5'7" lightweight Jenifer "All-American" Alcorn grew up in le Grand, California
and then moved to Fresno.
Jenifer was well known in Fresno athletic circles before beginning her career as
a boxer. She was a stand-out high school athlete and catcher of the Fresno State softball team,
Despite only having six amateur
bouts, Jenifer fought in the women’s nationals, 1999 USA
Boxing National Championships, losing by 10-1 to eventual silver medalist Jean
Martin of Brooklyn, N.Y. in the 139-lb quarterfinal. Jenifer
then launched a professional boxing career with one goal above
all others ... to set an example of achievement and
success through hard work for her children.
She made her pro debut on July 2, 1999 at the Fairground in Fresno,
where an estimated crowd of 900 cheered as she TKO'd Robyn Covino of Los
Angeles at 0:59 in the first round.
Alcorn knocked Covino down with a straight right to the head,
then trapped her in a corner with a flurry of combinations
that persuaded referee Marty Sammon to jump in and stop the bout.
Covino fell to 1-8 as a pro boxer (she was 40-2 as a kickboxer).
On September 4, 1999 in Yerington, Nevada, Jenifer moved to 2-0
with a first-round TKO of Kris Sepulvado of Shreveport, Louisiana.
Sepulvado was a favorite opponent for early-career fighters and
known for showing up to fight under a variety of names. Tracked by her Federal
ID# (LA050112) she was 0-5 with this loss to Alcorn!
On March 31, 2000 at the Spa Casino in Palm Springs, California,
Jenifer moved to 3-0 with a four-round unanimous (39-37, 39-37, 40-36)
decision over a tough Kelly Whaley of Cedar City, Utah.
Alcorn showed no ring rust from her six-month absence from the ring,
as she attacked Whaley with overhand rights
and rugged body shots. She eased up in the third but finished the fight
with a series of rights that bloodied Whaley’s nose. Whaley fell to 1-2.
On May 11, 2000 at Table Mountain Rancheria in Fresno, California,
Jenifer impressed her home fans with a TKO over
Kanaka Kudo of Long Beach at 0:38 of the first round.
Alcorn entered the ring to a standing
ovation, then was all over Kudo with a flurry of lefts and rights as soon as the
bell sounded. Alcorn knocked Kudo to the canvas with a right cross,
then knocked her sprawling below the bottom ring rope. After the
second knockdown, referee Marcos Rosales wrapped his arms around Kudo
and stopped the bout.
Kudo fell to 0-2.
On July 28, 2000 at Selland Arena in in Fresno, California,
Jenifer TKO'd Imelda Arias of Ciudad
Juárez, México at 1:37 in the first round. Arias was quickly outclassed
in this fight and reportedly had her jaw broken during a
fusillade of punches landed by Alcorn with Arias cornered. Arias fell
to 8-6 with the loss (most of her wins were at home in Juárez).
On September 10, 2000 at Peppermill Hotel Casino in Reno, Nevada,
Jenifer (132 lbs) won a first-round TKO over Willicia Moorehead (131 lbs)
of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, who fell to 0-2.
On October 13, 2000 at Spa Resort Casino in Palm Springs, California,
Jenifer improved knocke out Lisa Lovell of
Jacksonville, Florida at 1:03 in the first round. Lovell fell to 1-2-1.
On April 13, 2001 at Spa Casino Resort in Palm Springs, California,
a crowd estimated at 1000 saw Jenifer move to 8-0 (7 KO's) with a 23-second
first-round knockout of
Kimberly Reed of Los Angeles, who fell to 1-4. Alcorn landed a few jabs then
decked Reed with a right to the head ... and that was apparently enough to persuade
Reed to stay down for the count.
"I wish I could give the people here in Palm Springs a longer show but if it comes, I have to take it,"
Alcorn told reporter Ed Castro. "I wanted to work on some things. But I landed a good punch.
It was a hard, solid right hand."
On June 24, 2001 at Coeur d'Alene Tribal Bingo in Worley, Idaho,
Jenifer (136 lbs) moved to 9-0 (8 KO's) with
a TKO of Jessica LaPointe (5'5", 142 lbs) of Spanaway, Washington at 1:19 in the second round
of a scheduled four-rounder. LaPointe was knocked down early in the round but battled on gamely
before the bout was stopped. "I'd have preferred a first-round KO," Alcorn said
(her first seven KO's had come in the opening round), "but it was good to get the work in.
The look in her eyes (after the first round) told me she was going to go down.
It was just a matter of bombarding her body with punches." LaPointe, a martial arts fighter
and kickboxer who had faced world champion Valérie Hénin in France in April,
fell to 2-1 as a pro boxer.
On November 15, 2001 at Centennial Garden Arena in Bakersfield, California:
Jenifer (133 lbs) advanced to
10-0 (8 KOs) with a six-round unanimous (60-53) decision over
Shakurah Witherspoon (128 lbs)
of Williamsport, Pennsylvania who fell to 9-25-1 (4 KOs).
Alcorn knocked the durable Witherspoon down in the
opening round when she landed several hard body shots with Witherspoon trapped in a corner. She
again had Witherspoon in trouble in a corner near the end of the second. Alcorn controlled the
rest of the fight and repeatedly had Witherspoon in trouble but could not put her away as
Witherspoon used her ring experience to dance and to tie Alcorn up when in difficulty.
("I never had a girl hang on me like that," Alcorn said, after twice having the action
stopped when her top became untied during clinches.)
"I thought I had her in trouble a couple of times. I could tell because I would land a
shot and I would hear her moaning and groaning." Alcorn out-muscled the smaller Witherspoon in
clinches against the ropes and in the center of the ring.
"She's tough, very strong," Witherspoon
told local reporters after the bout, adding "I think I could have done a little better with my
performance." Alcorn said she was happy with the win, but would have liked to get another KO
to make "a big splash" in her Bakersfield debut.
On January 17, 2002 at Centennial Garden in Bakersfield, California,
2,740 fans saw Jenifer (133¼ lbs), advance to 11-0 (8 KO) with a 59-55, 59-55, 60-54 six-round unanimous decision over crosstown
rival Lisa Lewis (133 lbs) who fell to 2-5. Women's Boxing Page correspondent "Craig O"
that the match, which was the card's semi-main event, drew a standing ovation from the crowd.
"There were no knockdowns though it may have come close to to ending when Alcorn unleashed
a stunning barrage of punishing shots to Lisa Lewis's head that lasted the entire
second round", says Craig, who adds that "prefight talk in the media about a grudge between the two women may
have been a bit of media hype. According to her husband, Brad, Ms. Alcorn's prediction of a knockout was a
misquote. What she said (which got turned into a "prediction") was that she goes for a knockout. As a
team, he explained, "we train for a knockout. We don't want it to go to the judges." According to Craig,
"Ms. Lewis showed tremendous courage, determination and pride in weathering the storm and fighting her way back
into the match, a feat which earned her a tremendous ovation from the crowd after the decision.
Despite the judges' scorecards and Alcorn's utter domination of the 2nd round, this was not as lopsided a
fight as would appear." Craig reports that Gary Sullenger (Jenifer Alcorn's
trainer and manager) said of Lisa Lewis that "she has to be the best 2-4 (now
2-5) fighter out there." Alcorn added ""Lisa comes hard and she's not hard to
hit, but she kept coming back. She has a very good chin."
"I have a lot of respect for her," Alcorn said of Lewis, "I had to give her a lot of credit."
Lewis said she knew she would have to knock Alcorn out to get the win after falling behind in the
early rounds. "I thought I was going to knock her out in the sixth round," Lewis said. "That was my
strategy, but she stayed in there." Wes Hodgins, Lewis' trainer, complimented Jenifer in comments
to local media: "I tip my hat to Jenifer. She showed me a whole lot of stamina in there. It was a barnburner.
Both fighters gave everything they had."
On February 1, 2002 at Palace Indian Gaming Center in Lemoore, California,
Jenifer (136 lbs) advanced to 12-0-0 (8 KO) with a four-round unanimous 40-36,40-36,40-36
decision over Shakurah Witherspoon (134½ lbs) of Williamsport, Pennsylvania
who fell to 9-26-1 (4 KO's).
Alcorn began the bout very aggressively and often had Witherspoon backed up on the ropes in the early going,
but Witherspoon's defense kept her in the bout and she got in better shots of her own in the later rounds,
according to my correspondent.
On April 26, 2002 again at Palace Indian Gaming Center in Lemoore, California,
Jenifer (132 lbs) won the vacant WIBF Lightweight title
and advanced to 13-0-0 (9 KO) with a TKO of Sue Mullett (131 lbs) of Burton, Ohio at 1:40 in the second round.
Alcorn, in her first world title 10-rounder, took it cautiously early on, and
Mullett pushed the action at first. Alcorn opened up her attack in the
second round and drew blood from Mullett's nose then began to land heavily although Mullett
fired back at close range. The referee
stopped it when Mullett took a series of heavy blows after being cornered.
Mullett fell to 7-7-0 (4 KO) with the loss.
On September 29, 2002 at Palace Indian Gaming Center in Lemoore, California, a crowd estimated at 1,450 saw
Jenifer (131¼ lbs) win by TKO at 0:57 of the fifth round over Cheryl
Nance (133½ lbs) of Greensboro, South Carolina. Nance gave Alcorn quite a fight
and tagged the taller Alcorn with several hard straight lefts in the opening
rounds of the scheduled six-rounder. Alcorn began to take charge after hurting
Nance with a right to the body in the third. She got the upper hand in the fifth
with a right to the head that caught Nance off-balance and put her down for an
eight count, then closed it out by pressuring Nance hard with combinations
against the ropes to get the stoppage. After the fight, Alcorn said that it was
"kind of good" to take some of Nance's stiff jabs to the face, although she
ended the battle with a swollen and bruised lip.
"Everyone told me
about her right hand," Nance said, adding "the punches we seemed to exchange
were the wild, crazy punches. I can't imagine she was looking for us to beat
the snot out of each other." "I was hesitating a little with my jab," Alcorn
said. "I knew what to do with it, but I still hesitated. I mean, you know my
fighting style. I like to knock people out." Alcorn is now 14-0-0 (10 KO)
while Nance fell to 6-8-0 (6 KO). Nance, who had gone nine rounds and stayed
on her feet against Christy Martin before tiring and being stopped on a TKO
in August 1998, was a good test for the unbeaten Alcorn. She had replaced
(reportedly pregnant) Imelda Arias of Mexico on this card at just three
On January 17, 2003 at Palace Indian Gaming Center in Lemoore, California. Jenifer stepped up her level of
competition by taking on undefeated Jessica Rakoczy (5'8", 134¼ lbs) of Las Vegas, Nevada for the vacant IWBF Lightweight title. Jenifer
(133½ lbs) won a ten-round split (96-94,92-98,98-92) decision over Rakoczy (5'8", 134¼
lbs) by carrying the fight to Rakoczy aggressively. Rakoczy moved well and threw great combinations throughout a
hard-fought bout that had a standing-room-only crowd on its feet. Alcorn was cut on her forehead by an accidental
clash of heads in the third round and suffered a broken nose. Rakoczy, who had boxed effectively in what may have
been her best ring performance yet, immediately asked for a rematch after the wildly discrepant split decision.
Rakoczy fell to 12-1-0 (4 KO) with the loss.
On April 19, 2003 at Selland Arena, Fresno, California, Jenifer (135 lbs) won an eight-round unanimous
(78-74,77-75,77-75) decision over Mia St. John (135½ lbs) of Canoga Park, California. After a feeling-out round, the fight turned
into a slugfest with Alcorn scoring repeatedly to St.John's face to the cheers of her home crowd. St.John hung tough and
did not run from Alcorn but reverted to the windmill style of her early fights. This left her open for punishment by the
hard-hitting Alcorn, who St.John later described as the strongest fighter she'd ever faced. "She was throwing wild," Alcorn
said. "I was finding the openings and sticking. I liked that she didn't run." Alcorn added that "If you fight out of
emotion and anger you get in trouble," an apparent reference to the bad blood that had existed between the two in the pre-
fight period, with St.John saying that she would steal Alcorn's regional fan base with a win and a war of words over who
was more "Mexican". St.John fell to 27-3-1 (13 KO).
On October 2, 2003 at Palace Indian Gaming Center in Lemoore, California,
2,875 fans saw Jenifer (134 lbs) TKO Franchesca
Alcanter (5'4", 134 lbs) of Kansas City with a right hook to the temple at 0:41 in the first round of a non-
title bout. "I have never been hit like that," said Alcanter, "Lights in my head, flickering, knees buckling. I stood up
and saw stars again." Alcanter had dropped to one knee after taking the punch, and when she got up the referee determined
that she was unable to continue. Alcorn advanced to 17-0-0 (11 KO) while Alcanter dropped to 10-4-1 (5 KO)
(much of that
against weak opponents, however).
On December 11, 2003 at Palace Indian Gaming Center in Lemoore, California, Jenifer (134 lbs) won a split (96-93,96-93,94-95) decision over Melissa Del Valle
(135 lbs) of Miami, Florida for the vacant WIBA Lightweight title. Alcorn was knocked down by a left hook in
the second round, and Del Valle landed effectively with overhand rights throughout the bout.
However, Del Valle faded in the
late going and Alcorn won the critical late rounds Alcorn remained undefeated at 18-0-0 (11 KO) while Del Valle fell
to 28-4-1 (11 KO).
Alcorn had been scheduled to fight teenager Iva Weston of Trinidad in this bout, but Del Valle
was called in as a
substitute at two days' notice when Weston's visa documentation showed she was under the legal age for
professional fights in California. Del Valle, who was often criticised for taking soft fights earlier in her
career, showed her warrior attitude by taking this title bout in Alcorn's hometown at almost no notice, then
making a real fight of it! The short notice may have made a difference in
the late rounds when Del
Valle's stamina appeared to be a problem.
Jenifer announced her retirement from boxing on February 5, 2004, citing the stress that her boxing
career placed on her children. saying "After eight years of training, I
know I'll feel the effects of walking away, but I've seen fighters stay in too long, and I've seen the effect
it has on their mind and body. By going out on top, the worst I'll be is a former three-time world champion.
Every good thing has to come to an end."
She says she will continue her work with the Fresno State women's basketball
team and her fitness training business. Retirement
letter published on WBAN.
Alcorn described her usual fight plan as "Overwhelm ... throw punches until the threat no longer exists." "I used
to wish the fights would go longer so I could work on stuff," she added, but (trainer Gary Sullenger) cleared my head real
fast and said, 'You work on stuff in the gym. You fight to win in the ring.'"
Her rigorous training regimen, including strength and agility training
with husband Brad Alcorn's Fresno SWAT team, made her one of the hardest working and hardest punching
stars in women’s boxing.
Other Jenifer Alcorn links
Other Jenifer Alcorn links
Page last updated:
Friday, 09 August 2013