Rinsing Off the Mouthpiece
Poem of the Month
By Tom Smario
The 2005 CBZ Year-End Awards
By J.D. Vena
Women to Watch For in 2006
Lou DiBella: No Joe Palooka
By Dave Iamaele
Lamon Brewster, Unplugged
By Juan C.
Touching Gloves with...
Iron Mike Tyson: Myth or Monster?
Jess Sandoval: The Coach Says,
The Legend of the Cuban Baron,
By Enrique Encinsoa
By Pete Ehrman
Battling Nelson: Always Battered,
By Tracy Callis
the Cuban Bon Bon
By Monte Cox
BOOK REVIEWS AND EXCERPTS:
Photographs by Jim
The Iceman Diaries
by John Scully
The Boxing Bookshelf
by Dave Iamele
Women to Watch For
By Adam Pollack
These are the women who promoters should try to put on their cards, writers should take notice of,
and most importantly, television networks should consider putting on their
televised shows. There are competitive, interesting, and entertaining matchups
in women's boxing if they are put together. Fans would enjoy them. If it
can be done for women's tennis, it can be done for women's boxing.
Have you ever noticed that HBO has never televised a women's bout? This needs to change,
especially given some of the boring fights the network had this past year. These women will
provide viewers with more entertainment than some of the men's bouts.
ESPN gets my Intelligent Equality Award for recently televising some of these top women,
and every time it was done, the women proved that they were skillful and
168 lbs to 175 lbs
Laila Ali (22-0, 19 KO's): She truly isn't just a name, but in fact is one of the
best pound-for-pound women boxing today. Her years of hard work and consistent improvement
have truly paid off. Laila Ali can really box and punch. That said, with her talent and
ability, she needs to fight top competition. In her last fight, she took on a gal with
only five pro bouts who had lost her previous bout. Ali can do better than that.
Ann Wolfe (22-1, 15 KO's): This is one of the strongest and toughest women in
boxing. She truly could be Laila Ali's toughest test. A match between the two would be
awesome, and a top network should try to put it together. Both Wolfe and Ali come to fight
and are entertaining and skilled. Wolfe twice clearly avenged her only defeat, which came
early in her career.
Leatitia Robinson (13-0, 9 KO's): This former top U.S. amateur is very fast, has
beautiful skills and footwork, and has shown that she has enough pop to get
Analysis: Both Wolfe and Robinson should be given the opportunity to box against
Ali, or each other. If Laila can defeat them, then she is clearly the best pound-for-pound
woman in the world and should go down as an all-time great.
140 lbs to 147 lbs
Sumya Anani (25-1-1, 10 KO's): Anani flat-out comes to fight, and she's always in
shape. She is a Joe Frazier-type fighter who keeps a good pace and packs a powerful left
hook. Anani won a decision over Christy Martin in a great and entertaining fight back when
Christy was the best. Anani twice avenged her only loss and also avenged her only draw
(which Anani deserved to win -- terrible decision). She is one of the pound-for-pound best
in women's boxing today and will make for an entertaining match with anyone. Someone
please put her on television!
Holly Holm (12-1-2, 4 KO's): This 5-foot-8-inch 24-year-old southpaw boxer (pictured)
really put her name on the map with a recent unanimous decision upset win over women's boxing
legend Christy Martin. She is also coming off a unanimous-decision win over Mia St. John.
Her beauty makes her even more marketable. Just ask Oscar de la Hoya whether looks
Mary Jo Sanders (18-0, 5 KO's): Sanders is very talented, throws nonstop punches,
and has the skill to back it up. She has a win over the very tough Chevelle Hallback, an
entertaining fighter in her own right. Recently KO'd Iva Weston.
Analysis: All three of these women would make for great and true championship
fights if matched up. Sumya Anani is the most entertaining champion that no one knows
about but should.
130 lbs to 135 lbs
Chevelle Hallback (25-4-1, 11 KO's): She's a very rough and tough customer who has
improved with experience. She brings an entertaining style to the table and is game to the
core, willing to fight anyone.
Kara Ro (13-0, 7 KO's): This former top Canadian amateur stands 5-foot-8 and has
some decent pop. Ro has recent wins over Tracy Byrd and Belinda Laracuente.
Analysis: Hallback is one of those fighters who is a true, gritty veteran who
brings the strength and maturity of a woman. She deserves TV exposure.
122 lbs to 126 lbs
Missy Fiorentino (13-1, 6 KO's): Furious Fiorentino is a female version of Roberto
Duran, bringing a nonstop attacking style and working the body and head. She's a former
top U.S. amateur and is coming off a hard-fought victory over well-respected and well
schooled 18-2-1 Esther Schouten in an action-packed bout that should have been nationally
televised. Esther Schouten was clearly a skilled boxer with a good guard and solid
punches, but Fiorentino's brutal pace was too much. Fiorentino's only loss is a
controversial decision to Japan's Emiko Raika in Japan (which I saw and disagreed with).
She and Hallback or Garside would probably make for a great fight.
Jeanine Garside (4-0, 1 KO): Canadian southpaw can box and punch and just easily
won a title against 12-1-2 Lisa Brown in only her fourth pro bout. That's how talented she
is. She is quite strong and very experienced as an amateur, and she has a marketable
appearance and personality.
Rhonda Luna (10-0-1, 1 KO): Just fought a draw with 12-0-1 Cindy Serrano, but reports
suggest that Luna may have deserved the decision.
Cindy Serrano (12-0-1, 7 KO's): Another good fighter worth consideration given her
effort against Luna.
Michele Aboro (21-0, 12 KO's): Brit living in Germany has wins over Eva Jones and
Analysis: Fiorentino is definitely a TV fighter because she is so entertaining. She
and any of these women would make for excellent fights.
115 lbs to 118 lbs
Bettina Csabi (26-0, 10 KO's): Hungarian boxer mostly known in Europe is well
Anita Christensen (17-0, 7 KO's): Danish fighter is tough and skilled.
Myung Ok Ryu (4-0, 3 KO's): Has wins over Mariana Juarez and Alicia Ashley, but
until she fights outside of Asia, it will be difficult to tell just how good she
Melinda Cooper (16-0, 9 KO's): 20-year-old Las Vegas fighter (pictured) started young and has
gained the experience necessary to make her a top pro. She too has an entertaining
Mariana Juarez (14-4-3, 8 KO's): This Los Angeles-based Mexican comes to fight, is
very well conditioned, and has a solid chin. Recently lost to Ryu on cuts.
Analysis: I'm calling for a Cooper-Juarez fight because it could be made here in
the U.S. and it would be an entertaining style matchup. There are a lot of undefeated
boxers in this weight range, and I think someone's 0 must go. Let's get some good matches
made and see who the real champion is.
112 lbs (and under)
Regina Halmich (49-1-1, 15 KO's): It's hard to argue with results, and she always
manages to pull out the close ones. She never fights outside of her native Germany, which
gives her the hometown edge, but it makes perfect economic sense because she's a huge star
there, packing the house for her fights. Anyone who thinks women can't fill a house need
only watch a DVD of one of her fights.
Carina Moreno (8-1, 3 KO's): Former U.S. amateur champion from California is
well-rounded and could be the future of the division, despite recent loss to Wendy
Rodriguez. She might be the one to dethrone
Wendy Rodriguez (16-2-3, 2 KO's): Tough little scrapper out of Los Angeles has the
experience and speed to give anyone a tough bout. Rodriguez recently won a split technical
decision over Carina Moreno, when a head butt caused a cut on Rodriguez and it went to the scorecards.
There should be a rematch to truly determine who is the better fighter.
Analysis: The money is in fighting Halmich, so you have to go to Germany to fight
her. Rodriguez should now take on Halmich, though either Rodriguez or Moreno would give Halmich
a good, entertaining fight.
Contact Adam Pollack at