5'6½" Ann Marie
Saccurato, 28 years old as of 2006, fights at 142-157 lbs. She is from
White Plains, New York and
trains at New York Boxing Gym in Yonkers.
Ann Marie overcame tremendous odds just
to be walking today. In 1995, she was a passenger in a devastating car
wreck while returning from a volleyball competition at the Empire State Games. The
driver of the vehicle was killed and Ann Marie suffered a punctured lung,
broken pelvis, hip, two broken legs, a shattered arm, broken ribs and severe
nerve damage. She was not expected to live the night, let alone ever
walk again. Being a determined athlete, she proved everyone wrong
and immediately took up an aggressive rehabilitation program knowing in her
heart she would play sports again.
Against all medical odds, Ann Marie went on to play basketball and volleyball for
Seton Hall University in 1996. She is often a guest speaker in schools,
hospitals, and gyms, sharing her story of beating the odds, and encourages
others to never give up on their dreams.
In 1999, she entered her first boxing gym stronger than ever, and began a
career as an amateur boxer. She compiled a 9-4 amateur record, taking
the silver medal at 156 lbs in the 2000 USA Boxing National championships,
and winning the 2001 New York and US National Golden Gloves competitions.
In the 156-lb division at the 2000 USA Boxing
Everlast Nationals in Midland, Texas, Ann Marie faced US Marine
Jennifer Driggers of Camp LeJeune, NC in an intense preliminary bout. Driggers
appeared to have the fight in control after a strong first round but Saccurato,
despite a bloody nose, came back with flurry of punches in the second
round to regain the momentum. Both continued to trade furious
blows in the third round but it was Saccurato who landed
the most punches to eventually win on points by a 20-10 tally.
In the semifinal on April 13, 2000, Ann
Marie faced Maxine Madrifal of Amarillo, Texas. Despite getting her nose bloodied in the
first round, Saccurato rallied furiously for one of the most
exhilarating bouts of the tournament, eventually beating Madrigal 34-18 in a
bout stopped at 1 minute, 11 seconds of the third round thanks to the
15-point rule. "New York is tough, bottom line," Ann Marie told
local reporters, "There's nobody tougher. Never say die
is our attitude."
On April 15, 2000 in the 156-lb final at the
Chaparral Center in Midland, Ann Marie faced fellow New Yorker Jill Emery,
who stopped her at 1:52 in the second round (RSC-2) when Emery was up 22-3
on points. Emery used an Olympic style of boxing taught to her by a Russian
In the 156-lb (Light Middleweight) Open
Division at the 2001 US National Golden Gloves in Augusta, Georgia, Ann
Marie defeated Kara Lucas of Hollywood, Florida by RSC-3 in her preliminary
bout, defeated Azalea McCarty of Wilmington, North Carolina by RSC-1 in the
semifinal on August 10, and then defeated Sha'mell Carter of Kansas City by
RSC-2 in the final on August 11.
She made her pro boxing debut on May 24, 2002 at Wonderland Ballroom in Revere, Massachusetts.
She weighed in at 147 lbs and won a scheduled four-rounder by a second-round TKO over Anne Marie Francey (151 lbs).
Francey took a standing eight count in the second round and fell to 1-1-0 (1 KO)
with the loss (she has not fought since).
July 23, 2002 at New Rock City in New Rochelle, New York, Ann Marie (144½ lbs) won a first-round
TKO over Myriam Bazile (140 lbs) of Miami, Florida, who fell to 0-2, both losses coming by early TKO.
December 11, 2002 at Hudson Theatre in Manhattan, New York City, Ann Marie won a
controversial four-round majority (38-37,38-37,38-38) decision over
debut fighter Daria Hill of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. According to a report by
Scott Shaffer of Inside Women's Boxing "Saccurato’s glove touched
the canvas in the first for a knockdown, and she appeared to lose the fourth clearly, but somehow she managed to escape with
a majority decision."
March 19, 2003 at Villa Barone Manor in the Bronx, New York,
Eliza Olson (145½ lbs) of Fresno, California and
Ann Marie (146½ lbs)
fought to a four-round draw.
Olson's record was now 6-1-1 (2 KO).
On September 6, 2003 at Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, North Carolina, Ann
Marie won a four-round unanimous decision over Bonnie Mann of
Raleigh, North Carolina, who fell to 3-7-0 (0 KO).
According to news sources, Mann stunned Saccurato a little in the second round,
but Saccurato was busier and won the other three rounds.
November 1, 2003 in Greensboro, North Carolina, Ann Marie won by a second-round TKO over Bonnie Wherry of Cleveland, Ohio,
who fell to 3-5-0 (2 KO)
with this loss. The card was promoted by former pro boxer Cheryl Nance.
On March 19, 2004 at Olympic Theater in New York City, Ann Marie
(145 lbs) won a four-round unanimous (40-36,40-36,40-36) decision over
pro debut fighter Elizabeth Mooney (145¼ lbs). Mooney
attempted to pressure the more experienced Saccurato, but Saccurato
used her jab and ring movement well to earn the clear decision.
On May 30, 2004
at the DC Tunnel Events Center in Washington, DC, Ann Marie (145 lbs) fought to
a four-round majority draw with Maria Lindberg (5'5", 151 lbs) of Malmö,
The bout was even throughout as both got their shots in. Judge Cooper saw the bout
39-37 for Saccurato, while judges Scaife and Ellis saw it as a 38-38 draw. Lindberg
is the 1998 Swedish amateur 71-kg champion who was suspended from boxing after an
injury in 1999 but has returned to fight professionally in the USA; she moved
her pro record to 1-0-1.
On October 30, 2004, at Orange County Fairgrounds in Middletown, New York,
Ann Marie won a six-round unanimous (60-54,60-54,59-55) decision over Cimberly
Harris of Tampa, Florida, who fell to 2-3-0 (0 KOs).
On February 4, 2005 at Westchester County Center in White Plains, New York, a
boisterous crowd of about 3500 saw Ann Marie (145 lbs) win a six-round unanimous
60-54 decision over Victoria Cisneros (143½ lbs) of Albuquerque, New Mexico.
On May 6, 2005 at Westchester County Center in White Plains, New York, a crowd
estimated at 1600 saw Ann Marie stop Martha Deitchman-Orozco of Denver, Colorado
in the fourth round of a scheduled eight rounder. Saccurato, who boxed
carefully in the first three rounds, turned up the heat in the fourth and put
Orozco away with powerful combinations. She improved her record to 9-0 (2 KO)
while Orozco, who substituted for Iva Weston of Trinidad when Weston was unable
to get a visa, fell to 2-5-1. "Before, she always threw all her punches with
speed," Roca said trainer Hector Roca, who trained Hillary Swank for her
role in 'Million Dollar Baby'. "But tonight she started with her jab. Then,
before the fourth round, I told her: 'Let's go home.' Then she started
"I think she's ready for a title fight," said matchmaker Ron Katz, "I
think she's that's good."
On August 26, 2005 at the Westchester County Center in White Plains, New York,
Ann Marie lost a six-round split (56-58,58-56,59-55) decision to the highly
experienced Belinda Laracuente from Puerto Rico by
way of Florida. In the first two rounds, Saccurato was the aggressor and landed
hard shots to Belinda's head and body, but Laracuente took these shots in her
stride while countering with her jab. From the third round onwards,
Belinda outboxed Ann Marie and began to land with fast combinations that kept
Saccurato at bay, repeatedly snapping her head back. The crowd began to cheer
for Laracuente as she continued to control the action. Laracuente improved
her record to 22-10-2 (9 KOs) with the win while Saccurato fell to 9-1 (2 KOs)
with her first pro loss.
On November 23,
2005 at Westchester County Center in White Plains, New York, Ann Marie (141
lbs), TKO'd Tanya Gallegos (147 lbs) in the first round of a scheduled six
rounder. Gallegos fell to 3-4-0 (2 KOs).
On February 10, 2006 at the Hynes Athletic Center on
the campus of Iona College in New Rochelle, New Jersey, Ann Marie (140
lbs) won a rematch with Victoria Cisneros (5'5", 143 lbs) of Albuquerque, New
Mexico by an eight-round unanimous (78-74,79-73,80-72)
decision. Saccurato came on strong to beat Cisneros for the second time.
According to WBAN correspondent Bernie McCoy, "The pattern of the fight
was established in the first round: Saccurato fighting out of a crouch, yet
staying up on her toes, using the full ring, arms low; Cisneros, standing up
straight, flat footed, attempting to 'cut the ring' and looking to trap
Saccurato to the ropes, which she did effectively a couple of times. Saccurato
later said that she thought it was her movement that eventually made the big
difference in the fight. Both fighters had good flurries throughout the first
three rounds, until Saccurato landed a big right hand midway through the fourth
stanza. In the last four rounds, Cisneros seemed less inclined to come forward,
instead circling in mid-ring and, as a result started to absorb more punches as
Saccurato seemed 'to find a home' for her right hand. Cisneros was, however,
fully game to the end and earned justified recognition from both the crowd and
Saccurato. It was a good eight rounds of boxing, maybe the best fight on the
report, J.F.Bailey said 'Ann
Marie's noticeably improved conditioning, relentless aggressiveness,
and flashing speed won this fight, though finishing with a puffy face. Cisneros,
slimmer, tougher, really improved against Ann Marie this time, simply did not
have the speed to reach Ann Marie and connect with all she had. Saccurato's
speedy combos punished Vickie inside big time with her rat-a-tat body work and
left right slugging to the head in close and personal. Saccurato lost her first
fight last summer running out of gas and getting outpointed against a superior
boxer. She had plenty left in the tank tonight, as she avoided the relentless
Cisneros' valiant attempts to land a hard shot to overturn defeat in the closing
Cisneros fell to 3-3-2 (0 KOs).
Ann Marie battles Jelena Mrdjenovich in
© Copyrighted photo taken by Mary Ann Owen
On November 4, 2006 at the Shaw Conference Centre in
Edmonton, Alberta, Ann Marie (135 lbs) won by a split (96-94,96-94,94-96)
ten-round unanimous decision over local favorite
Jelena Mrdjenovich (133 lbs) of Edmonton
for the vacant WBC Lightweight title. Jelena fell to
18-2 (11 KOs) while Ann Marie improved to 12-1-2 (5 KOs). Ann Marie had taken the fight on just a few weeks' notice when Eliza Olson
dropped out as Mrdjenovich's opponent with a training injury.
After the fight, Saccurato
told reporters: "Jelena (Mrdjenovich) is a world champion boxer and I was
very thankful for the opportunity to box on an all-female card that is donating
money towards breast cancer research. Even though it was her hometown, I knew it
was my time. I have trained hard for this fight, and I knew in my heart I would
take home the WBC green belt."
Ann Marie vs Holly Holm
© Copyrighted photograph by Mary Ann Owen
On March 22, 2007 at the Isleta Casino near
Albuquerque, New Mexico Holly Holm (143¼ lbs) of
Albuquerque won a hard-fought ten-round unanimous (98-91,97-92,97-92) decision
over Ann Marie (141 lbs) for six (IFBA, WIBA, GBU, WBC, IBA, WBA) welterweight
world title belts. The scoring does not do justice to a strong effort by
Saccurato, who pressured the highly mobile Holm aggressively throughout the
entire fight and often corralled her against the ropes. Saccurato
was deducted a point in the seventh for holding Holm behind the head while
hitting. Saccurato was the aggressor throughout and often controlled the tempo
of the fight while Holm landed fast and effective scoring shots when she
stood her ground. Every round was closely contested, and the
lop-sided score did not reflect the overall action. The card was televised
live on Fox Sports Net’s “Best Damn Sports Show Period”, marking the return of
women's boxing to live network coverage in the USA. Holm improved her record to
17-1-2 (5 KOs) while Saccurato slipped to
12-2-2 (5 KOs). (For
coverage of the weigh-in, and more fight photos by Mary Ann Owen and Patricia Butaud,
#419 and #420
on the WBAN Member Site).
Ann Marie and fallen Jessica Rakoczy
© Copyrighted photo by Alan Messick
On September 27, 2007 at the
Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino, in Lemoore, California, Ann Marie won the WBC
Lightweight title (which she had vacated to fight Holly Holm for the
Welterweight crown) by knocking out local favorite Jessica
Rakoczy of Las Vegas at 1:58 in the tenth round. Rakoczy had controlled the
early rounds but was in trouble from a later-round rally by the hard-charging
Saccurato although she was reportedly ahead on two of the three scorecards.
dropped Rakoczy with a
stunning straight right to her face, and the referee stopped the bout. Rakoczy
fell to 27-3-0 (11 KOs) as Saccurato improved to 13-2-2 (5 KOs). (For
more fight photos and weighin coverage by Alan Messick,
Photo Galleries #444
on the WBAN Member Site).
On November 10, 2007, at
Shinjuku Face in Tokyo, Japan, Emiko Raika of Japan won a ten-round majority (99-93,
97-93, 95-95) decision over Ann Marie defending the WIBA Lightweight
title. In the early rounds Ann Marie came forward looking
to establish her jab and caught Raika hard repeatedly. Raika began to pursue
and land her trademark left hooks in the middle rounds, putting the fight
more on even terms. According to Ryan
Wissow of the WIBA: "In a fight that will be named the WIBA`s 2007 Fight of
the Year ... Saccurato gave Raika serious fits in the first three rounds by
moving and boxing, something nobody expected to see from Ann, who is well known
for being a brawler. It took Raika a few rounds to adjust, but she was able to
cut off the ring successfully and engage Saccurato in some fierce exchanges.
Both fighters landed bombs on each other, but Raika was the aggressor throughout
the bout and landed more big punches."
Angel Bovee of Team Saccurato told WBAN:
“We are very disappointed to see Ann Marie winning so many rounds in a bout that
never ended up on the judges score cards. Objectively, Ann landed more punches
than Raika in every round but one and completely out boxed Emiko and we are sad
to see the three Japanese judges did not see it that way”.
At the end of the bout, Raika fell to her knees as if exhausted, but
was rewarded with the decision. Raika, who had promoted the event, improved to
17-3-1 (6 KO's) while WBC champion Saccurato fell to
13-3-2 (5 KOs).
made a little history by having an all-female corner team consisting of world
champions Melissa Hernandez (WIBA Jr Featherweight)
and Belinda Laracuente (GBU Junior Welterweight),
plus former US National Junior Welterweight amateur champion Angel Bovee.
According to Ann Marie, "While Angel is always in my corner, this is the
first time we have tried this particular team as my coaches and corner. I love
the compatibility we all share and to have three female champions behind me,
makes us not just unique, but unstoppable in the ring! In my corner I don't have
to worry about any ego clashes, we are all there for the same purpose, to grow
personally and professionally and to advance
women's boxing. Women's boxing needs these types of excellent fights to help it
gain spectator support and more visibility worldwide."
On August 11, 2008 in the main
event at the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan, Ann Marie Saccurato (135 lbs) defeated
Emiko Fujin Raika (134½ lbs) by a ten-round unanimous
(98-92, 97-92, 97-93) decision to become a three-time WBC Lightweight World
Champion. This result overturned the outcome when Ann Marie previously
fought Raika in Toyko on a card promoted by Raika herself. To quiet any
skeptics, Ann Marie came out strong in the first round and landed several
powerful right hands, breaking Raika's nose. The battle continued with Ann Marie
boxing on the outside and Raika having a hard time finding her with her
punches. In the sixth round, Raika landed a head butt, which cost her a point
on the judges scorecards. Ann Marie suffered a cut from the head butt which
required stitches after the fight, but her corner was able to control the
bleeding and Ann Marie continued to outbox Raika with her skill and incredible
punching power. Ann Marie improved her record to 14-3-2 (6 KO's) while Raika
dropped to 18-4-1 (6 KO's).
On October 9, 2009 at Salle Vallier in
Marseille, France, Myriam
Lamare of Marseille won an exciting ten-round unanimous (99-92,99-90,100-89) decision over Ann Marie for the WBF Junior Welterweight title and the WBAN
Junior Welterweight title. WBAN was told the fight had the fans out of the seats
cheering. (Note that the three judges came from Luxembourg, Connecticut and
France and the referee was from Germany). Lamare improved her
record to 18-3-0 (10 KO's) while Saccurato slipped to 14-4-2 (6 KO's).
On November 13, 2009 at the Shaw Conference Center
in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Ann Marie Saccurato (133 lbs) won a ten-round
unanimous decision in a rematch with Jelena
Mrdjenovich (133 lbs) of Edmonton for the WBC Lightweight title.
Canada.com correspondent Paul Owen
wrote that "Saccurato knocked Mrdjenovich down in the third
and fourth rounds and escaped with an emotional 96-94, 94-94, 95-93 majority
victory to retain her title belt ... '"I'm happy with the outcome. I'm not happy
with certain things that I couldn't pull off that I would have liked to,
technically, in the ring," said Saccurato ... The fight started well for
Saccurato, as her first punch of the bout caught Mrdjenovich on the left eye,
and another shot in the second round swelled up the other. Saccurato then caught
Mrdjenovich off balance and sent her to the mat in the third, and again in the
fourth with a vicious right hand. Mrdjenovich fought back after the second
knockdown, however, bloodying Saccurato's nose in the sixth round and cutting
open her forehead in the ninth. "I definitely wanted to finish it, but I knew I
was jumping in too much. I was getting too anxious and I was falling away from
my game plan, so I was just trying to settle down some, which I didn't do as
well as I would have liked to," Saccurato explained. The tide almost turned in
Mrdjenovich's favour in the ninth round when Saccurato was penalized a point for
punching Mrdjenovich in the back of the head after being repeatedly warned by
referee Don Smart, but it wasn't enough to overcome the early lead built by
Saccurato ... "All I have to say is that it was a great fight for women's
boxing. I thought it wasn't deserving of a draw, but it was a great fight ...
and that's what we need," said a curt Mrdjenovich after the fight."
(For a fight photo gallery
Photo Gallery #514
WBAN Member Site). Saccurato
improved to 15-4-2 (6 KO's) as Mrdjenovich slipped to 23-5-1 (11 KO's).
WBAN awarded Ann Marie Saccurato its Fighter of the Month for December 2009 in
recognition of this win.
On December 5, 2010 at Route 66 Casino in
in the main event, Holly Holm (139½ lbs) of Albuquerque won by a TKO at 0:51 in the eighth round over Ann Marie Saccurato (138½ lbs).
In this scheduled ten-rounder, Holm defended her IBA Junior
Welterweight belt, and fought for the WBAN Junior Welterweight belt,
the second WBAN belt she has won. Holm, who was much more aggressive
in this fight than in their previous meeting, improved her record to
29-1-3 (9 KO's).
August 6, 2011 at Estadio Socios Fundadores in Comodoro Rivadavia,
Chubut, Argentina, unbeaten interim champion Erica Farias (134 lbs) of
Buenos Aires, Argentina won the WBC Lightweight title with
a technical decision over Ann Marie Saccurato (134½ lbs).
The scheduled ten-round fight was halted by a cut to Saccurato's
scalp caused by a clash of heads that had been ruled accidental.
Farias had used her movement and hand speed to build a clear
79-71,78-73,78-72 lead on the judges' scorecards in the eight completed
rounds. Farias improved her record to 11-0 (6 KO's) with the win
while Saccurato fell to 15-6-2 (6 KO's). [Video]
trains at night after working full-time, seven days a week, as a personal
trainer for a company that provides physical therapy, rehabilitation, and
performance training to athletes, after-care patients and the general public. Her goals are to win
world titles and to encourage young girls to pick up the gloves.
With grace, hard work, intellect and heart, Ann Marie will continue to prove to
the world that dreams do come true!
"I put a lot of responsibility on myself to represent women's boxing and try
and get to the next level," says Saccurato,
"I'd like to go where no women's boxer has ever gone."
Other Ann Marie Saccurato links
To check out fight reports, complete up-to-date boxing records, with huge digital photos you can go to
the WBAN Records Member Site
Page last updated:
Saturday December 15, 2012