Friday, July 9, 2010

Cordova back, seeking title

By Mark L. Elwood
for July 9, 2010

Chantel “One Gorgeous Babe” Cordova was born in Pueblo, Colo., in December 1986, and began boxing at age 9.
“My dad, Marvin Cordova Sr., who is my trainer, didn’t think women should box. So, my mom (manager Sherry Cordova) was taking a few boxers out to Ignacio, Colo., for an amateur show. She asked me if I wanted to weigh in and see if there were any females to box,” Chantel recalled.
“Just my luck, there was a female in my weight class. I was a bit nervous, but was anxious to get in the ring. With a two-round stoppage, I had a victory over the hometown boxer!” she continued.
“My dad was out of town for work, but I called him and told him the news. Ever since, he has been in my corner, training and supporting me!”
The Cordova family team helped Chantel to a storied amateur career that included being the national women’s champion in 2005 and 2006; second place at the Pan Am Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina; three-time Golden Gloves champion, including outstanding boxer of the tournament in 2004; two Junior Olympic championships; and three Silver Gloves titles. She was the first Colorado woman on the U.S. women’s national amateur team.
“In 2006 I fought for my last time in the U.S. Championships, winning in the pinweight division,” she said of her decision to go pro. “I was hoping that in 2008 there would be a few women’s weight classes in the Olympics, but the committee did not approve, so I turned pro March 24, 2006.”
The light-flyweight Cordova won her first four bouts, three by stoppage, over winless opponents Unity Young (twice), Dawn Parker and Gina Abel before battling to a six-round draw with then-unbeaten Valarie Rix on Aug. 26, 2006, in Junction City, Kan. After downing veteran opponent Natasha Wilburn, she stepped up to face ranked opponents.
On Jan. 4, 2007, she defeated 4-1 Jodie Esquibel. She followed that up with a six-round victory over Melissa Shaffer on April 14, 2007.
Chantel stepped away from boxing for a time to give birth to son Elijah and be a mother.
Never afraid of a challenge, she jumped back into the ring against former world champion Hollie “Hot Stuff” Dunaway on Jan. 28, 2010, in Oklahoma City, after 32 months away from competitive boxing. She came away encouraged, despite a split decision loss. She won 58-56 on one card, but lost 60-54 and 59-55 on the other two.
Determined to continue the comeback, she was scheduled to meet Becky Garcia (5-1) of Mesa, Ariz., on April 22, but Garcia withdrew. The always-game Shaffer stepped in for a chance at avenging her loss, but Cordova rolled to a unanimous decision in Tulsa, Okla.
“I felt real good. I went in there and gave it my all,” she said of the win. “It felt like I landed everything I threw! It was good to be back in the ring after a long layover.”
“One Gorgeous Babe” is on her way back!
“My goal now is to get a world title,” she said emphatically.
Cordova is ranked no. 1 in the United States and no. 8 in the world at light-flyweight by She said she is comfortable fighting at either 106 or 112 pounds.
“I can lose weight pretty easily, if necessary, and don’t mind gaining, if needed!” she laughed.
She is pleased with the rankings and is looking forward to more top-level fights.
“It proves that my hard work is paying off, and a title shot can’t be far off,” she stated.
Cordova said Rix and Dunaway have been her toughest pro opponents so far, and she would welcome a rematch with either. She would also like to face Garcia, Melissa McMorrow and Carina Moreno of California, Yesica Yolanda Bopp of Argentina, Julia Sahin of Germany, Naoko Fujioka of Japan or any of the other top-ranked fighters in her weight range.
“I want to fight and stay active,” the 5’3” dynamo said. “I want to keep working toward that world title!”
The attractive Cordova has her own style, but does have ring role models.
“My female role model would have to be Holly Holm. She is a good fighter and a great person!” Cordova said. “My male role model is Manny Pacquiao. He is a great fighter and a very humble person.”
She is on a mission right now, with her next bout set for Aug. 28 in Pueblo against an as-yet unnamed opponent.
“To my fans, thanks for all the support, and stay tuned … because I’m going to do big things this year! Keep your eyes out for me going all the way to the top!” she added.
To schedule a fight with Chantel, potential opponents’ managers should contact her at, or call her father, Marvin, at 1-719-821-9756.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Zatyko works toward more world titles

By Mark L. Elwood
for, 1-30-2010

Zita “The Giant” Zatyko of Szeged, Hungary, has stormed onto the women’s professional boxing scene in the last year. She is one of the world’s busiest, hungriest fighters, posting a 7-0-1 record with five KO’s in just 10 months.
Zatyko was born Oct. 13, 1980, in Mako, Hungary. She has always been athletic, and began in sports as a teenage kickboxer. She also participated in rugby.
She has won the Hungarian national title several times in kickboxing and Kyokushin, and won the K-1 world championship in Belgrade, Serbia, in 2007. In early 2009, she captured the Kyokushin World Cup title in Osaka, Japan.

“I had always wanted to try boxing, and at the beginning of 2009 I was happy to receive an offer from promoter Zoltan Petranyi to go pro,” said Zatyko. “I really like all martial arts competition.”
The 5’10” Zatyko said she intends to focus on winning a boxing world title.
“The main thing for me now is boxing, but if time allows I will also fight in kickboxing and Kyokushin,” she added.
Zatyko began as a super middleweight in March 2009 with a unanimous 4-round decision over countrywoman Diana Kiss, but suffered the only mark on her record so far just three weeks later when Kiss battled her to a draw over the same distance. All of her first eight bouts have been against fellow Hungarians.
After the Kiss bouts, Zatyko stepped up to six-rounders and defeated Marianna Nagy on points in July. Her next five wins were all by stoppage.
In August she TKO’d light-heavyweight Izabella Torok in the first round, and in September stopped Terez Skripek in the second. In October she finished Eva Nemeth in the first round, then KO'd Torok in the second frame rematch.
That set the stage for a battle with another streaking Hungarian super middleweight, unbeaten Borbala Kocsis, in December. Kocsis was injured and Zatyko awarded the stoppage in the second round of what she felt was an unsatisfactory result.
“Kocsis is a skillful boxer. I think we will make a good fight when we meet again,” said Zatyko. “I respect each of my opponents, but the most dangerous one was Diana Kiss. I think we will fight a third time.”
Zatyko, who boasts a 71-inch reach, is not bashful about her fight philosophy.
“I want to defeat everybody who I meet in the ring,” she said. “I would be happy if I would receive a possibility this year for a world title fight.”
Up next may be a rematch with Kocsis for a Hungarian national title, probably at light-heavyweight where Zatyko feels more comfortable.
“My weight is 80-81 kg (176 pounds) usually, so I will probably stay at light-heavyweight,” said Zatyko.
“Zita is a hard worker in training, and is determined to win each time she steps in the ring,” said her promoter and manager Petranyi, himself a professional heavyweight boxer.
Will she call out unbeaten world super middleweight and heavyweight champion Natascha Ragosina, a native of Kazakhstan fighting out of Germany?
“All boxers would like to fight the best. I would like it, also,” said Zatyko. “Ragosina is a very good boxer girl, but my goal is to defeat her. I hope we will meet soon for a heavyweight title fight.”
Zatyko, who is trained by Gyula Nagy, is ranked no. 1 in the world at light-heavyweight by several organizations.
“I am very happy about that!” said Zatyko. “I want to be the first in everything I do.
“This attitude has helped me to succeed in other sports, also. I hope I gain my goal in the boxing ring, too.”
There is no consensus world champion in her class, so there are many options for her. Rematches with Kocsis and Kiss are on her mind, but nearby opponents like Latvian super middleweight champion Zane Brige and Daria Albers of Germany could also be future opponents until a match with Ragosina can be secured.
“I respect everybody who has bravery to go into the ring, but I don't like anybody when they want to defeat me,” Zatyko promised.