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Chevelle "Fist of Steel" Hallback, born September 3, 1971, 5'5", and fights from 126 - 135 lbs.,  is probably one of the most best-kept secret in women's boxing.  She created one of the biggest upsets when she defeated Bonnie Canino in Canino's own turf on March 6, 1998.  

The fight with Canino could have easily been the  biggest upset of the year, if Christy Martin had not been defeated by Sumya Anani in a 10-round untitled fight in December of 1998. 

Unfortunately,  in the sport of boxing, the best athletics in the world are not necessarily going to get the "best" opportunities.  In fact, it is amazing that some of the pay-per-view fights have been plagued with 0-3 fighters, and some of the  best boxers have been basically ignored.

Hallback began her boxing career in 1996 and then had her first pro fight six months later.  Her pro debut was in Miami in January of 1997 against Connie Plosser.  She defeated Plosser with a TKO in the first round.

In fact, the fight lasted 47 seconds.  With that vast experience as a pro, Hallback was offered a fight with the infamous Lucia Rijker on March 22, 1997 in Corpus Christi, Texas.  

Hallback told WBAN that she was offered the fight with a short notice of a few days, and was unaware who she was fighting until she saw an HBO special on female boxing the night before she was due to fly to Texas for her fight.  Hallback said that she had been told that Rijker had only three fights and that she was not very good.  Hallback had been deceived. 

Hallback said that she learned from this experience and that she would never take a fight unless she was ready to do so.  

Hallback then changed to a different trainer and fought Judy Mayrand in May of 1997. She defeated Mayrand in Tallahassee, Florida by a TKO, 1:07 in the first round.  

On September 20, 1997, Hallback fought Bethany Payne and won by a first round TKO.  

On March 6, 1998, Hallback fought Bonnie Canino for the WIBF Intercontinental Super Featherweight title in Fort Lauderdale.  The outcome was surprising to most who knew little of this "Fist of Steel".  Canino struggled through the every round, and ended up stopping after the sixth round after being cut over the right eye and on the left eyelid.

Most would have thought that this fight would have firmly established Hallback as one of the leading boxers.....but she did not have another fight until June 11, 1999.  Hallback fought Hayde Nunez of Puerto Rico, and won with a four-round unanimous decision.  

On 04/26/00, Hallback fought Doris Hackl for the IFBA Jr. Lightweight title, and she defeated Hallback by a Majority Decision in a 10-round decision. As Ryan Wissow reported "An excellent fight, and a good clash of styles. Hallback was the aggressor and clearly the much harder puncher, but the taller southpaw Hacki was very precise with her combinations, although she sometimes slapped with her punches. Hallback missed with some wild punches, but she also managed to land several bombs and she had Hackl clearly in trouble on a couple of occasions. But Hackl came on strong later in the fight as Hallback began to slow down and lunge with some of her punches. Hackl counter-punched pretty well. Hackl couldn't hurt Hallback with a baseball bat, but she showed good stamina and fought a pretty smart fight. Although I feel that Hallback did enough to win the decision, the fight was VERY close with rounds that could have been scored for either fighter, and Hackl was awarded the decision, which the crowd boo'd."  Other boxing fans that wrote into WBAN said that the fight was a bad decision, and should have gone to Hallback. Looks like a rematch in in the making!  Hackl is now 4-0, and Hallback fell to 5-2. 

by the Roaming Reporter

RR:   What got you into boxing?

CH:    I always wanted to box. I can remember when I was very young looking at tapes of Ali saying to myself, "I can do that!" But at that time there was not female boxing.  So when did learn of female boxing, about 10 years later, I jumped right on it. I trained for just 6 months before turning pro. 

RR:  Why did you turn pro, without fighting amateurs first?

CH:   I could not get any fights at the amateur level. That is why I turned pro so quickly.

RR: Do you have any upcoming bouts? 

CH:   I am suppose to fight April 11 in California against Chris Kruez. 

RR:  Where do you see yourself in a year, in three years?

In a year,  I see my career really taken off.   I want to put myself on the map as one of the "pound for pound"    best woman fighter out there.  In three years,  I want to be a household name.   I want to have a world champion belt in all three women sanction body. I want to make history.

RR:  Who is on your "hit list" to fight next?

CH:  I really want to fight Melissa Salamone! I have heard rumors of her saying  I cannot fight and she will beat me anytime.    So I am calling  her out. But she will not fight me!    I will fight her anytime! I want to fight her in her hometown! That is how bad I want to fight her. I  also want a rematch against Lucia Rijker. Other than that, I want to fight the best fighters out there. I want to fight anyone that will get in the ring with me.

RR:  Do you know of any fighters that have been ducking you?

CH:   Yes! Female fighters have been ducking me! For example, Melissa Salamone!   Why? I really do not know!    Some say they will not fight me unless the money is right.    Melissa camp is asking for 50,000 to fight me! Why! I am not the one with a world champion belt. I have only 5 fights under my belt period! So why are the girls so afraid? Or should I say why are the promoters and managers so afraid to put their girls in front of me. I really do not blame them. If I had to fight me I would be afraid too. smile) (Me too, double smile. T.L.Fox)

RR:  What kind of preparation to you do to prepare for a fight?

CH:  I do not do anything special to prepare for a fight. I train hard and fight the fight in my mind the night before the fight. Yes, I am ready to go 10 rounds, but I do not want to fight for a championship belt right now. I want to get some more fights under my belt before I fight for a championship belt. I want to build up my name so when I fight for a championship belt it will have a better chance to be seen on TV and there will be a lot of viewers meaning more money.

RR:  Do you study your opponents before a fight?

CH:   I do not study my opponents. I train to fight all type of fighters so it does not matter who I fight.  I will be ready. I am a natural at what I do and my body is like an animal and the weather. My body adapts to how the fighter fights. I can box, I can fight inside, I can fight dirty, whatever is brought to me in the ring,  I have something for it.    So no, I do not study my opponent.

RR:  What is going through your mind right before you step into the ring to fight?

CH:   Right before I get in the ring,    I am so nervous I feel like I have to go to the restroom! I am asking myself, "Do I really want to box? Is boxing for me?" I hate that feeling.      So what I do is listen to music.  I have to listen to music before a fight or I will go crazy! But when I enter that ring, and we meet in the middle of the ring, I am calm and ready to have some fun.  

RR:  Do you have a game plan when stepping into the ring?

CH:   Once inside the ring my boxing talent, instincts, and my trainer advise determines how I fight.

RR:  What are your strength, and weaknesses as a fighter?

CH:   My strength is my defense skills.  I am very hard to hit.  I also hit very hard as well. I guess that is also a strength. smile) I Would  like to improve on my left hook and going to the body.

RR:  Who was your toughest opponent?

CH:   My toughest opponent was to Lucia Rijker.   I fought her my second fight.  I did not know how to use my boxing skills and I was not in shape when I fought her. I did not know who she was until the day before the fight when I saw a special on her on HBO. I learned a lot from that. First, do not take a fight unless you are ready and stay in shape.   If I had half of the knowledge I have now when I fought that fight, the outcome would have been much different. So I have no shame for losing that fight because with no boxing experience, I gave one of the world's best female fighters a lot of trouble when I fought her.   The next time around for Lucia will be trouble, trouble, trouble!

RR:  How do you think that you can promote yourself as a boxer?

CH:   My trainer wants me to talk bad about other female fighters to make them want to fight me. I know the men do that to promote a fight but it is not my character to do that. I think by doing interviews like    this and fighting more will promote me. I love doing interviews. I wish I can do more. I do not have a manager but my trainer is always going around telling people what a great fighter I am and that no one will step in the ring with me. I guess that is promoting me.

RR:  What is your take on what women boxing is doing right now?

CH:  There are good changes and bad changes that is currently happening with female boxing. The good thing is the few fights that are shown on TV.   It is not that many still but more then what it was in the past.    The bad is politics! Plain and simple. Let the girls fight and stop babysitting them. That is really putting a damper on female boxing.

RR:  How do you handle your boxing career along with other responsibilities in your life?  

CH:   It is very hard to balance life with my boxing career. I have a full-time job because bills have to be paid.     To be the best you have to train hard! After training and work all you want to do is sleep. I find time to be with my family on the weekend. During the week forget it.

RR:  What do you do in your free time?

CH:    In my free time I like to sleep! smile) I also like to get fan mail and read it!

RR:  What would you like to say to other women fighters?

CH:  Be dedicated to your goal, train hard, and run, run, run, and run!

RR:  What would you like to say to your boxing fans?

CH:  To all my boxing fans and anyone else, I would like to hear from you so please email me and I will email you back. My email add. is fistofsteel@webtv.net  



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