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Kathy Collins
 
   

Kathy "Wildcat" Collins, a former high school shot-putter, is from Plainview, New York. She was born on March 23,1971, at an Air Force base in Maryland. Three months later, her parents moved to New York, where they lived until their divorce four years later. Her mother remarried and they moved to Marietta, Georgia where Kathy grew up. 

When Kathy turned 19, she went back to New York to visit her father who she had not seen for fourteen years. She fell in love with New York and decided to stay. She paid her way through Suffolk County Community College where she studied nursing. Her mother was a nurse, and Kathy believed that being a nurse was something she would enjoy and be good at. While working full time and going to school, and living on her own with poor eating habits, Kathy became out of shape and about 100 lbs overweight...wearing a size 26.

Kathy became dissatisfied with nursing, and she told WBAN, "I didn't like nursing, so I decided to take some time off from school and figure out what I wanted to do about it. I didn't like the way I looked so,  I went on a diet and in a month lost 10 lbs. I was so excited I wasn't even exercising. I decided to start exercising. I went to a big named chain of gyms where they had weights and a track and aerobic classes. I went to a class there was nothing but pregnant women and elderly men over 80 in the class. In about 15 minutes,  I was blue lost my breath entirely and started to slow down actually---- I quit. I needed to find another form of exercise.   I thought maybe some organized sports like baseball,  basketball, or volleyball, something like that. I couldn't find anything."

"I was watching TV  and saw a drama show and the girl was under cover in a boxing gym and they were killing her. It looked like a great work out and a great vice like a release. I had to try it. I had always loved Rocky movies too. I waa pumped to try it. Not so easy. I had to find a gym that offered it I had never even seen a real boxing match except Rocky.    I called all the gyms on Long Island.  I sat down with a phone book started with A and just called and called two hours worth of phone calls. Finally this girl answers a phone and she knows of a place just for women. I'm like PERFECT!  I called up and went down that night, in May 1994. The Academy of Boxing for Women was a small place kind of homey though and there we a few women in there.  I was supposed to meet a guy who owned the place called Frankie. I found him, I almost passed out I thought he was so cute and nice. He helped me, I was terrible. But, I loved it, I couldn't do it but I loved it, and I loved him that quick. I could jump rope but I loved punching,  I had ok balance but no stamina. I had to quit smoking."

Kathy soon became hooked on the "boxing high" and went directly to the professional ring.  Frankie Globoschutz was the IWBF founder and commissioner as well as her trainer, manager and finally, her husband. 

After a brief amateur career, described in detail here, Kathy decided to turn pro.

She made her pro debut at 140 lbs with a four-round decision over debut fighter Laurie Bishoff (139 lbs) at the Westbury Music Fair on Long Island on August 28, 1995. She then went on to win a four-round decision over Erica Schmidlin on 26 April 1996, and fought a four-round draw with Leslie Howe (139 lbs) in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi on 1 July 1996.

Kathy next won a six-round decision over Andrea DeShong in New York's Madison Square Garden Theater on 20 August 1996. This second IWBF fight brought professional women's boxing to Madison Square Garden and regular cable TV and saw Kathy defeat one of the most experienced female boxers around at that time (the only woman who had beaten Christy Martin).  DeShong fell to 11-3 with the loss.

She knocked out Australia's Angela Buchanan in the second round at the Music Fair in Westbury on 1 September 1996, and fought Norway's Helga Risoy (143 lbs) to a six-round draw at Caesar's Hotel and casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey on October 15, 1996. Another six-round draw with the durable Dora Webber on 1 March 1997 was followed by a six-round decision over Pennsylvania's Leah Mellinger at Westbury, Long Island on June 6, 1997.

On August 2 1997 at the Grand Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi, Kathy made a huge first showing in her first outing in the fledgling IFBA. Kathy weighed in at 140 lbs and scored a second-round TKO of overmatched Christina Berry (139 lbs) to claim the IFBA World Welterweight title. Berry fell to 1-1. 

Collins hammers Risoy!Kathy won the IWBF Junior Welterweight title when she TKO'd Norwegian veteran Helga Risoy (138 lbs) at Claridge Hotel in Atlantic City on October 24, 1997. Risoy did not answer the bell for the fourth round after absorbing some tremendous blows near the end of the third. This bout was seen live on ESPN2 (see picture at right). 

On January 10, 1998 at the Tropicana in Atlantic City she weighed in at 136 lbs and won another unanimous decision (99-91, 99-91 and 100-90) over Andrea DeShong (137 lbs) in defense of this IWBF title.

At Westbury, New York on March 27, 1998, she weighed in at 145 lbs and defeated Glenda Watkins (144 lbs) of Lima, Ohio by unanimous decision over eight rounds.  Watkin fell to 1-1 with the loss.

On May 24, 1998 at the Tropicana Resort Casino in Atlantic City, Kathy won the WIBF Lightweight title with a 10-round unanimous (96-94) decision over Marischa Sjauw of the Netherlands. This win made Kathy the first fighter to hold world titles from the WIBF, IFBA and IWBF. Sjauw fell to 6-2-1.

On July 31, 1998, again at the Tropicana in Atlantic City. New Jersey, Kathy won a 10-round unanimous decision over Olivia Gerula (now Olivia Pereira) of Winnipeg, Canada, who fell to 3-2-1.

Leah Mellinger vs. Kathy Collins
September 11 1998: Collins (right) faces Leah Mellinger

Kathy faced IFBA Junior Welterweight champion Leah Mellinger (139 lbs) on September 11, 1998 at the Tropicana in Atlantic City, in the first-ever showdown between two federation champions for both of their belts. Kathy had previously earned a decision over Leah, fighting on her Long Island home turf. Her problem in the rematch was soon obvious. Leah had three inches on Kathy in height, and the ring skills to make Kathy chase her while she stuck and moved. The early rounds frustrated Collins as she could not get inside to deliver her usual punishing left hooks to the body.

With occasional exceptions, Mellinger did not appear to have enough on her punches to punish Collins physically. But something went seriously awry for Kathy as the bout progressed. Between the fifth and sixth rounds, with Leah clearly ahead on points, Kathy told her corner that she didn't want to continue. The only visible damage was a small cut under her left eye, but the IWBF champion was on the verge of conceding the fight, her IWBF belt, and perhaps her reputation as a tough scrapper! It was a watershed moment for the Wildcat as her corner talked her into continuing, and she came out for the sixth fighting more aggressively. She backed Mellinger up, and won the round!

But Mellinger didn't panic. Leah had won the IFBA title by holding off Fredia Gibbs in the late rounds of a fight in which she had been badly cut, and she was equal to the task of holding off Kathy in the late rounds of this one. Kathy did get in close to use her body attack, and the judges eventually split the decision: two (Kasson Cheeks and George Colon) saw it 96-94 for Mellinger, and one (John Riley) 96-94 for Collins. Riley may have given Collins more credit than she gave herself in the early going, but the split was not well received by some in the crowd.

On April 17, 1999 Kathy returned to the Tropicana in Atlantic City for an eight-round rematch with Olivia Gerula of Winnipeg, Canada. This time Kathy won a unanimous (80-72, 80-72, 79-73) decision to move her record to 12-1-3 (3 KO's) while dropping Gerula to 3-4-1. "I was a lot sharper this time than the last time we fought," Kathy told the press after this fight. "I didn't do all the things that I wanted to do. I'm a little disappointed that she didn't go down. I hit her some real solid shots." Still, Gerula had won the crowd over with her willingness to trade with Collins, and the lop-sided decision was greeted with boos.

On May 12, 2000 at Adam's Mark Hotel in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Kathy won a 10-round split decision (96-94, 94-96, 96-94) over Denise Moraetes of Augusta, Georgia to take the IBA women's 140-lb (Junior Welterweight) world title. Moraetes fell to 10-2. The bout was the main event at Tulsa's annual Charity Fight Night gala.

On August 11, 2000 at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Kathy weighed in at 140 lbs and defeated Cheryl Nance of Greensboro, South Carolina by a six-round unanimous decision to improve her record to 14-1-3 with 3 KO's. Nance fell to 5-5 with 5 KO's.

On May 12, 2001 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, Kathy finally got the fight she had been angling for for years, and practically on her home turf, by signing on with Christy Martin's promoter Don King. However, Christy Martin (144 lbs) moved her record to 43-2-2 (31 KO's) with a ten-round majority (98-92,97-93,95-95) decision over Kathy (142¼ lbs). Both landed their share of bombs in a rugged fight but Martin's experience showed as she outhit and outboxed Collins in most rounds. (Martin fought more cautiously than usual but she threw 463 punches to Collins's 370 and connected with 38% compared to Collins's 28%.)

The crowd became restless in the later rounds as the fighters tired, but both landed hard in the third, fifth and sixth. Martin had predicted a win by KO but she told the New York Daily News after the bout: "I knew she (Collins) was going to be there for the long haul."

Collins stated that she thought she had won the bout, and asked for a rematch, saying "She's a good fighter but not the hardest puncher I've ever faced".

Asked if she has any message for beginning boxers, Kathy's answer came back quickly: "If someone tells you that you can't, use it as inspiration to prove that you can". A good message for all female boxers starting out into this challenging sport!

Other Kathy Collins links

Other Kathy Collins links

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Page last updated: Friday, 09 August 2013

 
     
     
     
     
 

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