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Brenda Burnside


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 Coachella, California at 0:46 of the fourth round. Brenda fought this bout at 119½ lbs.

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 Jayla Ortiz.

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..

Brenda in Las VegasOn 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 Guamuchil, Mexico.

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, Mexico.

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 Kathy Williams 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.

Kelsey Jeffries vs. Brenda BurnsideOn 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.

Brenda 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.

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Page last updated: Friday, 06 November 2015


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