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
"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
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"
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
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.
On 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
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
(For more of Mary Ann
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 (118½ 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 (124½ 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
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.
"I’m 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, that’s 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).
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
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
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."
Other Bridgett Riley 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:
Saturday August 17, 2013