5'3" 118-lb southpaw Ada
"Ace" Velez (b. Sept 15 1970) is from Puerto Rico and boxes
Hollywood, Florida. She was originally trained by former IFBA and WIBF
featherweight champion Bonnie Canino
and Bert Rodriguez
but is now trained at Warriors Gym in Hollywood by Isiah Clark and
She posted an 8-0 record as an
and won the 119-lb gold medal at the 1999 USA Boxing Women's Nationals
with a 13-2 defeat of California's Jamie Baron.
Ada made her pro debut
on August 21, 1999 at the National Guard Armory in West Palm Beach,
Florida, with a
second-round KO of Jocelyn Fontanella of Vero Beach, who fell to 0-2.
On June 30, 2000 at Gold
Strike Casino in Tunica, Mississippi, she won
a four-round unanimous decision over
Ohio veteran Sue Chase (a former kickboxer and Christy Martin opponent
whose overall pro boxing record fell to a staggering 1-22-1 with this
October 8, 2000 in Chicago, Illinois, she scored a second-round TKO
over local favorite
Jimi Chartrand of Joliet, Illinois, who slipped to 1-1-1.
On October 18, 2000 at the
Angelo Dundee Training Center in Davie, Florida,
Ada (121¾ lbs) TKO'd Pamela Opdyke (123½ lbs) of New Orleans, Louisiana
at 1:45 of the
fourth round in a scheduled six-round bout. Opdyke fell to 0-6.
On November 15, 2000
at the Angelo Dundee Center in Davie, Florida, she weighed in at 119
lbs and TKO'd
of Maryland at 1:48 in the second round of a scheduled four-round bout.
According to the report I received from Ryan Wissow,
"Velez dazzled Foster, then administered a beating
on (her) in the
second round ... Foster turned away and said "no mas".
Foster's record fell to 2-3-1.
won her first pro title on December 15, 2000 at
the War Memorial Auditorium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Velez weighed in at 120 lbs and
won the WIBF North American junior featherweight title by a
unanimous (80-72,80-72,80-71) eight-round decision over
(122¼ lbs) of Austin, Texas.
Velez opened a deep gash over
Tenberg's left eye in the second round and pummeled her
for the rest of the bout. "I knew she was very strong,"
said Velez, "I knew she wasn't going to be knocked out.
It was a tough fight. Hopefully, this is the beginning of
many, many belts." Tenberg fell to 4-3 with the loss.
On January 19, 2001 at the
Soaring Eagle Casino in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan,
Ada weighed in at 117 lbs and won the IBA Bantamweight title
with a unanimous (97-93,99-91,100-90) 10-round decision over the
IBA's Junior Bantamweight champion, Kathy
Williams (5'5", 117¾ lbs)
of Thunder Bay, Canada. Velez used her speed to get inside against
Williams, beat her to the punch, and get
away without taking much in return. Williams came closest to solving
Velez's southpaw style in the
second and third rounds using her own hand speed, but she wasn't able
to keep this up.
Velez controlled the later going and wore her more experienced foe down
with her right.
Williams, who had taken the fight at six days' notice, was gracious in
her praise for Velez after the bout, stating that Ada had surprised her
with her skills. Williams, herself a former national amateur champion,
fell to 12-3 (4 KO's) as a pro boxer with the loss.
Ada Velez was named WBAN's
Fighter of the Month in February 2001.
On June 29, 2001 at Dover
Downs Racetrack in Dover, Delaware,
Ada maintained a perfect 8-0 (4 KO's) record
with a four-round majority (40-36,40-36,38-38) decision over Jamillia
Lawrence of Atlantic City,
who dropped to 7-5 (4 KO's). This was also a hard-fought bout, with
Velez landing the harder shots
throughout but Lawrence challenging her hard, especially in the final
round. Trainer Bonnie Canino told WBAN: "Ada Velez did real good, since she had a
car accident three weeks ago with a badly sprained ankle, which she
wasn't able to practice on till last week. Jamilla threw a lot of power
punches as Ada was able to block and escape from her power punches. Ada
returned the same punishment back to Jamilla . Ada's skills pulled
through the fight showing why she is the champ."
On November 16, 2001 at the Convention Center in
Ada won the WIBA 122-lb world title by outboxing unbeaten
Mary Elizabeth Ortega
of Kansas City for a clear ten-round unanimous (96-93,98-91,98-91)
decision. Velez bloodied Ortega's nose but Ortega gave her a good fight
all the way to a rousing toe-to-toe finish in the final round.
Ortega slipped to 19-1 (4 KOs).
On January 25, 2002 at Walter
C. Young Pavilion in Pembroke Pines, Florida:
Ada (120 lbs) stopped a badly overmatched Angie Bordelon (120½ lbs)
of New Orleans
at 1:54 in the second round. Velez sent Bordelon to the canvas twice in
before the bout was stopped. Bordelon fell to
2-6-0 (0 KO). This questionable piece of matchmaking on a home-state
card didn't do much to prepare her for her next fight,
against her toughest opponent yet ...
On June 21, 2002 at the
Convention Center in Waco, Texas,
Melissa Salamone (Del
Valle) (120¾ lbs)
proved that she's still a major force in women's boxing by coming down
to win a solid ten-round unanimous (97-93,97-93,99-91) decision Ada
(then #2 Ranked Junior Featherweight, 121½ lbs) for the
WIBA 122-lb title. Melissa was the aggressor for most of the bout and
down with a steady body attack and effective work inside.
Salamone/Del Valle moved to 26-0-1 (11 KO).
On July 18, 2002 at the Rose
Garden in Portland, Oregon,
IFBA Featherweight champion and #4 ranked Featherweight
of Las Vegas, Nevada fought
Ada Velez to a six-round majority draw (58-56 Velez,57-57,57-57) in a
McCarter moved to 11-7-4 (2 KOs) with her second bout in a week.
On November 9, 2002 at South
Florida Fairgrounds in West Palm Beach, Florida,
Ada Velez advanced to 11-1-1 (6 KO) with a fourth-round TKO of Rolanda
Andrews of Atlanta, Georgia, who fell to
6-6-0 (3 KO) with the loss. Velez was the aggressor throughout the
fight and Andrews wasn't able to handle
her fast pace, although they both traded some solid leather at close
quarters. The fight was
stopped in the fourth after Andrews took a number of hard shots without
WBAN’s Inside reporter said that
"in the first round, Ada came out and felt Rolanda's abilities and
finished strong in the last 30 seconds to win the round on the judges'
scorecard. In the second round, Ada proceeded to keep a fast and
relentless pace and worked Rolanda’s body. In the third round, Ada came
out again with a fast pace and almost stopped Rolanda with hooks and an
uppercut to the chin---Rolanda grabbed and held, but Ada did not grab
back and she worked her punches in close. In the fourth round, Ada
resumed the aggression with a barrage of combinations throwing them at
all angles, Rolanda did not answer back, and took many hard punches, so
the referee jumped in and stopped the bout. Ada and Rolanda’s fight was
of the most exciting fights on the card."
In action vs. LaKeysha Williams, December 2002
December 20, 2002 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida,
Velez had trouble making the 118 lb weight for a defense of her
IBA Bantamweight title ... but then had no trouble scoring a 10-round
unanimous (100-90,100-90,100-90) decision over LaKeysha Williams (118
lbs) of Philadelphia to retain the belt. Williams fell to 6-5-1 (1 KO).
On March 29, 2003 at Seminole
Indian Casino in Coconut Creek, Florida, Ada (120 lbs) won by a
disqualification over former IFBA Junior Featherweight champion
(120 lbs) of Pawling, New York at 1:18 in the seventh
round. Referee Armando Garcia had previously deducted
two points from Brown for holding. Velez progressed to 13-1-1 (6 KO)
while Brown fell to 10-11-0 (4 KO).
On June 28, 2003 at Coconut
Creek Casino in Miami, Florida, Ada (118 lbs) won the vacant WIBA
Bantamweight title Delia Gonzalez
(114½ lbs) of Chamberino, New Mexico was disqualified for excessive
holding at 1:25 in the seventh round. Gonzalez
had had two points deducted in the earlier rounds for holding before
being disqualified by referee Armando Garcia.
Gonzalez apparently had no answer for Velez except trying to tie her
up. Gonzalez fell to 13-9-4 (3 KO).
On October 30, 2003 at
Seminole Coconut Creek Casino in Hollywood, Florida,
Ada (118 lbs) and Lisa Brown
(5'2", 116½ lbs) of Ontario, Canada fought to a
ten-round majority draw in a hard-fought bout for
Velez's WIBA Bantamweight world title. After a feeling-out round, the
two southpaws went toe to toe with
Brown's back to the ropes in the second. Brown used the ring better in
the third and her footwork and
defensive skills negated Velez's aggression and earned her points on
the scorecards in the middle rounds.
The crowd was solidly behind the Puerto Rican and local resident Velez
but Brown's slick boxing skills
held her in check. Velez pushed the pace in the late going and wobbled
Brown once in the final round, but
Brown had done enough to earn the decision on one judge's card. The
scorecards were 96-94 for Brown, and
two cards even at 95-95. Brown, the IWBF Bantamweight champion,
remained undefeated at 8-0-2 (3 KO).
Lisa Brown offered Velez a
rematch in Canada or the USA and said she would put her IWBF belt on
line if Velez accepts the return engagement.
On January 17, 2004 at
Radisson SAS hotel in Aarhus, Denmark, Anita
Christensen (117¾ lbs) of Randers,
Denmark won a controversial split (93-97,97-94,96-95) decision over
Ada. Velez had weighed in at 117½ lbs in this
ten-rounder for the WIBA and WIBF Bantamweight titles. Christensen was
knocked down in the eighth round
and Velez was the aggressor for much of the fight. WIBA official Ryan
that he scored the bout 96-93 in favor of Velez and adds that "This
was not a good
decision in my opinion. I thought Velez won the fight, as did most of
the media ringside. I am going to
strongly recommend a rematch to the promoter."
Adding to the controversy, both judges who called the fight for
Christensen were from Denmark, while the judge who called it for Velez
was from Finland. Velez was unhappy with the decision and left the ring
without congratulating Christiansen, who advanced to 15-0-0 (6 KO).
Velez returned to the ring in
saying "It's not about the money ... the money is
not out there. There is not much respect out there for women's boxing.
I am doing this for the love of the sport. This is about a little
unfinished business I have left in the ring. This time I leave the
sport, I want to leave on top. I want my son to be proud of me. I just
came back to the gym to stay in shape and the next thing I know Bonnie
(Canino) is telling me I still have it in me. When I came back and
started sparring with the guys my confidence came back. I was hurt when
they took that decision away from me in Denmark. I fought my heart out
and they took that decision away from me."
On August 10, 2007 on ESPN2 “Friday Night Fights” at
the Expo Center in Springfield, Missouri, USA Jeri
Sitzes (126 lbs) of Springfield won a six-round unanimous
(59-55,59-55,58-56) decision over Ada (127 lbs) of Hollywood,
Florida. This was a comeback fight for the 36-year-old Velez
after a three-and-a-half year layoff from competition. Sitzes, who was the
WBAN #4 ranked featherweight,
improved her record to 13-6-1 (5 KOs) while Velez fell to
14-3-2 (6 KOs).
Ada Velez and Jackie Chavez, Sept. 2007
photograph by J.B.Gallegos
courtesy Fresquez Productions
On September 21, 2007 at the Santa Ana Star Casino
in Bernalillo, New Mexico, Ada Velez (122 lbs) won a
six-round majority (58-56,58-56,57-57) decision over Jackie Chavez (122 lbs) of Los
Lunas, New Mexico. Velez wasn't slowed by anything that a busy Chavez
threw, but was more effective with her own punches. Chavez's
ineffective opening right appeared to be her undoing. Chavez
9-4-0 (3 KOs).
(For more fight photos by J.B.Gallegos, see
on the WBAN
On November 24, 2007 at
Paragon Casino and Resort in Marksville, Louisiana, Ada Velez (121½
lbs) won a ten-round unanimous (97-93,98-92,100-90) decision over Kasha Chamblin (121½ lbs) of
Lafayette, Louisiana for the vacant IBA Junior Featherweight
title. Chamblin fell to 10-2 (2 KOs) with the loss.
On January 21, 2010 at San
Manuel Indian Casino in Highland, California, Ada Velez (121½ lbs)
to competition and fought to a six-round majority draw with 21-year-old
(120¾ lbs) of Moreno Valley, CA. According to a fight
report by David Avila, "West opened fast with
several left hook follow ups that caught Velez flush. A few body shots
added some steam to her attack as the Californian captured the first
round pretty decisively. The second round saw West fight from the
outside and score with some quick right hands from outside and some
loud booming punches to the body. Inside the fighting was even with
Velez finally landing a resounding right hook at the bell. Velez
changed direction in the third round and began to attack the body.
Several double right hooks to the body and head landed flush. During
the middle both fighters worked each others body with West also landing
several double hooks to the body and head. Several clean punches by
West finished off the round. West opened the fourth round by catching
Velez walking into a left hook flush on the jaw. The Puerto Rican took
the blow and walked inside as both traded blows to the body with equal
verve. It was a close round but that left hook by West was the best
punch of the round. Velez had her best round yet as West seemed to slow
down in the fifth round. Working the body and head Velez pressed the
action as West used her jab from the outside to keep Velez at bay. The
Florida based fighter scored most of the punches as she pressed the
action and kept the fight inside. A number of times both fighters
clashed heads with West backing up with a grimace each time they
collided. In the final round Velez opened fast as West tried to keep
her spacing. With some good combinations to the body and head Velez
kept the fight at her pace and distance. West rallied in the middle
with a solid left hook and some combos but with mere seconds remaining
Velez landed just enough to win her the final round. Judge Jerry Cantu
scored it 59-55 for West but judges Marty Denkin and Jose
Cobian had it 57-57 for a majority draw." West moved her record to
11-1-1 (2 KOs),
On February 27, 2010 at the Electricians Union
Hall, in Miami, Florida, Ada Velez (121 lbs) won a six-round
unanimous decision over Stacey
"Stay-Lo" Reile of Miami. WBAN was told that this
fight was the best bout on the card and was a great fight that
rekindled the audience's passion for boxing, especially women's
improved her record to 17-3-3 (6 KO's) while dropping Reile to 9-2 (4
world champion and trainer Bonnie Canino told WBAN, "Velez
and her team have great respect for Stacy Reile. She demonstrated great
heart and is a good representative for the sport. Ada Velez is looking
for her next fight to be at 118, where she will dominate anyone who
December 10, 2010 at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kansas
Ada Velez (117¼
lbs) won a six-round unanimous decision over local boxer Mary
Elizabeth Ortega (116¾
Ortega fell to 31-6-2 (8 KO's).
On March 31, 2011 at National Stadium in San Jose, Costa Rica, Ada won
the vacant IBF Junior Featherweight title
with a close, exciting ten-round split decision over previously
undefeated Melinda Cooper
of Las Vegas, Nevada. Velez
used an accurate jab with great precision and intelligence to
come out on the winning side of a 96-94,96-94,94-96 split
decision over Cooper who dropped
to 21-1 (11 KO's).
Melinda Cooper vs Ada Velez in November 2011
© Copyrighted photo taken by Mary Ann Owen
November 20, 2011 at Texas Station Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, Ada
Velez (122 lbs) repeated her win over Melinda Cooper (121 lbs) for
Featherweight title by a majority decision over ten rounds.
that: "This time around, it
wasn’t even close – barring one official’s even scorecard. The
41-year-old veteran Velez not only her retained her IBF super bantam
strap, but used it to issue Cooper a spanking. Velez
could not miss. Every time she raised her glove, it collided with
Cooper’s face, embarrassingly so. To her credit, though, round after
round, Cooper came forward, trying to brawl her way back into a fight
completely out of her control. For
the first five rounds, the southpaw Velez made Cooper look clumsy and
slow, whether she was trading with the Las Vegas favorite toe-to-toe,
or boxing circles around her. Refusing to quit, Cooper
bit down and made the last half of the fight a little closer, forcing
Velez to trade and never taking a step back. Picking up one or two
rounds for her efforts, Cooper's only success was hurling her smaller
foe to the canvas, wrestling-style, in the sixth. Velez continued to
pot-shot, outbox and even outslug her in most of the exchanges. Two
judges saw the domination, scoring it 98-92 and 97-93 while the third,
somehow, saw an
even fight, 95-95, making Velez the winner by majority decision."
Velez improved to 20-3-3 (6 KO's) while dropping Cooper's record to
21-2 (11 KO's).
(For more fight photos by Mary Ann Owen, see
on the WBAN
On March 24, 2012 at the Palacio de Deportes in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Katy WIlson Castillo (121½ lbs) of Santo Domingo won a ten-round unanimous (98-92,97-93,97-93) decision over Ada Velez (121½ lbs) for the IBF Junior Featherweight title. The win improved Castillo's pro record to 15-1 (9 KO's).
On January 24, 2013 at the
Coca-Cola Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Jessica Rakoczy (122
of Las Vegas, Nevada won a ten-round unananimous (99-90x3) decision
over Ada Velez (122 lbs) for the vacant WIBA Junior Featherweight
According to Michele Emrick of the Nashville Boxing Examiner:
"Rakoczy dominated the fight from bell to bell,
scoring a knockdown in the first round. When the end came, all three
judges had the same score of 99-90. Dewey Cooper, who trains Jessica Rakoczy
was pleased with the performance (saying) 'Jessica controlled the entire fight.
She got headbutted with 1 second left in the 9th round and got a pretty severe
cut over her right eye, but the lopsided score was a direct indication
of the way the fight went.' The first round knockdown seemed to have an affect
on Velez as she fought passively for the remainder of the fight. This
allowed Rakoczy to control the action, leaving little room for any
other scores than those the judges gave." The win advanced Rakoczy's pro boxing record to
33-3 (12 KO's) while Velez fell to 20-5-3 (6 KO's).
More Ada Velez Links
To check out fight reports,
complete up-to-date boxing records, with huge digital photos you can go
the WBAN Records
last updated: Monday, 4 February 2013