To Guyanese boxing fans, she is known as the "Stealth Bomber." On May 29, 2004, 5'9" light heavyweight
Gwendolyn O'Neil, 35-year-old mother of five from Georgetown, became the first Guyanese woman
ever to win a world
'Gwen' grew up in the Barima River area of the
North West District, the twentieth child in a family of
21 kids. She says she owes her toughness in the
ring to long hours spent doing hard work on her parents’ farm at an
early age. Her father, who was from St. Lucia, died when she was
She had also had to fight her way through school, so as not to be taken
advantage of by boys. "One day I say, (the) boys ain’t beating me no more. I'm gonna beat them.”
She said that many times when a fight broke out, by the time the teacher arrived to
break it up, it was all over!
Gwen's interest in combat sports began with martial arts but she was introduced to boxing
by her husband. Her decision to turn pro, she said, was inspired by a fight she saw on
TV. “One day I lie down upon my bed and see two woman fighting. And I turn and tell my husband
they can’t beat me!"
On July 31, 1999 in Port of Spain, Trinidad, she knocked out Kim "Bonecrusher" Quashie of Trinidad in the first
round of a heavyweight bout. Quashie fell to 3-1 with the loss.
On December 4, 1999 in Georgetown, Guyana she won a four-round decision over Margaret Walcott
December 26, 2000 at Cliff Anderson Sports Hall in Georgetown, Guyana,
Gwen (170 lbs) won by TKO over southpaw Geraldine Cox (160 lbs) of Guyana at 0:54
in the third round of a scheduled four-rounder as part of the "Boxing Day KO"
organized by the Guyana Boxing Board of Control (GBBC), which has been
actively encouraging women's boxing in Guyana. A report by Frederick Halley
in the Guyana Chronicle noted that the boxers "warmed the hearts of
fans with a fine display", adding "after an even affair in the first round,
O'Neil used her weight advantage to good effect in the second while Cox
did more sizing up than punching. O'Neil was all over Cox in the third round
and after reeling from the onslaught, Cox turned her back, forcing referee
Eion Jardine to stop the fight."
On August 5, 2001 in Georgetown, Guyana, she fought to a four-round draw in a
rematch with Margaret
On December 26, 2001 at Cliff Anderson Sports Hall in Georgetown, Guyana,
Melissa Charles of Trinidad won by disqualification over Gwen, who was
ejected for biting her opponent!
On May 4, 2002 at Cliff Anderson Sports Hall in Georgetown, Guyana, Gwen TKO'd Kim Quashie of Trinidad in the second round.
December 26, 2002 at Cliff Anderson Sports Hall in Georgetown, Guyana,
Veronica Simmons of New York City
won a six-round majority (58-56,59-56,57-57) decision over
Gwen in a hard-fought light-heavyweight semi-main event. Simmons handled
O'Neil's aggressive, brawling style with jabs and accurate combinations
while O'Neil (who had been disqualified in her last appearance in this annual
Boxing Day event) was warned several times for pushing and holding at close
quarters. Simmons was now 3-0-0 (2 KO); this was the first time that she had gone the
distance in a long while ... her KO record as a pro and amateur had scared most
of the potential American opponents away from her.
On May 24, 2003 at Cliff Anderson Sports Hall in Georgetown, Guyana,
Gwen won the vacant Guyanese Light Heavyweight
title with a fourth-round TKO of Margaret Walcott of Guyana.
On November 29, 2003 at Sir Garfield Sobers Gymnasium in Wildey, Barbados,
Krystal Lessie of Trinidad in the third round.
O'Neil was now 6-3-0 (6 KO) while Lessie fell to 0-6.
In January 2004 Gwen traveled to Abuja, Nigeria for a six-round bout with Laila Ali
on January 10, but Ali canceled at the last moment, saying that the airline seats for her and her entourage had
only been reserved by the event organizers, and not paid for. "I think that she was just scared",
tried to duck me. I know that I would have knocked her out. I'm still prepared to fight her once she has
the guts to mix it with me. I'm not in this business to joke around. This is serious business,
forty thousand people turned up at the stadium to witness the bout. I had to apologize for the
absence of Ali when I took to the ring." The card was arranged for a charity combating AIDS and
May 29, 2004 at National Park in Georgetown, Guyana, a crowd of about 5000 fans
saw Gwen (169 lbs) win a ten-round unanimous (100-90,98-92,98-95) decision over
Kathy Rivers (170 lbs) for the WIBA Light Heavyweight title that had been vacated by
Jacqui Frazier-Lyde. There were no knockdowns
in a hard fought battle. Rivers fell to 13-4-1 (5 KO) with the loss; her management
told WBAN that
"Kathy knows when she goes to someone's home town you have to take it away from her.
Kathy lost the fight in Guyana, but ... the fight wasn't a walk over ... it was closer
then what they read. Kathy took the fight to her. It was a very fast pace fight with a
lot of punches thrown by both girls." O'Neil was awarded
a house lot, a grant towards building a house, and a duty free concession
for a car by the Government of Guyana in appreciation of her win.
On June 28, 2004 in Guyana, Gwen won a six-round unanimous decision over
Krystal Lessie of Trinidad.
On September 24th, 2004 at the Phillips Arena in
Atlanta, Georgia, Laila Ali (174¼ lbs) won the IWBF Light
Heavyweight title with a third-round knockout of Gwen (175 lbs). Ali
began this fight letting O'Neil come to her while she blocked most of her
punches with her gloves, a strategy reminiscent of her father's "rope-a-dope"
tactic against George Foreman. As O'Neil appeared to tire after just a
minute of this, Ali began to respond with quick jabs and hard hooks to her body.
She responded to a lazy jab by O'Neil midway through the second round by
knocking her down with a counter right to the chin. O'Neil recovered quickly but
the same scenario played out later in the round, putting O'Neil down for an
eight count that left her still wobbly. Ali turned up the heat in the third as
O'Neil looked increasingly desperate. Ali dropped O'Neil in a neutral
corner with another right to the jaw as the third round was ending. This time
O'Neil sat stunned as she was counted out by referee Jim Korb. “She was
tough,” said Ali, “I had to hit her with straight rights to knock her
down.” Ali improved to 19-0 (16 KOs) with the win while O'Neil fell to
9-4-1 (6 KOs).
On December 26, 2004 in Georgetown, Guyana, Gwendolyn won a ten-round unanimous
decision over Krystal Lessie of Trinidad in a light heavyweight bout. Lessie
fell to 0-10-0 with the loss.
On July 9, 2005 in Georgetown,
Guyana, Gwendolyn scored an eight round
unanimous decision over Pamela London of Georgetown, who fell to 4-3-1 (0
On April 22, 2006 in Georgetown, Guyana Gwendolyn won by a fourth-round TKO over
Margaret Walcott of Guyana, who fell to 1-6-1 (0 KOs).
On February 3, 2007 at the Emperor's Palace Casino
in Johannesburg, South Africa Laila Ali (168 lbs)
stopped Gwendolyn (165¾ lbs) just 0:56
seconds into the first round of a scheduled ten-rounder for the WBC and WIBA
Super Middleweight titles. Ali was quoted in an AP article that she
“apologized” to boxing fans including former South African President Nelson
Mandela, for the brevity of the fight. Ali improved her record to 24-0
(21 KO's) and intimated that she would not be boxing again for a while.
On June 6, 2008 in St Maartin,
Netherlands Antilles, Gwendolyn O'Neil won a 10-round split decision over
Ewell of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA for the vacant WIBA Light Heavyweight title. Ewell fell to 12-7 (9
KO's) with this loss.
On November 1, 2008 in St.
Maarten, Netherlands Antilles, Carlette Ewell
(174 lbs) won a 10-round unanimous decision over
(173 lbs) in a rematch for the WIBA Light Heavyweight title. The judges' scores
were 97-95, 98-96, 99-95.
O'Neil slipped to 13-6-1 (7
KO's) while Ewell improved to 13-7 (9 KO's).
On January 29, 2010 at Cliff
Anderson Sports Hall in Georgetown, Guyana, Gwendolyn O'Neil won a
six-round unanimous (59-55 x 3) decision over Sharon Ward of Linden,
Guyana. Ward fell to 4-4 (0 KO's) with the loss.
On June 5, 2010 at the Princess
Hotel in Georgetown, Guyana, Gwendolyn O'Neil (189 lbs) won a ten-round
unanimous (96-94,98-92,98-92) decision over Veronica Blackman (181 lbs)
of Guyana for the vacant WIBA Heavyweight title and the GBU Heavyweight
title. Blackman fell to 3-5 (0 KO's).
September 11, 2010 at Fort Myers Stadium in Fort Myers,
Florida, Gwendolyn O'Neil (200¾ lbs) won an eight round
unanimous decision over Laura Ramsey (186¾ lbs) of Winter Haven,
Florida for the WIBA Heavyweight title. Ramsey fell to 9-5 (4
On November 6, 2010 at the Princess
Hotel and Casino in Providence, Guyana, Gwendolyn O'Neil easily won a
unanimous decision over Pamela London of Georgetown, Guyana, who fell
to 6-5-5 (1 KO).
Gwendolyn O'Neil is trained by her husband Lennox Daniels and managed by Samuel Layne
Asked why she boxes, Gwen replies “Because I like the game. I like fighting, I like being rough.”
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