Las Vegas to Keep International Women’s Boxing Hall of Fame
By David A. Avila
LAS VEGAS, Nevada- After several years of traveling from city to city the hall of fame for women will stay put, said Sue Fox the event creator and organizer.
Las Vegas will remain the host city for the International Women’s Boxing Hall of Fame after several years of moving from different cities in the western portion of the USA. It’s a move that places it in a city where boxing has thrived for decades.
One local fighter inducted last Saturday was Melinda Cooper who was born and raised in Las Vegas and was the first woman or man to win a world title for the casino city. That took place in Rancho Mirage, California where she defeated Anissa Zamarron by technical knockout to win the flyweight world title on January 14, 2005. She was 19 years old.
Cooper was just one of more than a dozen retired prizefighters and boxing related persons who were honored at the Orleans Casino by the IWHOF last Saturday. Though not all of those voted into the ledger were able to attend, those that appeared were celebrated enthusiastically.
Graciela Casillas fought in the 1970s and 80s first as a kickboxer and later as a boxer in Southern California. She described the battle it took just to be allowed to train, let alone fight in the prize ring. But she persisted.
“Not until the 70s were licenses issued,” said Casillas. “Never stop demanding for respect.”
Kelsey Jeffries amassed more than 50 fights in her career and fought anywhere a fight could be found.
“I’m not done fighting,” said Jeffries. “I want to help people feel like they’re awesome.”
Mary Ortega said boxing allowed her to see things outside of her hometown Kansas City, that she would not have seen.
“It took me all over the world,” said Ortega who traded blows with Susi Kentikian in Germany in 2008. “
Mary Ann Owen was one of the few non-fighters selected to the hall of fame. The Las Vegas resident photographed many female prizefighters over the years and often traveled out of the country to cover female boxers. If not for her photographs there would be no proof of their fights.
“Where did 20 years ago,” said Owen whose career as a photographer spanned that amount of time.
For one boxer, Jaime Clampitt, the journey to simply enter a boxing gym proved a struggle.
“A lot of men quit the gym because I was there,” said Clampitt. “My husband was my first sparring partner. I still have that love for it.”
For Bonnie Mann, boxing proved to be everything.
“Boxing really has been a lifesaver,” said Mann who credits the sport for keeping her hopes alive.
Others like Kathy “Wildcat” Collins recalled the effort it took to convince promoters that a fight between her and Christy Martin would be a tremendous attraction at Madison Square Garden. It was.
It was another joyous evening spent with many of the baddest women in the world. Not even a pandemic could stop it.
World title fights in San Diego
Kali Reis faces the dangerous Diana Prazak for the WBA and IBO super lightweight world titles on Friday Aug. 20 at Sycuan Casino in San Diego. UFC Fight Pass will stream the loaded boxing card.
Also on the same card, Jessica Camara and Argentina’s Victoria Bustos battle for the vacant WBO super lightweight world title. The DiBella Entertainment boxing card will also feature another female fight between welterweights Alma Ibarra and Kandi Wyatt in a nontitle fight.
Tickets are still available for the event.
More Fight News
Aldana Lopez (2-0) defeated Lucia De Los Angeles (2-6) by decision after four rounds on Saturday Aug. 14. The super flyweight bout took place at Buenos Aires. Also, Gabriela Celes (1-0-1) beat Laura Martinez (0-7) in a super featherweight bout.
Daniela Molina (2-6-3) won by unanimous decision after six rounds against Najara Pacheco (1-1-1) on Saturday Aug. 15. The super flyweight bout took place at Cordoba.
Carolina Duer (20-6-2) beat Silvia Zacarias (8-24-5) by unanimous decision after four rounds on Thursday Aug. 12. The super featherweight fight took place at Buenos Aires.
On Saturday Aug. 21, flyweights Gabriela Alaniz (10-0) and Maria Sol Baumstarh (2-5-1) meet eight rounds in Buenos Aires.
Daniela Cruces (5-0) defeated Esmailen Colina (1-3-2) by split decision after four rounds on Saturday Aug. 15. The featherweight bout took place at Barranquilla.
Sanna Turenen (7-4-1) was the winner by unanimous decision after 10 rounds versus Elene Sikmashvili (9-10) on Saturday Aug. 15. The super middleweight title fight was held at Savonlinna.
On Saturday Aug. 21, super featherweights Dilar Kisikyol (4-0) and Aleksandra Vujovic (4-13-2) meet 10 rounds at Hamburg. Plus super welterweights Hanna Hansen (1-0) and Klaudia Vigh (3-30-1) meet six rounds.
Yumi Narita (6-4-3) beat Kaoru Iga (4-2-1) by unanimous decision after eight rounds on Wednesday Aug. 11. The OPBF light flyweight title fight took place at Osaka. Also, Aka Ringo (2-0) beat Makoto Kikuchi (0-1); and Sumire Yamanaka (3-0) beat Rin Murai (1-1-2) in a atomweight fight.
Lucy Wildheart (8-1) was victorious by technical knockout of Edina Kiss (15-15) in the fourth round on Friday Aug. 13. The featherweight clash took place at Hal Luqa.
On Friday Aug. 20, bantamweights Maryan Salazar (8-2) and Eloisa Martinez (2-13-3) meet six rounds at Tijuana.
Sharadene Fortuin (12-1-1) was the winner by majority decision after 10 rounds versus Melissa Miller (5-11-3) on Sunday Aug. 15. The South African bantamweight title fight took place at Johannesburg. Also, Simangele Hadebe (9-3-2) beat Thema Zuma (5-5) in a flyweight bout; Enelless Nkhwanthi (1-7-1) knocked out Lufuno Mutshayi (1-3-1) in a super bantamweight bout; and Monalisa Takane (3-0) beat Nosiacwase Dube (0-2-1) in a super bantamweight fight.
On Friday Aug. 20, light flyweights Mwanne Haji (5-7) and Martha Kimaro (0-1) meet four rounds at Dar es Salaam. Also super lightweights Grace Mwakamele (1-2) and Sijali John (0-1-1) meet four rounds.
United Arab Emirates
Ramona Graeff (1-0) won by decision over Karina Kopinska (14-39-4) after four rounds on Friday Aug. 13. The lightweight match was held in Dubai.
On Saturday Aug. 21, super featherweights Amy Andrews (0-0) and Polina Golubeva (1-1) meet six rounds in London, England.
Alycia Baumgardner (10-1) won by unanimous decision after eight rounds versus Vanessa Bradford (5-3-2) on Saturday Aug. 14. The lightweight bout took place at Orlando, Florida.
Summer Lynn (6-0) defeated Brenda Gonzalez (4-3) by unanimous decision after 10 rounds on Saturday Aug. 15. The title fight took place at Davenport, Iowa.
On Friday Aug. 20, super lightweights Kali Reis (17-7-1) and Diana Prazak (14-3) meet 10 rounds for the WBA and IBO world titles at San Diego. Also, super lightweights Jessica Camara (8-2) and Victoria Bustos (21-6) meet 10 rounds for the WBO world title. Welterweights Alma Ibarra (8-1) and Kandi Wyatt (10-2) meet in an eight round fight. All take place at Sycuan Casino.
On Friday Aug. 20, super featherweights Iranda Torres (12-6-1) and Brittany Cruz (12-12-2) meet six rounds at San Antonio, Texas.