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Bridgett Riley
Copyrighted photo taken by Sue TL Fox

 
   

5'4" Bridgett "Baby Doll" Riley was born on May 13, 1973 in Oakville, Missouri, 30 miles south of St. Louis. The only girl in a family with three boys, Bridgett grew up in a competitive home environment. 

"My brother was the karate kid. Then I started going to his karate tournaments and I loved it. I saw girls fighting and the first time I saw a match, my heart was pounding. I immediately thought, 'I can beat those girls'". 

Bridgett, already a Class II champion gymnast, took up karate, then kickboxing and eventually boxing.  She has also been a St. Louis Storm (soccer) cheerleader, flight attendant and TV and movie stunt double. Her screen credits include "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie" (she was the Yellow Ranger, see right), "Triple Impact", "Scary Movie 2," "Walker, Texas Ranger," "VIP," "Charmed", "Dharma and Greg," and "The Scorpion King," in which she also had a small acting part.

As a kickboxer she lost only to Ramona Gatto, and to veteran  Bonnie Canino (a defeat that she later avenged).

She twice defeated then-U.S. kickboxing champion Denise Taylor. The first time was in her own pro kickboxing debut; her second win over Taylor was by kayo, breaking Taylor's nose on the way!

She recorded knockouts over Gina Hayes and over Canada's Olivia Gerula, and a 7-round points win over Australia's Stephanie Curtiss.

She has held world titles from the ISKA, the World Kick Boxing Association, and the International Kick Boxing Federation and compiled a 26-2 record with 14 knockouts.

She also suffered an unusual loss to Japan's Fujiko Ishimoto in a "shootfighting" contest.

Bridgett began her career as a pro boxer in 1994 by defeating Yvonne Trevino and went on to defeat Yvonne again in 1998 to win the IFBA bantamweight title. Later in 1998, she joined the growing stable of female boxers promoted by Don King Productions.

On December 6, 1994 in Laughlin, Nevada, she made her pro boxing debut with a four-round unanimous decision over Yvonne Trevino of Peoria, Arizona, who fell to 1-1. 

On May 16, 1996, in Long Beach, California, she won a 4-round unanimous decision over Del Pettis, who fell to 4-5-1.

On September 19, 1996 in Los Angeles, Bridgett was disqualified in the first round against Teresa Arnold of Boise, Idaho, for wearing contact lenses. Arnold moved to 8-0 with this win.

On April 12, 1997 in Long Beach, California, she defeated Diane Berry by TKO in a kickboxing bout when Berry failed to answer the bell for the second round. 

On May 17, 1997 in Reseda. California, she lost by a sixth-roundd TKO to Teresa Arnold because of a cut over her eye. Arnold improved to 10-0-1 with this second win over Bridgett.

Bridgett vs. Tina SpeakmanOn August 2, 1997 in Biloxi, Mississippi, she won an eight-round unanimous decision over Shirley Prescott from Winnipeg, Canada, who fell to 1-1. 
 

On October 24, 1997 in Lula, Mississippi, she won by a second-round TKO over Tina Speakman of Atlanta, Georgia who fell to 0-6.

 

On February 15, 1998 at the Grand Theatre in Biloxi, Mississippi, Bridgett (118 lbs) won the IFBA Bantamweight title with a 10-round unanimous decision over Yvonne Trevino (112 lbs) in a grueling match where Bridgett outfought Yvonne on the inside. Yvonne seemed intent on fighting Bridgett at close range where Riley's hooks were an effective counter to her southpaw style. Riley wore her down in a fast paced fight whose outcome was in little doubt as Yvonne tired in the later rounds. "I did not feel at any time during the fight that Trevino had "the play." She is a well conditioned athlete and keeps coming - but I felt in control of the fight the entire time. She never hurt me during the fight", said Riley, who improved her pro boxing record to 5-2-0 with the win.

 



Riley survived an early knockdown (top)
to KO Aicha Lahsen in the ninth
Copyrighted photos by Mary Ann Owen

On June 26, 1998 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Bridgett (117 lbs) defended the IFBA bantamweight title against Aicha Lahsen (118 lbs) from Liverpool, England. She survived a stunning first-round knockdown by a right that left her visibly wobbly and apparently in big trouble. But Lahsen could not put her away and Bridgett came back to dominate the later rounds before knocking the fading British boxer out in the ninth. "She HAD to pay for what she did to me in that first round," Bridgett told my correspondent Tom de Napoli, "That lit a fire in me like none other. I liked that passionate feeling. I would not settle for anything less than a KO."

Lahsen, who had been unbeaten as a kickboxer, was in her first pro boxing bout. (For more of Mary Ann Owen's photos, and video of this exciting fight see WBAN Photo Gallery #180 on the WBAN Records Member Site)

On December 5, 1998 at the Convention Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Bridgett (118 lbs) moved her record to 7-2 with an eight-round, unanimous decision over Tawayna Broxton (118 lbs) of Forest Park, Georgia who fell to 1-6. This was Bridgett's first fight promoted by Don King.

On March 13, 1999 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, Bridgett (117 lbs) won an eight-round split (57-57, 59-57, 58-56) decision over Brenda Burnside (118 lbs) of Albuquerque, New Mexico, who fell to 5-6-2. This was a non-title fight, and for most of the media, a non-fight, buried deep on a Don King card headlined by the Lewis vs. Holyfield fiasco. It was not included on the PPV broadcast.

On March 16, 1999, the IFBA declared the bantamweight title vacant because Bridgett had declined to defend it within a year of her win over Aicha Lahsen.

On September 24, 1999, at the MCI Center in Washington, D.C. Bridgett (115 lbs) advanced her pro record to 9-2 with a TKO at 0:48 of the first round over Donyale Williams (124 lbs) of Ashtabula, Ohio on another card promoted by Don King. Williams, who had never made it through the first round of any professional boxing bout, fell to 0-4 in a fight that tested the bottom of King's matchmaking barrel. Bridgett told us later that the match was confirmed at short notice and she knew nothing about Williams except that she was 0-3. "I just went in and did what I had to do", she says.

On April 13, 2000 at Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim, California, Bridgett stopped Del Pettis (120 lbs) of San Diego, California in the first round of a scheduled six-rounder to move her pro record to 10-2. Riley decked Pettis 20 seconds into the round with an overhand right to the chin. A looping right finished it later in the round. Pettis (whose pro record fell to 5-6 with the loss) had boxed professionally in the 1980's, but had been out of the ring from 1987 to 1995. She lost four fights in a row and left competitive boxing for another four years before attempting this comeback against Riley, who was also coming off a six-month absence from competition.


Bridgett Riley vs. Yolanda Gonzalez
Copyrighted photo taken by Mary Ann Owen

On December 7, 2001 at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California, Bridgett (115 lbs) returned from an 18-month layoff and won a controversial fifth round technical decision over Yolanda Gonzalez (113 lbs) of Newark, New Jersey in a scheduled eight-rounder. The fight was stopped early for an accidental head butt that caused a scalp cut to Riley.

Gonzalez appeared to get the better of the action except for a few good flurries by Riley, who was also cut over her right eye by a punch in the third, but the official scorecards stood at 49-46,49-46,48-47 in favor of Riley. "Im disappointed the fight was stopped like that," Riley told reporters, adding "I wanted to show more. I take fights into the deep water and then see what they can do, thats how I fight. I felt good but it was sloppy." The bout was carried live on ESPN2's Friday Night Fights. Riley's pro boxing record was now 11-2 (4 KOs) while Gonzalez slipped to 6-3 (3 KOs). [Fight analysis by Kevin Cockle]

Unfortunately for fans of serious women's boxing, Riley's next two fights were farces against hopelessly overmatched opponents.

On March 2, 2002 at Crown Reef Resort and Conference Center in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Bridgett charged across the ring and pummeled Linda Edwards of South Carolina to a TKO at 0:27 of the first round. Edwards turned her back to Riley after taking several hard shots, but was dropped as she tried to turn around. Edwards was rescued by the ring doctors; she fell to 0-4, all by first-round stoppage. "I felt confident coming into the fight, but you never know what can happen," said Riley, in just her second fight in two years.

On March 28, 2002 at the Plex in North Charleston, South Carolina, Bridgett KO'd pro debut fighter Karen Hutchenson of Wilson, North Carolina with a straight right at 0:35 in the opening round. Riley moved to 13-2 (6 KO's), thanking the crowd for their support and reminding them to "keep God #1".


Para Draine lands to Bridgett's body in November 2002
Copyrighted photo taken by Sue TL Fox

On November 14, 2002 at Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon, Former IWBF Flyweight champion Para Draine (115 lbs) of Spokane, Washington won a six-round unanimous (60-54, 59-55, 59-55) decision over Bridgett (115 lbs) in an elimination bout for the IFBA Junior Bantamweight title. Draine used excellent movement, ring savvy and an effective attack to Riley's body to hand Riley a convincing boxing lesson. Riley's left hook and aggressive style were no match for Draine's skills and accurate counterpunching in a bout that Draine controlled. Both fighters did some dirty work at close quarters, and Draine was warned twice for holding Riley behind the head. (See MPEG video here). Para Draine progressed to 12-5-1 (2 KO) and a shot at the IFBA title, which she won by a ten-round split decision over Marilyn Salcido.

On January 18, 2003 at RBC Center in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA, a crowd estimated at 2,500 saw Bridgett win a (60-52,59-53,59-53) unanimous decision in a six-round (3 min per round) battle with scrappy #20 ranked junior featherweight Angie Bordelon of New Orleans. Riley dropped Bordelon with a straight right in the second and followed it up with a left hook that left Bordelon on her back. Bordelon took an eight count but then "sprang up like she was shot out of a cannon" according to FightNews correspondent Jack Purcell. Bordelon then withstood the ensuing barrage from Riley over the next four rounds to go the distance. The fighters were given a standing ovation at the final bell. "I was trying to put combinations together, work and stay active," Riley said. "I was just listening to my trainer, Justin Fortune. I didn't expect the knockdowns. [Bordelon] is a very tough girl ... great for the sport. I just thank God for the win, and I'm excited to be coming back to Raleigh." Bordelon fell to 4-8-0 (0 KO).

On May 4, 2003 at Trump 29 Casino, Coachella, California, Bridgett advanced to 15-3-0 (7 KO) with a third-round TKO of unranked and blatantly overmatched Nicole Gallegos of Albuquerque, New Mexico, who fell to 0-3-1 (0 KO). Riley easily overpowered the wild-swinging Gallegos on her way to a TKO at 0:58 in the third. Riley attacked Gallegos with crisp combinations and left hooks to the head and body. Gallegos began to wilt in the second, and went to the canvas from a left-right combination. Riley pressed her attack hard in the third round to force the stoppage. "She was a little wild," said Riley of Gallegos, who had thrown in some desperate backfists while trying to keep Riley at bay. Gallegos hadn't fought in over a year. (See also the fight report and commentary on this bout by Sue TL Fox).

Bridgett described her training regimen as "Road work (running) w/ my team at 6:30 a.m., two to six days a week. And we go anywhere from 2 to 6 miles per session too. It varies as does the duration and endurance requirements of a boxing fight changes from round to round. My boxing training is three to six days a week." Riley's routine usually starts with a series of stretches to prepare her muscles for the work to come. Her trainers change up her routine to ensure a constant challenge, but it usually includes some configuration of heavy bag work for power, speed bags for coordination, endurance and timing, pad drills and sparring. And then there's 20 minutes or so of jump rope and abdominal exercises. "My weight training is two to three days a week up until a couple weeks before any scheduled fight. When traveling, I try to run as much as I can if I can't get to a gym."

Bridgett Riley is strongly guided by her Christian faith, telling reporter Tom De Napoli in an interview about her boxing career: "Whatever else the Lord allows to come to me. I basically want the Lord to continue to guide me, and I place my life in HIS hands. I will work hard, and He will do the rest."

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Page last updated: Saturday August 17, 2013

 
     
     
     
     
 

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