By Mark L. Elwood
for womenboxing.com 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 Boxrec.com. 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 Chan_cordova@hotmail.com, or call her father, Marvin, at 1-719-821-9756.