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Jolene Blackshear
Photo courtesy Team Blackshear


Jolene Blackshear, a hard-hitting 4'11" flyweight/junior flyweight from San Diego, California, began boxing professionally in 1996 and rose quickly to the IFBA Flyweight world title. In 2009, after a nine-year layoff, she returned to competition for the love of the sport and unfinished business. Her “new” team (of the past 9 years) has been Kalina Fernandez as trainer and manager, with Tony Contreras as the assist. Under this team, Blackshear has retained the drive and passion that previously put her atop the women's boxing world. In her first comeback fight in May 2009, Blackshear defeated Melissa McMorrow in San Jose by UD4 after dropping her three times in the 2nd round.

Jolene graduated with Honors from Sonoma State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Biology. She also excelled in collegiate sports, earning all-Conference Honors in fast pitch softball as well as track and field. She originally began boxing as a challenge and a continuation of her competitive nature while in school. Her fast, aggressive and exciting ring style would give Yvonne Trevino, Anissa Zamarron. Delia Gonzalez and Margaret Sidoroff all they could handle!

Jolene TKO'd by Trevino
Jolene was stopped by a cut from
the elbow of Yvonne Trevino

Jolene began her pro boxing career on June 10, 1996 at the Civic Auditorium in Santa Cruz, California when she knocked down Rebecca Cesena of Sacramento, CA three times en route to a KO in the fourth round. Cosena fell to 0-2 with the loss and from that point on Blackshear sought tougher competition.

On May 17, 1997 Jolene (113 lbs) fought Yvonne Trevino (112 lbs) of Arizona in the first IFBA all-women's card at the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California. Jolene knocked the heavily-favored Arizonan down twice early in the first round of the contest but both knockdowns were ruled slips by the referee. Later in the same round, Jolene was deeply cut under her right eye by a strike from Yvonne's elbow. The doctor rules that Jolene could not conintue and the fight was ruled a TKO win for Trevino ... to a storm of protests - from Yvonne, from both corners, and from many in the crowd! 

A ringside correspondent for my Women's Boxing Page web site described the scene to me: "Yvonne looked a tad awkward and did hit the canvas (it was ruled a slip) and she appeared to be smiling or laughing at various times. She did eventually get to Jolene who soon had a deep gash in the left cheekbone area although the blood did not appear to be flowing ... the ringside physician asked to examine it ... as soon as he started shaking his head, the crowd began to boo. Oddly enough, Yvonne was the one who seemed to protest the most vociferously. I could read her lips saying, "No! I want to fight. I want to fight..." The crowd started to chant 'Let them fight! Let them fight!' with the obvious encouragement of Yvonne and Jolene's cornermen. Yvonne did not even acknowledge the announcement declaring her the winner by TKO ... Jolene raised her fist to the crowd which aroused a big cheer. The crowd further expressed its dissatisfaction with the physician's decision by chanting 'Bullshit! Bullshit!'  From my vantage point, however, the wound did seem rather severe and I believe the doctor probably made the right decision." 

Unfortunately, as much as both fighters were not pleased with the outcome of this fight, the rematch that seemed inevitable at the time never took place.

Mixing it up with Anissa Zamarron in October 1997

On October 4, 1997 at the Lady Luck Casino in Lula, Mississippi, Jolene (108 lbs) won the IFBA flyweight championship with a ten-round (99-93, 97-93, 96-94) decision over Anissa Zamarron (110 lbs) of Austin, Texas in a war that was easily the best fight on the pay-per-view card. Zamarron's nose was broken but she still gave the aggressive Blackshear a tremendous battle. Both fighters received a standing ovation at the end of the bout (see the full fight report from Erik Anderson, who said this battle was "Hands down, the fight of the night and easily the most exciting IFBA fight yet. These two women poured everything into this fight and went at each other the whole way.")   The fight was named IFBA Fight of the Year for 1997.

On June 30, 1998 at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Jolene (110 lbs) retained the IFBA Flyweight title with a brutal fifth-round TKO over Sara Hall (109 lbs) of Chesterfield, England, a 5-0 kickboxer who was making her pro boxing debut. Jolene went right at Hall from  the opening bell and ate some hard right hands but got the better of most of the toe-to-toe exchanges with the English fighter. Late in the fourth round, as she pounded Hall against  the ropes, Blackshear emitted a loud grunt remisiscent of Monica Seles. "It comes from the bottom of my heart, the bottom of my toes," Blackshear said after the fight, adding "that's my spirit coming out."  Hall suffered a broken nose and broken jaw and could not answer the bell for the sixth round.

On September 17, 1998 at the Grand Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi: Jolene (111 lbs) successfully defended the IFBA Flyweight title against the veteran Delia Gonzalez (109 lbs) of Chamberino, New Mexico with a unanimous ten-round decision before an estimated crowd of 1,200. Judge Paul Cita had Blackshear ahead 96-95, Freddie Steinwinder III had the bout 98-93 and C.B.Jenkins scored the bout in favor of Blackshear by 97-93. Blackshear got off to a fast start as usual but Gonzalez began a comeback in the fifth, using her jab to keep Blackshear off balance. Jolene had to come on stronger in the ninth and tenth to secure the win.

Blackshear praised Gonzalez after the bout, saying "This was the classiest fight of my career. Gonzalez fights clean and is a good technician." Gonzalez fell to 10-3-2 with the loss.

Battling Canada's Margaret Sidoroff for the IFBA Flyweight title
Copyrighted photo by Sue TL Fox

On February 11, 2000 in Kenner, Louisiana, Jolene (104 lbs) lost the IFBA Flyweight title to Canada's Margaret Sidoroff (108 lbs) by a hard-fought ten-round unanimous decision that was televised live on ESPN2's Friday Night Fights.  Although Blackshear had been out of the ring for over a year, she showed no ring rust as she won the first two rounds and tagged Sidoroff repeatedly with her hard-charging aggressive style. However, Sidoroff improved the timing of her counter lefts in the third and the fight turned around in the middle rounds. Sidoroff showed great head movement and superb reflexes to slip Blackshear's punches while landing her own busy and effective combinations. As Blackshear fell behind on points, she escalated the pressure and the final round was a war with both fighters taking and dishing out significant punishment. Sidoroff rose to the challenge and was backing Blackshear up as they went toe to toe to end an exciting, skilled and heart-filled bout.

The scorecards recorded a unanimous (98-92,98-92,97-93) decision for Sidoroff ... but the real winner may have been women's boxing in the USA as the live bout drew non-stop praise from the ESPN2 Friday Night Fights commentators. Sidoroff advanced to 7-0 with 3 KO's while Jolene fell to 4-2 (2 KO's).

Jolene took the loss of her IFBA title like a true champion, telling me: "I had more fun before, during and after this fight than any before. Margaret was the perfect opponent and a delight to work with. I felt we both stepped up, did our jobs, and truly enjoyed ourselves."

See also Margaret Sidoroff's comments on this superb fight, in which she said Jolene "is awesome! I admire Jolene's work ethic and pre-fight focus. She was the lightest opponent I've ever faced as a pro, however she was still the strongest! I knew I was in for an incredible test when I was on the wrong end of a butt-kicking for those first couple rounds!"

Unfortunately for fans of the best in women's boxing, this classic battle with Sidoroff, who won three world titles, would be Jolene's last pro fight for more than nine years.

Jolene (R) vs Melissa McMorrow in May 2009
Copyrighted photo by Jesus Sanchez

On May 7, 2009 at "Fight Night at the Tank" at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California, Jolene (105 lbs) came back to the sport in "fighting fit" style when she took on the talented undefeated Melissa McMorrow of San Francisco, California  The two boxers did not disappoint the fans, and went toe to toe with each other.  Blackshear dropped McMorrow three times in the second round and kept up the pace with her devastating straight right hand. McMorroew displayed great resilience by fighting back well after the three-nockdown round, however, and the rest of the fight was almost even. Blackshear had been deducted a point for hitting McMorrow after the younger fighter was down in the second but a shocker came at the end when the four-rounder was declared a majority draw but. It was later realized that a scoring tabulation  error had been made and the correct tabulation was a majority decision (37-36, 37-36,36-36) win for Blackshear.  McMorrow, who had been the junior flyweight silver medalist at the USA Boxing Nationals in 2007 and a two-time regional Golden Gloves champion, fell to 2-1 with her first pro loss. Jolene improved her own pro record to 5-2-0 (2 KO's).  (For more photos of this fight  see Photo Gallery #501 on the WBAN Records Member Site).

On October 15, 2009 at Songdo Convensia in Incheon City in South Korea, Dan-Bi Kim (4'11", 103 lbs) of Anseong, South Korea won a 10-round unanimous (97-94,96-94,96-94) decision over Jolene Blackshear (104 lbs) for the vacant IFBA Mini-Flyweight belt. In a statement sent to WBAN on October 17, Judy Kulis of the IFBA wrote that “The IFBA will file a formal protest on behalf of Jolene Blackshear and Lisa Brown over the questionable outcomes delivered by judges after their respective bouts on Oct. 15 in South Korea."  On October 27, 2009, Kalina Fernandez of Team Blackshear sent WBAN a copy of an official protest of the decision detailing numerous infractions by Dan-Bi Kim and challenging the scoring of the fight. (See fight video here).

Since 2011, Jolene has been training with James Thomas (head trainer) and Jose Cital (manager / co-trainer).

On October 25, 2012 at Las Pulgas in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, Jolene  (105 lbs) returned to the ring and TKO'd unbeaten Lili Barajas (107 lbs) of Guasave, Sinaloa, Mexico at 0:47 in the first round of a scheduled four-rounder. Blackshear broke Barajas's nose with a straight left that sent the Mexican to the canvas; the fight ended when the referee judged that Barajas was unable to continue.   Barajas fell to 3-1 (3 KO's) with the loss.

Blackshear and SotoOn January 30, 2013 at Las Pulgas, in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, in the semi-main event, Jolene Blackshear (107 lbs) won a six round unanimous (58-56x3) decision over Linda Soto (5'3", 105 lbs), from Puerto Penasco, Sonora, Mexico. James Wyatt reported in the San Diego Examiner: "From the outset, the two ladies went full blast and it appeared Soto took Round #1 (10-9) by capitalizing on her leverage and longer reach. Round #2 went to Blackshear (10-9), who started ducking under Soto’s lead punch and timing her counters. With Round #3 being so close, you had to figure the Mexican judges would favor Soto (10-9) who at times out-muscled Blackshear and had her backing up. The all important fourth Round was in my estimation the back breaker for Soto, who by this time had run out of ideas on how to stop the formidable Blackshear who just kept on coming, kept on slipping punches and kept on landing the hard shots to Soto’s body and occasionally to the face. Soto was now getting a boxing lesson from the veteran. Blackshear takes the round (10-9). Both the fifth and sixth rounds went to Blackshear who now had her opponent baffled. She continued to duck under Soto’s misses and came up inside to counter with the harder and harder straight shots to Soto’s face. To their credit neither boxer let up, neither boxer took a step back in that final round." Blackshear improved her pro record to 7-3 (3 KO's) while Soto fell to 5-2 (3 KO's).

On July 26 2013 at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, California, Jolene won an eight-round split (74-75,76-74,76-74) decision over previously undefeated Sindy Amador of Riverside, Caifornia for the interim WIBA Junior Flyweight title.  According to David Avila writing for sweetscience.com, "Behind a ramrod right hand, Blackshear kept at bay the fast pressure of Amador over eight rounds before 1,000 fans at the Doubletree Hotel on the Thompson Boxing Promotions fight card. It was hometown favorite Amador’s first loss. Amador began the fight behind a good jab as Blackshear seemed to gauge what she had in front of her in the first round. The busier Amador used a lot of head movement and moved around skillfully in the first two minute round. “Our game plan was to keep moving and give her different angles to offset her forward momentum and pressure,” said Blackshear. Blackshear ... began catching Amador with a lead right hand that popped back the head of the hometown favorite. Amador walked through them but right after right kept landing on the button. It became the theme of the fight. “We planned to drive her back with power shots in order to make her fight backwards and to control the fight and control the pace,” Blackshear said. “I did not feel I was behind on the scorecards, although there were some competitive rounds that I would give her, especially given it was her home town.” Amador had a good round in the fifth but was still catching rights from Blackshear. The Riverside fighter increased the pressure and found success. Blackshear rallied a bit but was caught with a combination. Blackshear returned to form with her crisp right hands as Amador tried to retaliate with more and more pressure. In the seventh round Blackshear fired a right cross and left hook combination that dropped Amador on her seat. She got up before the count of eight. Amador opened up aggressively in the eighth and final round and was caught with a Blackshear left hook and down she went again. The Riverside boxer beat the count but couldn’t mount a rally. After eight rounds judges Marty Denkin and Pat Connolly had the fight scored 76-74 for Blackshear. Judge Gwen Adair saw it 76-74 for Amador, giving Blackshear a win by split decision and the interim WIBA junior flyweight title."  Amador dropped to 10-1 (1 KO).

On December 6, 2013 at the Chumash Casino in Santa Ynez, California, undefeated Maria (Maggie) Suarez of Santa Maria, California moved her record to 7-0-1 (0 KO's) with a six-round unanimous (60-54,60-54,59-55) decision over Jolene Blackshear who fell to 8-4 (3 KO's). Francisco Salazar reported for Boxing Scene that "It was a tactical chess match of a fight between the two early on. Blackshear ... was able to land repeatedly with straight jabs to the head ... Suarez pressed forward, throwing four-five punch combinations to the head, landing at least one or two punches in those exchanges. Blackshear would counter with a left hook to the head or right cross, but Suarez's punch output and being able to connect often was the difference in the fight."

Enriquez vs Blackshear
Jolene Blackshear vs Kenia Enriquez in April 2014

On April 4 2014 at the Four Points Sheraton Hotel in San Diego, California, Kenia Enriquez (107 lbs) of Tijuana, Mexico won the vacant NABF Junior Flyweight title when she TKO'd Jolene Blackshear (107 lbs) at 1:26 in the seventh round of a scheduled eight.  Enriquez used her jab well to keep Blackshear at a distance in the early going while using every opportunity to land countering combinations. Enriquez became more aggressive in the second half of the fight and her nose was bloodied in the fifth by one of  Blackshear's hard rights. The sixth and seventh were harder fought and Enriquez won with a decisive flurry of left hooks in the seventh to earn the stoppage.  Blackshear fell to 8-5 (3 KO's) while Enriquez improved her pro record to  11-0 ( 6 KO's) with the win.

"Boxing takes athletic prowess, skill coordination, hard training and profound dedication," said Blackshear, who trains four hours a day to keep in shape for her fights. "It's not street fighting or mud wrestling or Jerry Springer, and it's not something you just step into the ring and do. You have to be really dedicated to succeed."

Jolene is a complete fighter with passion, drive, and a great team behind her as she aims to make her "second time around" even better than the first.

Other Jolene Blackshear Links

Page last updated: Wednesday, 9 April  2014


WBAN Boxer Bio by Dee Williams