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Kelsey in action vs. Jerri Sitzes
© Copyrighted photo by Don Smith and SVS&E


5'5" featherweight Kelsey "Road Warrior" Jeffries was born on November 7, 1975, in Bakersfield, California. Jeffries lived in Bakersfield until she was 13, then moved to Hawaii where she attended Kaiser High School in Hawaii Kai.

Jeffries was a boxing fan from childhood on. Kickboxing was popular in the island state, and she took up the sport early, eventually becoming a champion, then switching to boxing after a few years. 

She began boxing as an amateur in 1994.  She fought one fight in Hawaii, then went to live in Japan where she coached boxing until the beginning of 1996.  She then returned to the States and won the California Golden Gloves title from 1997 to 1999.

Boxing out of the Santa Clara PAL Boxing Gym she competed in the 125-lb division of the 1997 USA Boxing National Championships, where she lost a quarterfinal bout to eventual gold medalist Alicia Ashley by a 4-1 score.

In the 1998 USA Boxing National Championships in Santa Ana, California on May 28, she narrowly lost to fellow Californian Adelaida Avalos of South El Monte in the 125-lb preliminaries by 10-9. Her final amateur record was 9-2.

Kelsey made her pro debut on July 2, 1999 at the Convention Center in Tucson, Arizona, winning by TKO at 00:51 in the first round over Sandra Mapone of Los Angeles. The fight was described to me as "a rout" and was stopped with Mapone's nose and mouth bleeding profusely.

On October 9, 1999 at Seven Feathers Hotel and Casino Resort in Canyonville, Oregon, Jeffries won a four-round unanimous decision over experience pro boxer  Melinda Robinson of Texas, According to a Women's Boxing Page correspondent, Kelsey appeared nervous and lost the first round but won the rest of the fight and almost knocked Robinson out in the third and fourth rounds. The fans were chanting "Kel-C" throughout as Robinson fell to 8-8.

Kelsey Jeffries vs. Brenda BurnsideOn December 4, 1999 at the Chinook Winds Casino in Lincoln City, Oregon, Kelsey won a four-round unanimous (40-36, 40-35, 39-37) decision over perennially tough Brenda Burnside of Albuquerque, New Mexico, whose pro record fell to 7-9-2. Burnside charged from a crouching style that could not get her past Jeffries's crisp jabs and hooks and good lateral movement.  Burnside took plenty of punishment as Jeffries controlled the fight.  Mike Blair of Boxing Prospects (who took the photo above) wrote: "The newest rising star in the female boxing circuit, Kelsey Jeffries, remained undefeated as she won a unanimous decision against Brenda Burnside. In Round Two, Jeffries' jab jolted and jingled Burnside's brain. The beating continued for the next two rounds." 

On January 21, 2000 at Feather Falls Casino in Oroville, California, she defeated Lisa Lewis of Fresno, California by unanimous decision in a four-round junior lightweight bout. Lewis was making her pro debut.

On February 10, 2000 at the Centennial Garden in Bakersfield, California. Kelsey won a four round unanimous decision over JoJo Wyman of Woodland Hills, California, who fell to 4-2.  This would be the first of several battles between the two California rivals.

Kelsey Jeffries vs. Melinda Robinson
Kelsey vs. Melinda Robinson
© Copyrighted photo by Mike Blair, Boxing Prospects

On March 25, 2000 at Seven Feathers Hotel and Casino Resort in Canyonville, Oregon, she weighed in at 129 lbs and won a four-round majority decision in a rematch with Melinda Robinson (130 lbs) of Austin, Texas, who fell to 9-11 with the loss.

On May 5, 2000 at Steven's Steak House in Commerce, California, Kelsey weighed in at 122 lbs and moved to a perfect 7-0 with a split decision over Elizabeth Aguilera (127 lbs), who fell to 2-1. Jeffries handed Aguilera a four-round boxing lesson and the split decision ... one judge saw it 39-37 for Aguilera ... was booed by the crowd.

On June 16, 2000 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada, Laura Serrano (128 lbs) of Mexico City moved her record to 11-0-1 with a TKO at 1:59 of the third round over Jeffries, who had weighed in at 124 lbs. Kelsey told me that by fight night she was at 125 lbs while Serrano was 137. Jeffries was knocked down in the second and third rounds, but told me "I was never hurt by Laura, just off balance when she threw a good shot", adding "I felt I won the first round and at the end of the second round the ref was pulling me off her. In the third round we finished the round exchanging punches, I was against the ropes and the ref knew the weight difference. Perhaps that is why he stopped the fight one second before the bell rang. It was a great fight and should not have been stopped", says Jeffries. Still, Kelsey emphasized that her comments are "not to take anything away from Laura. She is a great fighter ... a strong girl ... and the best fighter I have fought yet."

Cynthia Prouder vs. Kelsey Jeffries On August 12, 2000 at Yakima Nation Legends Casino in Toppenish, Washington, Kelsey (123 lbs) won a unanimous ten-round decision over Cynthia Prouder of Los Angeles for the WIBF America's Featherweight title (see pictures by Mike Blair at right). Jeffries put in a solid boxing performance on the way to a 100-90, 99-91, 99-92 decision. Asked how she felt about her first ten-round bout, Kelsey said it was "way easier than expected. I do it in the gym all the time, but in a fight is a bit different. I fought my fight and when you do that its much easier on you. Not that Cynthia was an easy fighter ... she is bigger than me and very strong and she came to fight." Cynthia Prouder fell to 5-8-1 with this loss.

On September 3, 2000 in Yerington, Nevada, Kelsey's 1997 amateur nemesis Alicia Ashley (126 lbs) of Westbury, New York moved her own pro record to 5-3 with a six-round unanimous (58-56,58-56,58-56) decision over Kelsey, who weighed in at 124½ lbs. 800 fans saw the card in an outdoor stadium in a downtown Yerington parking lot; it was also carried by Univision.

On October 19, 2000 at Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim, California, Kelsey won a hard fought four-round majority (40-36, 40-36 and 38-38) decision in a rematch with Cynthia Prouder, who fell to 5-9-1. I was told that the fight had great action, also that many of those at ringside felt it was closer than the two 40-36 scorecards implied!

On January 21, 2001 at the Peppermill Hotel Casino in Reno, Nevada, Kelsey weighed in at 124 lbs and used her height and nine-inch reach advantage to shut out Imelda Arias (5'2", 129 lbs) of Ciudad Juárez, México over four rounds. Arias fell to 8-9 (8 KO's).

On February 10, 2001 at Estrel Convention Center in Berlin, Germany, WIBF Junior Featherweight champion Michele Aboro of the U.K. moved her record to 19-0 (11 KO's) with a 98-93,98-92,97-94 ten-round decision over Kelsey. This was a close fight early on with Jeffries working the body well, but Aboro using effective right hand/left hook combinations and coming on stronger in the late going to take the decision. [Read the fight reports by Marcel Niessen and by Kelsey's co-manager Rick Mello, with very different 'takes' on this decision!]

On May 6, 2001 at Celebrity Theater in Phoenix, Arizona, Kelsey won a four-round unanimous decision over former WIBF Super Flyweight and IFBA Bantamweight champion (and local favorite) Yvonne Trevino. Trevino, who was returning to competition as a featherweight after a two-year absence, was knocked down twice in the first two rounds but kept trying to turn the tide of the fight. Trevino fell to 9-5-1 (6 KO's) with the loss and hasn't boxed since.

On September 29 at Gdansk, Poland, Iwona Guzowska (5'4½", 125¾ lbs) of Poland retained the WIBO World Featherweight title with a ten-round decision over Kelsey (123¼ lbs). Guzowska advanced to 8-1 (2 KOs) with the win.

On November 11, 2001 at Belterra Casino Resort in Belterra, Indiana, WIBF Junior Lightweight and IWBF Intercontinental Lightweight champion Laura Serrano (125 lbs) of Mexico won a six-round unanimous (58-56,58-56,58-56) decision over Kelsey (126½ lbs). Serrano advanced to 13-0-2 (4 KOs) with the win. The early rounds were closely fought toe-to-toe action, but Serrano came on stronger in the last two to take the decision.

On February 2, 2002 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida, unbeaten Corinne Van Ryck de Groot(128½ lbs) of Atlanta, Georgia pounded out a six-round unanimous decision over Kelsey (126 lbs). The capable southpaw VanRyckDeGroot showed superior ring skills and outboxed Jeffries to bloody Kelsey's face with accurate counterpunching. Jeffries was knocked down twice in the second round. Van Ryck de Groot advanced her record to 9-0-0 (4 KO) with the win.

On February 23, 2002 at Bally's Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Alicia Ashley (125 lbs) from Long Island, New York won a ten-round split (96-94,96-93,93-97) decision over Kelsey (125 lbs) for the vacant IWBF Featherweight title. Ashley used good ring movement and her jab to keep Jeffries at a distance. Neither was in serious difficulty during the fight, although Ashley was knocked down briefly in the second round when Jeffries caught her with a straight left as she was coming in. Judges Emil Comforti and Melvina Lathan gave the bout to Ashley, while Henry Grant saw it for Jeffries. Jeffries had taken the rematch at short notice as a late substitute for Layla McCarter, who withdrew after losing to Jessica Rakoczy in Las Vegas the previous weekend. Ashley improved her pro record to 7-3-1 (0 KO's) with the win. [See the round-by-round fight report by Rick Scharmberg].

After four tough losses, Kelsey was about to embark on a winning streak!

On May 23, 2002 at the Compaq Center in San Jose, California, Kelsey (124 lbs) advanced to 12-7-0 (1 KO) and won the California Women's Featherweight title with a six-round majority (59-55,59-55,57-57) decision over Karen Martin (127 lbs) of North Hollywood. Martin looked sharp with her jab in the opening round and landed a good right to Jeffries's head but Jeffries came on strong near the end of the second and stunned Martin with a good combination just before the bell. Martin responded with a hard-hitting third round and landed a solid left to Jeffries' jaw late in that session. The rest of the bout saw the more experienced Jeffries get the better of spirited exchanges in which they traded solid shots. Martin struggled in the late going but there were no knockdowns despite both landing solidly. Martin fell to 5-3-0 (4 KO) with the loss. [See the fight analysis by Craig Ogawa].

Kelsey rocks Michele Nielsen in Texas, June 2002
© Copyrighted photo by Tony Duffy

On June 21, 2002 at the Convention Center in Waco, Texas, Kelsey won the WIBA Americas' Junior Lightweight title with an eight-round unanimous (78-74, 79-73, 79-73) decision over  Michele Nielsen of Houston, Texas, who fell to 6-2-1 (2 KO).

In July 2002 WBAN named Kelsey its "Fighter of the Month".

On July 11, 2002 at Compaq Center in San Jose, California, a crowd of nearly 4000 saw Kelsey (125 lbs) win a four-round unanimous 40-36 decision over Sosadea Razo (5'3", 124 lbs) of Santa Rosa. Razo, who had not fought for almost a year, took the bout at short notice as a substitute for an injured Cynthia Prouder. Razo came out aggressively and cornered Jeffries, but Kelsey soon showed that she had the speed, footwork and boxing skills to get out of trouble and control the action. Razo made a fight of it again in the second, trading solid combinations with her more experienced opponent, but Jeffries took charge in the third with good ring movement and Razo drew a warning for a low blow. Razo threw all she had into the start of the fourth but Jeffries responded with several solid rights and then got the better of fierce action in the closing moments. Correspondent Brian Low told WBAN: "With Razo’s lack of defense, Jeffries seemed to score with just about everything she threw." The game but overmatched Razo fell to 0-3 with this loss.

On August 8, 2002 at Centennial Garden in Bakersfield, California, Kelsey (126 lbs) won a six-round unanimous (60-54) decision over #12 ranked junior lightweight Cynthia Prouder (127 lbs) of Los Angeles in a semi- main event for Jeffries' California State Featherweight title. Jeffries controlled the action in the early rounds and worked on the inside with good combinations. Prouder picked up her pace in the second half of the bout but still couldn't match Jeffries' steady barrage of leather as the Bakersfield native pitched a shutout. This was the third fight between the two California rivals; all three won by Jeffries. Prouder fell to 8-10-1 (3 KOs).

On October 18, 2002 at San Francisco Concourse, San Francisco, California, Kelsey advanced to 16-7-0 (1 KO) with a convincing six-round unanimous (60-54,58-54,59-55) decision over #2 ranked featherweight JoJo Wyman of Los Angeles who fell to 9-6-1 (0 KO) with the loss. This six-rounder was the card's semi-main event, for the California women's featherweight title. Jeffries tried to work Wyman onto the ropes in the early going but Wyman's boxing skills kept her out of trouble until the fourth round, when Jeffries began to land with some serious leather to Wyman's head and body. Both looked tired in the late going but Jeffries had the edge with some genuine power in her punches, which Wyman couldn't match.

On November 7, 2002 at Centennial Gardens in Bakersfield, California, Kelsey (125½ lbs) celebrated her birthday by winning the IFBA world Featherweight title with a ten-round unanimous (100-90,97- 93,98-92) decision over Layla McCarter (125 lbs) of Las Vegas. Jeffries was the aggressor in the early going and tried to work on McCarter's body at close quarters while McCarter replied with good movement, hand speed and nifty counterpunching with her left hook. After a close opening round in which both tried to establish their jabs, Jeffries kept the heat on McCarter enough to convince the judges to hand her the IFBA title by a broad margin on the scorecards.

McCarter, who boxed effectively in the later rounds and landed some solid shots in the final stanza, was upset by the lop-sided scoring, saying that she felt she had done enough to win the fight and had lost a hometown decision. McCarter fell to 11-8-4 (2 KO) with the loss.

"She didn't knock me out," Jeffries said, mocking a pre-fight KO prediction by McCarter. "She was lazy with her jab. My goal was to cut her off. She really spent most of the time running away. I pressed the fight; I made the fight. She boxed and had a decent jab. She's a little quicker than what I had seen on tape. I just wanted to track her down and nail her ... she didn't want to fight me. But when I cut her off she had nothing; she couldn't do nothing. I take on all comers. If she wants to fight again and if its made, I'll take it. She's a good fighter, she's a tough girl."

On February 13, 2003 at Centennial Garden in Bakersfield, California, Kelsey won a six-round unanimous (60-54,60-54,60-54) decision over IFBA junior bantamweight champion and Para Draine of Spokane, Washington, who fell to 13-6-1 (2 KO). This non-title bout was added to the card at short notice. Jeffries was originally supposed to take on Marilyn Salcido at 124 lbs and Draine took the match at the last moment. Jeffries told WBAN that she was very impressed with Draine, who "had a lot of heart."  Jeffries said that after the match-up with Salcido fell through, she went down two more pounds as Draine's weight was about 119 lbs. 

Kelsey sizes up Rolanda Andrews
© Copyrighted photo taken by Brian Low

On March 20, 2003 at HP Pavillion in San Jose, California, Kelsey (125¼ lbs) won a ten-round unanimous (99-91,99-91,98-93) decision over Rolanda Andrews (126 lbs) of Atlanta, Georgia to retain the IFBA Featherweight title. There were no knockdowns. Andrews fell to 6-7-0 (3 KO). (See WBAN Photo Gallery #39 on the WBAN Records Member Site.)

Kelsey mixes it up with JoJo Wyman
Copyrighted photo taken by Mike Blair

On April 21, 2003 at Yakima Nation Legends Casino, Toppenish, Washington, Kelsey won an eight-round unanimous (76-75,76-75,77-75) decision over JoJo Wyman of Los Angeles. Wyman fell to 9-8-1 (0 KO). Wyman put Jeffries on the canvas in the first minute of the fight, and according to WBAN correspondent Lori Steinhorst "the grin on Wyman's face made you very well aware that she was pleased with the changes that she had made."  Wyman kept Jeffries off her rhythm for the first five rounds, but Kelsey adapted as the fight went on despite suffering a cut beside her left eye (from an accidental head butt) that would eventually require ten stitches (see below and WBAN Photo Gallery #75 on the WBAN Records Member Site).

10 stitches ... but she won the fight!
Copyrighted photo taken by Mike Blair

On June 13, 2003 at Civic Auditorium in San Jose, California, in their third pro rematch, JoJo Wyman won an eight-round majority (79-73,79-74,76-76) decision over Kelsey. Jeffries lacked her usual aggressive spark early in this fight, and seemed content to stick and move. This tactic allowed Wyman to push the pace of the early rounds, but Jeffries began to play catch-up by letting go some power shots in the fourth. Wyman responded well and began to catch Jeffries with solid lefts to the head in the fifth and sixth. Jeffries did some of her best work in the seventh and eighth, landing a solid right in the seventh and putting on a strong finish in the eighth, but by then it was too little and too late for the two judges who'd scored the early rounds solidly for Wyman. Wyman, who was a late replacement for Liz Drew, ended a four-fight winless streak and advanced her record to 10-8-1 (0 KO) while Jeffries saw the end of her own nine-fight winning streak. Jeffries was upset by the lop-sided scores on two of the cards, telling reporters “I thought I won the fight. She hardly landed with anything.”

Kelsey Jeffries vs. Melissa Del Valle in July 2003
© Copyrighted photo taken by Jesus Sanchez

On July 10, 2003 at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Kelsey (124½ lbs) bounced back by winning a six-round unanimous (58-55) decision over previously unbeaten Melissa Del Valle (129 lbs) of Miami. Del Valle took the early rounds with her slick boxing skills, movement and counterpunching but Jeffries began to find the range in the third and engaged her in trading some solid leather. Jeffries, who had sworn to "give her hell" before the fight, and challenged Del Valle to stand and fight her in the fourth, became more aggressive as it went on and the California crowd got behind her. She won the battle going away with body shots that set up clean, crisp punches to Del Valle's head. Del Valle, who came into the bout heavier than the 127 lb contract weight, had a point deducted in the fifth for punching on the break. Jeffries said that Del Valle was "my smartest opponent, but she wouldn’t stay in there and fight with me. She kept running and that’s so bad, I know she doesn’t mean to run, but that’s how she fights. She’s strong, too. She cracked me with a good punch. I wanted a fight, that’s what I told her, ‘come on tough girl. Stop running. You came to fight, let’s fight.” Del Valle fell to 27-1-1 (11 KO). (See WBAN Photo Gallery #83 on the WBAN Records Member Site).

On September 19, 2003 at Centennial Garden in Bakersfield, California, Kelsey (125 lbs) was held to an eight-round split (77-75,78-74,75-77) decision by unranked Valanna McGee (126 lbs) of Sacramento, California. McGee hurt Jeffries with a right to the jaw in the opening round but Jeffries began to come back in the third despite often being beaten to the punch by McGee. McGee faded later in the bout and Jeffries was able to squeak out the win against a surprisingly difficult opponent. Jeffries, a Bakersfield native, said of McGee: "She's a good fighter, but I felt I did enough to win the bout. I felt she was holding a lot and I was the aggressor." McGee, aware that she was fighting in Jeffries' original hometown, said "Being this is where she was from, I knew I had to knock her out to win. You just learn from this and go on." McGee slipped to 1-2-0 (0 KO).

On November 6, 2003 at HP Pavilion in San Jose, California, Kelsey (123¾ lbs) won a ten-round unanimous (98-92,98-92,97-93) decision over Kelli Cofer (5'9", 125½ lbs) of Willard, Ohio. Jeffries, who pursued and overpowered the taller Cofer for the full ten rounds, retained her IFBA Featherweight title with the win and advanced her pro record to 23-8-0 (1 KO) while Cofer slipped to 10-2-3 (4 KO). Cofer had a reach advantage and she tried to take the fight to Jeffries at first. Cofer did her best work in the third round when she connected with a right cross and then a quick combination to the head. Jeffries never looked rattled, but Cofer finished the round well. In the fourth, Jeffries landed her first solid shot to the head, a swinging left. When Cofer stood her ground and tried to counter, Jeffries responded with another stiff left. “She didn’t run,” Jeffries said. “She started moving and hitting me real good. I started walking into stuff and then I started getting a little smart, stepping around, and going to her body.” After that Jeffries' speed and ring experience were the dominant factor as she worked Cofer's body (see photo above by Jesus Sanchez) and then went upstairs to land shots to Cofer’s nose and chin in the fifth. Cofer began to look hurt and tired for the first time. Cofer responded by holding Jeffries, but Kelsey began going upstairs with power shots to the head and won the fight going away in the later rounds as Cofer tired. (see WBAN Photo Gallery #119 on the WBAN Records Member Site ).

Jeffries prepared for this fight by working for a week with former pro boxer, now trainer, James ‘Buddy’ McGirt. “That helped a lot. It helped my strength,” Jeffries said. “I could tell I’m sitting down more, I’m getting a lot more power with my punches, and my confidence is a little bit better.”

Kelsey TKO's Carla Wilcox, December 2003
Copyrighted photo taken by Mike Blair

On December 12, 2003 at Yakima Legends Casino in Toppenish, Washington, Kelsey TKO'd unranked Carla Wilcox of Seattle, Washington at 1:49 in the first round. Wilcox fell to 4-4-0 (1 KO). (see WBAN Photo Gallery #131 on the WBAN Records Member Site).

Kelsey lands a left on Linda Tenberg, March 2004
© Copyrighted photo taken by Jesus Sanchez

On March 12, 2004 at HP Pavilion, San Jose, California, Kelsey (122½ lbs) won a six-round unanimous decision over Linda Tenberg (123 lbs) of Austin, Texas. Tenberg fell to 8-9-0 (4 KO). (see WBAN Photo Gallery #153 on the WBAN Records Member Site).

On June 12, 2004 at San Jose State University Events Center in San Jose, California, Kelsey won all six rounds on every scorecard for a unanimous decision over Lisa Lewis of Fresno, California. Jeffries advanced to 26-8-0 (2 KOs) while Lewis fell to 6-9 (2 KO).

vs. Leona Brown in June 2004
© Copyrighted photo taken by Mike Blair

On June 17, 2004 in the Umpqua Grand Ballroom at Seven Feathers Casino in Canyonville, Oregon, Kelsey (123 lbs) won an eight-round unanimous decision over Leona Brown (122 lbs) of Pawling, New York.  “I had to use a lot of self-control in this fight,” said Jeffries, who had won every round on all three scorecards, “I kept my mouth shut.” Jeffries used her boxing skills, her jab and a lot of patience to defeat Brown, who spent the whole fight trash-talking, holding and wrestling Kelsey when she wasn't throwing wild punches. “She called me a b**** every time I came in close. She had something greasy in her hair and she was trying to stick it in my eyes. She hit me below the belt a couple of times, she tried to head-butt me. She kept holding me and she pulled me down to the canvas with her. She did everything bad that I’ve ever experienced.” Brown was deducted a point for holding, but it was academic as Jeffries had dominated the contest anyway. Brown fell to 11-14-0 (5 KO). (For more photos of this fight, see WBAN Photo Gallery #182 on the WBAN Records Member Site).

On August 13,  2004 at Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, California, Kelsey (123½ lbs) won a shutout six-round unanimous (60-54) decision over Melissa Yanas of San Antonio, Texas.  According to WBAN correspondent Mara Castillon, "From the first round on, Jeffries bewildered Yanas with non-stop aggression that included punches to the body and head. Though Yanas took the brunt of the blows, she never seemed hurt but was unable to land more than one punch at a time. Jeffries marched in with her two-fisted attack and forced referee Raul Caiz Jr. to call a knockdown on Yanas in the third round.  Yanas seemed more determined the next round to step her own attack and landed a solid uppercut but received a stunning right hand almost simultaneously. That became the theme of the fight with Yanas landing a solid right and Jeffries coming back with several more. At times it seemed Yanas wanted to kick Jeffries and lifted her knee up a few inches before dropping it back down to the floor.   But though Jeffries landed numerous punches, Yanas withstood them all and seemed unfazed."  

"It wasn't my best fight out there," said Jeffries, "she did a lot of holding and she was awkward. She was a little strong in there ... she'll do better with someone else." 

Kelsey goes to the body of Jerri Sitzes
© Copyrighted photo by Jesus Sanchez

On September 23, 2004 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California, Kelsey (121½ lbs) won a hard-fought 10-round majority (96-94,97-93, 95-95) decision over Jerri Sitzes (122 lbs) of Springfield, Missouri for the vacant IBA Super Bantamweight title.  Sitzes began well, using her jab to keep Jeffries off balance, and occasionally beating Kelsey to the punch with a quick uppercut. Kelsey began to find her range in the second, and scored with a hard right to Sitzes' temple followed by a two-fisted combination. Rounds three and four were close as both landed well, with Jeffries busier.  Jeffries began to give Sitzes a boxing lesson in the middle rounds, slipping Sitzes' punches while scoring frequently with effective combinations to the body.  Sitzes rallied in the eighth, as she began to beat Jeffries with quick, short, straight punches.  However, Sitzes tried in the ninth and Jeffries again took the initiative, connecting with a hard left to the body and a right to the head. The final round was close with both landing well. Jeffries improved her record to 29-8 (2 KO) while Sitzes fell to 5-6-1 (3 KO).

Jesus Sanchez, who covered the fight for WBAN said, "This was definitely the fight of the night! Both fighters took a lot of punishment but their great conditioning was a factor in this fight going 10 rounds. I was very impressed with both fighters but let me tell you ... Jerri is the best 5-5 fighter I have ever seen! I believe Kelsey did enough to win a decision but a rematch would be great to see!" (For more photos of this fight, see WBAN Photo Gallery #206 on the WBAN Records Member Site).

On November 6, 2004 at the Sevens Feathers Hotel and Casino Resort, in Canyonville, Oregon, Kelsey (125 lbs) won her fifth
title defense of her IFBA Featherweight World title belt with a ten-round unanimous (100-90,99-91,99-91) decision over Trisha 'TNT' Hill (126 lbs) of Atlanta in the card's main event.  According to Katherine Dunn of Cyberboxingzone.com, "Jeffries attacked from the first bell on, took control with fast, intense combos to head and body, and never allowed Hill to come out of her defensive posture.  The fight ended with a standing ovation, and both Jeffries and Hill were extremely impressive."  Hill took a lot of punishment but kept rallying as she fell to 8-5-1 (4 KOs).

IFBA President Judith Kulis presented Jeffries with the award for IFBA Fighter of the Year for 2003. She also clearly earned her ring moniker, the " Road Warrior ", by her willingness to fight all over the United States, as well as Germany and  Poland, and to take on opponents who are significantly bigger then her natural 122 pounds.

On June 16, 2005 at Seven Feathers Casino in Canyonville, Oregon
Kelsey (123 lbs)  won a six-round unanimous (60-54,60-54,58-57) decision over LaKeysha Williams (122 lbs) of Philadelphia, PA. “I’ve seen pieces of her,” said Jeffries before the fight. “Philadelphia fighters are a different breed. I’m expecting a tough fight. She’s a boxer, and I’m not crazy about boxers because I have to chase them.”  Jeffries improved to 31-8-0 (2 KOs) with the win while dropping Williams to 8-8-3 (1 KO).

Kelsey battles Kim Colbert
© Copyrighted photo taken by Rick Baker

On June 25, 2005 at Legends Casino Resort in Toppenish, Washington, Kelsey (123½ lbs) won a six-round unanimous (60-54,60-54,60-55) decision over Kim Colbert (5'3", 125½ lbs) of Southfield, Michigan. Colbert didn’t make the contract weight of 125 lbs, so she chose to forfeit 20% of her purse to Jeffries but still made a fight of it once the bell rang.  (For more photos of this fight by Rick Baker, see WBAN Photo Gallery #270 on the WBAN Records Member Site). Colbert dropped to 2-8-1 (2 KOs).

On July 21, 2005 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California, Kelsey
(118½ lbs) won a six-round unanimous (60-54,59-54,59-54) decision over Leona Brown (122 lbs) of Buffalo, New York. Brown fell to 13-16-0 (5 KOs) with the loss.

On January 28, 2006 at Plaza de Toros in Cancún, Mexico, Jackie Nava (117¼ lbs) of Tijuana, Mexico successfully defended her WBC Super Bantamweight title against Kelsey (119¾ lbs) with a ten-round unanimous (98-91,96-94,96-93) decision. Jeffries was dropped to one knee by a right hook to the left side of her head in the fourth. She was up before the referee could start counting and she tried to get the referee to rule it a slip, but to no avail. This was a "great, technical, exciting, beautiful fight" according to former world champion Laura Serrano Garcia who told WBAN: "Kelsey began very strong, dominating Nava and dictating the fight, Kelsey was the aggressor in the first three rounds. She was connecting (on) Nava with a busy and very effective left hand. In the fourth round, Jackie was attacking more and connected Kelsey with a very strong right hand, Kelsey went down and Nava gained confidence. By the sixth and seventh Nava was fighting with speed and working, throwing to the head and especially to the body effectively and Kelsey was BOXING, moving her legs with nice and fine movements around the ring. In the eighth round, Nava got cut in the right eyebrow and Kelsey was imposing her pace and experience. By the last round Kelsey was dominating and showing her skills, she was moving side to side and she was very busy. At the end of the fight Kelsey’s face was clean with some bruising. Jackie’s face appeared swollen, with black eyes, and the cut".

Kelsey told her local newspaper the Gilroy Dispatch about the knockdown "That was a changing moment in the fight, she hit me at the perfect time."  Her manager Bruce Anderson added "The thing is, it was just traumatizing, it got her out of her focus."  Both had praise for Nava, Jeffries saying "The girl had a chin of stone" and Anderson conceding that "(Nava) was tough, tough girl. When (Nava) won a round, she won big. Those were dramatic rounds and they're indelible. It was a great fight. There were people there, fighters who said that the girls could show the men how to fight."  Kelsey also relates that boxing legend Roberto Duran put his arm around her and told her "You won the fight. But you're in Mexico and you're not going to win."

Jackie Nava improved her record to 13-1-1 (8 KOs) while Kelsey fell to 33-9-0 (2 KOs) with her first loss since June 2003.

On June 15, 2006 at the Seven Feathers Resort and Casino in Canyonville, Oregon, Kelsey was tested hard by Melissa Hernandez of New York, who battled her to a split draw (95-93 Jeffries, 96-94 Hernandez, 95-95) decision over 10 rounds in just her fourth pro fight.   Jeffries won the first two rounds but Hernandez picked up her pace and began to land a hard right that would be effective throughout the fight.  Jeffries appeared to struggle against the speed of Hernandez in the middle rounds, but she appeared to turn the fight back her way with busy combinations in the seventh.  The eighth was more evenly fought but Hernandez went to the canvas in the final moments from what appeared to be a slip but was scored as a knockdown for Jeffries. Hernandez picked up her pace again to land well in the ninth, a round that ended with a fierce exchange as both went all out.  The tenth looked even until Hernandez caught Jeffries with a left hook that put the champion on the canvas.  The fight ended with another all-our slugfest by both. Jeffries is now 33-9-1 (2 KO's), Hernandez 3-0-1 (1 KO).

On September 14, 2006 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California,
Kelsey Jeffries (118¾ lbs) of Gilroy, California, stopped Stephanie Dobbs (116½ lbs) of Moore, Oklahoma, by TKO in the fourth round. Jeffries took control of the fight from the start, repeatedly backing Dobbs into the ropes and using an effective jab to land several shots. Midway through the second round, the Road Warrior connected on a solid blow to Dobbs' head, and moments later landed three more punches to her retreating opponent's body. "The body shots, after I found out where I needed to put 'em, were working well," said Jeffries, "right hands ... everything was actually landing really well."  Dobbs had run out of gas by the third round, but gamely hung on despite taking steady punishment.  "I'm a technician. I wanted to use my jab ... make her miss, and then make her pay," said Jeffries, adding "I felt in control the whole time, definitely."  Dobbs, who took the fight on just a few days' notice, fell to 21-24-4 (13 KOs)  while Kelsey improved to 35-9-1 (3 KO's).

Kelsey throws a right at Rhonda Luna
© Copyrighted photograph by Mary Ann Owen

On March 22, 2007 at the Isleta Casino near Albuquerque, New Mexico, Kelsey (123 lbs) won a ten-round split (97-93,94-96,96-94) decision over Rhonda Luna (124 lbs) of Rowland Heights, California, defending her IFBA Featherweight world title. This was a non-stop action bout, with Luna the heavier hitter starting the fight strongly, and Jeffries throwing the sharper and quicker punches, warming up as the bout progressed. Both threw nice combinations, effective jabs and body shots. In the fourth round, Luna developed a large lump on her forehead, which got larger as the fight continued. Jeffries had begun to find a home for her straight right and showed excellent use of footwork and angles to penetrate Luna's defense. The seventh round was one of the most “brawling rounds” of the fight, with the two exchanging puches ferociously at the end of the session. Jeffries pressed the action in the eight and ninth and the tenth was a barn-burner as both unleashed everything left in their arsenal of solid punches. Jeffries improved her record to 37-9-1 (3 KOs) with the win while Luna suffered her first pro loss in falling to 12-1-1 (1 KO).  (For coverage of the weigh-in, and fight photos by Mary Ann Owen and Patricia Butaud, see MPEG/Photo Galleries #419 and #420 on the WBAN Member Site).

Donna Biggers vs Kelsey Jeffries, June 2 2007
© copyrighted photo by Mary Ann Owen

On July 2, 2007 at Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, California, in the co-main event, Kelsey (122¼ lbs) won a 10-round unanimous (10-90 x 3) decision over unranked Donna Biggers (124 lbs) of Boiling Springs, South Carolina to retain her IFBA Featherweight title. “I’m not surprised it went the distance", said Jeffries of the bout that some had considered a mismatch. "The girls I fight always bring their best. The girl can punch. Now I know how she got 15 knockouts. Nothing comes easy for me”. Biggers fell to 19-5-1 (15 KOs) with the loss. (For more photos of the fight by Mary Ann Owen, see WBAN Photo Gallery #434 on the WBAN Records Member Site).

On November 3, 2007 at Seven Feathers Casino in Canyonville, Oregon, USA, Kelsey (121 lbs) won a ten-round unanimous (98-92 on all cards) decision over Elizabeth Villarreal (125 lbs) of San Antonio, Texas in the Main Event for the vacant GBU Featherweight title. According to WBAN correspondent Ricardo Ibarra, "Jeffries got off to a slow start in the first round of the bout as she struggled to get around her opponents long, rangy jab. Villarreal effectively kept Jeffries off balance and unable to get a rhythm going. In the second round Jeffries slowly began to assert herself, finding angles and landing repeatedly with precise jab-right hand combinations. Using good lateral movement and quick, straight punching Jeffries effectively stopped Villarreal from getting off first. A big double right hand combination from Jeffries stunned her opponent in the third round. Villarreal made it out of the round, moving out of harms way and snapping her jab to keep her opponent from landing anything of consequence. Jeffries used her jab and effective right hands to easily outbox her opponent throughout the remainder of the fight. Villarreal mounted a small comeback in the fifth round, landing repeatedly with hard one-twos as Jeffries slowed her output. Jeffries came back strong and stunned her opponent once again in the seventh round, snapping her head back with a straight right-left hook combination. Villarreal proved to be a tough fighter and fought back gamely throughout the fight, but she was in with a different level of fighter."  Jeffries improved her pro record to 39-9-1 (3 KOs) with the win while Villarreal dropped to 4-5-2 (0 KOs).

On June 12, 2008 at Seven Feathers Casino in Canyonville, Oregon, USA, Kelsey (120½ lbs) TKO'd Jessica Mohs (126½ lbs) of Pheonix, Arizona in the fourth round.  Mohs fell to 7-18-2 (2 KO's) with this loss.

On September 12, 2009 at HP Pavilion in San Jose, California, Ana Julaton (120¼ lbs) of Daly City, California won a ten-round majority (96-94,95-95,98-92) decision over Kelsey (119½ lbs) for the vacant IBA Junior Featherweight title. According to a report by Andrew Matheson in the Gilroy Dispatch, "Julaton used speed and a strong left jab to set the tone in the early rounds, and tried to stay on the outside as Jeffries preferred to battle closer to the body. The differing styles allowed for a stop-and-go bout, the main event of American Metal and Irons' Fight Night at the Tank. "But I thought I had the edge,' Jeffries said ... 'I thought I won the fight.'" 

"I wouldn't want to say surprised, but I feel overwhelmed right now," said Julaton, who had an extensive amateur career of 30-plus fights. Julaton moved to 5-1-1 (1 KO) with the win while Jeffries slipped to 41-10-1 (4 KOs).

Kelsey is an On Call Firefighter for the Hollister City Fire Department.

© Copyrighted photo by
Don Smith and SVS&E
courtesy Kelsey Jeffries

Kelsey is trained by former two time World Champion James "Buddy" McGirt. She attends extended training camps in his Elite Boxing Gym in Vero Beach, Florida. Her manager is Bruce Anderson who can be reached by telephone at 503-682-1132 and by email at banderson1231@gmail.com

Many thanks to Mike Blair of Boxing Prospects for permission to use his copyrighted photos in this profile of Kelsey ... Dee

More Kelsey Jeffries Links

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Page last updated:
Friday November 06, 2015


WBAN Boxer Bio by Dee Williams





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