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Jennifer Barber
Copyrighted photo taken by Mike Blair


5'6" featherweight Jennifer "The Razor" Barber was born on 14 September 1982 in Van Nuys, California.

She showed her competitive drive in combat sports at a young age while studying karate. She grew up taking martial arts from world renowned Kickboxing champion Benny "The Jet" Urquidez. Barber competed in karate tournaments for five years and participated in dance, basketball and in track and field while in high school.

Barber became interested in boxing after watching a female bout on television. She trained at Jet's Gym under the instruction of Stan Ward. Her karate background may have contributed to the quick footwork she showed in a very successful first year as an amateur.

Early Highlights of Barber's Amateur  Boxing Career

National Blue And International Blue & Gold Champion: 2002-2005
Diamond Belt Champion: 2002-2004
Southern California District Champion: 2003-2005
Southern California Regional Champion: 2003-2005
Southern California District "Best Boxer": 2003
Boxer for Christ Champion: 2003 & 2005
California Pal Champion & Best Boxer: 2003-2005
National Pal Silver Medalist: 2003

In the 125-lb senior division at the 2003 National Golden Gloves held from August 6 to 9 in Chicago, Jennifer defeated Cara Castronuova of New York in her preliminary and Teresa O’Toole of New York in her semifinal before defeating Jennifer Han of Texas in the final. Following this performance, Jennifer was named "Boxer of the Month" for August 2003 by USA Boxing.

In the 125-lb division at the 2004 National Golden Gloves held in October in Chicago. Jennifer defeated Melissa Roberts of Connecticut in her semifinal on October 21 but she lost to Jennifer Han the next day, reversing the result of the previous year's GG final. 

Although there was no amateur boxing for women in the 2004 Olympics Barber still set high goals for herself and she entered the 2004 USA Women's National Championships. In Jennifer's own words, "You can't just practice four to six weeks before a tournament because boxing isn't a seasonal sport, it's a year around sport."  Jennifer again lost to Jennifer Han of Texas, this time by a 16-6 score in their quarterfinal on July 27.

At the US National championships in Colorado Springs, CO in March 2005, Jennifer defeated Maureen Shea 16-14 in her 57-kg quarterfinal. Shea jumped out to the lead with a strong first round but Barber began to work her way back into the bout, earning a one-point lead at the halfway point that she was able to maintain through the last two rounds. Barber then lost to Jennifer Han 23-17 in the semifinal. "She's been studying me," said Han, "My left jab worked a lot more in the past. I always lead with my left. My right hand, though, worked better than it had in the past. I scored with my right." (Melissa Roberts of Connecticut won the division by defeating Han 24-8) 

At the 2005 National PAL tournament in Oct.3-9, 2005. she defeated Ana Julaton of California , Teresa O'Toole of Tennessee 3-1, and finally Jennifer Han of Texas 14-1 to win the 125-lb division. Jennifer received the "Best Boxer" award for the female division for this run.

Jennifer displays her amateur championship  belts

At the 2006 USA National Championships Jennifer won a 27-1 decision over Denise Sullivan in her preliminary match but then fell to Ronica Jeffrey of New York in a closely-fought quarterfinal by a punch countback - following an 8-8 draw on the initial scorecard. (Melissa Roberts of Connecticut won the division for the second straight year, with a 21-18 win over Ronica Jeffrey.)  

Jennifer turned pro in 2007 and won her debut on March 30 at 125 lbs with a four-round unanimous (40-36 x 3) decision over debuter Alex Kumbala (130 lbs) at the Quiet Cannon in Montebello, California (see photo at left)

On July 14, 2007 at the Civic Auditorium in San Jose, California, Jennifer (124  lbs) fought another experienced amateur, Cynthia Talmadge (124 lbs) of San Francisco, to a four-round unanimous (40-36) decision in Talmadge's pro debut.

On November 3, 2007 at Seven Feathers Casino in Canyonville, Oregon, Jennifer (126 lbs) TKO'd local pro debuter Maira Caberra (130 lbs) 40 seconds into the second round of a scheduled four rounder.

Jennifer Barber quickly dealt with DJ Morrison
Copyrighted photo taken by Mike Blair

On December 1, 2007 at Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, Washington, Jennifer (125 lbs) TKO'd DJ Morrison (127 lbs) of Billings, Montana at 1:04 in the first round,  According to WBAN correspondent and photographer Mike Blair: "Morrison charged across the ring at the opening bell, swinging wild and wide. It appeared that Morrison figured her only chance to win was to catch Barber early. That is where Barber displayed a boxer’s discipline. Instead of matching Morrison’s flailing punches with her own, Barber stepped to the side and landed two crisp right hands to Morrison’s ribs. When Morrison turned to face her, Barber threw a left that popped Morrison’s head back. Morrison stepped forward, swinging lefts and rights, hoping something would touch Barber. Barber again threw her jab, then a right to the body. Every punch was tight, short and hard. Morrison’s head popped skyward again as she turned away from Barber. At that point the referee yelled to stop Barber from throwing a punch that would have landed on the back of Morrison’s head. Barber squared her shoulders as Morrison turned to face her again, and before Morrison could cock her arms, her head was reeling and again she turned her back. The referee this time stepped in and waved an end to the fight. The end came at 1:04 of the first, so the fight lasted just about as long as it has taken you to read this. However, in that minute, Jennifer Barber was quite impressive. She quickly adjusted to the barrage of Morrison punches. She remained calm and threw punches she knew would connect. She pressed forward, and Morrison could really do nothing but keep flailing or run.The loss dropped Morrison's record to 0-4.

Barber corners Handi Hernandez
Copyrighted photo taken by Lori Steinhorst

On February 7, 2008 at the Pechanga Casino and Resort in Temecula, California, Jennifer TKO'd Handi Hernandez of Chandler, Arizona at 0:50 in the third round of a scheduled six-rounder on the undercard of an all-female card that featured three IFBA world title fights. According to WBAN correspondent Bill Ortega, "Barber absorbed a quick left hook at the beginning of the first round then went to work with some pretty boxing and razor sharp punching. In the second round Barber landed a three-punch combination that had Hernandez teetering backward. She immediately cornered the Arizona fighter and rained punches on her. For a moment it looked like the referee was going to stop the fight, but he let it go on after Hernandez landed a left hook. The third round wasn’t so lucky for Hernandez. Barber landed a left hook and saw that her opponent was hurt and piled on the punches. Referee Tony Crebs stopped the fight at 50 seconds into the third round."  Barber, who took one good shot to the face, called Hernandez a “one punch boxer, with only a good left hook”.  She added "I want three more fights then I want to fight for the world title. I’m only saying this because I have a lot of amateur fights.”  Hernandez fell to 5-3 (3 KO's) with the loss. 

On April 24, 2008 at the Marriott Hotel, in Irvine, California
Jennifer (
123 lbs) won by a clear four-round unanimous (40-36) decision over Elizabeth Villarreal (127 lbs) of San Antonio, Texas.  Villarreall fell to 5-6-2 (0 KO's). “I wasn’t really satisfied with my performance,” said Barber. “I wanted the knockout, but I am happy with the win.”

On May 31, 2008 at the Sky Ute Casino in Ignacio, Colorado
Jennifer (
119 lbs) TKO'd former IFBA Bantamweight champion Adriana Delgado (120  lbs) of Albuquerque, NM  at !:02 in the third round of a scheduled five-rounder.  According to a report by Chris Cozzone on newmexicoboxing.com, 'Delgado was forced on the defensive from the opening bell. Barber’s straight-on aggression, backed by a steady cuffing of jabs and super-sharp right hands, had the former champ seeking refuge all over the ring, to no avail. After regrouping in her corner between rounds, Delgado came out trying to turn the fight around, but Barber turned the one-sided affair from a trimming, to a scalping. The very few counters thrown by Delgado had no effect on Barber, who, not even blinking at Delgado’s close shave counters, was relentless with pressure, and unremitting with her rights and lefts. Delgado came out in the third, her face a bruised and bloody mess, and the punishment continued until, closing in on the first minute, the towel was thrown into the ring. Actually, it wasn’t a towel at all, but an Adriana Delgado T-shirt, and it came not from her corner, but from a very concerned relative, several rows back, who was screaming, “Stop the fight! Stop the fight!”  Time was called by Referee Rocky Stapleton, who consulted with Delgado’s chief corner man, Danny Romero, who spared his fighter further punishment by calling it quits. This time, it was for real."  Barber improved to 7-0 (4 KO's) while Delgado fell to 10-3-1 (4 KO's).

“I thought I’d win, but not like that,” said Barber. "Seeing that she’s a former world champ, I didn’t think I’d dominate that easily. But it’s exactly what I needed. I want three more fights, then a shot at a world title.”

On September 20, 2008 at Mile High Events Center in Commerce City, Colorado, Jennifer (125 lbs) won an eight-round unanimous (80-71,80-71,79-72) decision over Brooke Dierdorff (124 lbs) of Elgin, Illinois for the vacant NABF featherweight title. According to Eric Duran of Rocky Mounutain Boxing, "In the opening round, Dierdorff, who promised to test Barber, came out with the strategy of trying to bully Barber. It worked for most of the first round as Dierdorff banged away at the body when both fighters were clinched. In the 2nd round, it was more of the same, Dierdorff banging away in the clinch. Barber's skills were on display with some nice combinations, but it was the pressure of Dierdorff that won her the round on my card. Round 3 was all Barber as she picked up her pace and displayed some very good boxing abilities. In the first minute of the round, Barber opened up a cut over the left eye of Dierdorff with a counter right hand. Barber ends the round with a straight right that buckles the knees of Dierdorff. In Round 4, Barber opened up her arsenal of weapons, unleashing furious combinations onto Dierdorff. Midway through the round, Barber catches Dierdorff with a straight right hand that wobbles her. Round 5 started off with back and forth action as both fighters are putting in work. Yet it's Barber who weathers the storm and dominates the remainder of the round with lead left hooks and lead right hands. Round 6 was slow as both fighters look to rest before the championship rounds of this 8 round contest. Barber establishes her herself in the round with a straight right hand that hurts the fading Dierdorff. Round 7 was all Barber as a counter left hook flattens Dierdorff in the opening minute of the round. A nice 'short shot' hook.  From there on out, Barber continues to catch Dierdorff with flush shots as the blood from the previous cut over Dierdorff's eye continues to flow. After 8 rounds of beautiful boxing, Barber slows her pace and coasts to easy victory, keeping Dierdorff at bay with a stinging jab."  Dierdorff fell to a deceptive 4-4-1 (3 KO's) as her losses have all been to top quality opponents - Ela Nunez, Jeannine Garside and Alicia Ashley.

On November 20, 2008 at the Palais des Sports in Saint-Quentin, Aisne, France, Myriam Chomaz {128 lbs) of Grenoble, France won a ten-round split (98-93 Barver, 96-94 Chomaz and 96-95 Chomaz) decision over Jennifer (126 lbs) for the Interim WBC Super Featherweight title. WBAN correspondent Ewan Whyte wrote that only a fragment of the bout was available to him on French TV but "The commentators said that it was a very hard fight and an even one, that they saw Barber ahead earlier on, but that Chomaz had come back at her towards the end. Jean-Claude Bouttier said that, in his opinion, Barber, whom he described as ‘very, very good’, was worth at least a draw. Christian Delcourt went further, describing the American as ‘super’, but concluded by saying that “that takes nothing away from the victory of Myriam Chomaz”.   Barber's own web site stated that "Barber ...  dominated the fight by quickly establishing her razor sharp jab. From the start it looked like Barber had a clear advantage in boxing skills, as Barber repeatedly used her superior hand speed to beat Chomaz to the punch bloodying her nose early. By the middle of the fight it seemed that all Chomaz’s game plan was to try to push forward and land a big right hand. 'We knew going into the fight that she was a right hand puncher who liked to come forward. So the game plan was to take advantage of that which Jenny did,' stated Coach Stan Ward, 'I thought Jenny fought a perfect fight. She did everything I asked. It was apparent by the decision that the only way for her to win the fight was to knock the other girl out.” Chomaz had her moments in the fight landing a few big rights but, it seemed Barber always had an answer with flashy combinations of her own. “She wasn’t very strong as her record made it seem' (said Barber), 'I felt like I landed the heavier shots throughout the fight'.”  The controversial loss dropped Barber's pro record to 8-1 (4 KO's) while Chomaz progressed to 10-1-0 (7 KOs).

Gloria Ramirez vs Jennifer Barber

 Copyrighted photo taken by Lori Steinhorst

On October 29 2009 at the Marriott Hotel in Irvine, California, Jennifer (128 lbs) won a six-round unanimous (59-55,59-55,60-54) decision over veteran Gloria Ramirez (129 lbs) of El Paso, Texas.   According to WBAN's ringside correspondent Lori Steinhorst, "From the first round to the last Barber was able to frustrate Ramirez with a honed set of skills rarely seen in women's boxing. Ramirez, who was coming in off a draw with Rhonda Luna, had the tools to do the job but was unable to find her rhythm or execute her plan. For the most part,  Ramirez is a talented boxer with heart and drive.....but this was not her night. Ramirez said 'I felt stiff, I could see the openings and I made her miss, but I just couldn't get the shots off the way I wanted to.'  Barber had no problem with execution or movement. She pressed the action and fired off flurries of punches that had the crowd jumping from their seats and cheering wildly as their hometown girl displayed an exhibition of speed, power and finesse that they have come to expect from this gifted fighter. This was her night and she made the most of it. If there was any ring rust from her lengthy layoff.....there was no evidence of it. Barber was in spectacular form with a brilliantly executed plan that was carried off immaculately! This was in fact a glorious night for Barber who is a technician with the precision and technique of a skilled surgeon in the removal of her opponent! Bravo Jennifer....this is the way Women's Boxing should look! This fight was the main event on this card and it truly deserved its place."   Ramirez fell to 10-16-7 (1 KO) with the loss while Jennifer improved to 9-1 (4 KO's).

On December 11, 2010 at Namseoul University in Choenan City, South Korea, Jennifer (127 lbs) defeated reigning champion Ji Hye Woo (126 lbs) from Seoul, South Korea by a ten-round unanimous (99-94,97-94,97-94) decision. Barber controlled the fight throughout and survived a head butt in the sixth round and the ring doctor's later inspections of the resulting gash to become the new IFBA World Junior Lightweight champion. "The girl was tough," said Barber's trainer Stan Ward, "but there was no way Jenny was going to lose tonight. This was her best all-round performance, I was so proud of her. She had been training nine years for this moment." Woo fell to 11-2-0 (1 KO) while Barber progressed to 10-1-0 (4 KO's).

Before the fight in South Korea, Jennifer had said on her web site  "I know my career is coming to a close because I want to start a family, so I plan on giving it everything I have. I know I can win, but I need to do everything possible to leave it out (of) the judges hands. I don't want to experience what happened in France."

Jennifer was named WBAN's "Fighter of the Month" in January 2011 for her win over Ji Hye Woo.

Jennifer grew up with two deaf parents, and this motivated her to major in Deaf Studies at Cal State Northridge.  She graduated with her B.A. in 2005 and she tells WBAN that she made a pact with her coach not to turn pro until she had graduated. She hopes to work with children with hearing impairments. Her hobbies include: running, swimming, listening to a variety of music, training, reading, and buying clothes on sale!

Stan Ward, a former California heavyweight champion, has trained Jennifer as a professional. “She’s very dedicated.” said Ward, "If she weren’t that disciplined I wouldn’t waste time training her. She does everything I ask her to do with no complaints.”    Ward stated in September 2011 that Barber was retiring from professional boxing and the IFBA declared her Junior Lightweight title vacant.


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Page last updated: Friday, 06 November 2015


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