5'3" flyweight/junior flyweight
Patty "Ironheart" Martinez was born on December 29th 1971 in San Diego, California.
She attended San Diego High until 1988 and began boxing in 1994. She now lives and
works in North Miami, Florida where she works as a court translator.
She won the 106-lb division in the inaugural USA Boxing amateur championships in Augusta,
Georgia in July, 1997. In her preliminary bout, she defeated
Yvonne Caples of Berkeley, California by a 6-0
score. In the semifinal bout (see left) she defeated Linda Carrillo of South El Monte,
California by a 5-0 margin. Ever since she began boxing, Martinez had been eager to compete
against the best in the nation, so she was disappointed that her opponent for the
final, Amanda Fussell of Troup, Texas, was unable to
continue in the tournament, so Patricia won her national title by a walkover rather
than in the ring.
``I didn't know if we were ever going to have a national championship and I really didn't
think it would be so soon,'' Martinez said, adding about not competing in a true final:
``It's disappointing. You want it so long and work so much for the final. If I hadn't had
the two preliminary bouts, I wouldn't have wanted to take this (belt) home.''
There's no question in my mind that Martinez truly earned her title, however.
Linda Carrillo, who she defeated in the 1997 semifinal, went on to win the
national title in 1998 and again in 1999; her preliminary bout opponent Yvonne Caples
went on to be a successful pro boxer and won the IFBA junior flyweight title in
Martinez didn't wait long before making her own professional debut.
On September 20, 1997 at Round One Boxing in Boca Raton, Florida, she
overwhelmed Natasha Wilburn of Atlanta from the opening bell of a scheduled
four-rounder on the first all-female boxing card to be held in South Florida.
Martinez landed left-right combinations to her outclassed opponent's face almost
and Wilburn did not come out to face her at the start of the third round.
``I was disappointed I wasn't able to get more rounds in,'' Martinez said. ``I
was looking forward for some good rounds in the ring, but it wasn't to be.''
Wilburn fell to 0-2 with the loss.
On March 6 1998, in War Memorial Auditorium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Patricia won a four-round unanimous decision
over Maribel Ocasio-Soto of Puerto Rico, who fell to 1-1-2 with the loss.
On May 5, 1998 in Biloxi, Mississippi, USA, Patricia won a four-round unanimous decision
over Brenda Rouse of Bartlesville, Oklahoma, who fell to 5-4-1 with the loss. Rouse had
been boxing professionally since 1996.
On June 14, 1998 at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Patricia
(109 lbs) lost a six-round unanimous (58-56) decision to
Anissa Zamarron (108 lbs) of Austin, Texas. Anissa,
who had been boxing professionally since 1995 and had been in six ten-round world title
fights, used her ring experience to hand
Patricia her first pro loss. Martinez took the fight to Zamarron in the
first two rounds but the Texan fought effectively while
backing up. Zamarron then began to take charge in the third as Martinez faded. As
Martinez's punches got wilder, Zamarron kept herself in range to pound at
Martinez's head with a steady stream of lefts and rights, and she came on stronger
every round after turning the bout her way in the third. ESPN2's punch count
was 546 thrown and 274 landed (43%) by Zamarron, 476 thrown and 150 landed
(35%) by Martinez. Zamarron advanced to 8-9-1 (4 KO) with the win. Her
deceptive because her losses were in tough fights against the best women in this weight class
worldwide, all going the distance,
and many with close decisions.
On July 10, 1998 in Miami, Florida, Patricia rebounded with a six-round unanimous decision
win in a rematch with Maribel Ocasio-Soto, dropping the Puerto Rican's record to
2-3-2 (0 KO).
On February 27, 1999 at Miccosukee Indian Gaming in Miami, Florida,
Patricia (105 lbs) rematched with Natasha Wilburn (107 lbs) of Atlanta, this time
winning by a TKO at 1:39 in the fourth round.
On July 9 1999, she fought Italian pro debuter Sonja De Biase in Vigo, Spain, winning a six-round unanimous decision.
De Biase, who could not get a boxing license in Italy at this
time and had to fight on a German permit, hasn't lost since.
This was to be Patricia Martinez's last appearance before a three-year absence from the ring,
brought on by the illness of her husband and trainer, Carlos. She then had difficulty
getting opponents to face her when she was ready to return to pro boxing.
finally made her comeback on August 30, 2002 at the Holiday Inn Center in Manchester, New Hampshire,
advancing to 7-1-0 (2 KO) with a four-round unanimous decision over
Terri Moss of Miami, Florida. This was described to me as "a rock-em, sock-em
contest that wowed the 300 or so spectators. Martinez's lightning quick combinations punished Moss' body
and midsection ... any ignorant preconceived notions I had that female boxing was
just some sort of pugilistic burlesque show were quickly put to rest after seeing the preparedness,
dedication and professionalism of these fighters." Moss fell to 0-3-0 (0 KO)
with the loss.
On October 18, 2002 at Hard Rock Live in Orlando, Florida, Patricia (109 lbs)
knocked out Natasha Wilburn (106 lbs) at 1:19
in the fourth round. Martinez used her more accurate punching to control wild rushes
by Wilburn, who fell to 1-12-0 (0 KO) with the loss, her third stoppage by Martinez.
On November 14, 2002 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida,
Patricia (110½ lbs) won a unanimous (40-36) four-round decision
over Maribel Zurita
(5'0", 110½ lbs) of San Antonio, Texas. Martinez bloodied Zurita's nose in the opening round and continued to
control the fight with her aggression and accurate punching.
According to a report sent to me at the Women's Boxing Page: "both had their moments, but in the end it
was the hometown support and her excellent training at the hands of Norman Wilson, Chico Rivas and José
Guzman that gave Patty Martinez the unanimous win.
Patty was explosive, thrived in trading with Zurita, and forced the action throughout the bout. She was
very popular with the fans, who loudly appreciated the effort and the sportsmanship displayed by both
Martinez's win dropped Zurita's record to 4-3-1 (0 KO).
On January 30, 2003 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida,
Patricia (109 lbs) scored a TKO over unranked Nancy Bonilla
(107½ lbs) of Puerto Rico at 1:20 of the first round. Bonilla, who was
described as "outboxed, outgunned and outclassed" in this bout,
fell to 1-2-0 (1 KO).
On March 13, 2003 again at American Airlines Arena in Miami,
Patricia (107 lbs) won a six-round unanimous (58-56,59-55,60-54) decision over
then #1 ranked Wendy Rodriguez (4'11", 108½ lbs).
Martinez outworked and out-aggressed the durable and elusive Rodriguez on the way to a
win that re-established her as a legitimate world title contender.
Rodriguez fell to 9-2-3 (1 KO) with the loss.
Patty (black/red) vs. Yahaira Bonilla in May 2003
© Copyrighted photo by Tony R.
On May 29, 2003
again at American Airlines Arena in Miami,
Patricia (109 lbs)
advanced her pro record to
12-1-0 (5 KO)
with a TKO over Yahaira Bonilla (109½ lbs)
of Camoy, Puerto Rico at 1:44 in the second round. After a feeling-out
round, Martinez knocked Bonilla down twice in the second. The
previously undefeated Puerto Rican was gamely trying to continue until the referee stopped the bout.
Bonilla fell to 2-1 (1 KO) with the loss.
Anissa Zamarron, the only boxer to hand Patricia a pro defeat, also returned to the ring
in 2002 after an extended absence (in her case, a retirement that she changed her mind about).
It would be interesting to see a rematch of their 1998 bout!
Patty is small and pretty, and is often told she doesn't "look like a fighter",
a source of some amusement to her.
"I ask them
what they think a fighter is supposed to look
like!", she says.
She says her favorite fighters are Sugar Ray Leonard ("he was adaptive
and versatile"), Rocky Marciano ("so much heart and will to win")
and Sugar Shane Mosely ("I love his
personality, he has such star quality.")
Which is something she's not lacking herself ...
To check out fight reports, complete up-to-date boxing records, with huge digital photos you can go to
the WBAN Records Member Site
Page last updated:
Friday, 09 August 2013