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Bridgett Riley

vs.
Bonnie Canino

and other Riley kickboxing fight reports for
Women's Boxing Page
by Erik Anderson

 
 


First of all, Bridgett "Baby Doll" Riley is my favorite female fighter right now. She is a great fighter and also quite beautiful. She originally wanted to be a gymnast but changed her mind when she went with her brother to a martial arts tournament. She became a kickboxer and trained at the Jet Center with Benny "The Jet" Urquidez's sister and former kickboxer, Lily Rodriguez. She fights in a peekaboo style with lots of bobbing and weaving.

I've seen two of her fights in their entirety, and highlights from another. The first bout I saw her in was against Gina "Fireball" Hayes. Here is how I saw the fight:

Round 1: Hayes came out aggressive in the first round and pushed Riley back to the ropes but Bridgett took over the round with counter-punching and landed several techniques to different parts of Hayes' body. Her best attack came at the end of the round when she landed a ball kick followed by a left hook that hurt Hayes. (Riley 10-9)

Round 2: Hayes again came out aggressive but, once again, she got caught by Riley's counter punching. Riley landed a huge ball kick to Gina's face that really hurt her midway through the round and another one with about 30 seconds left that stunned her again. Surprisingly, Hayes survived the round without going to the canvas but I gave a two point round to Bridgett because she dominated the action. (Riley 10-8)

Round 3: Riley hurt Hayes with leg kicks in this round and Gina started limping with about 30 seconds left in the round. Most of the damage came from kicks to the inside of Hayes' left thigh. Hayes went down with about 17 seconds in the round from an accumulation of punishment to the legs. She would have definitely gotten knocked out if the bell hadn't rung right as the referee restarted the action as she could barely walk back to her corner. (Riley 10-8)

Round 4: Hayes appeared to be pleading with her corner to continue and did answer the bell, surprisingly still with a little bit of bounce left in her step. Riley dominated the action again, mostly with punches and kicks to the inner left thigh of Hayes. She also landed a kick to the chest that made Gina fall back into the ropes. (Riley 10-8)

Round 5: The fight didn't last long after this. Riley came right out with a kick to the head and then bombarded Hayes with leg kicks until she finally went down from one to the inner left thigh. Hayes still wanted to continue after this, but could barely walk and her corner correctly decided to throw in the towel for her. Hayes showed a tremendous amount of courage and just wouldn't quit, but Riley was way too much for her on this occasion.

Next, Riley fought an unbeaten blonde Canadian fighter, named Olivia Gerula (5-0, 5 KO's). Gerula came out aggressive, like Hayes, but Riley's counter punching was, again, superior. This time, Riley used mostly her fists to get the knockout. She stunned Gerula with a straight right hand which stopped her from coming forward. Riley then landed a tremendous right-left combination staggering her opponent and the referee gave her a standing eight count. Gerula was dazed and it didn't take Riley long to finish her off. About four punches (the best being a hard right hand) knocked Gerula down, where she stayed for a while. Riley showed some concern for her fallen opponent who, thankfully, was able to recover.

After this she defeated Bonnie "The Cobra" Canino, who she lost to early in her career, over 12 rounds for the IKKC and IFCA women's world junior featherweight titles:

Round 1: Riley got off to a quick start jumping on Canino from the opening bell. After missing a ball kick to the head she went downstairs and started peppering Canino's legs. She then landed a hard left hook and a left leg roundhouse to the head, setting the pace for an intense fight. She continued to dominate the round by slipping Canino's punches and delivering her own attacks. Canino did attempt her most well known attack, the spinning backfist. She hit Bridgett towards the end of the round with it but landed with the elbow, making it an illegal blow. She got a warning for this and for head butting in this round. (Riley 10-9)

Round 2: Another great round for Riley. She did most of the damage in this round with her left hook. Whenever Canino tried to get aggressive charging in with her lead left hand, Bridgett would simply duck under it and fire a left hook. (Riley 10-9)

Round 3: Slower round in which Canino was able to be a little more aggressive, and she was able to land her lead left early in the round. Perhaps a slight advantage to Bonnie in this round, but not enough to win it in my opinion. (Even 10-10)

Round 4: Riley picked up the pace and landed a monster left hook that hurt Canino very early in the round. She immediately followed up with a leg kick and several punches that had Bonnie on the ropes. She looked very wobbly and probably would have gone down if Riley hadn't slipped to the canvas while attempting a kick. After the Riley slip, Canino seemed to regain her composure and actually finished the round pretty strongly, considering how hard she was hit by "Baby Doll," but did receive another warning for landing the spinning backfist with the elbow. (Riley 10-9)

Round 5: Bridgett opened up the round with a hard right and was again able to win the round by ducking under Canino's lead left and countering it with a left hook. She also was able to successfully clinch to stop Canino from fighting inside. (Riley 10-9)

Round 6: Riley again landed a good right at the beginning of the round but she seemed to take the rest of the round off. Canino took advantage of the slower pace in this round and scored with a couple of good punches late. (Canino 10-9)

Round 7: Riley picks up the pace again and is on the attack early landing with several good hooks. She occasionally let Bonnie attack, only to turn her away with punches to the head. Once again, she would simply duck the left lead and come back upstairs with the hook, as she had done earlier. However she did take a couple of head butts from Bonnie in the process. By the end of the round, as a result of these butts combined with the several spinning elbows Canino had landed, Bridgett's face was swelling badly above and around her left eye. (Riley 10-9)

Round 8: Bridgett's best round of the fight. As she often does, Riley opened the round with a ball kick, this time landing to the chest of Canino and stopping her in her tracks. She continued by nailing Bonnie with several straight right hands in the early part of the round. Later, she hammered Canino with a hard left, and scored again with the left to open up a combination of punches and kicks with Canino on the ropes. Bonnie did not go down from the punishment she took in this round, but looked totally exhausted as Bridgett continued to land at will. Canino did land with a spinning backfist late, but otherwise was completely dominated by "Baby Doll." (Riley 10-8)

Round 9: Riley opened with a ball kick to the head, but then concentrated more on the body, with leg kicks and punches to Canino's belly and rib cage. (Riley 10-9)

Round 10: Canino took advantage again of a slower round by Riley. She landed with a pretty good uppercut, a strategy she maybe should have used more of. The only two times she threw this punch she was successful with it. (Canino 10-9)

Round 11: Canino's best round. She was able to dodge Riley's early attacks and landed her best punch of the fight, a good right hook that snapped Riley's head to the side, early on in the round. Bridgett appeared to be a bit worn out, which was understandable considering the furious pace she fought at for the entire bout. (Canino 10-9)

Round 12: Both fighters threw everything into their punches for this final round. Bridgett caught Canino with a good left hook midway through the round and took the initiative to attack in the second half of the round landing with punches and kicks. A pattern started to develop as the fighters would clinch, be broken apart, Riley would land a couple of punches, and then clinch again. This happened several times before the final bell ended a great fight. (Riley 10-9)

My final scorecard: Riley 117 - Canino 111

The Judges' scorecards: Riley 116 - Canino 112, Riley 113 - Canino 115, Riley 117 - Canino 111

So, Riley won the fight on a split decision. I don't know how the second judge had the fight scored for Canino. I thought Riley won the fight convincingly, as did the announcers. The only reason I can think of is that the massive swelling on Bridgett's face may have persuaded him to give the fight to Canino. But at any rate, the overall decision was correctly awarded to Riley and that's all that matters.

Overall, I thought that this was a very good, exciting fight, but not one that begs for a rubber match. Riley is just too fast for Canino, who seems to be past her prime, especially after the recent defeat to Gogarty in New Orleans.

The second Canino fight brought her kickboxing record to 20-2 (I can't imagine anyone beating her).Riley also owns a seven round decision over Australian Stephanie Curtiss and a nine round split decision over Russian Natalia Larionova. Riley on the other hand appears to be very much in her prime. She has dominated her last four fights and has not lost since Lily Rodriguez took over as her trainer.

I did not know that Kathy Long was considering returning to the ring to face Bridgett. That would be a tough fight to predict but I believe Bridgett would probably come out on top. Both fighters do a great job of mixing up their attacks. Long has tremendous speed, but I think that Riley is just as fast and probably more powerful.

Looking at the common opponents (at least the two that I know of), Riley and Long defeated Denise Taylor. Kathy did it twice, but Taylor went the distance both times and was rarely truly in danger of being knocked out. Riley was able to knock out "Sweet" Denise when they fought. The other common opponent is Bonnie Canino. While both Riley and Long went the distance and won over Canino, Long's was a fight that could have gone either way while Riley dominated in her latest fight with Canino, although she did lose to Canino earlier in her career. The punch she landed in the forth round of the second Canino fight staggered Bonnie in a way she was never staggered in the Long fight. Obviously, Canino was older for this fight than the Long fight, but it's something to consider.

Riley is also into traditional boxing, which she says has really sharpened her hands. According to Black Belt Magazine, she owns a six round decision over Yvonne Trevino and a second round TKO of Robyn Lopez, who's nose was broken by Bridgett in their fight. These were Riley's only two times in the traditional boxing ring. She is more into kickboxing than the sweet science, but she says "I just love to fight."

All of the Riley fights I have seen on TV have been shown on Fox Sports West 1 or 2. They are put on by In-Sync Productions, who run the Legends of Kickboxing website. I get these channels over my DSS satellite. Unfortunately, if you just have regular cable, you probably have to live in California to see these bouts. It's too bad the other Fox Sports stations haven't picked up the series because they televise some great fights.

Page last updated: Friday, 06 November 2015

 
     
     
     
     
 

Fight Reports by Erik Anderson

 
     

 

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