Jerry Glick reporting from ringside: Keisher “Fire” McLeod-Wells, 109, took a unanimous ten over a game but outgunned Monica Flores, 111, to take home the vacant Women’s International Boxing Association Flyweight belt with scores of 97-93 twice and 96-94. McLeod-Wells had too much reach for the shorter Flores who tried her best to catch the fast moving winner.
It may have been for a title, but in a rare occurrence in boxing, the ladies headlined an exciting six fight card which took place at the Five Star Banquet Hall in Long Island City, NY on a chilly night in front of an enthusiastic pack house on a show promoted by unbeaten lightheavyweight prospect Ronson Frank’s Uprising Promotions.
Brooklyn’s McLeod-Wells started a little slow, but once she figured out the best way to handle the aggressive Flores starting in the second of ten frames she began to use her height and reach advantages against the ever pressing Alvin, Texas resident Flores.
Once the lanky McLeod-Wells started to use her jab and her legs to keep things at long range, Flores was faced with the daunting task of trying to get close enough to land her punches. While Flores kept it competitive, she was unable to turn things around by chasing the long legged McLeod-Wells. Flores would have been better served if she cut the ring off instead of running after her foe. For the 36 year old “Fire” the win was a dream come true, “It’s unreal,” said a joyous McLeod-Wells. “I feel like I’m dreaming. I’ve be dreaming for months. I don’t know if I’ve woken up yet.”
Both ladies fought hard, leaving it all in the ring, but in a non-title affair, the International Female Boxers Association Flyweight Champion Eileen Olszewski, 110, took down the six round unanimous decision over Jodie Esquibel, 110, by scores of 59-55 twice and 58-56. Esquibel tried to pressure the taller Hawaiian born New Yorker but just didn’t land enough punches to impress the judges. Olszewski improved to 9-5-1 (2 KOs), while Albuquerque’s Esquibel fell to 6-7-1 (2 KOs). Murdaugh refereed.
In the best fight of the night, Eugene Russell, 241, and Solomon Maye, 234, pounded each other for the three rounds plus 105 seconds to the delight of all the fans. Two bruising big guys who never learned to jab, but had power and durability to spare. Stocky Maye, 1-2 (1 KO), mostly fought off the ropes, but was able to keep the taller Russell honest by throwing counterpunches to the head and body. Russell, 2-0 (2 KOs), landed some big rights to the head, trapping Maye in a corner. Maye landed many counter left hooks and appeared to stun Russell in the third stanza. Maye lost his mouthpiece a four times and lost a point in the last round. Russell constantly trapped Maye in a corner and hammered him with shots to the head and body. When he did it in the fourth frame referee Santiago had seen enough and stopped Maye from taking too many shots at 1:45 of the round.
Jennifer Santiago, 117, dominated a bewildered looking Margaret Maerz, 114, with faster hands landing punches from both a southpaw stance and orthodox. Using faints not often seen on younger boxers, Santiago never let Maerz, 2-5-1, get set. Most of the punches were thrown by Santiago who won a unanimous six with scores of 60-54 twice and 59-55, and improved to 3-0 (0 KOs). Shada Murdaugh refereed.
Trevis Hall, 126, dominated a willing Angel Siguenza, 127, dropping him with a straight right to the head in round two. In the fourth and final frame Hall, 5-1-1 (1 KO), came out firing to the body which had Siguenza, 0-1-1, on the run. Hall took the unanimous decision with scores of 40-35 twice and 40-36 once. Santiago refereed.
Italy Martinez, 139, didn’t look like a winner at the start of his four with winless Oscar Diaz, 137, when he was rocked by a left hook. Diaz went for the KO, but ran into a hard left hook that had him in deep water. He went down soon after when Martinez opened up with lefts and rights. Diaz suffered a cut near his right eye. Up and hurt he took a pounding as Martinez, 1-0-1 (0 KOs), tried to end it landing a right that dropped Diaz, (0-4), again, prompting referee Steve Willis to call it off at 1:38 of the first round.