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Stephanie "Golden Girl" Jaramillo
© Copyrighted photo courtesy Team Golden Girl


Stephanie "Golden Girl" Jaramillo from the South Valley in Albuquerque, New Mexico was born on May 18, 1982. After watching a Mike Tyson fight at her grandparents’ house, the five-year-old Stephanie was shadow boxing in front of a window in her room, and punched a fist-size hole through it. Ever since then, she’s been in love with boxing.

Stephanie would invite neighborhood kids over to spar and she begged her reluctant parents to let her start boxing. Her brother bought her boxing gloves so they could have ‘matches’ in the house. Her family realized that Stephanie had the strength and desire to box, but her father would not allow her to start boxing seriously until he had seen a female boxing bout on TV.

Stephanie was 14 when her father finally saw Christy Martin fight on TV. True to his word, they went to look for a boxing gym the next day ... and Stephanie enrolled at Irene Garcia's A Woman's Place Gym in Albuquerque ... where world champion Trina Ortegon also trained. Two and a half months later, Jaramillo fought her first amateur fight, knocking out her opponent.

Stephanie won the junior division in the New Mexico state amateur championships in 1996 and again in 1997, a year in which she also took home the regional Silver Gloves and Golden Gloves junior titles. In 1998 she repeated her run of these area titles and went on to compete in the junior division of the Women's National Championships, taking the silver medal.

Stephanie was the bronze medalist in the open division at the 1999 Everlast Women’s National Championships. On August 14, 1999 in the 139-lb final of the Ringside US National Golden Gloves in Augusta, Georgia, Jean Martin of New York defeated Stephanie by a 4-1 score.  In the 1999 Everlast National PAL Championships she defeated future pro boxers Andrea Nelson and Kelly Whaley, both by 5-0 decisions, to take the gold medal.

On April 13, 2000 in the 139-lb semifinals of the USA Boxing Everlast National Championships at the Chaparral Center in Midland, Texas, Melissa Fiorentino of Cranston, Rhode Island defeated Stephanie Jaramillo by a 30-19 score. (Fiorentino went on to win the gold medal with a 17-14 victory over Jean Martin, and also moved into the pro ranks).

On July 8, 2000 in a 139-lb match at the Canada-USA Dual meet at Camel Rock Casino outside Santa Fe, New Mexico, Tanya Robertson (25-8) of Canada defeated Stephanie by a 41-40 "raw punch", i.e.  punches thrown, count in a tiebreaker after they ended up tied at 10-10 on points after three rounds. Jaramillo was the aggressor and attacked the body early, but she left her head an open target for Robertson, especially in the second round where the Canadian landed a hard straight right and an overhand right. Robertson had built a 10-5 advantage after the two rounds and Jaramillo's corner told her she was down, "they told me to go out and give it my all," said Jaramillo, who launched two minutes of all-out attack to tie the points score by going to the head and using Robertson as a punching bag for the final minute.  "Every time I gave her a shot, she'd back up and I couldn't catch her," a disappointed Jaramillo said after the draw and technical loss. 

On November 15, 2000 in a 139-lb bout in the Russia-USA Dual meet at the Good Time Emporium in Somerville, Massachusetts, Olga Vlasova of Russia defeated Stephanie by a 8-4 score.

On November 17, 2000 in another 139 lb at the Russia-USA Dual meet at Rockingham Park, in Salem, New Hampshire, Irina Sinetskaya of Russia defeated Stephanie by a 2-1 decision.

On December 14, 2000 in the Open 139-lb semifinals of the 2000 Police Athletic League Championships in New Orleans, Louisiana, Judith Pyles of Dunnellow, Florida won on a walkover over Stephanie after a misunderstanding about the weigh-in time. (The organizers had changed the day of the women's weigh-in, but Jaramillo, who had been in New Orleans all week, didn't get the information.)

Jaramillo's career went into an unexpected recess after this. “After I got screwed out of fighting at the PAL, I wanted nothing do with boxing. But then, I changed my mind and decided to have nothing more to do with amateur boxing. I wanted to turn pro. I have a style better suited to the pros and in the amateurs, I couldn’t be myself in the ring.”

Jaramillo called up promoter Don King’s office and sent him a publicity package. A week later, King called her. “He told me to tell him something about myself, so I said, ‘I’m beautiful.’ “He started laughing. ‘That’s why I love you so much. He said to put my mother on the phone and the two of them talked for a half hour. He told her that he was going to make me famous, rich, everything, and not to talk to any other promoters until he had time to get with me.”  To back up his promise, King flew Stephanie and her mother Annette to the Trinidad vs. Joppy fight in New York, picking up the tab on the all-expense-paid trip. King eventually offered Stephanie a contract but she never signed it ...  the day after the 20-year-old gave it to her attorney to review, the attorney advised her that they 'needed to talk'. The contract would have given King effective control of Stephanie's career for seven years and would have paid her less for her first fight than it cost her to have the attorney review it. “I wouldn’t have been able to bring Floyd, my coach. He’s the most important part of the team!" said Jaramillo. Stephanie said 'no thanks' and stayed with her mother Annette as co-manager of "Team Golden Girl".

She also linked up with coach Floyd Mayweather, Sr. in Las Vegas. “I learned more in twelve minutes with Floyd than I had in the past three or four years,” said Jaramillo. “I really lucked out ... I can’t wait ... I’ve been like a lion locked up in its cage, ready to be released."

She made her pro debut on June 29, 2002 at Santa Ana Star Casino in Bernalillo, New Mexico, scoring an easy TKO over a wind-milling Martha Flores of San Antonio, Texas at 1:54 in the second round. Chris Cozzone of New Mexico Boxing wrote "Pawing the ground like a rabid bull and scaring half the audience, if not her opponent, with mean stares, Jaramillo came out strong to overpower the shorter, rounder Flores. After a slip to the canvas, Flores got up to fight back, trying to catch Jaramillo coming in. She landed a few shots but could not match Jaramillo’s onslaught. Round Two started to look like gym work for Jaramillo, as she overwhelmed Flores and landed at will until the ref called it quits at 1:54. Although clearly a mismatch, it was the first time Flores had ever been stopped."

"In the first round I was real nervous", said Jaramillo, "my corner told me to just calm down and go to work. I learned that I have to be calm. I hit her hard, hard, hard ... at the end she was using a lot of cuss words."  Flores fell to 0-6-0 (0 KO) with the loss.

On March 15, 2003 at Sky City Casino, Acoma, New Mexico, Stephanie (143¼ lbs) won a four-round unanimous (40-36,40-36,40-36) decision over debut fighter Angie Poe (143 lbs). Jaramillo said that Poe was tough, and had a lot of heart, also that she had wanted to pace herself and use her jab.

On May 23, 2003 at Sandia Casino in Albuquerque, Stephanie (145 lbs)  won by a first-round TKO over overmatched debut fighter Mimi Palfy (136 lbs) from Rapid City, Wyoming, who was a late substitute on the card. Palfy's corner threw in the towel after she had been pummeled against the ropes by the aggressive Jaramillo ... and was obviously unwilling to continue.

On August 26, 2003 at Sandia Casino in Albuquerque, in a much-anticipated showdown between two unbeaten local fighters, Holly Holm (141 lbs) of Sandia Heights, Albuquerque won a four-round majority (40-37,39-37,38-38) decision over Stephanie (142 lbs). Holm was the early aggressor, landing solid straight lefts to Jaramillo’s face. Jaramillo stormed back in the second but Holm outboxed her and landed more good right hooks, straight lefts and combinations. Jaramillo landed some power shots cleanly in a good third round. Holm didn't seem fazed and closed the fight out well in the fourth, again landing with hard straight lefts to Jaramillo's face. Holm outworked the shorter but determined Jaramillo on the way to a 5-0-0 (2 KO) record as a pro boxer (she is also a kickboxer).

On October 3, 2003 at Sandia Casino Holly Holm (142 lbs) and Stephanie (139¾ lbs) battled to a six-round (58-56 Holm, 58-56 Jaramillo, 57-57) draw in a rematch of their August four-rounder. Holm dominated the opening round but Jaramillo turned it around in the second, coming back with hard counter left hooks and straight rights to keep herself in the bout. Holm used her jab well and outlanded Jaramillo in most rounds, bloodying her mouth, but Jaramillo landed the hardest shots of the fight and wobbled Holm in the fifth round to keep the bout a tossup on the scorecards. Holm remained unbeaten as a pro boxer at 5-0-1 (2 KO).  [Full fight report and photos]

On February 28, 2004 at Santa Ana Star Casino in Bernalillo, New Mexico, Stephanie (150 lbs) won a six-round unanimous (60-54) shutout decision over unranked Imelda Arias (5'1") of Cuidad Juarez, Mexico, who looked rusty coming off a two-year layoff. According to Chris Cozzone of Inside Women's Boxing, "While she (Arias) was game, Jaramillo dwarfed her in size, making the fight the equivalent of a workout on the bags for Jaramillo. While Jaramillo buffaloed Arias around, the Juarez veteran was able to land loopy overhand punches now and then, many of which landed flush. But for most of the time, Arias stood rooted in one spot while Jaramillo had her way." Arias fell to 8-15-1 (8 KO).

"The girl (Arias), her style was bad. It was like hitting a punching bag," said Jaramillo. "It's hard to look good against somebody that short and fat."

Jaramillo's next fight was supposed to be for the WIBF Americas Junior Welterweight title in Port of Spain, Trinidad against local favorite Giselle "Magic" Salandy, at 18 the reigning Latin American Junior Welterweight champion.  Jaramillo traveled to Trinidad and squared off with Salandy at the press conference, but the eight-round bout was canceled when the promoter could not come up with the finances.  (Jaramillo had been due to receive US$2,000 for the fight, and Salandy US$1,500.)

Jaramillo took her next fight, with Sumya Anani, arguably the best female boxer in the world at the time, at about 8 days' notice after Anani's scheduled opponent, Darys Pardo of Colombia, had problems getting a visa to enter the USA. According to a post that Jaramillo made in the Women's Boxing Forum: "I was just getting off of the internet when our house phone rang. We never answer it because we only use it for surfing the web. But, something made me answer it. It was a man saying that he was a boxing promoter, and wanted to know who to talk to about a match. He told me he had an upcoming show in one week that was going to fall through because of visa problems with an opponent for Anani. I told him no, because it was too short notice. Then I talked to my dad about the call that I had received. My dad asked me why I had told him no, and I told him that she was an idol and I never thought that I would face her. But I thought about it for a while, and everything seems right. My body tells me it's right...I had kept training after returning from Trinidad, even though I had nothing coming up soon. My weight is good, my air is good. It's like somehow I knew I was going to fight. My goal is to put on the best performance that I possibly can. Whatever happens from there is God's will."

Sumya Anani vs. Stephanie Jaramillo
Sumya Anani vs. Stephanie Jaramillo in Kansas City
© Copyrighted photo taken by Lori Steinhorst

On December 3, 2004 at the Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Missouri, Sumya Anani (140 lbs) defended her WIBA Junior Welterweight world title with a convincing (100-88,100-88,99-89) ten-round unanimous decision over Stephanie (140 lbs). Anani was the aggressor throughout the bout while Jaramillo spent much of it trying looking to avoid Anani's leads and catch her with counterattacks. Sumya bloodied Jaramillo's nose with a series of lefts in the fourth and knocked her down near the end of the ninth. Jaramillo was in survival mode by the end of the fight as Anani went for the KO and had a point deducted in the tenth for holding. Still, she smiled and jumped up at the end of the bout ... apparently happy to have gone the full distance against Anani. Anani improved her record to 24-1-1 (10 KO's) while Jaramillo fell to 4-2-1 (2 KO's).

For more photos of Stephanie Jaramillo, visit Photo Gallery #20 on the WBAN Records Member Site.

Other Stephanie Jaramillo links

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, 06 November 2015


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