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5'4½" Sharon Gaines was born on July 10, 1973 in Seattle, Washington. She attended Bothell High and received a BA in Communications and Journalism from the University of Washington in 1995.

Sharon had an athletic background as a child and competed in track and cross-country while at the University of Washington.  After leaving college she became interested in boxing as a way to stay in shape and improve her self-esteem. She began to train at the Hillman City Gym in Seattle in June 2001 and had her first amateur fight just six weeks later.  

"After one day of training I just knew without a shadow of a doubt that this was the sport for me", says Sharon.

She competed at the amateur level for just over two years, and while in Kansas City for the Ringside Tournament she made contact with a coach who trained local pro boxer  Mary Ortega and worked with Sumya Anani.  In the final of the 126-lb division at that championship Sharon lost to Jeannine Garside of Canada by a third-round knockout. 

Sharon moved to Kansas City to begin her career as a personal trainer and she made her pro debut there on November 21, 2003. At the Beaumont Club (see left) Sharon weighed in at 123 lbs and won a four-round unanimous decision over Leora Jackson (133 lbs) of Springdale, Arkansas who fell to 1-2.

On March 24, 2004 at the Ameristar Casino in Kansas City, Missouri, Sharon (124 lbs) won a four-round unanimous decision over Nikki Lawson (5'10", 135 lbs) of Gardner, Kansas with body shots and body-head combinations.

On April 3, 2004 at the SAS Radisson in Aarhus, Denmark, Frida Wallberg (128.5 lbs) of Gøteborg, Sweden won a four-round unanimous (40-36 x 3) decision over Sharon (126.5 lbs). WBAN's European Correspondent Torben L. reported that Wallberg won convincingly and used her extra height and reach very well. Wallberg improved to 3-0-0.  Wallberg had had a very successful amateur boxing career, compiling a 48-5 record at the national and international levels before turning pro as a lightweight in February 2004.

On September 2, 2004 at Harrah's Casino in Kansas City, Missouri, Sharon (120 lbs) won a four-round unanimous (40-36,39-37,39-37) decision over Leslie McNamara (121 lbs) of Cameron, Missouri, who fell to 0-3-0. The fight was a little sloppy, with both fighters pushing and butting heads.

On October 23, 2004 at the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, Washington, Sharon (122 lbs) won a four-round unanimous (39-37,39-37,40-36) decision over late opponent Mercedes Mercury (124½ lbs) of Centennial, Colorado. The southpaw Mercury had a reach advantage but seemed unwilling to mix it up with Gaines.

On November 6, 2004 at the Eccles Convention Center in Ogden, Utah, local boxer Betty Stephens (122 lbs) of Salt Lake City, Utah, defeated Sharon (120¾ lbs) with a four round unanimous decision. Gaines started well in the first two rounds but Stephens picked up her pace in the third and outworked Sharon for the decision. By the end of the fight the crowd was on its feet, cheering both fighters on. There were no knockdowns or eight-counts. Stephens improved to 3-1-0 with the win.

Sharon works on Camille Casson
© Copyrighted photo by Lori Steinhorst

On December 3, 2004 at the Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Missouri, Sharon (121 lbs) won a four-round unanimous decision over pro debuter Camille Casson (120 lbs) of Covington, Kentucky. Gaines was now 5-2-0 (0KO), and Casson 0-1-0.

SHaron Gains vs. Jennifer Salinas
Sharon vs. Jennifer Salinas
© Copyrighted photo by Mary Ann Owen

On January 29, 2005 at the Silverton Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, Jennifer Salinas (120 lbs) of Grand Rapids, Michigan won a four-round unanimous (40-36,39-37,39-37) decision over Sharon (121 lbs). Sharon was the busier fighter and kept Salinas on the ropes for much of the fight and the crowd booed the decision.

On April 8, 2005 at the Hanover Marriott in Whippany, New Jersey, Cindy "Checkmate" Serrano (122 lbs) of Queens, New York won a six-round unanimous (59-53,58-53,59-51) decision over Sharon (122 lbs). The hard hitting Serrano came out strong in round 1 with one power punch after another. Gaines opened up round 2 nicely and was probably out-punching her opponent until she was dropped with a perfectly placed body shot. Gaines answered the eight-count only to be dropped again by the same devastating body shot. Serrano's fans went wild, thinking the fight was over, but Gaines answered the eight-count and survived to battle on. Gaines recovered in round 3 and launched a comeback in the next two rounds as Serrano apeared to tire. Gaines out-boxed Serrano for those rounds, and showed she was in better condition, but was unable to close the gap on the scorecards.

Sharon said after the fight "so many people came up to me and told me how much heart I had, how they thought I was down for the count in round 2 and couldn't believe I came back to win some rounds. Although I appreciate their comments, my only thinking was 'I wish I hadn't had to show so much heart!' When someone has to have a lot of heart to finish a fight you know something went wrong early on. Serrano does have a lot of power and she threw a lot of punches in the first two rounds. However, she was not conditioned to take that power through to the end of the fight. Although I lost fair and square and am not proud of hitting the canvas, I am proud that I had the strength and stamina to come back fight a couple of the best rounds of my career." Serrano improved to 8-0-0.

On May 26, 2005 at Whiskey Tango's in Grain Valley, Missouri, Sharon (120 lbs) won by a four-round unanimous decision over over Tiffany Young (5'8", 128 lbs) of St.Joseph, Missouri. Young came out throwing haymakers and was very active for the first part of the opener. Gaines kept her defense tight and waited until Young wore down, then took control to finish the round on the attack with well-placed punches. After that Gaines continued to land squarely to the face and body of Young, who had little movement but tried to counter-punch. "I give her credit for her toughness, in a street-fighting kind of way," said Gaines. "She definitely knows how to fight, but doesn't know how to box. Her lack of conditioning definitely helped me have an easy night, but I've still got lots to work on.  Next up at the gym, I've got to learn to step into my punches a little more and stay inside so I can stop my opponent. This fight should not have lasted 4 rounds!"  Young fell to 0-2 wit the loss.

On July 8, 2005 at Harrah’s Casino in Kansas City, Missouri, Sharon (121 lbs) TKO'd debut fighter Amanda Hilton (120 lbs) of Kansas City at 1:26 in the first round of a scheduled four-rounder. Gaines landed numerous power punches and combinations to which Hilton had no effective reply. Hilton kept turning sideways and received several warnings from the ref. The bout was stopped when Hilton turned her back to Gaines and faced the ropes. According to Sharon, "I had another opponent originally, but no one could locate her the week of the fight. Hilton came in at the last minute to make the bout happen.  I am thankful she took it and give her credit for having the guts to get in the ring, but it was not a great match for me, she obviously had no experience."

On August 19, 2005 at the Hanover Marriott in Whippany, New Jersey, Sharon (120 lbs) won by a third-round TKO over 34-year-old southpaw Antoinette Weaver (117 lbs) of Atlanta, Georgia.  Early in the bout, Sharon probed the taller Weaver from long range while Weaver landed some arm punches. By the second round Sharon was walking through Weaver's shots to land hard right hands on the inside. By the third, Sharon was scoring at will and a rapidly tiring Weaver had little left. Sharon wobbled Weaver with a right to the jaw as the round ended and the ring doctor called a halt between rounds. Weaver fell to 0-5 with the loss.

"I didn't know she was a lefty, but that is part of learning", said Sharon. "She is not as good as me, so that was a great place to make an adjustment. Usually the taller people try to out jab me and I can establish my jab better, but she didn't lead so I couldn't really counter. I am used to being a counter puncher because I am the shorter fighter. I usually dodge a couple punches and come in. I couldn't slip any punches because she wasn't throwing until I threw"

On November 15, 2005 at Hohenstaufenhalle in Göppingen, Germany, Alesia-Tamara Graf (118 lbs) of Germany won a 10-round unanimous (99-91,99-91, 100-91) decision over Sharon  (118 lbs)  for the WIBF Intercontinental Bantamweight title. Graf improved to 12-1-0 (5 KOs) while Gaines fell to 9-5-0 (3 KO's).

On April 1, 2006 at the Sky Ute Casino in Ignacio, Colorado, Monica Lovato (116¼ lbs) of Española, New Mexico won a six-round split (60-54,58-56,56-58) decision over Sharon (116½ lbs). Lovato improved to 6-1-0 (4 KO's).

On May 12, 2006 at the Orleans Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, Monica Lovato (117 lbs) of Albuquerque, New Mexico, TKO'd Sharon (116½ lbs) at 1:13 in the fourth round in a scheduled six rounder. Lovato won with ease in this rematch and was picking her shots throughout the bout. Gaines was knocked down twice. Lovato improved to 7-1-0 (4 KO's).

On July 15, 2006 at the Legends Casino in Yakima, Washington, Sharon (114¾ lbs) won a six-round split decision over Tonia Cravens (114½ lbs) of Albuquerque, New Mexico. According to Mike Blair: "While Cravens threw more punches, many were off target while Gaines waited to find openings and took advantage of them when they appeared, often firing a jab through Cravens' arms touching her chin or her body. Cravens was more effective when she was able to keep Gaines in the middle of the ring, from there Cravens could use her height and reach advantage. Gaines however kept throwing jabs, often lunging to do so, but that caused Cravens to step back, and when the action moved to the ropes or a corner, Gaines stepped inside and was able to connect and score. Though one judge scored the fight even, the difference was Gaines' accuracy. She may not have thrown as many punches as Cravens, but she certainly landed more.". Cravens fell to 2-4-1 (1 KO) with the loss.

On September 14, 2006 at San Manuel Casino in Highland, California, Heather Percival (112 lbs) of Fontana, California won a six-round unanimous (58-55,58-55,58-55) decision over Sharon (113 lbs), improving her record to 9-3-0.

On February 16, 2007 at the Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills, California, Sharon won a four-round split decision over previously unbeaten Heather Donoho of San Diego, California, who fell to 4-1-1.

On January 11, 2008 at the Viking Hotel and Conference Center in St. Louis, Missouri, Hollie Dunaway (108¾ lbs) of St. Louis won a ten-round unanimous decision over Sharon (111¼ lbs) for the vacant NABF Flyweight title. According to a WBAN report by Jim Compton: "While Sharon Gaines was continually on the attack, Hollie "Hotstuff" Dunaway patiently picked her shots and was able to ... grab the ... title."  Dunaway improved to 21-6-0 (10 KOs)

On February 9, 2008 at Aquarius Hotel in Laughlin, Nevada, Ava Knight (112 lbs) of Chico, California defeated Sharon (112 lbs) with a unanimous (58-56x3) six-round decision. Gaines fought a tough fight but Knight fought a better fight dropping Gaines's record to 11-10-0 (3 KO's) while improving her own to 3-0-1 (1 KO).

On May 15, 2008 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Irvine, California, British-born Carly Batey (112 lbs) of San Diego, California defeated Sharon (112¼ lbs) by an eight-round unanimous (72-80,72-80,73-79) decision. Batey improved to 4-3-2 (0 KO's).

On September 27, 2008 at the Paris Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Sharon (112 lbs) fought to an eight-round majority draw (57-57,57-57,58-56) in a rematch with Hollie Dunaway. Gaines's record stayed even at 11-11-1 (3 KO's) while Hollie Dunaway's moved to 21-7-1 (10 KO's).  

Sharon (L) versus Carina Moreno
© Copyrighted photo by Mike Harris

On February 6, 2009 at the Tachi Palace Casino in Lemoore, California Carina Moreno (109¼ lbs) of Watsonville, California defeated Sharon (109¼ lbs) by an eight-round unanimous (79-73,80-72,80-72) decision.  Moreno controlled the fight with her overhand right and Gaines was unable to use her height and reach advantages to negate Moreno's speed and accuracy. Moreno improved to 21-1-0 (6 KO's) while Gaines dropped to 11-12-1 (3 KO's).

© Copyrighted photo by Lori Steinhorst

On October 28, 2011 at Sherwood Hall in Salinas, California, Carina Moreno (112 lbs) won a six-round unanimous (59-55,58-56,58-56) decision in an undercard rematch with Sharon Gaines (111 lbs).  Moreno who had been sidelined with severe flu for two weeks in September, seemed a shade slower than usual and appeared to tire late in the fight but she picked up her pace in the final round to secure the win. Gaines fell to 11-13-1 (3 KO's) with the loss while Moreno snapped her two-fight losing streak and improved to 22-3 (6 KO's).

For serious fight offers or to correspond with Sharon, contact her at SharonGaines@hotmail.com

Other Sharon Gaines links

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Page last updated:Friday, 06 November 2015


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