BOXING: Electrifying Semifinal Night Sets Stage for Men’s Finals at 2008 U.S. Future Stars National Championships

(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.) – With spots in the finals at stake Wednesday night at the 2008 U.S. Future Stars National Championships at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, the men's semifinalists left everything in the ring, resulting in a highly entertaining night of boxing..

The men's welterweight (152 lbs) class showed how competitive it was on Wednesday, with both bouts going to tiebreakers after ending their respective fourth and final rounds with tie scores. In the first semi, Greg Carter (Waterbury, Conn.) and Errol Spence (Desota, Texas) faced off in a low-scoring contest that was close throughout. Spence used a 5-1 second round to take a slim 6-5 advantage going into the third. After each boxer earned two in the third, Carter outscored Spence in the final round, 2-1, to force a tie and earn the decision.

In the other welterweight contest, Jovante Sparks (Maples, Minn.) used a 10-3 fourth round – the 10th point coming just before the final bell - to even the score at 18-18 after Anthony Campbell (Covington, Tenn.) had just used a 6-2 third to build a solid seven-point lead through three rounds. The tiebreaker went to Sparks, who will face Carter in Friday night's finals.

One of the night's most entertaining bouts came in the lightweight (132 lbs) class, as Fidel Maldonado (Albuquerque, N.M.) and Shemuel Pagan (Brooklyn, N.Y.) battled tooth-and-nail in a match that was not decided until the final seconds. The two boxers ended each of the first three rounds in a tie before opening up the offense in the fourth, where Maldonado earned the last three points of the evening to take a dramatic 16-15 win.

Maldonado will face Miguel Gonzales (Cleveland, Ohio) in the lightweight final. Gonzales used a strong defensive effort against Jesse Carradine (Cincinatti, Ohio), shutting him out through the first two rounds on his way to a 14-4 victory.

Those looking for offense on Wednesday night found plenty of it in the heavyweight (201 lbs) division, where all four boxers scored at least 20 points. In the first semifinal Paul Koon (Philadelphia, Pa.) got off to a strong start, taking a 12-10 lead into the third round. From there, Michael Bissett (Smyrna, Tenn.) took over offensively, outscoring Koon 12-5 in the third to take the lead. Bissett would add eight in the fourth and hold off a strong charge from Koon to win, 30-27.

In the other heavyweight semifinal, Jeremiah Graziano (Lenexa, Kan.) slugged his way to the finals, defeating Craig Baker (Baytown, Texas), 25-20. Among the match's highlights was the high-scoring second round, where Graziano outscored Baker, 12-7. Both boxers were still throwing big punches until the finish, much to the delight of the crowd.

Action kicked off with the light flyweight (106 lbs) division, where two-time Junior Olympic champion Louie Bird (Denver, Colo.) used a 6-0 third round to pull ahead of Stephen Young (St. Louis, Mo.) before closing with a 6-3 fourth to punch his ticket to the finals. Bird will face Fabian Cervantes (Ableto, Calif.), who outscored Sergio Ramirez (Omaha, Neb.) 10-2 in the middle rounds on his way to a 17-12 win.

Next up was the flyweight division, where Raul Lopez (Bronx, N.Y.) earned a hard-fought 13-7 win over Bruno Escalante (Waimanalo, Hawaii) to advance to the finals. Lopez outscored Escalante 5-1 in the third round to build a six-point lead, which held up as the final point margin. Lopez's opponent in the finals will be Randy Caballero (Coachella, Calif.), who scored two consecutive 14-point rounds in the third and fourth to defeat Michael Ruiz (Fresno, Calif.), 36-12.

Defending bantamweight (119 lbs) national champion Ronny Rios (Santa Ana, Calif.) will be back to defend his title this year after boxing to a 25-18 win over Roman Morales (San Ardo, Calif.) in the semifinals. Rios used his offense to jump out to a 15-9 lead after two rounds, then clamped down defensively in the fourth, holding Morales to two points in the fourth. Rios will face Paul Romero (Phoenix, Ariz.) in the finals. Romero only managed two points in the first two rounds against Antonio Nieves (Cleveland, Ohio), but scored nine in the final two to take an 11-6 decision.

2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials participant Robert Rodriguez (Evans, Colo.) will compete for a national championship in the featherweight (125 lbs) division after his victory over Guy Robb (Sacramento, Calif.). Rodriguez was ahead, 7-6, after two rounds, but a 6-0 third and a 7-3 fourth gave him a 20-9 win. Rodriguez will face Mercedes Manriquez (Houston, Texas), who never lost a round in his semifinal against Lesley Walker (Las Vegas, Nev.) in a 19-9 decision.

Another 2008 Trials participant, Daniel O'Connor (Framingham, Mass.), will also be on the finals card Friday night. O'Connor took care of business early, building a 12-3 lead over Jared Robinson (Sumter, S.C.) through two rounds and winning, 16-7. Across the ring from O'Connor on Friday will be Emmanual Taylor (Edgewood, Md.), who advanced to the finals by defeating Charles Watson (Johnson City, Tenn.), 14-7. After a scoreless first round, Taylor took a 6-3 lead in the second before using a 6-2 fourth to close it out.

The middleweight (165 lbs) class promises to have an outstanding final, as Luis Arias (Milwuakee, Wis.) and 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials participant Shawn Porter (Stow, Ohio) advanced from their semifinal match-ups. Arias, leading 2-1 over Christopher Chapman (San Diego, Calif.) after the first round, opened the match up in the second and ran away with a 20-2 win. Meanwhile, Porter dictated the pace throughout his match against Aleem Whitfield (Geneva, N.Y.), maintaining strong offensive pressure on his way to a 10-3 win.

In the light heavyweight (178 lbs) division, DeRae Crane (Marquette, Mich.) defeated Michael Faulk (St. Paul, Minn.), 8-7, to earn his spot in the finals. Crane led the low-scoring match most of the way, carrying a two-point lead into the fourth round and holding off a late surge by Faulk. Crane will face Dorian Anthony (Lynwood, Calif.), who shut down Jeff Page (Andover, Kan.), 11-2, for an opportunity for the championship.

In the super heavyweight (201+ lbs) division, Lenroy Thomspon (Port St. Lucie, Fla.) defeated Darlington Agha (Richmond, Texas), 9-4. Thompson maintained a good offensive through the bout to earn a spot in the finals on Friday night. Thompson will face Tor Hamer (New York, N.Y.), who stopped opponent Andrew Shepard (Fort Carson, Colo. - Army) in the first round.

The women's finals will take place Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. MST, with the men's finals Friday night at 7:00 p.m.

For more information, contact Marvin Olberding at (719) 321-6626 or


106 lbs/48 kg: Fabian Cervantes, Ableto, Calif., dec. Sergio Ramirez, Omaha, Neb., 17-12
106 lbs/48 kg: Louie Byrd, Denver, Colo., dec. Stephen Young, St. Louis, Mo., 20-12
112 lbs/51 kg: Raul Lopez, Bronx, N.Y., dec. Bruno Escalante, Waimanalo, Hawaii, 13-7
112 lbs/51 kg: Randy Caballero, Coachella, Calif., dec. Michael Ruiz, Fresno, Calif., 36-12
119 lbs/54 kg: Paul Romero, Phoenix, Ariz., dec. Antonio Nieves, Cleveland, Ohio, 11-6
119 lbs/54 kg: Ronny Rios, Santa Ana, Calif., Roman Morales, San Ardo, Calif., 25-18
125 lbs/57 kg: Mercedes Manriquez, Houston, Texas, dec. Lesley Walker, Las Vegas, Nev., 19-9
125 lbs/57 kg: Robert Rodriquez, Evans, Colo., dec. Guy Robb, Sacramento, Calif., 20-9
132 lbs/60 kg: Miguel Gonzales, Cleveland, Ohio, dec. Jesse Carradine, Cincinnati, Ohio, 14-4
132 lbs/60 kg: Fidel Maldonado, Albuquerque, N.M., dec. Shemuel Pagan, Brooklyn, N.Y., 16-15
141 lbs/64 kg: Dan O'Conner, Framingham, Mass., dec. Jared Robinson, Sumter, N.C., 16-7
141 lbs/64 kg: Emmanuel Taylor, Edgewood, Md., dec. Charles Watson, Johnson City, Tenn.14-7
152 lbs/69 kg: Jovante Starks, Maples, Minn., dec. Anthony Campbell, Covington, Tenn., +18-18
152 lbs/69 kg: Greg Carter, Waterbury, Conn., dec. Errol Spence, Desoto, Texas, +9-9
165 lbs/75 kg: Shawn Porter, Stow, Ohio, dec. Aleem Whitfield, Geneva, N.Y., 10-3
165 lbs/75 kg: Luis Arias, Milwaukee, Wis., dec. Christopher Chapman, San Diego, Calif., 20-2
178 lbs/81 kg: Dorian Anthony, Lynwood, Calif., dec. Jeff Page, Andover, Kan., 11-2
178 lbs/81 kg: DeRae Crane, Marquette, Mich., dec. Michael Faulk, St. Paul, Minn., 8-7
201 lbs/91 kg: Jeremiah Graziano, Lenexa, Kan., dec. Craig Baker, Baytown, Texas, 25-20
201 lbs/91 kg: Michael Bissett, Smyrna, Tenn., dec. Paul Koon, Philadelphia, Pa., 30-27
201+ lbs/91+ kg: Tor Hamer, New York, N.Y., stopped Andrew Shepard, Fort Carson, Colo., RSC-1
201+ lbs/91+ kg: Lenroy Thompson, Port St. Lucie, Fla., dec. Darlington Agha, Richmond, Texas, 9-4

Quotes from Wednesday night's competitors:

Ronny Rios (dec. Roman Morales 25-18; 119 lbs)

"The first couple of rounds I was putting the pressure on. Once I was ahead, I was moving around a lot the third and fourth rounds to get the win."

"I was really motivated for this fight because we've already fought once and I beat him, but it could have gone either way. This fight, I was really proving to myself that I could beat him."

"To get ready for the finals, I need to eat properly, rest up and get ready to fight."

Emmanual Taylor (dec. Charles Watson 14-7; 141 lbs)

"I was going a little easier because I was pacing myself. I was working on waiting for him to come to me and getting my shots off."

"I was waiting for the good shots because the computers don't score the sloppy stuff."

"I feel great. I need to concentrate and work harder for the next four rounds and just do the best I can."

Fidel Maldonado (dec. Shemuel Pagan 16-15; 132 lbs)

"My coach was telling me I was down and that I needed to pick it up, so I did."

"I was behind and I did what I had to do to win."

Greg Carter (dec. Errol Spence 19-9; 152 lbs.)

"I was rushing and off balance. I wasn't throwing my right hand enough."

"I was down going into the third round and the fourth round. Usually he runs at me, but he came to me this time so I had to adjust, but I didn't do it well."

"You can expect fireworks! I'm going to leave every thing in the ring."

"I very recently lost my grandma I decided to stay in the tournament for her. I lost my mom 10 months ago, just before this tournament last year. I would like to dedicate my performance here to them and I plan on burying my grandma with the medal I receive."

Tor Hammer (dec. Andrew Shepherd RSC-1; 201+ lbs)

"I wanted to make him stretch and move to the right. His main moves are his one-two, his jab and cross. The theory around the campfire is that if you touch his chin you'll make him fold. Also, I wanted to get ahead early make him come to me because he has poor frontal skills."

"He's soft in the middle. Don't get me wrong. He's a soldier and he fights for our country. I have respect for him. He's in the U.S. Championships. He beat a lot of states to get here and he made it to the semi-finals so obviously he's a great fighter. I just found his Achilles heel."

"I'm more of a thinker. We always want to know what the opponent is going to bring to the table and always play to my strengths."


Bout 1: 101 lbs/female: Sylvia Villapondo, Houston, Texas vs. Samantha Guzman, Oak Park, Ill.
Bout 2: 106 lbs/female: Marlen Esparza, Houston Texas vs. Melissa McMorow, San Francisco, Calif.
Bout 3: 110 lbs/female: Cheryl Houlihan, Santee, Calif. vs. Amaris Quintana, San Diego, Calif.
Bout 4: 114 lbs/female: Keisher McLeod, Brooklyn, N.Y. vs. Sacred Downing, Trenton, N.Y.
Bout 5: 119 lbs/female: Christina Cruz, New York, N.Y. vs. Cynthia Moreno, Phoenix, Ariz.
Bout 6: 125 lbs/female: Jody-Ann Weller, Pomona, N.Y. vs. Alexandria Cardenas, San Angelo, Texas
Bout 7: 132 lbs/female: Katonya Fisher, Bakersfield, Calif. vs. Caroline Barry, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Bout 8: 138 lbs/female: Wendy Casey, Binghampton N.Y. vs. Queen Underwood, Seattle, Wash.
Bout 9: 145 lbs/female: Vanessa Jackson, Columbus, Ohio vs. Brittany Inkrote, Red Lion, Pa.
Bout 10: 154 lbs/female: Grace Parks, Bellingham, Wash. vs. Franchon Crews, Capitol Heights, Md.
Bout 11: 165 lbs/female: Meredith Della Giustina, Lexington, Ky. Vs. Lindsey Taylor, Monroe, La.
Bout 12: 189 lbs/female: Denise Rico, Los Angeles, Calif. vs. Tiffany Hearn, Luoisvilee, Ky.
Bout 13: 189+ lbs/female: Angela Sperry, Helena, Mon. vs. Victoria Perez, Ventura, Calif.


Bout 1: 106 lbs/48 kg: Louie Byrd, Denver, Colo. vs. Fabian Cervantes, Ableta, Calif.
Bout 2: 112 lbs/51 kg: Randy Caballero, Coachella, Calif. vs. Raul Lopez, Bronx, N.Y.
Bout 3: 119 lbs/54 kg: Ronny Rios, Santa Ana, Calif. vs. Paul Romero, Phoenix, Ariz.
Bout 4: 125 lbs/57 kg: Robert Rodriquez, Evans, Colo. vs. Mercedes Manriquez, Houston, Texas
Bout 5: 132 lbs/60 kg: Miguel Gonzales, Cleveland, Ohio vs. Fidel Maldonado, Albuquerque, N.M.
Bout 6: 141 lbs/64 kg: Emmanuel Taylor, Edgewood, Md. vs. Dan O'Conner, Framingham, Mass.
Bout 7: 152 lbs/69 kg: Jovante Starks, Maples, Minn. vs. Greg Carter, Waterbury, Conn.
Bout 8: 165 lbs/75 kg: Luis Arias, Milwaukee, Wis. vs. Shawn Porter, Stow, Ohio
Bout 9: 178 lbs/81 kg: DeRae Crane, Marquette, Mich. vs. Dorian Anthony, Lynwood, Calif.
Bout 10: 201 lbs/91 kg: Jeremiah Graziano, Lenexa, Kansas vs. Michael Bissett, Smyrna, Tenn.
Bout 11: 201+ lbs/91+ kg: Lenroy Thompson, Port St. Lucie, Fla. vs. Tor Hamer, New York, N.Y.

Women’s Finals Set at 2008 U.S. Future Stars National Championships

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.) – Two tiebreakers and a furious fourth-round rally were among the highlights during women's semifinal competition Wednesday afternoon at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, setting the stage for the women's finals Thursday night at the 2008 U.S. Future Stars National Championships.

The first tiebreaker came in the bantamweight (119 lbs) class, where Cynthia Moreno (Phoenix, Ariz.) jumped out to a 5-1 lead over Raelene Pineda (San Bernardino, Calif.) after one round. After bouncing back in the second to close the gap, Pineda still found herself down, 10-8, entering the fourth and final round. When the final bell sounded, the score was even, 13-13, forcing a tiebreaker. (To break a tie after four rounds, officials refer to the computerized scoring system, which looks at the scores given to each boxer by the five judges at ringside. From there, the highest and lowest scores received by each boxer are eliminated, and the remaining three scores are tallied, and the boxer with the highest total wins.) After going to the scores, Moreno was declared the winner.

Moreno will face 2007 National Champion Christina Cruz (New York, N.Y.) Thursday night in the women's final. Cruz pulled away from Kayla Combs (Lubbock, Texas) in the last three rounds, outscoring Combs 15-5 on her way to a 20-10 decision.

The second tiebreaker came in the featherweight (125 lbs) division, where Alexandria Cardenas (San Angelo, Texas) earned the decision over Cherrie Moyer (Garden City, N.Y.). Like Moreno, Cardenas held the lead through the first three rounds before Moyer came back, and briefly took the lead. Cardenas came back to tie the score at 19 before the final bell, and ultimately advance to Thursday night's final, where she'll face Jody-Ann Weller (Pomona, N.Y.). Weller held a 2-1 lead after three rounds over Diedra Rhodes (St. Louis, Mo.) before opening up her offense in the fourth and winning, 9-3.

Perhaps the biggest match of the session came in the light middleweight (154 lbs) class, where two-time national champion Lisa Kuronya (Portland, Maine) squared off with three-time middleweight national champion Franchon Crews (Capitol Heights, Md.). Crews dominated the action early, using a series of solid right hands to take a 10-1 lead after the first round. The lead was up to 25-12 entering the fourth round when Kuronya stormed back. She scored 15 in the round, but Crews' five points were enough to stave off the comeback attempt, and she moves on to the finals with a 30-27 win. Crews will face Grace Parks (Bellingham, Wash.), who earned the victory over Bambi Manzo (Baytown, Texas) when the referee stopped the contest in the third round.

In the pinweight (101 lbs) division, Sylvia Villapondo (Houston, Texas) used a seven-point third round to build a 12-9 lead over Sadie Roberts (Hudson, Iowa). Villapondo held on to win, 15-14, and will face Samantha Guzman (Oak Park, Ill.) in the finals. Guzman outscored Brittany Walker (Beach Island, S.C.) 21-8 in the second and third rounds on her way to a 31-16 win.

The light flyweight (106 lbs) division, two-time national champion Marlen Esparza (Houston, Texas) built an early lead over Katherine Rodriguez (Riverside, Calif.) and never looked back, closing with an 11-point fourth round to earn a 31-11 victory. She'll face Melissa McMorrow (San Francisco, Calif.), who advanced by walkover.

The flyweight (110 lbs) division final will feature two boxers coming off strong performances Wednesday. Five-time national champion Cheryl Houlihan (Santee, Calif.) used a strong defensive outing to move past Jasmine Springwater (Wichita, Kan.), 16-2, while Amaris Quintana (San Diego, Calif.) came out firing against Gina D'Andrea (Baltimore, Md.), scoring 26 points in the first three rounds in a 27-9 win.

The light bantamweight (114 lbs) division will see a familiar face in the final, as well. Sacred Downing (Trenton, N.J.) stopped Nicole Pasillas (Aurora, Colo.) 55 seconds into the second round, and will face Keisher McLeod (Brooklyn, N.Y.) in the final. McLeod outscored Amy Sowers (Bozeman, Mont.) 6-0 in the first round, and it would be all the offense she needed as she advanced with a 13-5 win.

In lightweight (132 lbs) division competition, three-time national champion Caroline Barry (Colorado Springs, Colo.) will be aiming for her fourth title after stopping Athena Saunders (Atlantic City, N.J.) in the second round. Barry will take on Katonya Fisher (Bakersfield, Calif.) in the finals. Fisher jumped out to a large lead over Jessica Chambers (Tacoma, Wash.) and never let up, winning 23-6.

In light welterweight (138 lbs) action, No. 1 ranked Queen Underwood (Seattle, Wash.) used an explosive second round to stop Ishika Lay (Jacksonville, Fla.) in the second. The two boxers battled to a tie after the first round, 7-7, before Underwood used her speed to overwhelm Lay for the win. Underwood will go on to face Wendy Casey (Binghampton, N.Y.) in Thursday night's final. Casey was down 6-4 entering the fourth round against Kimberly Rose (San Diego, Calif. - Pal), but used a strong fourth round (6-2) to come back and win the bout, 10-8.

After her big comeback on Tuesday, Brittany Inkrote (Red Lion, Pa.) did not suffer a letdown Wednesday, defeating Jackie Peterson (Vancouver, Wash.) in their welterweight (145 lbs) semifinal. Inkrote used a 6-1 second round to take control of the match, and earned her spot in the finals with a 17-11 victory. She will face Vanessa Jackson (Columbus, Ohio), who overpowered Christina Swanson (Hollywood, Fla.) on her way to a 23-6 win.

In the lone semifinal in the heavyweight (189 lbs) division, Tiffany Hearn (Louisville, Ky.) used a strong offense to build an 8-3 lead over Nikki Cane (Wendell, N.C.) after one round, and then let her defense do the rest, shutting Cane out over the final three rounds to win 18-3. Hearn will face Denise Rico (Los Angeles, Calif.) in the final match of Thursday night's women's finals session.

Action at the 2008 U.S. Future Stars National Championships resumes Wednesday night at 6:00 p.m. MST with the men's semifinals.


101 lbs/female: Samantha Guzman, Oak Park, Ill. dec. Brittany Walker, Beach Island, S.C., 31-16
101 lbs/female: Sylvia Villapondo, Houston, Texas dec. Sadie Roberts, Hudson, Iowa, 15-14
106 lbs/female: Marlene Esparza, Houston, Texas dec. Katherine Rodriguez, Riverside, Calif., 31-11
106 lbs/female: Melissa McMorrow, San Francisco, Calif.. walked over. Amber Goodwin, San Jose, Calif., WO
110 lbs/female: Amaris Quintana, San Diego, Calif. dec. Gina D'Andrea, Baltimore, Maryland, 27-9
110 lbs/female: Cheryl Houlihan, Santee, Calif. dec. Jasmine Springwater, Wichita, Kansas, 16-2
114 lbs/female: Sacred Downing, Trenton, N.J. stopped Nicole Pasillas, Aurora, Colo., RSCOS-2, :55
114 lbs/female: Keisher McLeod, Brooklyn, N.Y. dec. Amy Sowers, Bozeman, Mon. 13-5
119 lbs/female: Cynthia Moreno, Phoenix, Ariz. dec. Diedra Rhodes, San Bernardino, Calif., +13-13
119 lbs/female: Christina Cruz, New York, N.Y. dec. Kayla Combs, Lubbock, Texas, 20-10
125 lbs/female: Jody-Ann Weller, Pomona, N.Y. dec. Diedra Rhodes, St. Louis, Mo., 9-3
125 lbs/female: Alexandria Cardenas, San Angelo, Texas dec. Cherrie Moyer, Garden City, N.Y., +19-19
132 lbs/female: Katonya Fisher, Bakersfield, Calif. dec. Jessica Chambers, Tacoma, Wash., 23-6
132 lbs/female: Caroline Barry, Colorado Springs, Colo. stopped Athena Saunders, Atlantic City, N.J., RSCOS-2, :55
138 lbs/female: Wendy Casey, Binghampton, N.Y. dec. Kimberly Rose, San Diego, Calif., 10-8
138 lbs/female: Queen Underwood, Seattle, Wash. stopped Ishika Lay, Jacksonville, Fla., RSC-2
145 lbs/female: Brittany Inkrote, Red Lion, Pa.Jackie Peterson, Vancouver, Wash., 17-11
145 lbs/female: Vanessa Jackson, Columbus, Ohio dec. Christina Swanson, Hollywood, Calif., 2d1-13
154 lbs/female: Franchon Crews, Capitol Heights, Md. dec. Lisa Kuronya, Portland, Mass., 30-27
154 lbs/female: Grace Parks, Bellingham, Wash. stopped Bambi Manzo, Baytown, Texas, RSC-3

189 lbs/female: Tiffany Hearn, Louisville, Ky. dec. Nikki Cane, Wendell, N.C. vs. Tiffany Hearn, Louisville, Ky., 18-3

Quotes from Wednesday's noon session:

Silvia Villapondo (dec. Sadie Roberts 15-14; 101 lbs)

"I think it went really well. I train with the No. 1 106 (pound) girl in the nation. Marlen (Esparza) and my coach have been a lot of help and I'm forever thankful for that."

"I've learned a lot. I've learned how to push myself more and how to get what I want in the ring. I've learned dedication."

"I'm new to the point system because I just turned 17. I was in the Junior Olympics, but this points system is harder than what I'm used to."

"That was the No. 1 girl in the U.S. right now so I'm sure I'll be fine, but I'll never underestimate my opponent."

Sacred Downing (dec. Nicole Pasillas RSC-2, :30; 114 lbs)

"I've been here for five years so I fight a lot of younger girls. She was young and inexperienced, but she needs to understand that a loss doesn't mean it's over. She has talent."

"I keep my left hand down when I want to lure people in. That's just how I do it."

"I'm not gonna let her (Keisher McCloud) take my title."

Caroline Barry (dec. Athena Saunders RSC-2 1:59; 132 lbs)

"She was an outstanding opponent. She's strong and she's been around a long time."

"My training really helped a lot. I've always been strong, but this last year my coach and I worked on power and I feel like I'm stronger and more powerful than ever."

"I fought her (Katonya Fisher) over two years ago so she's grown and changed, but she's young and hungry and it's going to be a very exciting match!"

Brittany Inkrote (dec. Jackie Peterson 17-11; 145 lbs)

"Didn't really follow the plan. She's a little bit less experienced than me, and every time I fight someone more green than I am I tend to fall into their style. So that's something I need to work on."

"She (Vanessa Jackson) comes and tries to brawl with me so I just need to keep my hands up and throw my jab."

Article posted on 12.03.2008

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