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Liz Mueller

5'4", 132 lb (lightweight) Elizabeth Mueller lives in New London, Connecticut, where she was born on February 28, 1975. She started her boxing career in 1998 with exhibitions in the New London area, and eventually compiled a 15-3 record as an amateur.

Coached by Earl Walsh, Liz took the gold medal at her first appearance in the U.S. national championships in 1999 and was considered by many to be the most outstanding boxer of the national tournament. In the quarterfinals she defeated Jamie Day of Brigham City, Utah, when the referee stopped the contest at 1:00 in the second round. She eked out an 8-7 decision over Lisa Lewis of Fresno, California in the semifinals then went on to defeat defending champion Krysti Rosario of Studio City, California, 26-3 for the gold medal.

Liz as an amateurOn May 16, 1999 representing the United States in the 60 kg division of the Feenix Box Cup in Turku, Finland, she defeated Jaana Mikkonen of Finland 9-1, and Eva Wahlström of Finland by 15-4, but finally met her match in Poland's Anna Kasprzak, dropping a 15-9 decision.

In August, 1999 Mueller won the 132-lb division of the US National Golden Gloves at the Augusta Boxing Club in Augusta, Georgia. In the first round of the tournament she stopped Bonnie Silvernail of Michigan when the referee ended the contest in the second round. In the second round she defeated Amber Gideon of Illinois by 3-2, then went on to defeat Casandra Lindsey of Tennessee by the same score in the final.

Mueller turned professional in November 1999. Fighting out of Andy Macy’s gym in East Lyme under trainer Bill Kane, she won her debut fight at 132 lbs on January 13, 2000 at the San Juan Center in Hartford, Connecticut, by third-round TKO over Anne Koenig (130½ lbs) of Florida in a scheduled four-rounder. The fight was stopped when Koenig went down for the second time. "I was a little anxious (going in)" Mueller told the press, "but I was pleased with the results. By the second round, I knew there was nothing she could do to me. It was a matter of time." Fewer than 100 people turned out for this fight in a snowstorm, but Mueller's second pro bout was a different story.

On February 25, 2000 at Rhodes-on-the-Pawtuxet in Cranston, Rhode Island, 2500 fans saw Mueller (134 lbs) move her pro record to 2-0, 2 KO's as the corner of Michele Taylor (5'5", 132 lbs) of Pittsfield, Massachusetts asked for a scheduled four-rounder to be stopped after the second round. This was Taylor's pro debut. Mueller dominated the fight from the outset, peppering Taylor with jabs apparently at will. She began to double up on jabs and then work in a right hook that battered Taylor’s face and opened a cut under Taylor’s left eye. By 0:30 of the second round, blood was pouring from Taylor’s nose. At one point, Mueller backed Taylor into the ropes and lifted her off the canvas with an uppercut to the body. Taylor seemed determined to get through the second round but her corner quickly decided she had had enough.

Said Taylor, who was making her own pro debut: “I expected the power. I didn’t think she would be as quite as fast and as mobile, but she was. She’s a really good fighter. I give her a lot of credit. I’ve got to chalk it up to experience on my end."

Mueller was critical of her own performance. "I think I got a little sloppy towards the end," she said. "I was watching her nose and it was bleeding … and I was concentrating on that, trying to hit that, punishing that, keep working on that. That was my fault. I was trying to knock her out. I lost sight of setting things up and trying to show off my skills. I’m still new at it. I don’t want to beat myself up over the mistakes I make. It’s back to the gym to work. My favorite word: work.”"

The fight was on the undercard of an ESPN2 “Friday Night Fights” show, and the crowd gave Mueller a load ovation following her win.

On April 28, 2000 at Foxwoods Casino in Ledyard, Connecticut, she moved her pro record to 3-0 with a four-round unanimous decision over Shakurah Witherspoon of Williamsport, Pennsylvania, who falls to 8-16-1. Mueller stayed on top of Witherspoon for the entire fight and appeared to have no problem with Witherspoon's style. Mueller said she was "a little nervous" fighting under the bright lights at the Casino but she cornered Witherspoon in every round and opened her up with body shots and left hooks to the head.

On June 30, 2000 at Rhodes-on-the-Pawtuxet in Cranston, Rhode Island, Mueller advanced her pro record to 4-0 with a unanimous four-round (40-35) decision over Kelly Whaley of Cedar City, Utah (now 2-3). Mueller started fast and fought out of a charging crouch. She found a home for her hard right throughout the fight against a game but overmatched Whaley.

On August 19, 2000 at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Ledyard, Connecticut, Liz weighed in at 133 lbs and won a six-round unanimous decision (59-55 on all three cards) over Jane Couch (134 lbs) of Fleetwood, U.K., the current WBF Women's Lightweight champion. Mueller advanced to 5-0 while dropping Couch to 13-3.

On December 22, 2000, again at Foxwoods, Liz faced her toughest opponent yet in four-time world champion Marischa Sjauw (5'5", 137 lbs) of Holland, now fighting out of Oxnard, California. Marischa handed Liz (134 lbs) her first loss in six pro fights with a 77-75, 75-77, 78-75 eight-round split decision. Women's boxing got an unexpected early Christmas present when this bout was upgraded from six to eight rounds and also seen live on ESPN2's Friday Night Fights after a male boxer canceled from the card for medical reasons. Sjauw and Mueller both put on a great show in a hard-fought bout with nonstop straight-ahead action. The taller Sjauw threw and landed more punches and also jabbed effectively. Sjauw backed Mueller up for much of the fight but Mueller countered well with combinations. Mueller also landed the heavier shots whenever she did work her way inside past Sjauw's reach advantage. Sjauw appeared to tire in the second half of the bout, but her aggressive style was probably the difference in her getting the decision in a close, exciting, well fought bout. It was a first-rate show by both boxers that should have helped to rehabilitate the reputation of women's boxing with the ESPN2 audience, which had previously been exposed to some poorly-chosen female bouts. Sjauw, who fights both as a lightweight and junior welterweight, improved her pro record to 18-4-1.

On February 9th, 2001 Mueller weighed in at 133 lbs and won a six-round majority decision over Calgary, Canada's Jaime Clampitt (5'5", 136 lbs). Mueller's straight ahead aggressive style gave her a razor-thin edge over Clampitt's speed and movement in a 58-56, 58-56, 57-57 majority decision. This was a well-fought action-packed bout that should have helped the cause of women's boxing with ESPN2, who again carried it live on Friday Night Fights. Mueller moved to 6-1 with the win while Clampitt (who like Mueller had been her country's 1999 national amateur lightweight champion) slipped to 3-1.   [Detailed fight report and photos]

Anani vs. MuellerOn May 11, 2001 on the Charity Fight Night X card in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Sumya Anani (5'6", 135 lbs) of Shawnee, Kansas won the IBA Lightweight title with a clear (96-94,98-92,99-91) ten round unanimous decision over Mueller, who weighed in at 133 lbs. Anani moved to 17-1 (6 KO's), dropping Mueller to 6-2 (2 KO's).

On August 18, 2001 at Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut, Mueller (132½ lbs) moved to 7-2 (2 KO's) with a six-round unanimous (60-54,60-53,60-54) decision over Connie Bechtel (5'8", 137½ lbs) of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, who fell to 1-4-3 (1 KO). Mueller fought effectively on the inside to counter Bechtel's height advantage.

On December 7, 2001 at Foxwoods Casino in Ledyard, Connecticut, Mueller (131½ lbs) won the vacant IWBF Lightweight title with a clear unanimous decision over Jaime Clampitt (135 lbs) of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. This rematch between the two former national amateur champions wasn't as close as their earlier bout. Mueller outfought Clampitt on the inside in a messy fight in which both took each other to the canvas a couple of times in action better suited to the WWF. The scorecards were 97-93,98-92,98-92 for Mueller who improved her record to 8-2 (2 KOs) while Clampitt fell to 6-2 (2 KOs).

Liz retired from competitive boxing in 2002.

Before she began boxing, Mueller was a talented high school and collegiate track runner. During her years at Waterford High in Connecticut (1989-93) Mueller was national cross country champion as a junior, won four Connecticut and New England harrier titles (all by wide margins), was a three-time state and New England indoor champ in both the 500 and 600 meters, and captured three state and regional outdoor championships in the 800 meters. Her best high school time in the 800 meters was an Olympic Trial-caliber 2 minutes, 5.54 seconds. While at Central Connecticut State, she was the only collegiate harrier to beat Providence College All-American and future Olympian Amy Rudolph.

But Mueller was dogged by shin splints. "They never seemed to go away," she said. "It was a never-ending syndrome of being injured. But I wanted to still stay in shape."

She got into boxing out of curiosity while training Andy Macy's two amateur boxer sons in condition running. "I had no intention of competing," she says, "but curiosity got the better of me. I tried sparring, but it was so frustrating. I was so horrible. I wanted to get better."

Mueller said her running background helped her build endurance and that running is a good cross-training technique for boxers because boxing is so fatiguing. Promoter Jimmy Burchfield agreed: "With Liz, she's a coordinated athlete in every aspect. Her athletic capabilities are unbelievable."

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Page last updated: Saturday, 15 December 2012


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