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Margaret Sidoroff on her February 11 2000 IFBA title fight with
Jolene Blackshear

 
 

 

On February 11, 2000 in Kenner, Louisiana, in one of the most eagerly awaited battles in women's boxing at that time, challenger Margaret Sidoroff (108 lbs) of Windsor, Ontario, Canada won a hard-fought ten-round unanimous (98-92, 98-92, 97-93) decision over IFBA Flyweight champion Jolene Blackshear (111 lbs) of Rohnert Park, California.

Blackshear had been out of the ring for 17 months but she showed no ring rust as she won the first two rounds with her hard-charging aggressive style and tagged Sidoroff repeatedly. Margaret improved the timing of her counter lefts in the third, and the fight turned around in the middle rounds. Sidoroff showed great head movement and superb reflexes to slip Blackshear's punches while landing her own busy and effective combinations. As Blackshear fell behind on points, she escalated the pressure and the final round was a war with both fighters taking and dishing out significant punishment. Sidoroff rose to the challenge and was backing Blackshear up as they went toe to toe to end an exciting, skilled and heart-filled bout.


Winning the IFBA Flyweight title vs. Jolene Blackshear
Copyrighted photo by Sue TL Fox

Margaret stopped by my Women's Boxing Forum to tell us all about the fight when she got home ... here's an excerpt from what she posted, and a mini-interview she did with me a couple of days later ...

Dee,

I've been writing in to you with fight reports since my third pro bout, and even though I know you got to see this one (on TV) I didn't want to spoil the tradition...

There are so many people I'd like to thank for their support and their involvement in my fight with Jolene Blackshear! First and foremost I'd like to thank Jolene herself. She is awesome! I admire Jolene's work ethic and pre-fight focus. She was the lightest opponent I've ever faced as a pro, however she was still the strongest! I knew I was in for an incredible test when I was on the wrong end of a butt-kicking for those first couple rounds! My apologies to those who warned me not to test the waters (I'm a little hard-headed that way)!

Anyway, I had a chance to sit down and chat briefly with Jolene after the fight, and I was totally impressed with her positive attitude and kindness towards me. Jolene is one of the biggest credits to our sport and I was honoured and thrilled to meet and befriend her. She will always be World Champion to me.

Thanks also to Josh, Bev, Tom, Brenda, Dan, Donna, Keith, Ryan, Andre, Walt, Rich, Jamie, Bill, Alicia, Andrew, Tyrone, Mr. Peltz, Mike, Rick, Doug, ESPN2, Greg, Miller, Chad, Pops, Jane, Gilbert, Ann, and all of the other people (I could write thank-you's for days, and I still haven't checked my e-mail messages!!!) that helped me, supported me, and cheered Jolene and me on. It was a wonderful experience.

Love,

'Mean' Margaret
 


I also talked to Margaret off-line:

Dee: There's a couple of things I am just dying to ask you ... What happened between the second and third rounds? You changed up something and started to catch her coming in. Were you making a conscious adjustment to the way you were timing her, or did you see something you could do that you just weren't able to in the first two rounds?

Margaret: The truth is I've always been a cold start, Dee. Just like Joe Frazier used to lose the first few rounds of his fights, I generally do the same in mine. Eva, Brenda, and Leona started out our respective fights by putting a beating on me, and I quite expected the same from the quick-starting Jolene. We've been trying to figure out a way to warm up before my bouts, but it seems like I have to get cracked a few times before I realize I'm in a fight and wake up!


Copyrighted photo by Sue TL Fox

Dee: You seemed to be timing your left better as she came in but I didn't know what had made that happen.

Margaret: Yeah, I knew I had to box her to win, but I had to earn some respect first and that was the plan.

Dee: You showed fantastic movement in that fight to slip Jolene's punches when she was coming right at you down the middle, but it looked like you had to throw a lot of looping punches because of the way you were moving to slip hers. Was that the plan you went in with or did you have to make it up as you were going along?

Margaret: Well, like I said we went into the bout knowing we were going to get blown out the first few rounds, so I wasn't at all surprised or worried. I knew that I would have the opportunity to box once I earned some respect and warmed up a bit. I watched the tape and hated to see myself winging early, but that's how I warm up I guess! I didn't want to return to the brawl that started early, but turned up my output whenever Jolene came on a little stronger. I just kept telling myself "Stay ahead, and stay smart!"


Copyrighted photo by Sue TL Fox

Dee: After what happened to Kathy Williams in Germany against Daisy Lang, you might have knock Regina Halmich all round the ring to win the WIBF title in Germany. You were tagging Jolene hard near the end of your fight but she was able to keep herself out of big trouble when she had to. Do you think you could keep them honest if you fought Regina in Karlsruhe?

Margaret: Obviously they're not going to be honest, and it's really a sad thing for the sport. From what we've heard Kathy fought great over there, and I'm really disappointed to hear that somebody other than Daisy and Kathy may have decided the outcome. But Kathy's a great boxer and she'll be back! If Daisy really wants to be recognized as a champion she should offer Kathy a rematch outside of Germany (but don't hold your breath, Kathy).

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Dee Williams Interview with Margaret Sidoroff

 
     

 

 

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