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Mexican Might: Celene Roman Reignites Women's Boxing in Pro-Debut

Latina featherweight proves game-changer when fighting Mayweather Sr. protegee.
    WOODLAND HILLS, CA, September 21, 2011 /24-7PressRelease/ -- The story of the fight between two women gladiators, Celene Roman vs. Yolanda Ezell, is less a tale of two cities, and more a gritty pulp-piece between two fighters from clashing cultures who envisage two strikingly different feminine ideals in women's pro boxing. The leggy model, and much ballyhooed Ezell, (aka) "Ms. Knockout", stands 5'10", radiates pure Vegas glamour, and is trained by the self-coined "Greatest Trainer of All Time," Floyd Mayweather Sr., the formidable, albeit estranged father of the current reigning world champion, Floyd Mayweather, Jr. The women's boxing match was the only such female competition at "War at Woodland Hills NO. 5," at the trendy West Valley Marriott--a stone's throw from downtown L.A. The event was held by Bash Boxing and The Art of Boxing Promotions on September 10, 2011, where Ezell was favored to win by a landslide using her reportedly uber-powerful left-handed "knockout" technique.

Though Roman is 22, one's first impression is that of an angelic-looking, if steely street kid with a poker face. Her image is abetted by her fierce tattoo-sleeve boasting coy fish, which signifies "a new beginning." Some might say it's her East L.A. savvy that paved the way for 14 amateur knockouts before this pivotal night. Others say, "The Mexicans just bring it. Period." Indeed, perhaps what Ezell's camp had not counted on, is that Roman had been relentlessly training for her pro-debut for five long years. And she is patient. Upsets make the greatest moments in sports, and few would have bet that Roman, who won her first amateur boxing match at age 17, against a 28 year-old--which she attributes to "all heart," might well be the next multi-cultural womens' featherweight champ--and the next big name in women's boxing nationally. In the match against Ezell, Roman caused a major upset and won by majority decision: 1-1-0, 1KO) with total match scores of 38-38, 39-37 and 39-37. Yet the numbers don't begin to tell her story. Roman will be discussing the compelling details which led to her triumph against Yolanda Ezell with acclaimed investigative reporter, non-fiction writer, and rising women's advocate, Suzanne Marcus Fletcher, at 8:00 PM PST, Thursday, September 22 on The Body Politic Radio show distributed worldwide on iTunes. The show can be heard live at www.blogtalkradio/thebodypolitic internationally. The guest call in number is (626) 414-3426.

Far from the Vegas strip, Romans' story began in the take no-prisoners, Mexican dominated streets of L.A.'s Eastside, where boxing is pretty much everything. At 125 pounds, Roman is a true featherweight. She began boxing as a kid, when her school hung flyers about boxing's wonders, and decided to try her luck. Roman was introduced to a boxing trainer named Moises Valdez one day while working out at a local gym. Once a professional boxer in Mexico, Valdez said of Roman, "She was this small kid who used to stand in the corner and hit the bag by herself." I decided to give her some lessons." As to how serious Celene was about boxing at age 16, Valdez frames it this way: "Celene was the only one out of all the kids who really wanted to learn boxing. I would schedule 5 AM runs. She would always show up and run like she meant it. That's the difference."

Five years later, the trainer/boxer partnership continues. Indeed, three weeks before Roman's Sept. 10, 2011 pro-debut match, she didn't have a debut, and no sign of one. Instead, she was doing what she has without fail for many years: Sweating bullets in punishing daily work-outs with Mexican born trainer, Valdez. She trains seven days a week. For the better part of those years, Roman has driven from her day job as a cashier in a fast-food joint, to Valdez' gym for three hours of rigorous coaching, all with the goal of becoming fight-ready for her professional debut. For the last year, Valdez has been vigorously promoting Roman to a boxing "matchmaker" (person in charge of arranging bouts between boxers) to get Roman her pro-debut. Three weeks before the Marriott fight, a matchmaker contacts Valdez and says there's an opening. "We didn't even know who the opponent was at first," admits Roman. "We just took it." Upon getting the contract, Roman learned she was to fight Yolanda Ezell. "My coach believed in me," she says, "that made me believe more in myself. I have been training for this. I was ready," she whispers with a smile. "I signed the contract without thinking too much about it."

As to being a potentially huge role model for both the United States and Mexico in women's boxing and women's sports overall, Roman said: "Being a role model is very important to me. All kids need role models, especially girls. While boxing is a hard sport, you can do anything you put your mind to. Kids need examples. Hopefully, I can keep it up and become champ eventually, so that I can be that role model.

Perhaps Roman's Manager, Heather Gonzalez, summed Roman's sudden rise best: "No one knew who Celene was at the time of the (Marriott) bout. She was disadvantaged by many factors, including a 5 inch height difference and short notice. Everyone expected her to lose. What no one understands, and obviously underestimated, is Celene's drive, heart, endurance--and love of the sport. Celene is on a mission to succeed in the professional world of women's boxing. There's no other option but to win."

For more information on Suzanne Marcus Fletcher's interview with rising Featherweight boxer, Celene Roman, please visit: www.suzannemarcusfletcher.com


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Suzanne Marcus-Fletcher
Magdalene Media Project

Woodland Hills, CA
USA
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