
written by Bernie McCoy, after she won the
WBC World Title belt].
of Watsonville, California is an
unbelievably talented boxer in the sport.
We have seen fighters in the sport who take
a loss or two, and then
they simply disappear, never
to fight again---NOT MORENO! Moreno
sported a HUGE boxing record in her
first 22 fights, with a record of 21-1 up to
February of 2009. AND THEN....her next
five fights from October 2009 to September
2012 which took place in her opponent's
home ground turf---took a downward turn,
when she began to losing those fights by
decisions. Her accumulative record for
those five fights: 1-4. Then Moreno
takes a sixth fight in a world title
championship in GERMANY against Susi Kentikian, 29-1-0,
for the WBA Flyweight belt. Moreno won
that fight returning to the USA with a
world title belt! You cannot have a
much better comeback than that!
Congratulations to Holm, Junot and Moreno
for being the absolute stellar boxers in the
sport with fantastic comeback fights in 2012!
Douglas made history being one of the first amateurs to
compete in the first-ever US Olympic Trials, and then turned pro
Rookie of the
Flyweight Tyriesha "Baby
Girl" Douglas, 23 years old, undefeated with a 2-0-0
(1KO), of Baltimore, Maryland, turned pro on August 4,
2012, winning her first fight by TKO. She then
fought Sherine Thomas, 2-0-0, winning a four-round
Douglas made boxing
history when she was one of 24 female amateur boxers who
fought her way to the history-making US Olympic Trials,
in Spokane, Washington in February of this year.
Douglas said about
boxing, "I want to open people's eyes to women's boxing.
I want to show people that we deserve the same
Sindy Amador Photo: Facebook
Boxer of the Year
Sindy Amador, 9-0-0
(1KO), of Riverside, California has been a pro boxer
since October of 2010, having her pro debut. Since then, she fought five
times in 2011, and three times in 2012. She has
continued to improve to the point that she took on a
very tough opponent Carina Moreno, 22-3-0, in her last
fight where she won that fight by a six-round unanimous
Honorable Mention: Renáta Szebelédi
the Year 2012
Melissa McMorrow vs. Kentikian
Renáta Szebelédi vs. Galassi
McMorrow [her record at the time going into this fight
was 6-3-3] delivered one of the biggest upsets of the
year when she defeated "undefeated" Susi "Killer Queen"
Kentikian, 29-0-0 (16KO) by a 10-round majority decision
and taking home the WBO and WIBF Flyweight titles.
In another big upset....Renáta "Barbie Girl" Szebelédi,
16-9-0 (10KO), of Budapest, Hungary, had little trouble
in being named WBAN's top pick for the "biggest Upset"
of the year when she traveled to Veneto, Italy, to take
on Simona Galassi, 17-1-1, and stopping Galassi in the
third round by TKO! Szebelédi's had
first fought Galassi in April of 2012, in
Italy, losing to her by a 10-round unanimous
decision to Galassi. Szebelédi apparently did not want to leave the
decision in the hands of the judges in the rematch and
went for the stoppage!
vs. Lindsay Garbatt
TKO's Lindsay Garbatt in the first round. The were fighting
for the WBC/WIBA titles
vs. Noni Tenge
"Amazing" Layla McCarter stops Noni Tenge, delivering Tenge's
first loss as a pro, who was undefeated at 11-0-1. The two
were fighting for the vacant WBA Jr. Middleweight title
the Year 2012
Jelena Mrdjenovich vs.
TKO First Round
March 23, 2012
Vacant WBC Featherweight title
WIBA Featherweight title
Layla McCarter vs. Noni Tenge
TKO Eighth round [10 seconds]
September 9, 2012
East London, Eastern Cape, South Africa
Vacant WBA Junior Middleweight belt
of the Year 2012
Super bantamweight Marianna
Gulyas of Hungary fought 13 times in 2012. Her record
for those last 13 fights was 10-3. Her full
accumulative record is 12-12-0 (2KO).
2012 marked one of the biggest historical markers in the sport.
Christy Halbert played a major role in making this finally
We also want to give Special honor to Blanca Gutierrez and Lori
Steinhorst for their endless support to the promotion of the sport!
of the Year 2012
Dr. Christy Halbert
Christy Halbert, Olympic boxing
coach, earned her Ph.D. in Sociology in 1999. Her advocacy
for the inclusion of women’s boxing in the Olympic Games was
recognized by the United States Olympic Committee granting
her the 2011 Torch Award. Dr. Halbert has coached women and
men to national and international medal success. She holds
the distinction of being named Head Coach for the first
Women’s World Championships in 2001, and was the first
American coach to lead AIBA’s international developmental
camp, Road to Dreams.
Dr. Halbert has coached women from around the globe—from
Syria, Rwanda, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Nicaragua, Sri
Lanka, Kenya, Vietnam—and her work has been informed by an
intellectual’s sense of the larger cultural and historical
significance of the participation of women in sport,
generally, and in boxing specifically.
Widely quoted in the
popular press as an expert on women’s boxing, Dr. Halbert is
Chair of the Women’s Task Force at USA Boxing, and serves on
the Women’s Commission of the international boxing
federation (AIBA). She also coaches boys and girls, women
and men, at her gym in Nashville, Tennessee.
(Alphabetical order): Blanca
Gutierrez, and Lori Steinhorst
Knight vs. Juarez West vs. Ruiz
Photo: Mary Ann Owen
Worldwide for 2012!
(in random order)
Melissa McMorrow vs. Susi
Ava Knight vs. Mariana Juarez
Kaliesha West vs. Christina Ruiz
Mariana Juarez vs. Shindo Go
Ronica Jeffrey vs. Lindsay Garbatt
Layla McCarter vs. Noni Tenge
Melissa Hernandez vs. Jelena Mrdjenovich
Renata Szebeledi vs. Simoni Galassi
Carina Moreno vs. Susi Kentikian
Frida Wallberg vs. Amanda Serrano
2012 Summer Olympics in
London Without a doubt the top
worldwide "coolest" event that happened in 2012, is the inclusion of
female boxing in the 2012 Olympics in London! WBAN
celebrated this historical event for the sport by developing a
website exclusive to the Olympic coverage,
were three weight classes for the female boxers vying for the "Gold"
in the flyweight (106-112 pounds), lightweight (123- 132
pounds), and middleweight (152-165 pounds) division. The women's
weight classes were not consecutive, meaning that a female boxer
would have to fit into one of the designated ranges in order to
compete. Katie Taylor of Ireland, Claressa Shields of the
United States, and Nicola Adams of Britain all won the Gold! To
read on all the female boxers who won Bronze and silver medals,
First-ever US Olympic Trials in
Spokane in 2012!
history-in-the-making event that took place in Spokane,
Washington, in February of 2012. There were 24
amateurs who made it to this pre-trial event, to move
closer to their dream in the Olympics. WBAN
covered the event ringside, and it was fantastic to see
all of these amateurs in action. The three that
moved on to China for another eliminator was Marlen
Esparza, Claressa Shields, and Queen Underwood.
WBAN Special Honors to ALL
Female Boxers picked for our FIGHTER OF THE MONTH in 2012 - and
ALL Rated #1 Boxers in our Independent World Ratings! WBAN has added a NEW
segment, beginning with 2012, that features any and every female
boxer, who was our "WBAN Fighter of the Month" and ANY fighter
who was ranked #1 in our independent ratings in the year. We
would like to give a yearly RECOGNITION of the accomplishments
of these boxers! To check
out all of these top boxers, go herre!
Beautiful Brawlers All Female Show On August 24, 2012,
at the Pacifica Moose Lodge decorated boxers and champions from
9 - 33 years old came from all over the West Coast to battle it
out at the “Beautiful Brawlers II” promoted by Blanca Gutierrez,
BabyFace Boxing. The boxers who come to this show know they are
boxing the best in their weight class and age divisions and
knowing that there will be only one persons hand raised at the
end of the bout which makes the battles even more competitive
and exciting. Since 17 year old Claressa Shields was the only
American to capture Gold and Marlen Esparza the only American to
capture a Bronze medal at the Olympics, we have seen a surge in
females wanting to get ready for the next Olympics which is in
Rio in 2016. [Full
Story and photos on this event]
Legendary Evening Presented
by Hublot Watches Celebrate & Support the Inauguration of the
World Boxing Council Pension Fund Hublot and the World
Boxing Council hosted a one-time event in Las Vegas that united
boxing greatest legends, not to fight in the ring, but to battle
for the needs of their constituents. The watches were
pre-sold at an auction beginning in June on a dedicated website.
Those individuals with the winning bids were invited to attend
the event and receive their watch from the at the dinner.
Proceeds from the sale of each watch went to support the
charitable initiatives of the World Boxing Council including the
retired boxer's pension and emergency funds in over 40 countries
around the world....very cool!
The "Coolest" Photographers
in the Sport who support Women's boxing!
If ever there were two photographers in the sport that have been
to ANY and EVERYWHERE in 2012, providing photos (lots of them)
it belongs to Mary Ann Owen and Pepe Rodriguez! They have
covered more fights, press conferences, weigh-ins, more than any
other photographer this year for female boxing!
Yes...they are VERY COOL to give boxing fans a bird eye view of
all the events they have covered and provide fantastic fight
photos of these females...Thank you to BOTH of you for all the
work that you have done this year!
Kelsey Jeffries Earns Degree
in Registered Nursing
WBAN loves to do follow-up stories on the female boxers. This
was one of those stories that we felt was one of the coolest of
the year! We did this story on Kelsey Jeffries a
multi-world boxing champion and role model in the sport for an
accomplishment she did "outside of the ring"..This was our
Cool and Entertaining Video: Braekhus Calls Out Holly Holm Officially on
YouTube This video was published on
"youtube", of Cecilia Braekhus who is standing in the ring, and
officially calls out Holly Holm! Cecelia talks about
her win over Anna Sophie Mathis, and shows footage of Holm's
loss by KO by Mathis---We were told that this video was also
played for the boxing fans at the Holly Holm vs. Diana Prazak
fight that took place in December 2012! For boxing fans who want to see this
Crazy News Story: Gender suspicions KO women's night in the ring
In July of 2012, news sources on the net reported that
Australia's boxer Susie Ramadan fought Usanakorn
Kokietgym and after some testing it was suspected that Kokietgym may be
a male! They said "female" boxer Usanakorn Kokietgym, from
Thailand recorded ''highly suspicious'' levels of testosterone before a
world title fight against Australia's Susie Ramadan in Melbourne and
that Kokietgym was detected with three times the normal level of
testosterone for a woman. Usanakorn lost to Ramadan in a 10-round
unanimous decision that night, and is still listed as a "female" on
Boxer has her hair cut to make
weight? Folks you do not need to invent stories in boxing, because as
they say with the ole' cliche "truth is stranger than
fiction." This is the first bit of news that I believe WBAN
had ever reported. A female boxer (we believe to be Yahaira Hernandez according to our sources) had her hair cut to make
weight! It is more on the "funny" side, than "Outrageous" but
it was our first time to report such a thing so it made our yearly
One of the Biggest Rips in 2012?
I am sure there are many more, but WBAN ran a story on this one and had
the boxing fans vote on it after watching the whole video fight of
the Irma Sanchez vs. Ibeth Zamora that took place in Mexico. The
fight reports and comments came in and this is what they reported in
regards to this fight! Full
Story with video of boutWhat
boxing fans had to say!
Martin...hope you have a very long visit in your new home
In 2012, Jim Martin finally
went to trial for shooting and stabbing female boxer Christy Martin.
We were happy to find out that he was found "guilty" and would be
incarcerated for a very long time. The following link is a
news story we did on it at the time of the incident: Full
AIBA's "Skirting" issue with
Amateur Female Boxers in the Olympics! This"skirt-wearing issue for female boxers" began before
2012, when the AIBA brought up that the female boxers who would
participate in the 2012 Olympics in London may have to wear
"skirts" to box. The final determination took place in
2012, whereas they determined that it would be optional for the
participants. Many people in the boxing community were
"outraged" by this "possible" qualifier for the attire that female
boxers may have been required to wear!
wrote many stories on this issue, and this was our final story in
One for the books with
the WIBF On Saturday night, October 13,
2012, in Brandenburg, Germany, in a WIBF world light welterweight title
bout, AngelMcKenzie lost her tenth bout in a row, by
decision against Marie Reiderer. McKenzie has not had one win
since April of 2010.She is now 4-28-0. Is there any title belt
that the WIBF will NOT sanction?
McKenzie's boxing record
record speaks for itself
March 30, 2012, there was a multi-world
title belt fight up for grabs between Ju
Hee Kim, ranked #15 with boxrec (world
ratings) and Ploynapa Sakrungrueng,
ranked #44 on Boxrec (world ratings). [Sakrungrueng's
WBAN’s review of Kim’s opponent:
Sakrungrueng fought five pro debuters
out of six of her opponents. As
ALWAYS,....."Very Curious" when looking
up some of these "boxing records" on the
net------especially when seeing a
cluster of fights on the boxer's record,
with either no venue listed, and/or only
their particular fight listed as taking
place at that location and/or
venue...need we say more...probably not.
Flyweight Title: She Lost 19 fights out
of 20 fights…But there is a title on the
In Sunday, February 19, 2012, at the
Salle U.L.B, Ixelles, in
Bruxelles-Capitale, Belgium, flyweight
Sanae Jah, ranked with boxrec at #36
world wide with a 4-0 records, fighting
most opponents with inferior boxing
records, was reported to be
fighting for the vacant Belgium
flyweight title. [Boxing
record of Sanae Jah]
Her opponent, Elena Miftode, not rated
on Boxrec, had only managed one win out
of her last twenty fights, losing her
last 12 fights, and had not had any type
of win since 2007, when in her only win
out of the last 20 fights on her record
she defeated a pro debuter. [Boxing
Record of Elena Miftode]
WBAN questioned at the time with what in
the world is going on in Belgium?
EBU Title: Another One
for the Books On February 18, 2012, at the
Hallo Omnisport La Préalle, Herstal, in Liege, Belgium, junior
welterweight, Sabrina Giuliani fought Eva Marczu of Hungary, in a 10
round bout for the vacant EBU Junior welterweight title. Eva was ranked
#27 (worldwide) with Boxrec, and had apparently fought the same boxer
three times in her six win record. With her other three wins, they were
either a pro debuter or a winless boxer. [Boxing
Record of Eva Marczu] Her
opponent, Sabrina, with an undefeated record of seven wins, was not
rated with BoxRec, and had fought ALL pro debuters, or a winless boxer,
with only one opponent that had one win on her record! [Boxing
Record of Sabrina Giuliani]
We gladly added this fight to our
You've GOT to be KIDDING!
Title fight segment!
WBAN asked boxing fans to
contribute their ideas of who should be nominated. WBAN
received many responses and would like to say
thank you very much for the picks and suggestions...