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July 15, 2006 - Legends Casino, in Yakima, Washington...Photos and story by Mike Blair/gallery
There were two women's bouts on the card. The card was held outdoors. Tonia Cravens, 114,  tried to be the aggressor as she faced veteran Sharon Gaines, 114,  in a six round bantamweight fight. However, while Cravens threw more punches, many were off target. On the other side, Gaines waited to find openings and when they appeared, she took advantage of them, often firing a jab through Cravens' arms touching her chin or her body. Cravens was more effective when she was able to keep Gaines in the middle of the ring, from there Cravens could use her height and reach advantage. Gaines however kept throwing jabs, often lunging to do so, but that caused Cravens to step back, and when the action moved to the ropes or a corner, Gaines stepped inside and was able to connect and score. Though one judge scored the fight even, the difference was Gaines' accuracy. She may not have thrown as many punches as Cravens, but she certainly landed more. The two other judges scored the fight 59-55 for Gaines, thus she scored a majority decision win.  In another match, Kelsey Jeffries and Lina Ramirez were fighting to claim the vacant NABF Super Bantamweight belt. When Ramirez weighed in over the limit, she nullified her opportunity to wear the belt even with a victory. Jeffries fought in what has, of late, become her tactical style. There was a time when she would have stood in the center of the ring and banged away at Ramirez, and received as many punches as she delivered, in the end winning a war of attrition. There were moments Saturday night when it appeared she was ready to do that again.  Ramirez is a tough woman who swings wildly, but hard. She can take a punch, and though Jeffries caught her flush more than a few times, Ramirez would not go down. After the fight Jeffries said, "I really wanted to cut loose and go after her, but I knew to win I had to out box her." And out box her she did, moving to create angles and pivoting to throw a right that comes at opponents in the form of a hook, an uppercut, or occasionally overhand. It is hard to say that Ramirez mounted a serious challenge, though she did win a few rounds. Ramirez looked to be most effective when, at the midpoint of the fight, she caught Jeffries on the chin after the bell. While it was not a devastating shot, Ramirez sent a message that she hoped would shatter the discipline of the focused Jeffries. It almost worked, as the two women poked at each other after the bell in the next round as well. After that, Jeffries returned to boxing and Ramirez to throwing wide and wild. After ten rounds, Jeffries scored the unanimous decision victory, 98-92 on two cards, 97-93 on the third, to claim the NABF Super Bantamweight belt. 




Up and Close Shots of  Jeffries and Ramirez!

A Special Thanks
To Mike Blair!
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