Hallback goes for Professional Gold

By Tom Donelson, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: February 23, 2010

IOWA CITY (BASN) — Chevelle Hallback is getting ready for a championship bout against Holly Holm in a battle featuring two of the best women fighters in the world.

Hallback has been fighting for 13 years and hopefully, the March 26th bout will be a highlight of her career.

Yet, this veteran has seen much of the seedy side of boxing as she moved up the career ladder as well as the best the boxing has to offer including championship belts.

As for worse that boxing has to offer, Hallback told the story of her second fight.

Her manager set up her up against what was described an “a weak boxer with little experience.”

Promised $3,000 for the fight, she was excited about the bout but on her way to the fight, she was watching a HBO special on female boxers and saw that her opponent, Lucia Rijker, was one of the featured fighters along with Christy Martin.

Hallback fought a tough determined fight but she lacked the experience to compete with one of the world best and lost on a fifth round TKO.

She later found out that her manager received under the table payment to facilitate the fight and she learned a lesson that not everyone in boxing including those closets may not have her best interest at heart.

One lesson, she noted, “If a young fighter finds herself fighting out of town and rarely in her locality, she should become friendly to the local matchmakers.

She should stay in the gym and be ready to fight on a minute notice.”

She then quipped, “You can skip the middle man, the manager, and simply work with promoters and matchmakers.”

Hallback observed that most women fighters hold full time job and she is no different as she is presently a social worker with the state of Florida while studying for a psychology degree.

For Hallback, many managers don’t help their women fighters but still take a large portion of the dwindling pay day for the woman fighter.

In high school, Hallback ran the 100 meters and did triple jump in track while playing basketball in the winter months.

She fulfilled her competitive desire by becoming a boxer but over the past decade, she played football and participated in MMA matches.

With her speed, she became a running back and added, “I also played linebacker, which I like better since I get to hit people.”

During the past couple of years while waiting to get boxing matches, she moved toward MMA but stated that she prefers boxing as she observed, “MMA is more dangerous, you have to guard against feet, hands elbows whereas boxing, it is strictly hands.”

” Broken bones are a constant present in the MMA.”

She also observed that she had difficulty getting quality fights due to her skills as she pointed out, many managers were reluctant to allow their fighters to risk their records against her.

So MMA filled the void for a short period.

Hallback is now interested in promoting women boxing beyond its present status.

“With the Olympics talking about adding women’s boxing, we are seeing amateurs programs springing up.

Women are coming into the professional ranks with basic boxing skills already in place. As for me, I couldn’t get an amateur fight and when I turn Pro, I learned in the ring.”

This has produced better women boxers and with quality of fighters improving, it is time for women boxing to take the next step; get on HBO to be televised with the best men fighters.

For Hallback, HBO will show that women’s boxing had moved forward.

Being the first woman to fight in a nationally televised woman main event on ESPN, Hallback believes that HBO is where the best women fighters belong.

As for her bout with Holly Holm, she is once again fighting Ms. Holm in her backyard in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

In their first fight, Hallback competed against a slick boxer who preferred lateral movement as oppose to fighting toe to toe as well as the higher attitude of New Mexico.

She admitted that the attitude troubled her as she became tired as the fight progressed but made it clear that she will be ready as she has changed her training regimen.

As for Holm’s southpaw style, Hallback told me that that her first title came when she knocked out southpaw Bonnie Canino.

The question is whether Hallback can connect with her “Fists of Steel” against the elusive Holm.

Chevelle Hallback has two goals. The first is to beat Holly Holm and show that she is one of the elite fighters in the world.

The second goal is to advance women boxers so women boxers can earn a living fighting and not treat it as a second job.

Her first love is boxing and she wants the world to share that enthusiasm.