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Brenda "Tiger Lady" Bell Drexel, 5'2½", 140 lbs was born in Seguin, Texas on November 10, 1963 and now lives in San Marcos, Texas.

Brenda was chosen to be "WBAN Fighter of the Month" in November 2001, while she had 5-11-1 record. Why? Because Brenda truly represents the elite of guts, determination, and fearlessness in women's boxing.

Brenda began her boxing career in 1996 at the Broadway Boxing Gym in the Watts area of South Central Los Angeles, California. In 1997 she trained and was employed at the LA Boxing Club in downtown Los Angeles.

Brenda never fought as an amateur, but went straight to pro competition because her amateur book would not be valid after she turned 35.

She made her pro boxing debut at 173 lbs on January 28, 1998 at the Great Western Forum in Los Angeles against another pro debut fighter, Marsha Valley from Toronto, Ontario (5'10", 165½ lbs). Valley, who had gone 14-0 as an amateur in her native Canada,  won by unanimous decision over four rounds.

On June 14, 1998 in Coachella, California, Trina Ortegon of Albuquerque, New Mexico won a 6-round unanimous decision over Brenda, moving her own pro record to 4-1 (2 KO).

On July 11, 1998 at the Hilton in Reno, Nevada, Brenda advanced her pro record to 1-2 with a 4-round unanimous decision over Summer DeLeon of St. George, Utah, who was making her pro debut. According to one ringside correspondent, "it was a bombs-away fight right from the opening bell!"

On August 15, 1998 at Arizona Charlie's in Las Vegas, Trina Ortegon (157 lbs) of Albuquerque won a six-round split decision in a rematch with Brenda (160½ lbs), who was then fighting out of Los Angeles.  Ortegon improved to 5-1 (2 KO) with the win.

On October 17, 1998 at Seven Feathers Hotel and Casino Resort in Canyonville, Oregon, Ann Wolfe (157 lbs) of Austin, Texas won a tough, close four-round aplit decision over Brenda (161 lbs). This was Wolfe's pro debut, while Brenda dropped to 1-4. One judge called it 38-37 for Drexel, while the others both saw it as 38-37 for Wolfe.

On November 13, 1998 at Jackpot Junction in Morton, Minnesota, middleweight Diane Clark of Torrance, California won a 4-round unanimous decision over Brenda. Clark moved to 7-1 with 4 KO's while Brenda fell to 1-5.

In 1999 Brenda decided to move back to Texas and be trained in "a better environment and keep me mentally and physically strong to the fullest."

On November 20, 1999 at the Paradise Casino in Yuma, Arizona, a crowd estimated at approximately 2,000 saw Lisa Holewyne of Waco, Texas move to 6-4-1 with a four-round unanimous decision over Brenda. The first two rounds were close but Holewyne started to dominate in the third. and Brenda was cut over her right eye. Holewyne knocked Brenda down in the fourth round on the way to the decision, which dropped Brenda's record to 1-6.

On January 27, 2000 at Strahan Coliseum in San Marcos, Texas, Brenda (now 142 lbs) came out aggressively and never let up to win a four-round majority decision over Summer DeLeon (143 lbs) of St. George, Utah, who fell to 6-2-1. Brenda came out hard and nailed DeLeon with a flurry of body shots in the first round, then stunned her in the final seconds of the third round with a combination to the head. "I got her out of her game early on," Bell told a local newspaper reporter. "She never hurt me. I never really even felt her punches."

On February 25, 2000 at the Music Hall in Austin, Texas, Brenda weighed in at 140¼ lbs and continued her winning ways with a four-round majority decision over Lisa Holewyne (142 lbs) of Austin in a 141-lb bout that reversed the result of their November 20, 1999 match. Brenda was now 3-6, while Holewyne slipped to 7-5-1.

On April 14, 2000 at Casino Magic in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, A capacity crowd of 3,200 saw IBA Lightweight champion Jeanne Martinez of Slidell, Louisiana and Brenda fight to a technical draw. The scheduled six-rounder was stopped after the fourth round with Martinez cut on the side of her head by an accidental head butt. According to our correspondent, the cut was not over the eye and happened early in the round. Martinez finished the fourth but when she did not answer the bell the fight was ruled a draw. Martinez was then 12-4-2.

On June 30, 2000 at the Gold Strike Casino in Tunica, Mississippi, Brenda won a six-round unanimous decision over Maureen Henry of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. According to a ringside correspondent, "they could have fought in a phone booth ... both exchanged crowd pleasing shots. Bell was more active, throwing 97 punches in the third round." Maureen Henry slipped to 2-2 with the loss.

On August 5, 2000 at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisconsin, 2,750 fans saw Andrea Nelson (133 lbs) of Dodgeville, Wisconsin move to 4-0 (2 KO's) with a four-round unanimous (39-37,39-37,39-37) decision over Brenda (135 lbs) on the undercard of an HBO men's title bout event.

On November 19, 2000 in Deurne-Antwerpen, Belgium, veteran Belgian junior welterweight Daniëlla Somers won a hard-fought eight-round unanimous (79-76,78-75,78-77) decision over Brenda. Somers had to work hard to place the final win on her 12-3 pro boxing record before a home audience, in what she had planned all along as her retirement bout. Bell fell to 4-8-1 with the loss.

On January 25, 2001 at the Centennial Garden Arena in Bakersfield, California, WIBF Intercontinental Super Lightweight champion Lisa Holewyne (5'8", 140 lbs) of Crawford, Texas moved to 12-7-1 (5 KO's) with a majority (58-56,58-56,57-57) six-round decision over Brenda (138 lbs), who fell to 4-9-1. I'm told that Brenda controlled the first three rounds, but the taller Holewyne eventually solved her style and did just enough to eke out the win. There were no knockdowns in a tough match between two contrasting styles (which led to frequent clinches and tie-ups) but plenty of solid punches were landed by both fighters. This bout was the night's co-main event, and one correspondent tells me it was "a very worthy match" for that ranking.

 On May 18, 2001 at the Palace Ballroom in Calgary, Canada, Calgary's own Jaime Clampitt (5'5", 138½ lbs) won a hard-fought four-round unanimous (40-37,39-37,40-36) decision over Brenda (137¼ lbs). Correspondent Kevin Cockle described this exciting bout as follows (full fight report here):

Brenda Bell Drexel vs. Jaime Clampitt"The first few seconds ... told you everything you needed to know about Brenda Bell Drexel. Walking straight in, clubbing alternate lefts and rights, she proceeded to back Jaime up all around the ring ... landing loud to the body and driving the Canuck into the corners and ropes with a chugging assault ... at the bell, ringsiders were palpably nervous for Jaime. The second was more of the same, but Clampitt began to execute better ...  now she stepped back with purpose, walking Brenda into punches, and putting some straight combinations together. The lateral movement was now working to set up Clampitt's counters and midway through the round, she landed a beautiful fish-hook right uppercut under Brenda's chin, lifting the bald pate straight up to cheers from the crowd. Back and forth the action surged - Brenda pounding away to the body and landing hard right hands to the head - Jaime cuter with her feet, chopping the hook and landing right uppercuts. In the third, Clampitt was putting everything together. Starting the round behind a stiff jab, Jaime issued straight combinations and continued to circle, turning her opponent and working at a blistering pace. Drexel refused to be discouraged, continuing to bull her way in and landing plenty, often turning Jaime's head with clubbing overhand rights. The fourth opened with that straight series of lefts and rights to the face from Clampitt which quickly evolved into Jaime improvising to deal with Drexel's constant pressure. Clampitt went to the body with spearing right hands - Drexel answered with a bashing left hook flush on the jaw. No clinching ... Drexel didn't so much cut off the ring as simply close distance, willing to pay the price to get off herself. At the bell, both women were breathing hard, having jammed eight rounds of action into four all too brief heats of punching ... Drexel was coming forward the entire time, but Jaime did have some success in using that momentum against her. Both women landed clean power shots, although Clampitt's offense was more varied. Jaime's defence was better; Drexel could have been fresher at the end. The judges saw it unanimously in favour of Clampitt via scores of 40-36, 39-37 and 40-37, of which 39-37 seemed the most just. Drexel ... is to be commended for coming hundreds of miles to a foreign country and giving a very strong crowd favourite all she could handle."

Warren Rutherford of Canadian Pro Boxing Scene), who took the photo at right, scored this fight dead even and suggested to me that in Brenda's home town the scores might have gone her way! Clampitt moved to 4-1 as a pro boxer with the win.

On June 29, 2001 at Dover Downs Racetrack in Dover, Delaware, Vienna Williams of Philadelphia moved to 6-1 (2 KO's) with a hard-fought eight-round unanimous (77-73,77-74,76-75) decision over Brenda. FightNews reporter Rick Scharmberg wrote "This fight was extremely difficult to score, as there were no clinches and nonstop punching by both warriors. Williams played matador to Drexel’s bull. Drexel moved forward, constantly applying pressure, while Williams delivered right crosses, left jabs, and right uppercuts in an almost non-stop fashion. The fight was punctuated by Williams scoring an official knockdown in the second (ringside consensus saw a slip), and a clean knockdown off a big right cross with 10 seconds left in the bout. Women’s boxing can only become more popular with exciting fights like this."

On October 26, 2001 at Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas, Brenda won a six-round unanimous decision over Snodene Blakeney of Austin in a lightweight bout. Bell Drexel was the aggressor and overcame Blakeney's reach advantage with her trademark pressure on the inside. Blakeney fell to 10-8-0 with the loss.

On March 22, 2002 at the Civic Center in Savannah, Georgia, lightweight Chevelle Hallback of Tampa, Florida advanced to 6-3-1 (4 KO) with a six round unanimous (58-56,60-55,60-54) decision over Brenda. My correspondent writes that Chevelle won this one by using her speed and quickness to good effect against the always-hard-charging Brenda, who fell to 5-12-1 with the loss.

On April 27, 2002 again in Savannah, Georgia: Chevelle Hallback (132¾ lbs) advanced to 7-3-1 (4 KO) with another six-round unanimous (60-55,60-54,60-55) decision over Brenda (140 lbs), Texas who fell to 5-13-1 (0 KO). There were no knockdowns but both landed some good shots throughout the fight.

On May 7, 2002 in Little Rock, Arkansas, Patricia Demick (138 lbs) of Hallandale Beach, Florida advanced to 7-3-1 (5 KO) with a six-round split decision over Brenda. Demick started this fight cautiously against the always-aggressive Brenda but began to step up her pace in the second round, landing some effective combinations while Brenda counterpunched.  After three rounds with a lot of clinching, Demick stepped up her game in the sixth, landing combinations that prevented Bell Drexel from getting in close.

On June 29, 2002 at Civic Center in Savannah, Georgia, Chevelle Hallback from Tampa, Florida advanced to 9-3-1 (5 KO) with a TKO over Brenda when the ringside physician stopped the fight after the fourth round. According to Savannah sportswriter Donald Heath, "Hallback looked like the Energizer Bunny, peppering a game, but over-matched Brenda Drexel."

On October 3, 2002 at Strahan Coliseum, South West Texas State U., San Marcos, Texas, veteran Gloria Ramirez (137¾ lbs) and Brenda (138¾ lbs) fought to a split decision draw, with one judge calling it for each fighter and the third scoring it a draw. Ramirez is now 9-11-5 (2 KO).

On November 9, 2002 at South Florida Fairgrounds in West Palm Beach, Florida, IFBA lightweight champion Brenda Vickers of Tampa, Florida won a six-round unanimous decision over Brenda. Vickers tried to box on the outside throughout this fight and used her reach advantage to keep the aggressive Bell Drexel at bay. Vickers improves to 6-4-0 (1 KO) with the win.

On January 31, 2003 at Harriet Himmel Gilman Theatre, West Palm Beach, Florida, Melissa (Salamone) Del Valle won a six-round unanimous (60-54) decision over Brenda in a (compromise?) lightweight bout. Del Valle advanced to 27-0-1 (11 KO) with this win.

On March 8, 2003 at Lincoln Theater in Washington, DC, Isra Girgrah (131 lbs) of Hyattsville, Maryland won by a sixth-round TKO over Brenda (138 lbs). Bell Drexel faded after the first round and was leaning on Girgrah throughout much of the bout. Girgrah dropped Bell Drexel in the fourth, and said "She surprised me after that first knockdown that she was able to get back up on come on strong.” Girgrah is now 23-3-2 (11 KO).

On May 2, 2003 at Foxwoods Casino, Mashantucket, Connecticut, Melissa Fiorentino (142 lbs) of Cranston, Rhode Island moved up in weight and won a four-round unanimous (40-36,40-36,40-36) decision over Brenda (147 lbs). Fiorentino is now 6-0 (4 KO). 5-19-2 (0 KO). Fiorentino, who was the 2000 USA Boxing National 139-lb amateur champion and 2000 National Golden Gloves 132-lb runner-up, had been sidelined since the previous December after pulling ligaments in her foot during training. I'm told that this bout was originally contracted for 135 lbs and that Fiorentino weighed in at 134 but then agreed to move up to keep the bout on the card after Bell Drexel came in at 150.

On June 28, 2003 at Jarrell's Gym in Savannah, Georgia, Chevelle Hallback of Savannah breezed to a six-round unanimous (60-54,60-54,60-54) decision over Brenda, who took the fight at short notice. "Her style is a little different now than it was when we first fought," said Bell Drexel, "She uses her quickness and she has a right hand you really have to look out for. There were times out there I was like, 'Where'd she go now?' And then that right hand would find you. Most of the top women have speed, but Chevelle has power and speed and I felt it." Hallback advanced to 17-3-1 (7 KO) with her twelfth straight win in Savannah.

On September 21, 2003 at Marriott Hotel, Bristol, UK, Jane Couch (5'8") of Fleetwood, U.K. won a ten-round (99-92) decision over Brenda. This was not an easy win for Couch despite the lop-sided score, as Brenda forced her to work hard. Couch said after the fight, "She was very, very strong. I tried to get involved in a fight early on to go the short route and my trainer said 'forget it'. In the end I had to go the long way and box her. I was really tired, but the crowd kept me going." Couch used her reach and height advantage to control the first three rounds but Brenda came ready to mix it up at close quarters, tagged Couch with a hard right hook in the fourth, and came on well in the sixth. In the later rounds Bell Drexel's punching became less accurate as she tired, so that Couch was able to take the fight long and mount a high-pressure finish to make sure of the decision. Jane Couch improved her record to 21-5-0 (8 KO) with the win.

On December 21, 2003 at Marriott Hotel in Bristol, UK, Jane Couch won an eight-round unanimous 80-73 decision over Brenda in a welterweight bout. After a feeling-out opening round, Couch controlled the second and third with well-timed jabs and right hooks to the head of Bell Drexel. Couch connected with punishing combinations to the American's head and body in the fourth but Bell Drexel landed stood her ground and returned fire at close quarters. Couch stepped up her work rate as Bell Drexel flagged in the late rounds but could not put the durable Texan away. Couch's trainer and manager Tex Woodward says: "Jane boxed more thoughtfully this time and was a clear winner, but Brenda must be given credit for never stopping trying, looking for that 'big punch' right up to the last bell. As last time it was a pleasure working with Brenda, and her trainer John Roppolo, they are both great ambassadors for boxing". Couch improved to 22-5-0 (8 KO).

On March 27, 2004 at Swinomish Casino in Anacortes, Washington, USA, Lisa Holewyne (154 lbs) won a six-round unanimous decision over Brenda (165 lbs). Both were fighting well above their usual weight range. Holewyne, who's normally competed between 140 and 147 lbs, improved to 20-11-1 (5 KO) with the win.

On October 1, 204 at Bayside Expo Center in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, Brenda (151 lbs) lost a rematch to Jaime Clampitt (142 lbs) by a unanimous (60-55, 59-55,59-55) six-round decision. Bell Drexel, who originally weighed in at 156 lbs, backed Clampitt up with body shots in the second round but Clampitt became more aggressive in the fourth and caught Bell Drexel with two hard overhand rights. Bell Drexel continued to come forward in the fifth and sixth but Clampitt's defense was equal to the task as she traded with the heavier Texan. (See the full WBAN fight report here). Clampitt moved to 14-3 (3 KO) while Bell Drexel fell to a deceptive 5-24-2 (0 KO) with the defeat.
Asked why she boxes, Brenda told me that "the former Tiger Lady and women of the 70's had intrigued me by being strong and not giving up as a woman. Women in position of excellence, because that is what we are today, our warriorness comes out and that is why I box ... to align myself, refine myself, define myself. I box to be heard. It is the attitude that I have, to fight for victory."

Brenda holds a black belt in Chung Moo Doe martial arts and a 3rd dan black belt in American Moo Duk Kwan-Tae Kwon Do. She fought in "Point" Karate in the 70's through the 90's and has won numerous events. She tells me that she is still training in martial arts as well as boxing.

"Cross training is powerful", says Brenda, "I spar with NABF champion Mike Trejo and all the other guys in the gym. There are no women here for me to spar, I stay toe to toe with the guys, no letting up. The guys are always helping me to improve on my speed, angling, counter punching and defense. Our conditioning days are challenging to all of us, that we hang strong in the hot climate of south central Texas. At times we train in temperatures of 100 to 110 degrees everyday, depending on the weather. The guys don't show favoritism because I am a woman, I am being treated the same way in our conditioning drills and sparring."

When not in the gym training, she enjoys bicycling.  Brenda will bike everywhere she goes! She said, "I run everywhere I go. My legs and bike is my only transportation.  I don't depend on vehicles, even though it will be nice to have a car. For now my foundation is strong, so the miles become intense and yet rewarding. Just a few of my training secrets, I say no more."

Brenda says she will always be ready to delight her audiences by applying a high level of pressure on her opponents.

She tells me that her family and friends are always there for her, and that being the first female pro boxer in town has given her true support.

Brenda plans to complete her studies toward a bachelor's degree in social work at St. Edwards University, and also does volunteer work for community service oriented organizations.

Brenda is "looking for fights soon at 140-145 lbs". She is trained by Elias Lopez and can be reached at telephone (512)-396-1359 or fax (512)-353-5750, or email to Tigerlady19@hotmail.com.

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Page last updated: Friday November 06, 2015


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