5'9" middleweight Ann "Brown Sugar" Wolfe from Waco, Texas moved into pro boxing
in 1998 after competing in the 1998 USA National Championships as an amateur.
In the 165-lb division of the 1998 US Nationals held in California in May 26-31,
Ann won a decision over Tami Hendrickson of Seattle in the quarter-final by 50-39,
then stopped Shanie Keelean of Chicago 46 seconds into the first round in the semifinal before
losing to LeKiea Coffen of Washington, DC by a disqualification at 1:23 of the
Ann's final amateur record was 3-1.
Ann made her pro debut on October 17, 1998 at Seven Feathers Hotel and Casino Resort
in Canyonville, Oregon at 157 lbs. She won a tough, close four-round
split decision over fellow Texan Brenda Bell Drexel (161 lbs) who
fell to 1-4. One judge called it 38-37 for Drexel, while the others both saw it as
38-37 for Wolfe.
On October 9, 1999 at the Mercer Arena in Seattle, Washington, Ann
spoiled the professional debut of 1999 USA national amateur 156-lb titlist Dakota Stone of Seattle. Wolfe knocked Stone down with a hard right in the second round, on the way
to a unanimous decision win that moved her
own pro record to 2-0.
The two had met before, with Ann Wolfe handing Dakota Stone the only loss of her
On January 20, 2000 in Houston, Texas, Anne
won by TKO at 1:07 of the first round over
Demetra Jones (148 lbs) in a junior middleweight bout.
Jones was making her own pro debut (and appears
not to have fought since).
Ann's manager said that he felt it was a
mismatch and that Jones had been a last minute replacement.
On February 5, 2000 on an IFBA card at the Treasure Chest Casino in Kenner,
Louisiana, Anne shocked WIBF Junior Middleweight world champion Mary Ann
Almager with a first-round TKO. Almager fell to 10-3 with this loss.
On April 26, 2000 again at the Treasure Chest Casino in Kenner,
Anne continued to demolish well-regarded Texas opposition when
she TKO'd Gina Nicholas of Longview, Texas with a
booming right in the second round.
Nicholas dropped to 10-4-2.
WBAN named Ann its "Fighter of the Month" in May 2000.
On May 24, 2000 at the Treasure Chest Casino in Kenner, Louisiana,
a bout between Ann and Christine Robinson (1-3) of Columbia,
South Carolina was stopped in the first round and ruled a "no contest"
when an accidental clash of heads badly cut the bridge of Robinson's nose
(and broke it as well).
Wolfe (162 lbs) suffered her first
setback as a pro boxer when she was KO'd in the third round by two-time world champion Valerie Mahfood (161½ lbs)
at the Radisson Astrodome in Houston on November 30, 2000 (see left). Wolfe knocked Mahfood down
15 seconds into the first round of this exciting slugfest, but Mahfood came back to work on her
with body punches in the second. Wolfe went to the canvas twice in the
second round (once from a three-punch combination and one was ruled a slip).
They traded powerful shots in the third, but then Ann
was decked for the full count
by an overhand right and left hook combination at 1:17 in the round.
Mahfood, who has won the IWBF Super Middlewight and WIBF Light Heavyweight
world titles, moved her record to 11-3 (7 KO's) with the win.
“I was dazed early, she hit me harder than I expected,” Mahfood said.
“I knew she was a lot stronger than me, but my experience kept me
in the fight. I know what it feels like to be knocked out, and I was
the better boxer, and it won me the fight.” Wolfe knew she had been in a war.
“I bet she has never been hit as hard as she was tonight,” said Wolfe. “I needed to
settle down, I was too anxious and got caught, but I know I can beat
her.” (see below!)
February 2, 2001 at the Hilton in Reno, Nevada, Ann weighed in at 153 lbs and won by
TKO of Kelly Whaley (5'5", 153 lbs) of Cedar City, Utah at 1:19 of the fifth round.
Wolfe won a new WBF Americas Junior Middleweight belt while Whaley fell to 2-6. Whaley was
knocked down in the second round, and mounted very little offense against the clearly more skilled
Wolfe. However, I'm told that the stoppage itself puzzled many ringside observers as Whaley did not
seem to be in obvious trouble at the time.
On April 19, 2001 at Radisson Astrodome in Houston, Texas,
Ann won by a TKO at 0:36 of the first round over Patricia Linton, who fell to 0-2.
On May 15, 2001 at Hawaii Convention Center, Honolulu, Hawaii
Ann weighed in at 153¼ lbs and
won the IFBA Junior Middlewight title with a ten-round unanimous
over Vienna Williams (150¾ lbs) of Philadelphia
in a bout seen live on ESPN2's Tuesday Night Fights.
This was a hard hitting tactical bout between two well schooled
boxers that was well appreciated by the crowd of 3000 and the ESPN2
commentators. Wolfe came away battered (see picture at right)
but victorious while the smaller but hard-hitting Williams took her
first loss in six pro fights (she is now 5-1 with 2 KO's).
[See the full fight report by Sue TL Fox].
On July 14, 2001 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado,
Ann weighed in at 160 lbs and moved her record to
9-1 (6 KO's) with a TKO over Diane Clark
(160 lbs, now 7-3, 4 KO's) after the end of the fourth round.
Wolfe had dominated the action and Clarke began to tire after the third round.
Wolfe came on very aggressively in
the fourth as Clarke appeared to be running out of gas.
Towards the end of the fourth round, Clarke slipped to the canvas.
After the bell rang, she was asked if she wanted to continue. She nodded that she did,
but her corner had the fight stopped.
The non-title bout
had been scheduled for six rounds and was seen live on PPV on
the undercard of the Comacho vs. Duran (Sr) main event.
Both boxers had taken the fight on about a week's notice but Ann was clearly
much more ready to rumble than the capable and well-regarded Clarke, who hadn't
boxed competitively since 1999. [See the
full fight report by Kevin
On November 16, 2001 at the Convention Center in Austin, Texas,
Ann won with a third-round TKO of
Gina Nicholas of Pasadena, Texas
for the WIBA 154-lb World title. Nicholas fell
to 11-5-2 (8 KOs). Wolfe had Nicholas in trouble at the end of the second round
and knocked her down for a five count with a series of rights midway
through the third. The referee then stopped the bout.
On April 25, 2002 at the Civic Center in Laredo, Texas, Ann (158 lbs) easily upped her record to
11-1-0 (8 KO) with a first round TKO over #10 Ranked Junior Middleweight Shirvelle Williams (157 lbs) of St.Petersburg, Florida who fell to
4-2-0 (2 KO).
Williams told local reporters that she did not know why the fight was stopped so quickly when Wolfe caught her
with several hard shots against the ropes at 1:40 in the opening round.
Ann Wolfe vs. Marsha Valley in June 2002
© Copyrighted photo taken by Tony Duffy
On June 21, 2002 at the Convention Center in Waco, Texas,
Ann (162 lbs) used a relentless body attack to wear down and TKO late substitute
Marsha Valley (5'10", 167¾ lbs)
in the sixth round to take the vacant IFBA Super Middleweight title. A clearly tiring
Valley took an eight count on one knee in the fifth
after being hit by a left hook on a break.
After softening up Valley up with a barrage of body shots and overhand rights,
Wolfe ended the fight in the sixth with a three-punch left-right-left
combination to her head that dropped Valley to one knee
with her head between the ropes. Valley looked ready to beat the count
when referee Laurence Cole waved the fight over at 1:06 of the round.
“I was trying to get a break,” said Valley, who fell to
9-7-4 (4 KO), “... but I just tired out. I
didn’t have what it took to keep going.”
[For round-by-round details, see
report by Kevin Cockle.]
“I don’t have too many skills, but they’re coming,” Wolfe said. “And when they do, people better watch out.”
Wolfe vacated her IFBA Junior Middleweight title and announced that
she is looking for a high-profile bout with Laila Ali.
On September 25, 2002 at Radisson Astrodome in Houston, Texas,
Ann (158 lbs) knocked out Genevia Buckhalter
of Columbus, Mississippi at 0:39 into the second round.
Wolfe quickly set about the overmatched Buckhalter with
combinations to the head and then knocked her out with the referee apparently
about to stop the slaughter. Buckhalter fell to 2-11-1 (2 KO) with the loss.
On December 21, 2002 at War Memorial Auditorium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida,
Ann (166½ lbs) stopped Marsha Valley (168 lbs) of Los Angeles
at 1:12 in the tenth round
for the WIBC super middleweight title. Wolfe had knocked Valley down in the
fifth but Valley made the mistake of taunting her when the fight continued,
only to absorb a thorough beating from the muscular and powerful Wolfe.
Valley fell to 9-8-4 (4 KO) with the loss.
On August 23, 2003 at Mississippi Coast Coliseum and Convention Center, Biloxi, Mississippi,
Ann (163 lbs) avenged her only defeat with a
ten-round unanimous (97-93,99-91,97-93) decision over
Valerie Mahfood (164 lbs) of Beaumont, Texas
for the vacant NABA Super Middleweight title.
After some good early exchanges, Wolfe appeared
to have the upper hand and bloodied Mahfood's nose
but Mahfood fought back hard in the late going
despite eating a steady stream of leather. Mahfood fell to 13-7-0 (7 KO) with the loss.
This bout was on the undercard of the showdown between Laila Ali and Christy
Martin, and positioned Wolfe, who signed a contract with Ali's promoter husband for three more bouts, for
a long-awaited showdown with Ali.
In September 2003, WBAN named Ann Wolfe its Fighter of the Month.
On October 11, 2003 at Grand Casino Coushatta in Kinder, Louisiana,
a crowd estimated at 6000 saw Ann (161 lbs)
pound out an
eight-round unanimous (80-72,79-73,77-75) decision over Sunshine Fettkether (5'8", 152 lbs) of Mesa, Arizona in a
catchweight bout contracted for 158 lbs. Ringside reports that I received at the Women's Boxing Page said ...
"Wolfe worked her body like a heavy
bag. Then went upstairs and busted up her face. Sunshine was in over her head. She never had any defensive skills but a
ton of heart, so she would never quit" ... and ... "Wolfe dominated a very game Fettkether with punishing body shots and
snapping straight rights and lefts to the head. Sunshine's left eye was badly bruised and swollen early in the fight,
but she battled on with a lot of heart. Wolfe was just too strong and too fast for Fettkether."
Former pro boxer Linda Robinson reported to WBAN that "Wolfe dominated the fight with quick jabs, straight rights and
punishing body blows. Sunshine, however, definitely came to fight. She used superb boxing skills to land a
good many shots of her own ... by the second round Sunshine's face began to puff up and bruise badly.
With her left eye all but shut Sunshine repeatedly got Wolfe to the ropes where she gamely traded
body blows and some head shots with Wolfe." Robinson also said that the very aggressive style of the two boxers
made it the best fight on the card. Fettkether, who had recently
been fighting as a high-end welterweight, where she'd won the IFBA world title, fell to 8-3-2 (4 KO).
5'9" Ann Wolfe KO'd 6'6" Vonda Ward in the first round!
© Copyrighted photos by Patricia Butaud and Janis
On May 8, 2004 before 5,000 fans at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum, in Biloxi, Mississippi, Ann
(172 lbs) scored a spectacular first-round knockout over undefeated Vonda Ward
(6'6", 170 lbs) to win the vacant IBA Light Heavyweight (175 lb) world title.
Trainer Emanuel Steward had advised Wolfe to attack the much
taller Ward inside. Wolfe followed a vicious left hook to the body
with an overhand right that caught her nine-inch taller opponent
squarely on the chin and snapped her head back midway through the opening round.
Ward fell to the canvas unconscious and lay there motionless
for several minutes while the ringside physician and
EMS technicians attended to her. She was removed from the ring
on a stretcher wearing a neck brace and being given oxygen
and was taken by ambulance to Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center for a CAT scan.
She was diagnosed with slight concussion and then kept overnight for observation.
Ward, who had been a star NCAA basketball center in Pat Summitt's prestigious
University of Tennessee program, didn’t land a single punch before being felled by Wolfe's right hand
for the KO at 1:08 into the fight. Ward fell to 18-1 (15 KOs) with the loss.
Ann Wolfe with the IBA belt after her win over Vonda Ward
© Copyrighted photo by J&P Photographers
In post-fight interviews Ann first expressed concern for the stricken Ward ... who had still
not been taken from the ring, but added “when I saw that big ole giant, I wanted to do the same
thing David did to Goliath. I prayed and went in there with the confidence of
David. You can’t get that in the gym.” Wolfe added, "I didn’t even try to knock her out, it’s just God-given
strength. I’m just a fighter. I’ve got to
feed my kids.”
Wolfe, who moved her pro record to 17-1 (12 KO) with the win
and added the IBA Light Heavyweight title to her previous IFBA/WIBA
Junior Middleweight and IFBA/NABA Super Middleweight belts,
called on Laila Ali (16-0, 13 KO), the IWBF/IBA/WIBA Super Middleweight champion,
to face her at super middleweight or
light heavyweight, or get out of boxing.
"How much more do I have to do to prove that I deserve to fight Laila?" Wolfe said.
"It should not be difficult to call Laila out now because we're in the same division."
Wolfe's manager Brian Pardo added that "Laila Ali has not lived up to the legacy of her father, Muhammad Ali."
Ali had previously stated that she would fight the Ward-Wolfe winner.
On November 6, 2004 at Fitzgerald Casino in Tunica, Mississippi,
Ann won a six-round unanimous decision over Cassandra Geiggar of Fayetteville,
Arkansas. Geiggar was knocked to the canvas twice.
WBAN's "Ask the Trainer" Tom Moraetes was at the event and reported that "Ann
Wolfe ... really looked awesome. I am very excited to possibly one day see her
and Ali get together. Should be a great match." Geiggar fell to 6-4-0 (6 KOs)
with the loss.
On March 5, 2005 at Isle of Capri in Biloxi, Mississippi, Ann (168 lbs)
won by a first-round TKO in a rematch with Genevia Buckhalter (183 lbs) of
Colombus, Mississippi in a scheduled six-rounder. Ann was now 19-1-0 (13 KOs)
while Buckhalter fell to 2-12-1 (2 KO) with the loss. Buckhalter, who was
knocked down once during the fight, had not fought since losing to Wolfe in
On June 18, 2005 at the FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tennessee, Ann (169 lbs) TKO'd
Marsha Valley (174 lbs) of Los Angeles at 1:17 in the
sixth round of a scheduled ten-rounder for Ann's IBA Light Heavyweight title.
Wolfe began landing hard left hooks early, but Valley absorbed them and landed a
few shots of her own. Wolfe began to dominate in the fifth, and dropped Valley
with a left hook to the ribs in the sixth. Valley arose and attempted to trade
with Wolfe, but another left hook sent her back to her knees. Valley beat the
count but was unable to continue. Marsha Valley fell to 10-11-4 (4 KOs) with the
On July 19, 2005 on an ESPN2
"Tuesday Night Fights" card in Lula, Mississippi, Ann (165
lbs) won by TKO in the seventh round when Monica Núñez
(164 lbs) of the Dominican Republic did not answer the bell for the final round
of a scheduled eight-rounder. This was a slow action bout. The 21-year old Núñez fell to 9-4-0 (4
Ann vs. Valerie Mahfood in August 2005
© Copyrighted photo by Patricia Butaud and Janis
On August 20, 2005 at the Isle of Capri Casino in
Biloxi, Mississippi, Ann (167 lbs) soundly defeated
Valerie Mahfood (165 lbs) of Beaumont, Texas with
a 10-round unanimous (99-91,99-91,100-90)
decision in the main event. Ann was defending her IBA Light Heavyweight
title. WBAN’s insider said that "in the first round, Mahfood pushed
forward, pressing the action, but Wolfe controlled the action with a sharp
jab and strong body shots from both sides. In round two, Wolfe continued to
land strong hooks to the head and body of Mahfood, who responded with quick
flurries that won Valerie the round on two judge’s scores. In rounds 3
through 7, Mahfood still moved forward looking to trade with Wolfe, but
Wolfe counter-punched, with stronger ammo, and carried the rounds on all
cards. In round 8, Mahfood landed her best punch of the fight when she
threw a hard right that had Wolfe backing off in the first time of the
fight. Mahfood pushed forward with quick punches, but was met with a series
of combinations from Wolfe, who knocked out the mouthpiece of Mahfood. This
round ended with the two exchanging punches fiercely. Wolfe won the round on
all cards. In round 9, Mahfood’s forward march ended, and it was Wolfe who
was moving forward, landing hard and hurtful punches with both hands. In
round 10, Wolfe threw body and head shots, and Mahfood took some heavy
improved her record to 22-1-0 (15 KOs)
while Mahfood fell to 19-10-1 (9 KO).
Ann Wolfe makes short work of Cassandra Geiggar
© Copyrighted photo by Patricia Butaud and Janis
On April 29, 2006 at Coushatta
Resorts in Kinder, Louisiana, Ann Wolfe TKO'd Cassandra Geiggar of
Fayateelville, Arkansas in the
second round of a scheduled four-rounder. For video clips and more photos see MPEG/Photo Gallery #357
on the WBAN Records Member Site).
Wolfe improved to
23-1-0 (16 KOs) while Geiggar fell to 6-8-0 (6 KOs).
4, 2006 at the FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tennessee Ann (165 lbs) won a
six-round unanimous (60-54,60-54,59-55) decision over Lisa Ested Smith (165
lbs) of Richmond Virginia in a bout carried on ESPN2's Friday Night Fights.
to WBAN correspondent Bernie McCoy, "The bout
... was dominated by Wolfe (how one judge managed to see a round that he
thought Ested had won is beyond my comprehension and I suspect most of the
boxing fans tuned in). Ested came out for the opening bell firmly ensconced
in a survival mode, prompting a Tessitore comment that Ested had told him,
in a pre fight interview session, that going six rounds was one of her
goals. Ested's ring experience (14 fights) was a major factor as she spent
almost the entire bout backpedaling and when it appeared that Wolfe had
achieved punching distance, Ested immediately sought out a clinch. Ann
Wolfe, on the other hand, in my mind, has notably improved several parts of
her "game" in the ring ... Ann exhibited a "working" jab, replacing what, in
the past, closely resembled a pawing motion, whose only function seemed to
be to set up a big right hand. Wolfe has also learned the value of going to
the body, in lieu of continually "headhunting" as she has done in past
bouts. Also, on Friday night, Wolfe continually showcased a potentially
potent uppercut. Ested, however, did not appear to be in any trouble
throughout the bout although Wolfe did score, at times, with the uppercut.
As in past fights, Wolfe continues to miss an inordinate number of punches
and this seems directly attributable to her penchant to "load up" for big
right hands. To me, through the filter of a TV screen, however, the most
marked improvement in Wolfe's "skills set" is her ability to pace herself
throughout a bout. Previously, Ann Wolfe had a tendency to wear out after
three or four rounds and in longer bouts usually had to "take a couple of
rounds off" in order to gain a "second wind." On Friday night, Wolfe seemed
as fresh at the end of the bout as in the first round. In fact, in round
five, Wolfe was able to pick up the pace considerably as it appeared she was
trying for a KO. She didn't get it, but the fact that she had the ability to
step up the tempo after four rounds is proof that she not only realizes the
value of pacing but that she has learned the technique well. " Wolfe
improved to 24-1-0 (16 KOs) with the win,
while Ested, a former IWBF welterweight champion who retired from boxing in
2000 but returned to the ring in late 2005, fell to 10-5-0 (6 KOs).
Ann has overcome homelessness, unemployment and being hit by a car while walking
on Interstate 35 to become one of the top professional boxers in the United
States. She is also a mentor to young amateur boxers at the gym she opened in
May 2003 (see photo above and her own
In 2004 the youngsters on the Ann Wolfe Boxing Team were a tough test for their
opponents at the Golden Gloves in San Antonio, Texas ... Ann took ten of her
fighters to the event ... five won silver medals and one a gold in the
sub-novice division, while two won silver and one won a gold in the Open
Division. The team also won Best Sportsmanship of the tournament, while Ann's
trainer, Donald "Pops" Billingsly, took home the Best Novice Coach award.
Ann said, "These kids fight with heart and character like I do. They will keep
fighting no matter what. Many of them have been homeless or been in trouble.
They are looking for something, and this gym is where they can find peace. They
help me by wanting to do something with their life, and I help them by giving
them the opportunity they would have never had without the gym."
More Ann Wolfe Links
To check fight reports, complete up-to-date boxing records, with huge digital photos, go to
the WBAN Records Member Site
Page last updated:
Saturday December 15, 2012