NABF Champion Mikaela Mayer
By: Kevin Iole
LAS VEGAS — Mikaela Mayer went to the 2016 Olympic Games with lofty dreams. She not only dreamt of becoming just the second woman to win a gold medal in boxing for the U.S., but she hoped she could be a transformative figure for her sport.
No matter the great talent over the years in the women’s game — Lucia Rijker, Laila Ali and Ann Wolfe immediately come to mind — women’s boxing was on life support in 2016 in the pro ranks at a time when their counterparts in MMA were among the few women athletes treated equally with men in terms of compensation, exposure and respect.
Mayer’s dreams could have turned into a nightmare, had she let that happen. She lost a chance at a medal, which she referred to as “my medal,” when she dropped a controversial decision in the quarterfinals in Rio de Janeiro.
Worse, when she arrived home, there were no offers of pro contracts. There were no endorsement deals. If she planned to continue to box, she’d have to do it for personal reasons and not because she could get rich and famous doing it.
“After the Olympics, I went through some tough times a little bit, not knowing what was my next step,” she said. “I wasn’t happy with what I gained from the Olympics. I didn’t get my medal, and the attention that boxing got, I didn’t leave with any endorsements or sponsorships. I got home and I was right back training for nationals. And I thought, ‘Where am I going to go to make the most of my athletic career?’ I knew it wasn’t going to last forever, so I had some thinking to do.”
A one-time model, Mayer quickly came to the decision that she had invested too much into boxing and wasn’t ready to give up on it. So she reached out to Top Rank, which didn’t have much of a history in women’s boxing.
Top Rank’s most notable investment in the sport came in 2005 when it attempted to capitalize on the popularity of the 2004 Academy Award winning movie, “Million Dollar Baby.”
Top Rank matched Lucia Rijker, who was regarded as the sport’s greatest fighter at the time, with Christy Martin, and set the bout for July 30, 2005. It dubbed the bout, “Million Dollar Lady,” because each fighter was guaranteed $250,000 with a $750,000 bonus going to the winner. But only a couple hundred tickets were sold and when Rijker ruptured an Achilles tendon a few days before the bout, it was canceled and never rescheduled.
Former NABF HW Champion: Andy Ruiz
by: Adam Kilgore
The heavyweight champion of the world earns the unofficial designation of Baddest Man on the Planet, a title no one at first glance would confer to Andy Ruiz Jr. He carries, in his own words, “extra flab.” His muscles are undefined, and his belly jiggles. His opponents evoke statues of Greek gods. He evokes a man ordering an extra gyro.
“A lot of people can relate to me,” Ruiz said Tuesday in a phone conversation. “It doesn’t matter how you look. As long as you train hard, you focus and you’re hungry and that drive is in you to follow your dreams, everything is possible.”
Ruiz has been overlooked, mocked and doubted his entire boxing career, judged on his appearance rather than his quick hands and iron fortitude. No more. Ruiz gained instant fame and long-sought validation Saturday night at Madison Square Garden, where in the seventh round he knocked out previously undefeated champion Anthony Joshua, a Brit four inches taller than Ruiz and built like Adonis. Ruiz was an 11-1 long shot, and the victory entered the pantheon of biggest surprises in boxing history.
Election Results Are In!
A unanimous hooray for the new NABF President, Duane Ford!
NABF President Craig Hubble has resigned, due to commitments with his work schedule as a lawyer, and Duane Ford is unanimously elected to the top job with Vice Presidents Joanna Aguilar, Gaby Mancini and Mauricio Sulaiman re-elected as Vice Presidents.
The 51st convention of the North American Boxing Federation (NABF) is this week at the "Marriott Resort Waikiki" in Honolulu, Hawaii, with the participation of 250 delegates, representing mainly the three member countries of this federation: Canada, Mexico and United States of America.
NABF Hawaii Convention Recap
Our 2019 Hawaii convention was one of the best and our thanks and appreciation to former President Craig Hubble and Chuck Williams for their tiredless efforts and dedication with this convention.
Our thanks to LA Times writer Lance Pugmire for being a sensational keynote speaker. His theme of his talk was “Truth being revealed” and the difficult times of investigating the truth behind the scenes, which often is a difficult task.We cannot overlook Andy Foster, CSAC Executive Director also spoke weight cutting and the dangers to the fighters and boxing. In attendance with our NABF members were board of governors from nineteen (19) different countries from around the world.
It should also be noted that for past five (5) years Andy has won the award of “Executive Officer of the Year”…yes that is correct 5 straight years! California has more fights in their state in one year than anywhere in the world, (except possibly Japan) and on many occasions has multiple fight cards on the same night. His fairness of working officials within his State and allowing sanctioning bodies to suggest and bring in officials from all over the world to work fights in California is above reproach. Andy has always shown us the honesty, kindness and respect. It is joy to be able to work with the State of California because of the Leadership of Andy Foster.
The above said is it any wonder why the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) has also won “Commission of the Year for the past 5 years…. Yes 5 years! Thank you….Andy Foster!
Raquel Miller, NABF MW Champion!
The NABF welcomes, Raquel Miller, our new Women's Middle Weight Champion. Raquel beat Erin Toughill with a right hook, KO. We are proud to have Raquel as our latest women warrior to wear the NABF Belt.
7/27/19 Junior NABF Super Flyweight (115), Vacant, Adrien Servin vs Alexis Zazueta (Phoenix, Az)
-USNBC Cruiserweight - Taylor Duerr vs Lyubomyr Pinchuk (Detroit, MI) WINNER: DRAW
Duane Ford Inducted: NVBHOF
Today at the Red Rock Casino in Las Vegas Nevada the 2019 Class of inductees to the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame was announced. Our former president and all around favorite good guy, Duane Ford, is among the prestigious group.
A lifetime resident of Nevada, he has served the boxing family in many different roles. Not only a judge for the pros for many years, he has also been the Chairman of the Nevada Athletic Commission and served as a Board member. He has also been the lead trainer for the ABC as well as several other organizations, conducting seminars in cities around the world.
Best of all, Duane has been a mentor to so many of us - sometimes in the early stages of our work in the sport, sometimes when we just needed an ear, occasionally when we needed a really good laugh. It’s time that we get to congratulate Duane Ford for getting the recognition he has surely earned. Well done, sir!
Photo courtesy of Tim Cheatham