Vonda Ward

Last updated

Vonda Ward
Born (1973-03-16) March 16, 1973 (age 48)
NationalityAmerican
Height6 ft 6 in (198 cm)
Boxing career
Statistics
Real nameVonda Ward
Nickname(s)All-American Girl
Weight(s) Heavyweight
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights24
Wins23
Wins by KO17
Losses1
Basketball career
Career information
High school Trinity High School
(Garfield Heights)
College Tennessee (1991–1995)
Position Center
Career history
1996–1997 Colorado Xplosion

Vonda Ward (born March 16, 1973) is an American former professional boxer and NCAA basketball player. As a boxer, she competed from 2000 to 2008 and held multiple heavyweight world championships, including the WBC title in 2007. She also challenged Ann Wolfe for the WIBA and IBA female light heavyweight titles in 2004, in which she suffered her only defeat, losing by knockout in the first round.

Contents

Early life and basketball career

Ward grew up in a sports-oriented family; her father, Larry Ward, is a famous harness racer.

Ward played basketball at Trinity High School in Garfield Heights and was twice named Ohio's "Ms. Basketball." [1] She made "Parade All American" teams twice. She was recruited by Division I universities across the United States.

In 1991, Ward accepted a basketball scholarship at the University of Tennessee. While a member of Pat Summitt's Lady Vols, Ward played in one NCAA basketball championship game (1995) during her college career at Tennessee, losing to the University of Connecticut. She competed with USA Basketball as a member of the 1993 Jones Cup Team that won the Bronze in Taipei. [2] After her college career ended in 1995, Ward played for a professional basketball club in Germany. She later played for the American Basketball League's Colorado Xplosion. In 2012, she was inducted into the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame. [3]

Boxing career

After a broken leg cut her professional basketball career short, Ward turned her attention to boxing.

Ward's boxing debut occurred on January 15, 2000, when she knocked out Faye Steffen in round one at LaPorte, Indiana. Her first four fights all ended in first round knockout wins for Ward. On April 27, 2000, she met Genevia Buckwalter in New York. Buckwalter became the first fighter to make it out of the first round against Ward, but Ward still won on a second round knockout. Ward's next five rivals did not make it past the second round, with two first round knockouts and three second round wins. At this point of her career, she had a streak of twelve knockout wins in a row.

On February 2, 2001, she met prospect Kisha Snow as part of the state fair celebrations in Columbus, Ohio. Snow came into the fight undefeated after six bouts, and she and Ward engaged in a four round war, but Ward made Snow her thirteenth straight knockout victim one minute into the fourth and final round. Ward then face Carley Pesente, on June 16, at Kansas City, Missouri. Pesente lasted two rounds.

After one more win, Ward challenged for the IBA's world's heavyweight title on August 16, 2002. Ward became the champion, but saw her knockout win streak gone as Monica McGowan lasted ten rounds at Canton, Ohio.

Ward defended her title successfully with an eighth round knockout of Kathy Rivers on December 6 at the Gund Arena in Cleveland. On March 1, 2003, she and Martha Salazar made their Las Vegas debut, with Ward taking a four round split decision win in a non-title bout.

After one more win, Ward unified her IBA world Heavyweight title with the WIBA's by defeating Salazar in a rematch, held on July 11 in Canton. Ward won by decision.

On May 8, 2004, Ward fought a nationally televised championship bout with Ann Wolfe in Biloxi, Mississippi. At one minute and one seconds of the first round, Wolfe knocked out Ward with a devastating right to the chin, which was even more devastating by the fact that Ward inadvertently jumped forward into the impact of the punch, leaving Ward unresponsive on the mat for a matter of minutes. This first-round knockout defeat caused her to lose her title and her undefeated status. Ward had a neck concussion because she hit the canvas with her neck when she fell, and she was hospitalized after this bout. [4] [5]

On December 12, 2004, Ward returned to the boxing ring, knocking out Marsha Valley in four rounds in Cleveland. On February 2010, Ward won the inaugural WBC female heavyweight title, defeating Martha Salazar for the third and final time by unanimous decision.

Ward announced her retirement on 2010. [6] Her boxing record stands at 23 wins and 1 loss, with 17 wins by knockout. [7]

Professional boxing record

Professional record summary
24 fights23 wins1 loss
By knockout171
By decision60
No.ResultRecordOpponentTypeRound, timeDateLocationNotes
24Win23–1 Flag of the United States.svg Carlette Ewell UD10Feb 23, 2008 Flag of the United States.svg Chapparells Community Center, Akron, Ohio, U.S.
23Win22–1 Flag of the United States.svg Martha Salazar UD10Feb 10, 2007 Flag of the United States.svg Wolstein Center, Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.Retained WIBA and IBA female heavyweight titles;
Won vacant WBC female heavyweight title
22Win21–1 Flag of the United States.svg Cassandra GigerUD10Jul 15, 2005 Flag of the United States.svg Gund Arena, Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.Won vacant IBA female cruiserweight title
21Win20–1 Flag of the United States.svg Elizabeth KerinKO2 (10), 1:33Apr 29, 2005 Flag of the United States.svg Wolstein Center, Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.Retained WIBA and IBA female heavyweight titles
20Win19–1 Flag of the United States.svg Marsha ValleyTKO4 (10), 1:47Dec 10, 2004 Flag of the United States.svg Gund Arena, Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
19Loss18–1 Flag of the United States.svg Ann Wolfe KO1 (10), 1:08May 8, 2004 Flag of the United States.svg Mississippi Coast Coliseum, Biloxi, Mississippi, U.S.For vacant WIBA and IBA female light heavyweight titles
18Win18–0 Flag of the United States.svg Martha Salazar UD10Jul 11, 2003 Flag of the United States.svg Civic Center, Canton, Ohio, U.S.Retained WIBA and IBA female heavyweight titles
17Win17–0 Flag of the United States.svg Jeanine TracyTKO8 (10), 1:40Mar 14, 2003 Flag of the United States.svg Avalon Events Center, Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
16Win16–0 Flag of the United States.svg Martha Salazar SD4Mar 1, 2003 Flag of the United States.svg Thomas & Mack Center, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.
15Win15–0 Flag of the United States.svg Kathy RiversTKO8 (10), 1:40Dec 6, 2002 Flag of the United States.svg Gund Arena, Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.Retained WIBA and IBA female heavyweight titles
14Win14–0 Flag of the United States.svg Monica McGowanUD10Jul 16, 2002 Flag of the United States.svg Civic Center, Canton, Ohio, U.S.Won vacant WIBA and IBA female heavyweight titles
13Win13–0 Flag of the United States.svg GiGi JacksonTKO4 (4), 1:48Feb 22, 2002 Flag of the United States.svg Schottenstein Center, Columbus, Ohio, U.S.
12Win12–0 Flag of the United States.svg Carley PesenteTKO2 (4), 1:28May 16, 2001 Flag of the United States.svg Ameristar Casino, Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
11Win11–0 Flag of the United States.svg Kisha Snow TKO4 (4), 1:05Feb 2, 2001 Flag of the United States.svg Celeste Center, Columbus, Ohio, U.S.
10Win10–0 Flag of the United States.svg Katie CourtneyTKO1 (4)Dec 28, 2000 Flag of the United States.svg Willoughby, Ohio, U.S.
9Win9–0 Flag of the United States.svg Marjorie JonesKO1 (4), 1:02Oct 19, 2000 Flag of the United States.svg The Cosmopolitan, Wickliffe, Ohio, U.S.
8Win8–0 Flag of the United States.svg Sharon ThomasTKO1 (4), 1:24Sep 23, 2000 Flag of the United States.svg Packard Music Hall, Warren, Ohio, U.S.
7Win7–0 Flag of the United States.svg Jeanine TracyTKO2 (4)Aug 24, 2000 Flag of the United States.svg Columbus, Ohio, U.S.
6Win6–0 Flag of the United States.svg Lisa ReddingTKO1 (4), 0:31Jul 17, 2000 Flag of the United States.svg Station Casino, Saint Charles, Missouri, U.S.
5Win5–0 Flag of the United States.svg Genevia BuckhalterTKO2 (4), 1:22Apr 27, 2000 Flag of the United States.svg Hammerstein Ballroom, New York City, New York, U.S.
4Win4–0 Flag of the United States.svg Lana JockKO1 (4), 0:52Mar 24, 2000 Flag of the United States.svg UAW Hall, Parma, Ohio, U.S.
3Win3–0 Flag of the United States.svg Nicolyn ArmstrongKO1 (4), 0:59Mar 11, 2000 Flag of the United States.svg National Guard Armory, Findlay, Ohio, U.S.
2Win2–0 Flag of the United States.svg Mattie BrumleyTKO1 (4), 1:20Feb 29, 2000 Flag of the United States.svg Pepsi Coliseum, Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.
1Win1–0 Flag of the United States.svg Faye SteffenKO1 (4), 1:45Jan 15, 2000 Flag of the United States.svg Civic Center, La Porte, Indiana, U.S.

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References

  1. "OHSBC MS. BASKETBALL". Archived from the original on February 7, 2009. Retrieved June 21, 2009.
  2. "1993 WOMEN'S R. WILLIAM JONES CUP" . Retrieved August 3, 2014.
  3. "Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame : Hall of Fame : Inductees : 2012 : Vonda Ward". ohiobasketballhalloffame.com. Retrieved September 25, 2020.
  4. Maik Grossekathöfer (October 21, 2005). "Ann versus the Man: Boxing's Battle of the Sexes - SPIEGEL ONLINE". Spiegel.de. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
  5. "Ann Wolfe scares the crap out of us · Interview · The A.V. Club". Avclub.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
  6. "Vic Milani's Hometown Hero – Vonda Ward | Nordonia Hills News".
  7. "Vonda Ward, Women's Heavyweight Champ, Retires - Yahoo Voices". voices.yahoo.com. May 8, 2004. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
Sporting positions
World boxing titles
New title WBC female heavyweight champion
February 2, 2007 – 2010
Retired
Vacant
Title next held by
Martha Salazar
Preceded by
Flor Maria Delgado (Vacated)
WIBA Heavyweight Champion
2007-02-10 present
Succeeded by
Current