Suzette (Suzy) Taylor Taylor was born on November 2, 1967 in Lancaster,
California. She has always been athletic and played several sports. She also
coached girls' softball at Van Nuys High School in California, where she lived
until the Northridge earthquake destroyed her home. She moved to Atlanta and
started working out at a kickboxing gym, where a trainer encouraged her to learn
She competed in the first USA Boxing Women's National Amateur Championships
held in Augusta, Georgia on July 16-19, 1997, losing in the 178-lb division
to the formidable Veronica Simmons of Brooklyn, N.Y.
by a score of 5-0. (Veronica Simmons went on to become the first three-time
winner of the national amateur title.)
On April 18, 1998 at Arizona Charlie's in Las Vegas, Suzy (162 lbs) lost her
pro debut to Trina Ortegon (160½ lbs) of Albuquerque,
New Mexico by a
unanimous (40-36, 39-37, 39-37) four-round decision. Ortegon moved her own
record to 2-1-0 (1 KO).
On August 15, 1998 at Arizona Charlie's in Las Vegas,
Suzy (163 lbs) stopped debut fighter Pat Minton (161 lbs) of El Paso, Texas at 0:50 of
the third round in a scheduled four-rounder.
On October 17, 1998. at Arizona Charlie's in Las Vegas,
Suzy (160½ lbs) won a unanimous four-round
decision over Kymm Pearson (157 lbs) of Las Vegas. Pearson was making
her pro debut.
On October 30, 1998 at the Orleans in Las Vegas, Suzy
fought to a six-round draw with Canadian expatriate Marsha Valley (158 lbs)
boxing out of Los Angeles. Valley moved her record to 5-0-1 (2 KO's), and was
previously 14-0 as an amateur light-heavyweight. (Post-fight picture at left is
copyrighted by Las Vegas boxing photographer Mary Ann Owen).
On February 26, 1999 at Casino Magic in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi,
Suzy (168 lbs) won the IBA heavyweight title with a ninth-round
TKO of former American Gladiator Shannon "Dallas" Hall (168 lbs).
The scheduled 10-round bout was stopped
at 1:30 in the ninth round when Taylor trapped a rapidly-fading Hall
in a corner and unleashed a furious barrage.
Hall had been undefeated in ten fights in Toughwoman contests, winning the
1996 Toughwoman World titlist and in 1998 and in 1998 an IFBA-sponsored
Platinum Heavyweight Championship. Hall reportedly had lucrative contracts
waiting for if she had won this fight ... but she had more than she could handle with
a full 20 minutes of action against the hard-hitting Taylor.
The fight began with Hall apparently in control in the early rounds, but
Taylor and trainer Jesse Reid were apparently prepared to have her survive
Hall's early powerful onslaught and take it to her in the later rounds,
despite the fact that Taylor had never been beyond six herself. Suzette
began to turn the tide in the fifth and was starting to take charge with
good combinations behind her jab. At the start of the ninth it was now
Taylor getting the best of the exchanges and landing harder until
she trapped Hall in the corner and uncorked a barrage of left hooks and
overhand rights that persuaded referee Elmo Adolph to stop the fight as
Hall was not firing back and her nose had been broken.
"It was a great fight", said the exhausted Taylor afterwards.
"I think Shannon was beating me, she kept avoiding my jab.
In the ninth, I caught her with a left hook, she stumbled back, so I threw the kitchen
sink (at her)". One scorecard had the fight 79-73 for Hall, two were
tied at 76-76 at the time of the stoppage.
On March 25, 1999 at the Pontchartrain Center in New Orleans, Louisiana,
Suzy moved her record to 4-1-1 with a six-round unanimous decision
over Kathy Rivers of Hollywood, Florida, who fell to 6-1.
Rivers was knocked down for the first time in her pro career in the
fifth round of this fight, and Suzette put her on the canvas again in the sixth.
On June 11, 1999 at Casino Magic in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi,
Suzy won by fifth-round TKO over
Kendra Lenhart of Lenoir City, Tennessee in a give
and take slugfest. Trailing going into round four, Taylor dropped
Lenhart for an eight count with a tremendous left hook. Taylor came
out fast in the fifth and the bout was stopped by the
referee after another knockdown. This was Lenhart's second fight in a week,
and she fell to 2-5 as Taylor improved to 5-1-1.
On July 2, 1999 at the Coca-Cola Roxy Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia,
in a badly mismatched fight, Suzy, who weighed in at 168 pounds,
was matched against last-minute substitute "Killer" Sophia Johnson (148 lbs) of
Colege Parl, Georgia.
Johnson stood a head shorter and 20 pounds
lighter and the referee stopped the uneven bout early in the second round.
Johnson fell to 1-1 (1 kO).
It was a different story on
August 6, 1999 at the State Fairgrounds in Columbus, Ohio as
Trina Ortegon (160 lbs)
of Corrales, New Mexico won a ten round unanimous (99-91, 99-91, 97-93)
decision over Suzy (now 160 lbs) for
the vacant IBA World Middleweight (160 lb) title.
Ortegon's strength on the inside was the difference as Taylor
never could mount a sustained attack from the outside.
Suzette failed to avenge her debut loss to Trina from April 1998
as her defense wasn't up to slipping Ortegon's jab. Suzette ended
this fight badly bruised. Trainer Jesse Reid screamed instructions to her
during the round all fight, while Ortegon came closer to carrying
out what Reid was telling Taylor to do. A ringside correspondent told me "Suzy was beaten to the punch constantly and seemed to cock her head to one
side, making her an easy target for Trina's jab."
Despite this loss Taylor remained the IBA World Heavyweight
champ (at 168 lbs)! Ortegon is now 7-1.
On October 16, 1999 in Bay St. Louis, Mississipi, she knocked out
Bethany Payne of Atlanta (1-7-0) in the first round.
On December 17, 1999 at the Family Arena in St. Charles, Missouri
Suzy (171 lbs) stopped Karen Bill (172 lbs)
of Lawton, Oklahoma at 1:40 of the third round. My correspondent told me
"Both women were very aggressive trading both head
and body punches in the first two rounds. It could have gone either way as both had
been connecting with solid shots. But in the third Suzy started to take over. Then Karen didn't have anything left
in the tank and was covering as best she could and was taking a beating.
Karen showed a lot of heart but once Suzy took command all she do was cover and
try to run. Once she was cornered she took about a dozen unanswered punches and
was clearly rocked. The ref stepped in and stopped the match.
Suzy showed superior hand speed and concentration and once she focused she really
rang Bill's gong. Bill had to sit on her stool for several minutes to collect herself.
Both women showed great skills and determination, as well as good sportswomanship,
hugging after the fight when the winner was announced."
Bill fel to 1-3 with the loss.
On February 10, 2000 at Harrah's Casino in Vicksburg, Mississippi,
Suzy won by unanimous decision over Britt Van Buskirk
of Carbondale, Illinois who fell to 8-8-1.
On March 23, 2000 in Tunica, Mississippi:
Suzy won by a sixth-round KO in a rematch with Kendra Lenhart, who slipped to 5-7-1.
On May 5, 2000 at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada,
Mary Ann Almager (162 lbs) of Midland, Texas moved to 11-3 with an
exciting six-round split decision over Suzy (164 lbs).
This was a donnybrook from bell to bell. Almager was knocked down in the opening round but
came back to outlast Taylor in a fierce battle that saw two judges split by one point each
leaving a 57-54 score for Almager as the decider. "We were both bleeding like
stuck pigs", says Taylor, "I took 10 uppercuts in the last round. But
that's what makes it an exciting fight. If I take a couple of punches and she
takes a couple, the crowd gets into it." (Don't miss the
blow-by-blow account of
this ding-dong battle by correspondent Rod Mahaffey).
Suzy throws a right to the head of Gina Nicholas
© Copyrighted photo taken by Mary Ann Owen
On June 23, 2000, Taylor returned to the Hard Rock Hotel for another
tough battle with a Texan ... junior middleweight
Gina Nicholas of Longview, Texas.
Nicholas defeated Taylor by majority decision
in a hard-hitting six-rounder that moved her own record to 11-4-2,
while dropping Taylor to 9-4-1.
Mary Ann Owen's fight report, photos, and
video clip of this fight!)
On September 9, 2000 at Civic Auditorium in Laporte, Indiana,
Suzy won a fifth-round
TKO over local favorite Karrie Frye
of Michigan City, Indiana
in a scheduled ten-rounder for the IBA Super Middleweight title. Taylor (photo
at left by Garrett Boxing) sent Frye to the ropes with a left hook and two
straight rights before the fight was stopped at 1:12 in the fifth.
According to one Women's Boxing Page
correspondent, "Suzy Taylor survived 2.5 rounds
of hell from Karrie Frye before Frye ran out of steam.
Frye had nothing left as the fight entered round four
and was pounded from post to post before the ref stopped
the fight." Another said that "Taylor appeared to be in trouble
early but started to turn the fight around in the third and sent Frye
to the canvas for a nine count at the end of the fourth.
She went after Frye hard in
the fifth and landed many heavy shots to
Frye's head." Frye
suffered vision problems and loss of hearing in her
right ear; she was hospitalized for several days after the
fight. Karrie Frye fell to 5-2 with the loss and has not competed again.
Taylor's strategy against Frye was similar to that she used to wear down
Shannon Hall. "I was going to work my jab for a couple rounds," she
told local reporters, "(When she)
rushed in I covered up when she threw her big bombs and it worked."
Taylor's endurance is one of her strong suits against less experienced
boxers, and Frye paid the price in this fight, ending the bout
disoriented with a concussion that sent her to a local hospital
for several days.
Suzy Taylor trades with Monica McGowan in April 2001
© Copyrighted photo taken by Mary Ann Owen
On April 6, 2001 at Texas Station
Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada,
Suzy dropped a clear six-round decision to
Monica McGowan of Rusk, Texas, who moved to 4-2, 3 KO's.
All three judges scored the fight for McGowan 59-55. Las Vegas
photographer Mary Ann Owen who took the photo above, told me "Suzy ran out of gas in Round 1 ... Monica
McGowan fought with commitment and heart, even though she was visibly overweight for her frame she was in
better condition than Taylor. She brought the fight to Taylor and continuously tagged her."
On December 14, 2001 at Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,
Jacqui Frazier-Lyde (169 lbs) advanced to 8-1-0 (8 KOs) and won the WIBA light heavyweight
title with a TKO at 1:44 in the fourth round over Taylor (177 lbs).
Frazier-Lyde traded bombs with the more experienced Taylor from the opening
bell. Taylor landed a left hook that shook Frazier-Lyde as she was coming in but
Jacqui landed several rights on Taylor as the two fought on the inside. Taylor
won this round on the basis of her left hook. Frazier-Lyde used more movement
in the second and made Taylor come after her. Taylor fired away with rights and
left hooks, but Frazier-Lyde started throwing, and landing, her right hand
behind her jab. Taylor was getting wild, and Jacqui was boxing well and countering
with hard rights to the head. Frazier-Lyde turned up the pressure in the third
as she landed a string of hard rights to Taylor's face and exploded with a
four-punch combination to Taylor's head and body. Taylor seemed unable to
answer Frazier-Lyde effectively and was cut over the bridge of her nose.
Frazier-Lyde dominated the fourth round against an increasingly wild and
ineffective Taylor. The fight came to a sudden end when Taylor appeared to twist
her ankle and went to the canvas for a nine count. Taylor was limping after this
and the bout was stopped.
On August 17, 2002 at Aladdin Hotel and Casino, in Las Vegas, Nevada,
Laila Ali (165½ lbs) won the IBA Super Middleweight
belt before a capacity crowd and a national PPV audience by
TKO'ing Suzy (166 lbs) at 1:11 in the second round. Referee Kenny Bayless halted the
scheduled 10-rounder after titleholder Taylor absorbed a barrage of
unanswered punches. Ali showed good hand speed and her body punching had Taylor
in trouble in the opening round. Ali was frequently beating
Taylor to the punch and showed a combination of speed and power
that spoke volumes about her progress as a boxer.
According to a WBAN
correspondent, "In the second round, Ali began
catching Taylor with just about everything she threw although she took a couple
of hard rights from a retreating Taylor. Then, to our astonishment, Ali digs to
Taylor's body. A three-punch combination drove Suzy into the corner. The body
shots had rendered her helpless and she dropped her hands to her side."
Ali progressed to 12-0-0 (9 KO) with the win while Taylor fell to
10-7-1 (7 KOs).
Suzy is married with two daughters.
"My fights are always really exciting," she says. "I throw a lot of
shots, but my defense isn't really good, so I get cracked with a couple shots.
That's what the crowd likes to see."
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