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Sue Fox Named  in the "Top Ten" Most -Significant Female Boxers of All Time - Ring Magazine - Feb. 2012

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Melinda "2 Cute" Woody, 5’5”, 130 lb., born June 20, 1980, in the small town of Etowah, Tennessee.  Woody grew up a few miles from Benton, Tennessee, a town so small that they have only one red light!

Woody told WBAN, “Its only claim to fame is the Ocoee River where the 1996 Olympic rafting competitions were held.”

Woody has participated in other sports, besides boxing, that included, volleyball, basketball, softball, and an all-star athlete at Polk County High School. 

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Woody graduated in 1998, and was supposed to go on to play basketball in college—but chose a family life instead. She has three children.  

Woody,  fights out of the Cleveland Boxing Academy, in Cleveland, Tennessee.     
        
Woody told WBAN lightheartedly, “Our gym is an old abandoned hosiery mill with no air, heat, and sometimes the lights even give us trouble. But,  our trainer, our equipment, and God are all we need.”

Woody at this time is only sparring with the male boxers, because she is the only female who fights out of that gym. 

Many women boxers have a variety of reasons why they get into the sport.  Woody got into boxing to get back into shape. She was 23 years old.  She also tried her hand at Tough woman.

In January of 2004, Woody was introduced to Mike Lewis, the trainer, by Jeff Yarber, a former Golden Gloves champion. 

Woody said, “I had never been more humiliated.  Mike would not even give me a chance.  I continued to go to the gym, but he insisted on not helping a girl.   That gave me even more drive.”

She fought and won her first tough woman match by a unanimous decision in January of 2004,  in Knoxville, Tennessee.

“After that, I continued to go to the gym, and Mike started working with me on the basics.  I heard of another tough woman match in April, in Chattanooga, Tn.  I thought what the heck, so I entered that one.  My first two matches, I won by KO.  For the championship, I fought a girl who was being trained by former pro-female boxer, Vicki Woods.  I won that bout by majority decision.  Needless to say, Mike seemed to be more interested in training me.  I guess I just had to convince him.  But, at the time, I still had no intentions of a boxing career.  Even though,  I fought for the championship, he told me if I ever found the heart, I have the skills.  My third and final tough woman tournament was held in June of 2004, in Heflin, Al.  This one was for a tough woman belt.  I had a stomach virus.  I was very sick and dehydrated, and I had to fight a 185 lb woman.  I weighed in at 135 lb.  I think I surprised a lot of people that night.  I took home that belt.”

After that tough woman event, Woody, had  suffered from a whiplash, at that point she moved onto boxing.

Woody had one amateur bout, in April of 2005.  in Sweetwater, Tn.  She won the bout by a split decision.    

Woody said, “We decided to go pro after that, because amateur fights for females where I’m from is very rare.  We had a few fight offers, but Mike wanted to bring me along the right way and keep me away from the dirty business of boxing.  Being a former Golden Gloves champion himself, and being in the boxing industry for many, many years, he pretty much knows how it works.” 

On October 15, 2005, in Columbia, South Carolina, Woody had her professional debut against Michelle Taylor. 


  


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Woody said, “My nerves were worse than ever, and I made myself very sick before the bout.  I know everyone does something to control their nerves before a bout.  I’m still searching for mine.  This bout was ridiculous.  Yes, my nerves were working on me, but I was still winning the fight.  In the 2nd round I was head-butted.  Instantly, the knot the size of a golf ball formed underneath my right eye.  I thought you were supposed to get like 5 minutes to recover?  The ref asked me if I could see, and I told him not very good.  The next thing I knew, the fight was called.  I thought it should have been ruled a no contest, but now I have a loss by KO.  I was clearly NOT knocked out.  At least not by a punch.” 

According to Woody, after the fight Michelle came to me and apologized for the head-butt.  Her trainer told her it was unfair and that Michelle got lucky. 

On March 31, 2006, in Nashville, Tennessee, Woody won her second bout by a unanimous decision over Ashlyn Johnson.  Woody told WBAN that she was much more focused for that fight.

Woody said, “My dream is to one day become not only a world champion, but also a role model for anyone, especially females, who are afraid to chase their dreams.  I’m willing to do what it takes to get me there.  I have the team I need, and the support from my family, friends, and fans that I didn’t even know I had. If I could give any advice to other up and coming fighters, it would be that you have to make sacrifices to make your dreams come true.  NEVER GIVE UP!”

 
     
     

 

     
     
     

 

     
     
   
         
 
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