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Mitzi Jeter began her pro boxing career as a light heavyweight but as her training and conditioning have developed she's worked her way down through the weight classes and is now competing as a welterweight.

Mitzi trains out of the Paul Murphy Doraville Boxing Club in Doraville, Georgia near Atlanta. Her manager is her husband, George Jeter, and her trainer is Barry Richardson.

Mitzi told me: "When we decided to try boxing we had a goal of three fights to see how competitive I would be in the field. After those three fights it was clear to me and my team that the competitiveness and the potential were there."

Mitzi's pro career began in Nashville, Tennessee with her weight at 171 lbs. On December 19, 1997 she scored a first round TKO over Columbia South Carolina boxer Autumn Mills (185 lbs) in her debut. Jeter quickly rocked Mills for a standing count before the referee stopped the fight at 1:46 in the first round.

On March 6, 1998 at the War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, she lost a close majority decision to Kathy Rivers of Hollywood, Florida over four rounds. One judge scored it as a draw after the action went back and forth with the hard-hitting Rivers the early aggressor and Jeter serving up solid counter punching throughout. The 6'0" Rivers was making her pro debut and has since been a force in the light heavyweight division.

On March 21, 1998 at the Tropicana Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Mitzi (at 164 lbs) got back into the win column with a four-round unanimous decision over newcomer Kendra Lenhart (168 lbs) of Lenoir City, Tennessee.

On July 19, 1998 at the Civic Center in Lake Charles, Louisiana, Mitzi moved her pro record to 3-1 with a six-round unanimous decision over Valerie Mahfood of Port Arthur, Texas. Mahfood fell to 2-1-0 with 1 KO.

Valerie Mahfood later said of Jeter: "In that fight, I was the
stronger girl. If I could have landed a punch, I could have crushed her. But, Jeter was the better boxer. She used that skill and experience to move around me. She picked her shots. She frustrated me and won the match on points. The first round we went toe to toe. I was considerably stronger than her and managed to hurt her in the first round. At the start of the second round, she realized she couldn't out power me. She could, however, out box me. She moved in and out, throwing a flurry of punches and moving before I could respond. She went under most of my punches. She picked her shots and was effectively able to dominate the rest of the fight. In my mind, I believe she won that fight. At the time, she was clearly the better boxer."

On August 21, 1998 at the Belle Casino in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Mitzi (at 152 lbs) moved to 4-1 with a six-round unanimous shut-out decision over Dawne George (152 lbs) of Gardiner, Massachusetts, who dropped to 2-1.  Mitzi used her counterpunching skills effectively in this bout.

On September 17, 1998 at the Grand Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi, Mitzi again lost narrowly, dropping a six-round split decision to Marsha Valley, a Canadian who fights out of the Los Angeles Boxing Gym. Valley moved her own record to 5-0 with 2 KO's.

On November 13, 1998 in Cherokee, North Carolina, Mitzi stopped Sherrie Painter with a second-round TKO.

On December 30, 1998 at the Tabernacle in Atlanta, Georgia, Mitzi moved to 6-2 with 2 KO's with a unanimous six-round decision over Christine Robinson of Sylva, North Carolina, who slipped to 1-3. Robinson took some big overhand rights early, and had a black eye after one round and a bloody nose after three.

On January 22, 1999 in Tunica, Mississippi, Mitzi (now down to 151 lbs) moved her pro record to 7-2 with 3 KO's with a TKO over Thistle Colleps (153˝ lbs) at 1:51 in the second round. Colleps fell to 0-4 with the loss.

On February 18, 1999 at the Horseshoe Casino in Bossier City, Louisiana, Mitzi (148 lbs) scored a TKO over Gina Nicholas (151¾ lbs) of Longview, Texas at 01:59 of the fourth round in a scheduled six-round bout. The win lifted Jeter to 8-2 with 4 KO's; Nicholas slips to 8-3.

On March 26, 1999 at Harrah's Casino in Cherokee, North Carolina, Mitzi moved her pro record to 9-2 with a four-round unanimous (40-36, 40-36, 39-37) decision over Dawne George of Lowell, Massachusetts, who fell to 3-3-1.

On April 30, 1999 at the Horseshoe Casino in Bossier City, Louisiana, Mitzi (now 141 lbs) again battled Marsha Valley (147 lbs). The rematch was over 10 rounds for the vacant IFBA welterweight title. Mitzi fought the Los Angeles-based Canadian to a draw, which moved her own record to 9-2-1 and Valley's to 5-1-1.

On May 29, 1999 at Roberto Clemente Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Mitzi (down to 140 lbs) took on local favorite Belinda Laracuente (137 lbs) of Mayaguez, Puerto Rico over eight rounds. Belinda spent the last five rounds keeping herself well away from Mitzi's punches on the way to a unanimous (79-73) decision that Team Jeter emphatically believes had some "home fighter" favoritism, as all the judges were from Puerto Rico. The win moved Laracuente's pro record to 17-2-1. Belinda Laracuente told me later: "Mitzi Jeter is the toughest opponent I have met so far in my career. She is so brave and so determined, and she is the hardest puncher I have faced. "

On June 18, 1999 in Fayetteville, North Carolina, she won a six-round unanimous decision over Gwen Smith of Charlotte, North Carolina, who fell to 3-8 with the loss.

On August 11, 1999 at the Boomtown Casino in New Orleans, Louisiana, Mitzi weighed in at 145½ lbs and easily won the WIBF Intercontinental Welterweight title with a unanimous (100-91, 100-91 and 99-91) ten-round decision over Ohio veteran Andrea DeShong (146 lbs). DeShong dropped to 13-6.

On March 23, 2000 in Atlanta, Georgia, Mitzi (145˝ lbs)  moved her record to 12-3-1 with a six-round majority (59-55,59-55,57-57) decision over Summer DeLeon (147˝ lbs) of St. George, Utah, who fell to 6-3-1. Both showed that they were very technically sound and in excellent condition. Mitzi was the aggressor for  most of the fight, landing more and cleaner combinations while Summer relied on a strong jab and left hook.

On September 23, 2000 at Camp Jordan Arena in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Mitzi defeated former IWBF Welterweight champion Lisa Ested of Richmond, Virginia by ten-round unanimous decision for the IFBA/IWBF Welterweight titles. Ested slipped to 8-4 with 5 KO's.

On December 16, 2000 in Savannah, Georgia, Mitzi won a six-round unanimous (59-55,59-55,60-54) decision over Christine Robinson, who fell to 1-4. Jeter said that Robinson was much stronger than when the two fought on December 30, 1998, telling WBAN: "Christine has worked hard since we met in the ring about two years ago. She is much stronger and fit. She threw her shots with intent coming out in the first round with a stiff jab and following with two or three combinations. I did not want to let the bigger woman get a power shot off so I would use my jab, head movement and footwork to negate her power. I controlled the first round with a jab and when I would get close enough she would tie me up. I got off body shots and that began to have an effect on her. After the third round (which was her best round) my corner advised me to get off more combinations. That as well as body shots pulled together to give me a clear victory. Christine was very strong. This was a good fight for women's boxing and just a good fight overall. "  

On April 12, 2001 at the Hyatt-Regency in Atlanta, Georgia, Mitzi (145 lbs) moved to 15-3-1 (4 KO's) with a unanimous decision over 5'11" Britt Van Buskirk (146 lbs) from Carbondale, Illinois. Jeter moved well and kept on the fight inside where she could work her uppercut against the rangy Van Buskirk, who fell to 10-12-1, (5 KO's).

On May 24, 2001 at the Teachers Union Hall in Dorchester, Massachusetts, Mitzi retained her IWBF title with a 10-round unanimous decision over Dawne George from Gardner, Massachusetts. George Colon scored it 100-90, while Paul Barry and Oscar Perez scored it 99-91. Jeter outworked George on the inside with combinations to the body. George fell to 4-7-1 (3 KO) [Fight report].

On December 21, 2002 at War Memorial Auditorium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Sunshine Fettkether (147 lbs) of Mesa, Arizona won a convincing ten-round unanimous (96-94,99-91,97-93) decision over Mitzi (144¾ lbs) for the WIBC welterweight title. Fettkether advanced to 5-2-2 (2 KO) with the win.

On December 23, 2002, the IFBA stripped Mitzi of its welterweight title for failure to defend.

On March 29, 2003 at Jarrell's Gym in Savannah, Georgia, IFBA junior lightweight champion Chevelle Hallback (145 lbs) of Tampa, Florida pounded out a unanimous six-round (59-55) decision over Mitzi (138 lbs). Hallback gained 12 lbs to fight Jeter, then got the better of her in an action-packed bout by throwing lots of punches and using her superior boxing skills to counter the hard-hitting former welterweight champ. "Mitzi gave me the toughest fight of my life," Hallback said. "I have to thank God for giving me the strength in this fight." Hallback once faced Lucia Rijker, so this is high praise! Hallback advanced to 14-3-1 (7 KO) with the win.

On April 26, 2003 at Jarrell's Gym in Savannah, Georgia, Chevelle Hallback (137 lbs) won a six-round unanimous (59-55, 59-55, 60-54) decision over Mitzi (145 lbs) in a rematch of their March 29 contest. Both the result and the action were similar to the earlier fight, with Hallback outworking the veteran Jeter, who refused to back down under a powerful onslaught from Hallback. "I felt I was much more relaxed, and I took my time more," said Hallback, adding "I believe I hurt her more this time than last time. The first time around, I punched myself out. This time, I wanted to relax and take it easy." Jeter carried away some bruises but said that she had fought better than in their earlier bout. "(She) has a lot of speed, and she's a gutsy fighter," said Jeter, "I won't take anything from her." Hallback advanced to 15-3-1 (7 KO) and has won ten straight fighting in Savannah; Jeter had lost three straight for the first time in her career.

On May 31, 2003 at Jarrell’s Gym in Savannah, Georgia, Mitzi won a clear six-round unanimous (60-54,60-55,60-55) decision over Bonnie Mann of Raleigh, North Carolina in a welterweight bout. Jeter advanced to 17-5-2 (4 KO) while Mann slipped to 3-6-0 (0 KO).

On July 19, 2003 at Sky Ute Casino in Ignacio, Colorado, Sunshine Fettkether (146 lbs) of Mesa, Arizona won a ten-round unanimous (98-93,97-93,96-94) decision over Mitzi (146 lbs) to win the IFBA world welterweight title. In this bout, which was the card's co-main event, Fettkether, often a slow starter, tried to move forward early but was met by solid rights from Jeter in the opening round. Fettkether picked up the pace in the second and began to land good combinations. Jeter was cut on the top of her head by an accidental elbow strike in the third, forcing a delay in the action, but she continued after consultation with the ring doctor and put up stiff resistance the rest of the way. Fettkether's hustle was the difference. As described by Chris Cozzone on my sister site Inside Women's Boxing, "After a while, it looked like a workout on the heavy bag: Fettkether hittin’ the body, hittin’ the arms, going to the head. Once in a while, Jeter would remind Fettkether that she could hit back, but while landing flush, her punches would rarely do more than gain her a momentary pause in Fettkether’s relentless attack." Fettkether moved to 8-2-2 (4 KO) with her second win over Jeter, who fell to 17-7-1 (4 KO) with the loss.

Smokin Mitzi JeterMitzi believes that boxing is a team effort: "It takes a team to win and a great team to win a championship. I believe I have the best team!", she says. She has a very good rapport with her trainer and of course her manager/husband, saying: "I trust these guys with all my heart, I have faith in my team and couldn't do it without them. We each work hard and have one mind about our goals in boxing. God has blessed me with these guys and I think they're great!"

Mitzi Jeter was born in Rome, Georgia, where she lived most of her life. She attended Berry College just outside of Rome and graduated with a B.S. in Health and Physical Education. She is now a Physical Education teacher at Spring Place Elementary School in Chatsworth, Georgia . The students and staff at Spring Place are very supportive of her boxing, as are her family ... her three siblings were her original sparring partners! Mitzi says that her parents and family have been instrumental in encouraging her to pursue her goals and dreams: "My Daddy instilled in me honesty, a good work ethic, and good sportsmanship. My Momma has always instilled in me an "I can" attitude and has encouraged me to pursue my dreams regardless of what anyone else thinks".

She also says her husband and two stepchildren (Phillip and Jennifer) have been a great source of inspiration and strength and she gets a lot of support and encouragement from her friends. "It means so much to mature to the point of knowing who loves you. By this I mean I know these people are going to love me just the same if I win, lose, or draw. There is great comfort in learning that lesson in your heart".

Mitzi's family attends Fellowship Bible Church in Dalton, Georgia. Her faith is a big part of her life and the inspiration to work hard for her boxing. "God has given me the opportunity to pursue boxing. It is my desire to honor Him through my efforts and the efforts of my team".

Of boxing, Mitzi says "It's hard work and not a sport one should do without a lot of commitment and dedication. My own personal goal and the goal of my team is to become a World Champion. We each feel strongly the potential is there and we are each dedicated to reaching this goal".

She also tells us she would like to see women's amateur boxing "continue to build and provide young ladies an opportunity to gain experience and develop their skills". She would also like to see the pro sport continue to grow and gain the respect it deserves. "There are some incredible athletes in this sport", she says. "These ladies have worked hard and sacrificed as any world class athlete has. They have developed their skills and been against difficult odds in a society that sometimes doesn't know what to think of women's boxing. The doors are opening wider daily and opportunities for good fights with good exposure are more frequent. As women's boxing gains more and more support from the public, promoters, fans and the media it is important that we as professionals present ourselves as just that, professional and serious about our sport".

She encourages youngsters interested in women's boxing to pursue that interest. "It is important that you be very serious about your training", she says. "Don't let anyone discourage you, and find a good trainer who cares about you. Listen to that trainer, be patient with yourself and work hard! You can do it!".

Great advice ...

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Page last updated: Friday, 09 August 2013

 
     
     
     
     
 

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