Two-time World Tough Woman Contest champion Andrea DeShong (5' 6", 143 lbs)
from Mingo Junction, Ohio had two careers in pro boxing as well as working
as a security guard and massage therapist.
DeShong was born on March 15 1962. She first tried her hand at
boxing in the
late 80's. She made her debut at 135 lbs on March 11 1989 in Wheeling,
West Virginia, knocking out Angel Horton (136 lbs) of Cleveland, Ohio in
the first round. After a 5-round point decision over Danata Griffin
in Tennessee on April 8, 1989, Andrea won a four-round split decision over
debut fighter Jamie Whitcomb at the Holiday Inn in Parkersburg, West
Virginia on June 2, 1989.
Back at the Holiday Inn in Parkersburg on September 8, 1989 she TKO'd
Sharon Taylor in the second round after knocking her down twice in the
first round and again in the second, On October 12, 1989 she won a
four-round points decision over Susie Melton.
On November 4, 1989 in Bristol, Tennessee, Andrea DeShong faced a future
icon of women's boxing, Christy Martin of West
Virginia, then 21 years old and 2-1-1 as a pro boxer. DeShong had been in
the ring with Martin once before, on July 30, 1988 over three rounds in a
West Virginia Tough Woman contest The fight in Bristol
was a five-rounder, and DeShong battered Martin to a points loss.
On December 2, 1989 at the Valley Sports Arena in Roanoke, Virginia,
Andrea won a five-round rematch with Jamie Whitcomb by a unanimous
decision. She then knocked out Rose Noble in the first round on
March 10, 1999.
On April 21, 1990 she again faced Christy Martin in Bristol, Tennessee. This was won by Martin on a
controversial five-round decision. (There was speculation that the referee was keeping
Andrea away when the up-and-coming Martin was hurt.)
DeShong retired from the pro ring for six years after this, but
she was lured back
to it by the reaction to Christy's bloody-nosed defeat of Ireland's
Deirdre Gogarty on the Tyson vs. Bruno
On April 27, 1996 in Chester, West Virginia, Andrea lost her comeback bout
to southpaw Christine Butts of Des Moines, Iowa by a four-round decision.
(Butts had a brief but successful pro career in which she went 4-0,
winning all of her other fights by KO).
On May 22, 1996 she bounced back by TKO'ing debut fighter Jackie Rodgers
in the first round, and June 4 she repeated the performabce with a
third-round TKO of Rodgers at Martins West in Woodlawn, Maryland.
On June 22, 1996 at Mark Etess Arena in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Andrea
won a six-round decision over Stacy Prestage of Kansas City, who had been
a pro boxer since 1990 and had held the WIBF Junior Lightweight world
title, losing it to Dierdre Gogarty in 1993. Prestage fell to 8-3-3 with
this loss to DeShong.
win set up a match against
Kathy Collins in Madison Square Garden
that was carried live by
the Cable USA Network on August 20, 1996.
Although she faced a relative novice (Collins' record was a mere 2-0-1 compared
to DeShong's 11-2), DeShong found that the road back was harder going than
she had expected. After six well-fought two-minute rounds, Andrea was on
the wrong end of a unanimous decision, and her readiness to face Christy
Martin again was very much in question!
She KO'd Janet Green in the first round of her next fight at the
Mountaineer Race Track, Chester, WV on September 27, 1996 and fought
Isra Girgrah to a draw over four rounds in
Washington, DC on October 1996. On February 12, 1997 at the Coeur
d'Alene Casino in Worley, Idaho Andrea TKO'd Helga Risoy of Norway in the
vs. Jane Couch, March 2 1997
Andrea was then outclassed
and TKO'd in seven rounds by British champion Jane Couch in a
WIBF welterweight title fight in New Orleans on
March 2, 1997. Andrea showed some power in the early going, but Couch
worked her body well, then went to the head as Andrea faded. Several
people who saw this fight told me that they believed Andrea's intended comeback against Martin
was just wishful thinking.
Andrea fought Christy for the fourth time on the undercard of
Holyfield vs. Tyson II at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on June 28th,
1997. Andrea had punching power, and the
motivation to hang tough with Christy, who she believed was over-rated. But
to beat lightweight Christy again she needed to pull something out of the
bag that she didn't have against welterweights Collins and Couch. And she
needed to do it in the early rounds, as the 35-year-old's ability to bang
with Martin over the full 10 rounds was questionable after her performance
in New Orleans.
landing on Christy Martin, June 28 1997
Andrea bloodied Christy's nose in the second round, but Martin responded
with good body punching, especially in the third. The fight then followed
Jane Couch's script in New Orleans as Andrea again seemed ready only for
a fight of Toughwoman length. She began to fade in the third and had
become an easy target for Martin by the sixth. The fight was stopped
at 1:43 of the seventh when the referee led Andrea to a corner after Martin had
scored about five jabs at will. The ring doctor said Andrea should not continue.
In a move typical of promoter Don King, Andrea had been named as Christy
only about a week before the fight (both Dora Webber and Isra Girgrah had
previously been announced), so it's doubtful that DeShong was properly prepared for
it. In any case, Martin beat her the way Jane Couch had done,
only Christy got her own nose bloodied badly in the process!
Andrea next fought Lucia Rijker on September 13,
1997 at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas. She defended well for two rounds but succumbed
by TKO to a powerful Rijker
body shot at 1:29 in the third round of a scheduled six-rounder. Rijker progressed to 8-0 as a pro boxer with this win.
On January 10, 1998 at the Tropicana in Atlantic
City, IFBA welterweight champion Kathy Collins
(136½ lbs) won a unanimous decision over DeShong (137½ lbs) for the
IWBF junior welterweight championship;
On March 28, 1998 at the Market Center in Kansas City,
Missouri, Sumya Anani (139 lbs) moved her pro boxing record to 10-0 with a 6-round
unanimous decision over DeShong (146 rds).
On August 11, 1999 in New Orleans, Louisiana,
Mitzi Jeter (145½ lbs) of Dalton, Georgia moved her own pro record to 11-3-1
with a ten-round decision over DeShong (146 lbs) whose record dropped to 13-6.
This would be Andrea's last pro fight.
DeShong had said that her eventual goal was to start a natural medicine
practice and to live close to nature. She spoke of wanting to live in a
log cabin on 100 acres somewhere in the mountains.
To check out fight reports, complete up-to-date boxing records, with huge digital photos you can go to
the WBAN Records Member Site
Page last updated:
Friday, 09 August 2013