5'9˝" super middleweight "Vicious" Veronica Simmons was born on March 30, 1969
in Brooklyn, New York.
She began boxing in 1995 and has trained in New York City at
Kingsway Gym and at Gleason's.
Veronica had a spectacular career as an amateur, winning
every competition she entered and compiling a perfect
15-0 record, with 11 wins coming by (often quick) knockout.
She won three USA Boxing National championships and four
New York Golden Gloves titles, the latter in three different
weight classes ... 165-lb, 178-lb and heavyweight.
On April 10, 1997, fighting out of Gleason's Gym,
Veronica took the New York Golden Gloves Light Heavyweight (178-lb)
Championship by defeating Diana Diaz of Pacheo Boxing Club.
She went on to win the national 178-lb title at the first USA Boxing Women's
National Amateur Championships held in Augusta, Georgia on July 16-19, 1997.
Her opponents in this ground-breaking event went on to win professional
Trina Ortegon, who Veronica defeated by a 4-1
score in the semifinals, became the IFBA Super Middleweight champion
in February 2000. Suzette Taylor,who Veronica shut
out 5-0 in the finals, became the IBA Super Middleweight champion in
Simmons continued to compete as an amateur, however, setting records as she went.
On April 2, 1998, she returned to the finals of the New York Golden Gloves,
this time competing in the Heavyweight division. Veronica stole the show
in what boxing commentator and publicist Tom Gerbasi described as "a brutal
62-second demolition" of Iris Reyes.
In May 1998, she returned to national competition at the USA Boxing-Everlast National Championships in Anaheim, California.
She won her quarterfinal bout when Beth Kuch of Newport Beach, California
retired at 0:46 of the first round. Her semifinal and final opponents
lasted a little longer ... she stopped Crystal Pinager of Columbus, Ohio at 1:56
in the first round in the semifinal, and Adriana Smith of San Bernardino, California
at 1:56 of the first round of the final.
On April 9, 1999 she again won the 178-lb division of the
New York Golden Gloves, this time by a three-round decision over
She won the 165-lb gold medal at
the 1999 USA Boxing/Everlast Women's National Senior Championships in
Scranton, Pennsylvania by dropping Diana Matty of Plantation, Florida with the first
clean punch of the fight, then putting her down again to end it after
just 52 seconds. This win made Simmons
the first ever three-time women's USA Boxing national champion.
In May 1999, Veronica was equally impressive on the international scene as
she competed in the 75-kg division of the
Feenix Cup competition held in Turku, Finland.
She stopped Tanya Fowler of Canada in the first round, and won the division's gold medal
by defeating Anna Laurell of Sweden, also by first-round stoppage. Veronica
was clear about what this Feenix Cup win meant to her ... "Right now this is the
Olympics for the women. So this gold medal is my Olympic gold."
Simmons turned professional and made her debut on May 19, 2000 at the Blue Horizon in
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She won this bout in the same style
as most of her amateur bouts ... by a quick KO. This time her victim was
Evelyn Holley of Pennsauken, New Jersey, who succumbed at 0:48 of the first round.
Veronica's major problem as a pro boxer was that nobody wanted to fight her
because of her reputation in the amateurs. Unlike in amateur boxing, where a
round of open tournaments guaranteed her some opponents on a regular basis, pro
boxers who feel they have too much to lose by taking her on could simply avoid her.
Without a promoter who's willing to pay opponents big money to risk a loss
at her hands, Veronica found it tough to get contracts, and it was
almost a year before she fought professionally again.
On April 13, 2001 at Cobo Hall in Detroit, Michigan,
Veronica weighed in at 165 lbs and won by TKO at 1:15 in the first round over previously unbeaten
Kronk gym product Kathleen Brauer (5'8", 164 lbs) of Sterling Heights, Michigan. The
super middleweight bout had been scheduled for four rounds.
but referee Ron Cunningham ended it after Simmons knocked Brauer down
twice and forced a mandatory eight-count.
As described by
Boxing's Andre Courtemanche, Simmons "smashed Kat Brauer with a series of
merciless right hands that dropped her three times and spoiled her unbeaten
record in two minutes time. Simmons ... seemed strong enough to beat a lot of
men her weight. She simply overpowered a very strong opponent and made it look easy." Brauer,
who also had national-level amateur experience, taking the 156-lb
silver medal at the 1999 US National Golden Gloves, fell to 3-1 as a pro.
WBAN named her its "Best Kept Secret" Boxer of 2001.
On December 26, 2002 at Cliff Anderson Sports Hall, in Georgetown, Guyana,
she won a six-round majority (58-56,59-56,57-57) decision over
Gwendolyn O'Neil of Guyana in a hard-fought
light-heavyweight semi-main event. Simmons handled O'Neil's aggressive, brawling
style with jabs and accurate combinations while O'Neil (who had been
disqualified in her last appearance in this annual Boxing Day event) was warned
several times for pushing and holding at close quarters. Simmons progressed to
3-0-0 (2 KO) while O'Neil fell to 4-3 (2 KO). O'Neil told local reporters
"That girl did not beat me, any time we fight again, I will kill her.”
Chronicle reporter disagreed, saying that: "O’Neil learned that her
robust/wrestling style was not going to prevail once she met a boxer who was
prepared to stand up to her as the American Simmons did. The world-rated O’Neil
was warned on several occasions for pushing and holding while the crafty Simmons
made her look out of sorts with a skillful display, jabbing and hitting with
who is trained by former WBA Junior Welterweight
declared that she felt great beating O'Neil, especially as she had not
fought for more than a year. Simmons
said that at no time was she scared of O’Neil and her bullying tactics,
and felt she had hurt O'Neil in both the second and third rounds of the fight.
On October 30, 2003 at Coconut Creek Casino in Coconut Creek, Florida, Veronica
had been scheduled to fight Yvonne Reis of Florida in a six round super middleweight bout,
but canceled out with a few days to go because she could not get off work as a
corrections officer to make
If she could have stayed more active in the pro ring, Veronica might have been the ultimate
test for pro super middleweights or light heavyweights, including Laila Ali.
Veronica Simmons was an all-city and all-state
basketball star in high school, and played
four years of collegiate hoops at St. Johns University while working
for her Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Arts. One of her
ambitions was to play for the WNBA. Asked if she's better at boxing
or basketball, Veronica states "I'm very, very good at both."
In 2002 and 2004,
Veronica played professional women's football as a linebacker with the IWFL
Sharks. "I love the team,"
Simmons, "it's been a great learning experience. I would have played earlier
if the opportunity was there. When I first heard about it, I went right out and
tried out." Veronica won the league's award for most sacks in 2004.
More Veronica Simmons 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, 09 August 2013