On October 28, 2000 at Miccosukee Indian Gaming in Miami, Florida,
IFBA/IWBF Flyweight champion Margaret Sidoroff
(108 lbs) from Windsor, Ontario, Canada and Wendy Rodriguez (108 lbs)
from Los Angeles, California fought to a 10-round draw for the
vacant IBA Junior Flyweight title.
The scorecards were 95-95, 96-94 Rodriguez, and 96-94 Sidoroff.
Margaret had often written to my Women's Boxing Page
after her fights, and she did so again this time ... to announce her
retirement from competitive boxing.
Well, here goes...
I am completely depressed about the fight the other night with Wendy.
So, I thought I'd come in and give my account of what went down.
Margaret fought to a draw with Wendy Rodriguez
© Copyrighted photo taken by Sandy Goldberg
all, Wendy is a very nice person and a skillful boxer. After watching
tape on Wendy we figured it best that I stay on the outside and not allow
her to box me. This worked well for the first half of the fight (although
it was kind of boring) and I felt that I had the fight well in hand by the
seventh round (the 3rd and 5th were close so I gave them to her in my head
bringing the score to 5-2 at that point). I am totally disgusted in
myself for what happened in the 8th and 9th - I coasted and Wendy came to
scrap so I knew she won those two rounds. Wendy really showed the hunger
of a champion in rounds 8 and 9. I assumed that winning that 10th
wouldn't hurt me at all so I went out and made sure, but little did I know
that I was fighting for a draw at that point (and the judge that awarded
Wendy the bout gave her the 10th as well!) I realize now that I was
arrogant to coast and short-sighted to think that just doing enough to win
would produce a win. Although I had different thoughts going into the
fight, when I left the ring I immediately wanted a rematch to redeem
myself and to capture that 108 title.
After stewing over the fight and my thoughts in the weeks leading up to
the fight I have made an important decision: I have competed in the boxing
ring for the last time.
The idea of retiring first came into my head when
a fight I was supposed to participate in was cancelled earlier this year.
It was about the 20th time I had begun to get mentally and physically
ready for a fight when the rug was pulled out from underneath me and I was
left an emotional (not to mention financial) mess. "That's boxing" worked
the first 15 times an opponent pulled out, refused to face me, or the
entire show collapsed, but my frustration grew to the point that I began
to resent the sport that I used to love so much. There were many "last
straws" along the way, but my manager was working so hard to get me some
meaningful fight that I hung on time and time again with a forced smile on
When Yahavia Martinez pulled out of this fight weeks before
fight-time, even Josh knew that was it. When Wendy stepped in to take her
place I was grateful, but the only thing that got me into the gym was the
idea that all of this Intensive Training for hours and hours each day
would be over after this fight. I could move to the next level in the
sport - coaching, and have no regrets about my own career. Then the Draw
happened! It was almost like I was giving myself a reason to continue to
compete! But then I was talking to a friend who knows the toll the sport
has been taking on me in recent months and she said to me that if I felt I
lost this fight then I have a reason to go back, but if I thought I won
then I have nothing to prove to myself (she wasn't there to see the
fight). She was right.
I have accomplished more than what I set out to do in this sport. I have
done my best to be a positive role-model and to carry myself in a manner
that would reflect well on the sport and on myself. I gave 100% to the
fans that supported me and to the great athletes who shared the ring with
me. I leave nothing behind and look forward to working on different
levels to improve the sport of Female Boxing. Young fighters like Wendy
can pass on the fighting torch and I will be in the stands, or in the
corners, cheering. I hope that I do not create too much disappointment in
my seemingly early retirement. But I am tired. And I want to move on. I
know some will criticize me and say there were so many great fights still
out there for me to have and to them I apologize. I always knew my time
in the sport was limited and I honestly tried to fight the best in the
world. So I thank you for your understanding, and sincerely thank the
fans and web page producers who have meant so much to the growth of our
sport over the past few years. I hope to see you all at the fights!
"Coach" Margaret Sidoroff