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5'4" southpaw Johanna "La Bailarina" Peña Álvarez was born on January 6, 1983 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.  She is managed by Valentin Contreras.

She made her pro debut on June 29, 2000 in Santo Domingo with a second-round KO of Natalie Lara, who was also making her debut.

On July 30, 2000 in Santo Domingo she knocked out Claribel Ferreira in the second round dropping Ferreira's record to 0-2.

On August 12, 2000 she knocked out Yesenia Casanova in the second round.

On September 13, 2000, she knocked out Rossy Gonzalez in the first round.

On November 29, 2000 in Santo Domingo she knocked out Geraldina Morillo of the Domincan Republic in the first round.

On March 8, 2001 in San Domingo,she won a four-round decision over Liliana Martinez of the Dominican Republic, who fell to 0-2.

On April 30, 2001 in San Domingo, she won a third-round TKO over Escarlyn Fulgencio of the Dominican Republic, who was making her debut. 

On July 17, 2001 in San Domingo, she won a third-round TKO over Zuleida Diaz, who was making her debut.

On August 5, 2001 in San Domingo, she lost a six-round decision to Giselle Salandy (a.k.a. Jizelle Joseph) of Siperai, Trinidad and Tobago, who improved her record to 7-0 (4 KO).

On September 1,  2001 in San Domingo, she won a first-round TKO over Zuleida Diaz, who fell to 0-2.      

On September 28, 2001 in San Domingo, she won a six round decision over Liliana Martinez who fell to 1-3.

On November 29, 2001 in Santo Domingo, she weighed in at 115 lbs and won a six-round decision over Angela Garcia (130 lbs) of San Cristobal, Dominican Republic., who fell to 0-2.

On September 22, 2002 at Teo Cruz Coliseum in Santo Domingo, Johanna (116 lbs) won a six-round unanimous decision over Diane Garcia (118 lbs) also of the Dominican Republic, who fell to 2-1.

On November 7, 2002 at Teo Cruz Coliseum in Santo Domingo, Johanna (118 lbs) won by a third-round TKO over Zuleida DIaz (117 lbs), who fell to 0-3 (all of her losses being to Peña Álvarez). 

On December 19, 2002 at Teo Cruz Coliseum in Santo Domingo, Johanna (118 lbs) won with a one-punch KO over Angela Garcia (118 lbs) in the first round. Garcia who was reportedly out cold on the canvas for five minutes, fell to 1-3-0 (0 KO).

Peña Álvarez now decided to move her boxing career to the world stage.


Johanna takes on Elena Reid in Arizona
© Copyrighted photo taken by Dale Hausner

On November 7, 2003 at Desert Diamond Casino in Tucson, Arizona,  Elena Reid (114 lbs, 22 years old) of Phoenix, Arizona fought Johanna (113 lbs, 20 years old) to an exciting four-round (39-37 Peña Álvarez, 39-37 Reid, 38-38) draw. Reid landed the harder punches for most of the fight but Peña Álvarez came on strong in the final round to make it a close call on the scorecards. Reid progressed to 14-1-4 (4 KO).  The bout was seen on ESPN2 "Friday Night Fights". (For more photos of this fight, see Photo Gallery #120 on the WBAN Records Member Site.)

Regina vs. Johanna Pena AlvarezOn January 17, 2004 at dm-Arena in Karlsruhe, Germany, Regina Halmich of Karlsruhe (110¾ lbs) won a convincing 10-round decision over Johanna (112 lbs) for Hamich's WIBF world Flyweight title.

Women's Boxing Page correspondent Ewan Whyte wrote: "Halmich won by a wide margin. Peña seemed intimidated, if not by Halmich, then by the magnitude of the occasion. Normally she´s quick on her feet, she dances, but here she adopted a wide, stiff-legged stance, backing away most of the time and looking only to counter. It was Halmich that was doing all the dancing; at one point, her trainer told her off for wasting energy. Peña's a southpaw; she holds her right high; tonight she moved awkwardly, but ... this wasn't at all her natural style. If this was some new strategy, it was ill-considered. She did hit quite hard, cutting Halmich under the left eye, but never really cut loose until the last round, by which time she was too tired to make it count. At the end, when she ran out of steam mid-round, you had the feeling that Halmich could have stopped her but hadn't the heart. The crowd were 100% behind Halmich, except at one point, when Peña counter-attacked bravely after taking a few hard punches, and you could hear a loud murmur of appreciation."  Halmich was now 44-1-0 (15 KO). (Also see the WBAN fight report by Peter Geudens and Photo Gallery #135 on the WBAN Records Member Site.)

On March 19, 2004 at the International Ballroom Arena in Houston, Texas, Johanna (112 lbs) used her accurate left hand effectively to win a clear eight-round unanimous (80-72,79-73,78-74) decision over WIBF Strawweight and WIBA Intercontinental Junior Flyweight champion Anissa Zamarron (112 lbs) of Austin, Texas for Zamarron’s Texas Junior Flyweight Championship.  Zamarron fell to 16-11-2 (5 KO) with the loss.
 

Delia Gonzalez vs. Pena AlvarezOn May 15, 2004 at Speaking Rock Casino in El Paso, Texas, Delia Gonzalez (110 lbs) of Chamberino, New Mexico fought Johanna (111 lbs) to a six-round majority draw (57-57,57-57,59-55 for Peña Álvarez). Neither was able to penetrate the other's defense to mount an effective attack. Ricardo Trujillo wrote  on NewMexicoBoxing.com that "Pena kept to the outside, making it difficult for Gonzalez to get in. The low crouching style of Pena befuddled Gonzalez from the first round on. Southpaw Pena used her right jab to keep Gonzalez away not allowing the shorter Gonzalez to dig to the body where she could slow down the Dominican. Unable to cut off the ring, Gonzalez threw wild punches that missed their mark to the retreating Pena. Credit should be given to Gonzalez, however, for trying to make a fight of it, but she could not stop Pena’s movement and pin her against the ropes to wail away." Peña Álvarez was now 15-2-2 (10 KOs) while Gonzalez moved her record to 13-9-5.


Melinda Cooper mixes it up with Johanna Peña Álvarez
© Copyrighted photo taken by Mary Ann Owen

On July 23, 2004 at Agua Caliente Casino in Palm Springs, California, Melinda Cooper (114 lbs) of Las Vegas, Nevada won a six-round unanimous (58-54,59-55,59-55) decision over Johanna (115 lbs).   WBAN's insider reported that Peña Álvarez began the fight by landing a hard lead left to Cooper who initially seemed content just to study Johanna's moves. Later in the bout, Cooper began to pursue Peña Álvarez, prompting her to do a lot of holding. Peña Álvarez was deducted a point for holding in the fifth and was nearly stopped in the final round. “I wanted to knock her out,” said Cooper, adding  “I thought I could have done it a couple of times but she kept holding. I thought she was a tough fighter so I was really ready for it. I know I won easily but I didn’t look good against her.” Cooper improved to 12-0-0 (7 KOs) while Peña Álvarez fell to 15-3-2 (10 KOs). For more photos of this fight by Mary Ann Owen, see Photo Gallery #190 on the WBAN Member Site

 

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Page last updated: Friday August 09, 2013

 
     
     
     
     
 

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