100-lb Nina "Tha Bomb" Ahlin was born in Painesville, Ohio, on 16 July
1973 and now lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
Although "Tha Bomb" is a former Atlanta Falcons cheerleader, don't be fooled by
her glamor photos! Nina is no sideline ornament once she steps into a boxing
ring. She is a slick, sound technical boxer with good ring sense
who keeps her composure under pressure, and counterpunches
Nina became an Atlanta Falcons cheerleader in 1997 and began boxing that November.
"I was at a party", she recounts, "there were all these boxers there, and one of them invited me to come down to
the gym. I said I had been wanting to do this for years, so I might as well go down and take a look. And I've been going
She made her amateur debut in April of 1998 against reigning
Atlanta women's champ, Eve Toledo. Nina won a convincing decision, and went off to the pros under the managerial auspices of Steve Strelzik and Peter Morrison.
On November 20, 1998 at the Atrium at Stone Mountain, Georgia, Nina weighed in at 104 lbs and won
her pro debut with a four-round unanimous decision over another Atlanta fighter, Natasha Wilburn (105 lbs).
When the bout was set up,
Nina was supposed to have faced another debut boxer, Sonia Ruiz, but Wilburn was a late substitute.
"The night of the weigh-in, I see Natasha's name, and I'm like 'Who is this?'. But I wanted to fight
her and go all out or nothing", says Ahlin. Wilburn already had
significant fight experience, in eight losing efforts against an array of very capable boxers, including
Para Draine, Anissa Zamarron, Mary Ortega twice,
Leona Brown, Sengül Ôzokcu and Patricia Martinez. Ahlin
also had an an upper respiratory infection at fight time, so her trainers were
nervous. However, after four rounds, Nina's cool and calm boxing style had
produced her first pro win and left Wilburn at 0-9.
vs. Natasha Wilburn in Nina's pro debut
On December 30, 1998 at the Tabernacle in Atlanta, Georgia, she weighed
in at 102 lbs and scored a first-round knockout
over Sherry Furstenburg (100½ lbs) a St. Louis native fighting out of her husband Binky's gym
and making her pro debut. Ahlin unleashed a devastating barrage
of punches that brought an early halt to the proceedings. (Furstenburg went on
lose her second fight by TKO and left the pro ring.)
On April 30, 1999 in Marksville, Louisiana, Nina got her first
taste of controversial decisions when she earned only a 4-round draw with Lisa
Butler after a bout
that most ringside observers and one judge thought she had won.
On June 11, 1999 at Casino Magic in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi,
she scored a TKO at 1:27 of the first round over Sarah Jones Rama of the Philippines, who was making her
own pro debut. (Rama now fights professionally as Sarah Goodson.)
On August 20, 1999 at the Argosy Casino in Baton Rouge, Louisiana Nina moved her pro record to 4-0-1 with a four-round
unanimous decision over Christina Van Ravensway of Arkansas, who was making her pro debut (and hasn't fought since).
On September 17, 1999, Nina made her national
TV debut against Missouri's Andrea Blevins on ESPN2's Friday Night Fights at the All-American Sports Park in Las
Vegas, Nevada. Against the wild-swinging Blevins, Ahlin stayed calm and tried to control the action with crisp, precise
punches. Blevins tried to take the fight right at Ahlin,
particularly in the third round, but threw many inaccurate, looping punches. Ahlin
went to the canvas briefly in the fourth, but it was ruled a slip and she was
taking the fight right to Blevins as the action ended.
ringside were outraged when Andrea Blevins's aggression was rewarded with a controversial 39-37 unanimous decision,
as Ahlin appeared to have won it handily with her more accurate punching and
ring movement. Blevins moved to 4-0 with 1 KO with the win, while Ahlin
slipped to 4-1-1 with 2 KO's and another lesson in controversial judging.
On November 26, 1999 in New Orleans, Louisiana, Nina rebounded
from the televised loss to Blevins with a four-round unanimous decision in a
rematch with Sarah (Jones Rama) Goodson. Ahlin again showed her superior boxing skills, winning by 40-36 on all cards.
Tracey Stevens with Nina at their weigh-in in Las Vegas
© Copyrighted photo taken by Mary Ann Owen
On March 4, 2000 at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, Tracey Stevens
(104 lbs) from Thunder Bay, Canada outclassed Nina
(100 lbs) to earn a four-round unanimous decision in a fight seen live on PPV. Ahlin
looked almost out
on her feet at times in the last two rounds but she toughed it out to the end against the
former Canadian national amateur silver medalist. Stevens improved to 2-3 as a
pro boxer with the win, but that included a loss to Kim Messer in her second pro
fight, and the short end of a controversial split decision to Natasha Wilburn. Stevens
had several dozen fights as an amateur in Canada, and her experience showed as
she handed Nina Ahlin her first convincing loss and dropped her to 5-2-1.
On June 30, 2000 at the Centroplex in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 3500 fans saw Nina
reboud from this loss with a clear four-round unanimous
(40-3) decision over Deanna Nance Gore, who lost her first bout in four pro outings. In a press release after the fight, Ahlin
said: "I'm back on the winning track ... I controlled every round and my combinations were coming together. I've got a new
trainer and everything is going great now. I'm very excited about this win."
On January 19, 2001 at Casino Magic, Bay St. Louis, Mississippi,
Nina won a unanimous six-round decision over Sarah
Goodson in their third meeting.
On April 12, 2001 at the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta, Ahlin moved to 8-2-1 (2 KO's) with another six-round unanimous
decision over Sarah Goodson. Goodson showed little defense and threw many lunging rights
at the much more polished Ahlin while dropping her own record to 4-12-1.
Ahlin did a dance routine in the ring with her fellow Atlanta
Falcons cheerleaders after the bout, which would be her last for almost
She next fought on September 13, 2002 at Coca Cola Roxy Theater
in Atlanta against Terri Moss of Athens,
Georgia. Moss spoiled Nina's ring comeback by winning a four-round split (39-38,39-37,36-40) decision. Moss, who had
said she was gunning for Ahlin when she entered pro boxing, stunned Ahlin with her overhand right in the second round
continued to land well in the third. The usually slick Ahlin tried to pull the fight
out in the late going as Moss tired ... but only one judge thought she had done enough to win. Moss
notched her first
pro win in four fights, after losses to Patricia Martinez, Maribel Zurita, and Wendy Sprowl.
On October 13, 2002 at Silver Star Casino in Choctaw, Mississippi, Nina (104 lbs) won a four-round decision over
unranked Stephanie Dobbs (104½ lbs) of Moore, Oklahoma, who fell to 1-4-1.
Watch for that rivalry to be renewed, as Dobbs has gone on to be one of the
busiest female pro boxers!
On December 6, 2002 at Earthlink Live in Atlanta, Georgia, Nina (106 lbs) won a first-round TKO over Nikki Verbeck (106
lbs) of Paris, Arkansas. Ahlin appeared to mesmerize Verbeck with her bobbing and weaving, speed and power. As
she pounded Verbeck
near the end of the first round, Verbeck retreated to her corner and attempted to call
a time-out after taking a punch to the
throat, resulting in a TKO for Ahlin. Verbeck fell to 0-2 and clearly shouldn't have been in the ring with a boxer
of Ahlin's caliber.
Sue TL Fox. All Rights Reserved.
On April 18, 2003 at Palace Indian Gaming Center in Lemoore, California,
Nina (101˝ lbs) lost a six-round unanimous (59-55,59-55,58-56) decision to
Las Vegas-based Vaia Zaganas (104 lbs), a former
Canadian national amateur champion from British Columbia. Both threw punches in bunches throughout an action-
packed bout in which Zaganas had the early upper hand but the slick-boxing Ahlin finished strongly in the
fifth and sixth. Zaganas progressed to 8-1-0 (3 KO) while Ahlin fell to 10-4-1 (3 KO).
"I'm in this to win it", says Nina, "and if other fighters want to be matched up
with easy opponents, I just don't agree with that."
As one of female boxing's
more glamorous practitioners, Ahlin is often asked if she is worried about her
looks when she climbs through the ropes. "Not at all", she says. "That's the
least worry on my mind. I definitely don't worry about that. That can all be
fixed later, if it's that bad." And although Nina's looks and stylish outfits bring
a little extra to set her apart from many of her peers as she gets in the ring,
she knows what really counts in the ring. In fact,
one of Nina's goals is to erase the stereotype of what a female fighter is
supposed to look like.
"One of my goals is to get more women involved with (boxing)", she continues.
"There is a stereotype in which people talk about the typical boxer.
I want to get them into the mindset that it has nothing to do with your looks,
that it's the skill that's involved in the sport."
Once the bell sounds,
there's no question that's what Nina Ahlin's all about. .
For Nina Ahlin's COMPLETE boxing record, fight reports and huge photos of
her and many other women in the sport, please go to the
WBAN Records Site. Hot photo / Mpeg Gallery #57, exclusively for WBAN members, is all about Nina Ahlin.
Page last updated: Wednesday, April 7, 2004