Born in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho on March 2, 1963,
5'3" bantamweight Brenda Burnside grew up fighting because
she had three brothers who trained her to be tough.
After training in karate, she fought in her first
boxing match at the age of 19 at an amateur fight night
in a tavern in Idaho. But she became serious
about boxing when she moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1995,
and turned professional in 1997, at age 34.
She says boxing is the most challenging sport
she's been involved in, and enjoys it because the feeling of
confidence that it gives her is "a real high".
Brenda's pro boxing career got off to a rocky start as she
lost a four-round decision to Diane Ramirez in Houston, Texas on August 8,
1997, a four-round unanimous decision to Valory Troike (115 lbs)
in Las Vegas on October 22, 1997,
and another four-round unanimous decision to Troike (117½ lbs)
in Las Vegas on November 26, 1997.
On February 6, 1998 at Arizona Charlie's in Las Vegas,
she endured her fourth straight loss as a pro boxer when
she was stopped by Sandra Yard (5'8", 124 lbs) of
at 0:46 of the fourth round. Brenda fought this bout at
On March 12, 1998 at the Sweeney Convention Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico:
Brenda won a four-round split decision over Santa Fe bantamweight
On April 18, 1998 again at Arizona Charlie's, she weighed in at 117˝ lbs and notched her
second win with a unanimous four-round decision over Dolores Lira
(116½ lbs) of Boise, Idaho.
On June 3, 1998 in Worley, Idaho she TKO'd Sue Chase of Ohio in the fifth round.
On June 14, 1998 in Coachella, California, she boxed to a
4-round draw with Gloria Ramirez of El Paso, Texas..
August 15, 1998 at Arizona Charlie's, she weighed in at 116˝ lbs and stopped Karina Hernandez Gastelum (115 lbs) of Culiacan,
Mexico, at 0:50 in the fourth round of a scheduled six-rounder.
Brenda dominated the first three rounds and ended the fight
with a left-right combination that sent Hernandez (5-3-1, 4 KO’s)
to the canvas after a delayed reaction.
On September 19, 1998 at Arizona Charlie's,
Brenda won by a fourth-round TKO over Copitzi Mendivil of
On October 17, 1998 at Arizona Charlie's, she weighed
in at 118½ lbs and battled Jayla Ortiz
(118½ lbs) of Santa Fe, New Mexico to a six-round draw.
On November 12, 1998 in Kansas City, Missouri, local
flyweight star Mary Elizabeth Ortega moved her own pro
record to a perfect 8-0 with 2 KO's with a 6-round unanimous
decision over Brenda.
On January 23, 1999 in Ruidoso, New Mexico,
Brenda moved her pro record to 5-5-2 (3 KO's)
with a 2nd-round TKO over Imelda Arias of Juarez,
On March 13, 1999 at Madison Square Garden in New York City,
she lost an eight-round split (57-57, 59-57, 58-56)
decision to former IFBA bantamweight champion
Bridgett Riley of Sherman Oaks, California.
This was a non-title fight buried too deep on a Don King card
headed by Lewis vs. Holyfield to be included in the
PPV broadcast. Riley moved to 8-2 with the win.
On June 16, 1999 in New Orleans, Louisiana, Brenda dropped a
ten-round unanimous (98-91, 98-90, 100-89) decision to
Margaret Sidoroff of Canada, who
moved her own record to 5-0 with the win.
On August 14, 1999 in Sturgis, South Dakota,
Brenda dropped a tough 10-round unanimous decision to
of Thunder Bay, Ontario for a "Great Northern" title.
Kathy's well-honed boxing skills and reach advantage
were more than a match for Burnside's charging style in the early
rounds, but Burnside came on strongly at the end of the fourth
and gave the Canadian star all she could handle in the late
going. Burnside dominated on the inside for the last four
rounds and Williams was forced to hang on to slow her down.
Burnside kept the pressure on and Williams ended the fight
shaken up and bloody. The judges' call wasn't well
received by many at ringside. Williams advanced to 9-0
with the win.
On November 18, 1999 at the Gold Strike Casino in Tunica, Mississippi,
Brenda (115 lbs) won a four-round unanimous (40-36, 40-37, 40-36) decision
over Rose Johnson
(117 lbs) of Rockville, Maryland, who fell to 2-3-2.
On December 4, 1999 at the Chinook Winds Casino in Lincoln City, Oregon
Brenda lost a four-round unanimous decision to
Kelsey Jeffries of Gilroy, California, who moved her own
pro record to 3-0 with the win.
Burnside charged from a crouching style that could not get her
past Jeffries's crisp jabs and hooks and good lateral movement.
Brenda took plenty of punishment in this one as Jeffries
controlled the fight on the way to a 40-46, 40-35, 39-37
decision. The loss dropped Brenda to 7-9-2 overall as a pro boxer.
On February 17, 2000 at the Coeur d'Alene Tribal Bingo and Casino in Worley, Idaho,
2700 fans saw Para Draine (108 lbs) of Spokane, Washington
score a six-round split decision over Brenda (115 lbs).
Burnside knocked Drained down with a straight right
in the fourth round after Draine had dominated the early going.
It was the first time the wiry Draine has been on the canvas in
her pro career. Brenda later said she thought she had won
the fight, but added that "it was a lot of fun and I'm not
discouraged. It's great being a pioneer in a sport."
On October 14, 2000 at Kölnarena in Köln, Germany,
14,000 spectators saw WIBF Junior Bantamweight champion
Daisy Lang (114½ lbs) of Bulgaria win a ten-round
unanimous (100-91,100-91,96-94) decision over
Brenda to retain her title. Lang moved her pro record
to 12-1 (6 KO's) with the win; Burnside fell to 7-11-2 (3 KO's) and later
announced her retirement
from pro boxing competition.
Brenda has taught beginning boxers at Albuquerque's
Fourth Street Gym and trained at the Jack Candelaria Community Center
(where Johnny Tapia began his career) and at A Woman's Place, Irene
Garcia's all-women's gym where world champion Trina
Ortegon got her start in boxing. Her workout includes
running at high altitudes and weight training. Like many
professional female boxers, Brenda spars with men. She was also trained in Las Vegas by Allie Krueger, who trained
world champion Hannah Fox.
has lived in France, in
Reno, Nevada and in Albuquerque. She has worked as
a medical technician and in search and rescue for a
sheriff's department, and would like to open a
women's gym and teach self-defense.
Other Brenda Burnside links
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