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Keisher McLeod-Wells
 
   

5'8" flyweight Keisher "Fire" McLeod-Wells was born on June 12 1977 in Brooklyn, New York, where she lived with her parents, a twin sister Teisher McLeod, and two younger siblings. She ran track and field and played volleyball at Samuel J. Tilden High School. Her height and agility motivated her to dream of being an actress and a model.  After high school she enrolled in The National Black Theater in Harlem and was a student at TV1 and HB Studios.  She played a killer’s girlfriend on “Law and Order” and a hostess in “Sex and the City”.

"Fire" was introduced to boxing in 2002 after she had auditioned for a role in the movie "Terminator 2" and was told she was too “waify” for the part. Told that she needed to build up her muscle definition, she was given a gym pass to work with a boxing trainer for a week.  She loved the boxing workout and continued her training at the Kingsway Boxing Gym despite not getting the movie part. Her early motivation was simply to keep fit for her acting career but a coach told her she had the size to be a great boxer and could become a champion in a year if she tried to compete. 

Keisher McLeod-WellsShe won her first amateur championship in less than a year, taking a Gold Medal at the 2003 Empire State Games. She went on to train at the famed Gleason's Gym in Brooklyn and to compile a 34-6 amateur record that included two Ringside World titles (2005 and 2008), three Empire State (2003, 2004 and 2005) titles and four New York Golden Gloves (2004, 2005, 2006 and 2008) championships. On April 17 2008 she highlighted her amateur career by winning her fourth New York Golden Gloves title with a 4-1 decision over Alexis Asher in the 114-lb division. That win made  her the most successful NY Golden Gloves contestant to come out of Gleason's.

Keisher McLeod also competed at the national amateur level. She entered the Boxing USA Nationals in 2003 (losing to Emily Klinefelter of Iowa by 10-3 in the 110-lb semifinal), the 2004 Nationals (losing to Emily Klinefelter by 22-1 in the final), the 2004 PAL championship (losing to Emily Klinefelter by 18-6 in the final) and the 2008 Nationals (losing to Sacred Downing by 14-11 in the 52-kg final). She also fought in the National Golden Gloves, where she lost to her nemesis Emily Klinefelter in the 2003 semifinal and to Kathleen O'Connell of New Mexico in the 2004 final.  

She married Flaco Wells on October 14 2007 in a boxing themed ceremony in a ring at Gleason’s Gym.   

Her amateur boxing career was featured in the Danish movie documentary ''Prelude To a Fight" by Andreas Monies Bøggild and Mikkel Clausen which premiered at the Village East Cinema in New York City on October 27 2009.  [Video]

She made her pro debut on February 3, 2009 at the Masonic Temple in Brooklyn at 113¾ lbs, winning by a TKO at 0:55 in the first round over Treasure Saunders (111½ lbs) of Chicago, Illinois. Saunders fell to 0-4-1.  [Video]

Fie in PanamaOn May 28 2009 at Hotel El Panama in Panama City, Panama. Keisher (110¾ lbs) won a four-round unanimous (39-37,39-38,40-38) decision over Abigail Villar (110 lbs) of 24 de Diciembre, Panama, who fell to 2-2-2 (1 KO).

On July 21, 2009 at Centro de Convenciones Atlapa in Panama City, Panama, Keisher (109 lbs) lost a four-round majority (38-38,37-39,37-39) decision to Laura Ledezma (110 lbs) of Panama City.  Ledezma moved her record to 4-0 (3 KO's) with the win.

On March 31, 2010 at the B.B. King Blues Club and Grill in New York City, Keisher (113 lbs) won a four-round unanimous (40-36x3) decision over Laura Gomez (115 lbs) of Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico, who fell to 3-1.

McLeod Wells vs McMorrow

On February 9, 2011 at the B.B.King Blues Club and Grill in New York City, Keisher (107½ lbs) won a six-round unanimous (58-55,57-56, 57-56) decision over Melissa McMorrow (108 lbs) of San Carlos, California. McLeod-Wells used her jab to keep McMorrow at bay while Melissa tried to work under it to land punches from the inside. As described on WBAN by Bernie McCoy: "McMorrow was the aggressor from the first minute of the bout, employing a walk-in, straight ahead style that contrasted markedly with McLeod-Wells' stick and move tactics and gained McMorrow an edge in the first two rounds as McLeod-Wells had some difficulty locating her left jab, allowing the shorter fighter to work effectively inside. In the third round McLeod-Wells began to find the range with her long left and her side/side movement permitted more time in the middle of the ring, an effective tactic against the ever aggressive McMorrow. Rounds four and five, both closely contested, saw McLeod-Wells maintain a very slight edge in each stanza, with her fluid movement and long range jabs and left hooks. McMorrow, continually in a low crouch, minimizing the target for the taller boxer, continued launching bell/bell left and right hooks at her opponent.
The final round, while similar in style to the previous five, proved critical to the decision, when referee, Arthur Mercante, one of the best arbiters in the sport, awarded a knockdown to McLeod-Wells when McMorrow, coming out of a clinch, seemed to touch the canvas with her knee, after an inclose exchange of punches. McMorrow closed the bout with furious attacks, attempting to overcome the knockdown."
 McLeod-Wells advanced her pro record to 4-1-0 (1 KO) with the win. 

McMorrow vs McLeod Wells rematch

On July 30, 2011 at the Aviator Sports Complex in Brooklyn, New York, Melissa McMorrow (111 lbs) won an eight-round split (78-74,75-77, 78-74) decision in a rematch with Keisher (109 lbs) defending the New York State flyweight title.  Marc Abrams described the fight for 15rounds.com: "McMorrow showed the same determination she showed in her title winning effort when she defeated Eileen Olszewski a month ago in Queens. McMorrow bobbed and weaved her way inside very effectively through and under jabs and right hands of McLeod-Wells. In the middle rounds McLeod-Wells landed a few nicely timed uppercuts while McMorrow tried to get inside and even made McMorrow take a step backwards for the first time in the fight. That didn't last long as McMorrow had the fighting spirit and was undaunted by continuing to get inside and land combinations to any area that McLeod-Wells left unblocked. It was a a crowd pleasing and close fight that saw McMorrow get the verdict by scores of 78-74 on two cards while McLeod-Wells took a card at 77-75."  The loss dropped McLeod-Wells's record to 4-2 -0 (1 KO) while McMorrow improved hers to 6-2-3 (0 KO's). McLeod-Wells later told WBAN: "We are now 1-1 with one another and the final re-match is in negotiation now."

"Fire" teaches boxing fundamentals in various gym facilities, instilling confidence in both women and men to push themselves to achieve their goals of being physically and mentally fit. She uses her boxing as a testament to show that anything can be achieved through diligence and hard work. "It's not how many times I fall down in life that defines me, it's how many times I get up”  she says.

Keisher McLeod-Wells is represented by Optimum Sports Agency who believe she has the talent and desire to become the face of women’s boxing, and look forward to being part of her journey. [Video promo]

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Page last updated: Wednesday, December 28, 2011

 
     
     
     
     
 

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