Kelsey "Road Warrior" Jeffries was born on November 7, 1975, in Bakersfield, California.
Jeffries lived in Bakersfield until she was 13, then moved to Hawaii where
Kaiser High School in Hawaii Kai.
Jeffries was a boxing
fan from childhood on. Kickboxing was
popular in the island state, and she took up the
sport early, eventually becoming a champion,
then switching to boxing after a few years.
She began boxing
as an amateur in 1994. She fought one fight in Hawaii, then went to live
in Japan where she coached boxing until the beginning of 1996. She
then returned to the States and won the California Golden Gloves title from 1997 to 1999.
Boxing out of the Santa
Clara PAL Boxing Gym she competed in the 125-lb division of the 1997 USA Boxing National Championships, where she lost a
quarterfinal bout to eventual gold medalist Alicia Ashley by a 4-1 score.
In the 1998 USA Boxing National Championships in Santa Ana, California
on May 28, she narrowly lost to fellow Californian Adelaida
Avalos of South El Monte in the 125-lb preliminaries by 10-9. Her final amateur record was
Kelsey made her pro debut on July 2, 1999 at the Convention Center in Tucson, Arizona, winning by TKO at 00:51 in the
first round over Sandra Mapone of Los Angeles. The fight was described to
me as "a rout" and was stopped with Mapone's nose and mouth bleeding profusely.
On October 9, 1999 at Seven Feathers Hotel and Casino Resort in Canyonville, Oregon, Jeffries won a four-round
unanimous decision over experience pro boxer Melinda Robinson of Texas, According to a Women's Boxing Page
correspondent, Kelsey appeared nervous and lost the first round but won the rest of the fight and almost knocked Robinson
out in the third and fourth rounds. The fans were chanting "Kel-C" throughout as Robinson fell to 8-8.
On December 4, 1999 at the Chinook Winds Casino in Lincoln City, Oregon, Kelsey
four-round unanimous (40-36, 40-35, 39-37) decision over perennially tough Brenda Burnside of Albuquerque, New Mexico,
whose pro record fell to 7-9-2. Burnside charged from a crouching style that could not get her past Jeffries's crisp jabs
and hooks and good lateral movement. Burnside took plenty of punishment as Jeffries controlled the fight. Mike
Blair of Boxing Prospects (who took the photo above) wrote: "The newest rising star in the
female boxing circuit, Kelsey Jeffries, remained undefeated as she
won a unanimous decision against Brenda Burnside. In Round Two,
Jeffries' jab jolted and jingled Burnside's brain. The beating
continued for the next two rounds."
On January 21, 2000 at Feather Falls Casino in Oroville, California, she defeated Lisa Lewis of Fresno, California by
unanimous decision in a four-round junior lightweight bout. Lewis was making her pro debut.
On February 10, 2000 at the Centennial Garden in Bakersfield,
California. Kelsey won a four round unanimous decision over
JoJo Wyman of Woodland Hills, California, who fell to 4-2.
This would be the first of several battles between the two California rivals.
Kelsey vs. Melinda Robinson
© Copyrighted photo by Mike Blair, Boxing Prospects
On March 25, 2000 at Seven Feathers Hotel and Casino Resort in Canyonville, Oregon, she weighed in at
129 lbs and won a four-round majority decision in a rematch with Melinda Robinson (130 lbs) of
Austin, Texas, who fell to 9-11 with the loss.
On May 5, 2000 at Steven's Steak House in Commerce, California,
Kelsey weighed in at 122 lbs and moved to a perfect 7-0 with a split decision
over Elizabeth Aguilera (127 lbs), who fell to 2-1. Jeffries handed Aguilera a
four-round boxing lesson and the split decision ... one judge saw it 39-37 for
Aguilera ... was booed by the crowd.
On June 16, 2000 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada, Laura Serrano
(128 lbs) of Mexico City moved her record to 11-0-1 with a TKO at 1:59 of the
third round over Jeffries, who had weighed in at 124 lbs. Kelsey told me that by
fight night she was at 125 lbs while Serrano was 137. Jeffries was knocked down
in the second and third rounds, but told me "I was never hurt by Laura, just off balance when she threw a good shot",
adding "I felt I won the first round and at the end of the second round the ref was pulling me off her. In the third round we
finished the round exchanging punches, I was against the ropes and the ref knew the weight difference. Perhaps that is why
he stopped the fight one second before the bell rang. It was a great fight and should not have been stopped", says
Jeffries. Still, Kelsey emphasized that her comments are "not to take anything away from Laura. She is a great
fighter ... a strong girl ... and the best fighter I have fought yet."
On August 12, 2000 at Yakima Nation Legends Casino in Toppenish, Washington, Kelsey (123 lbs) won a
unanimous ten-round decision over Cynthia Prouder
of Los Angeles for the WIBF America's
Featherweight title (see pictures by Mike Blair at right). Jeffries put
in a solid boxing performance on the way to a 100-90, 99-91, 99-92
decision. Asked how she felt about her first ten-round bout, Kelsey
said it was
easier than expected. I do it in the gym all the time, but in a fight is a bit different. I fought my fight and when you do
that its much easier on you. Not that Cynthia was an easy fighter ... she is bigger than me and very strong and she came
to fight." Cynthia Prouder fell to 5-8-1 with this loss.
On September 3, 2000 in Yerington, Nevada, Kelsey's 1997 amateur
nemesis Alicia Ashley (126 lbs) of Westbury, New York
moved her own pro record to 5-3 with a six-round unanimous (58-56,58-56,58-56) decision over Kelsey, who weighed in at
124½ lbs. 800 fans saw the card in an outdoor stadium in a downtown Yerington parking lot; it was also carried by Univision.
On October 19, 2000 at Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim, California, Kelsey won a hard fought four-round majority (40-36, 40-36
and 38-38) decision in a rematch with Cynthia Prouder,
who fell to 5-9-1. I was told that the fight had great action, also that many of
those at ringside felt it was closer than the two 40-36 scorecards implied!
On January 21, 2001 at the Peppermill Hotel Casino in Reno, Nevada, Kelsey weighed in at 124 lbs and used her height and
nine-inch reach advantage to shut out Imelda Arias (5'2", 129 lbs) of Ciudad Juárez, México over four rounds. Arias
fell to 8-9 (8 KO's).
On February 10, 2001 at Estrel Convention Center in Berlin, Germany, WIBF Junior Featherweight champion Michele Aboro of the U.K. moved her record to 19-0 (11 KO's) with a 98-93,98-92,97-94 ten-round decision
over Kelsey. This was a close fight early on with Jeffries working the body well, but Aboro
using effective right hand/left hook combinations and coming on stronger in the
late going to take the decision. [Read the
reports by Marcel Niessen and by Kelsey's co-manager Rick Mello, with very different
'takes' on this decision!]
On May 6, 2001 at Celebrity Theater in Phoenix, Arizona, Kelsey won a four-round unanimous decision over former WIBF
Super Flyweight and IFBA Bantamweight champion (and local favorite) Yvonne Trevino. Trevino, who was returning to
competition as a featherweight after a two-year absence, was knocked down twice in the first two rounds but kept trying to
turn the tide of the fight. Trevino fell to 9-5-1 (6 KO's) with the loss and
hasn't boxed since.
On September 29 at Gdansk, Poland, Iwona Guzowska (5'4½", 125¾ lbs) of
Poland retained the WIBO World Featherweight title with a ten-round decision over Kelsey (123¼ lbs). Guzowska
advanced to 8-1 (2 KOs) with the win.
On November 11, 2001 at Belterra Casino Resort in Belterra, Indiana, WIBF Junior Lightweight and IWBF Intercontinental
Lightweight champion Laura Serrano (125 lbs) of Mexico won a six-round unanimous
(58-56,58-56,58-56) decision over Kelsey (126½ lbs). Serrano advanced to 13-0-2 (4 KOs) with the win. The early
rounds were closely fought toe-to-toe action, but Serrano came on stronger in the last two to take the decision.
On February 2, 2002 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida,
unbeaten Corinne Van Ryck de Groot(128½
lbs) of Atlanta, Georgia pounded out a six-round unanimous decision
over Kelsey (126 lbs).
The capable southpaw VanRyckDeGroot showed superior ring skills and
outboxed Jeffries to bloody Kelsey's face with accurate
Jeffries was knocked down twice in the second round. Van Ryck de Groot
advanced her record to 9-0-0 (4 KO) with the win.
On February 23, 2002 at Bally's Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Alicia Ashley (125 lbs)
from Long Island, New York won a ten-round split (96-94,96-93,93-97) decision over Kelsey (125 lbs) for the vacant IWBF
Featherweight title. Ashley used good ring movement and her jab to keep Jeffries at a distance. Neither was in
serious difficulty during the fight, although Ashley was knocked down briefly in the second round when Jeffries caught her
with a straight left as she was coming in. Judges Emil Comforti and Melvina Lathan gave the bout to Ashley, while Henry
Grant saw it for Jeffries. Jeffries had taken the rematch at short notice as a late substitute for Layla McCarter, who
withdrew after losing to Jessica Rakoczy in Las Vegas the previous weekend. Ashley improved her pro record to 7-3-1 (0
KO's) with the win. [See the round-by-round fight report by Rick Scharmberg].
After four tough losses, Kelsey was about to embark on a winning
On May 23, 2002 at the Compaq Center in San Jose, California, Kelsey (124 lbs) advanced to 12-7-0 (1 KO) and won
California Women's Featherweight title with a six-round majority (59-55,59-55,57-57) decision over
Karen Martin (127 lbs) of North Hollywood. Martin looked sharp with her jab in the opening round and landed a good
right to Jeffries's head but Jeffries came on strong near the end of the second
and stunned Martin with a good combination just before the bell. Martin
responded with a hard-hitting third round and landed a solid left to
Jeffries' jaw late in that session. The rest of the bout saw the more
experienced Jeffries get the better of spirited exchanges in
which they traded solid shots. Martin struggled in the late going but there were no knockdowns despite both
landing solidly. Martin fell to 5-3-0 (4
KO) with the loss. [See the fight analysis by Craig
Kelsey rocks Michele Nielsen in Texas, June 2002
© Copyrighted photo by Tony Duffy
On June 21, 2002 at the Convention Center in Waco, Texas, Kelsey won the WIBA
Americas' Junior Lightweight title with an
eight-round unanimous (78-74, 79-73, 79-73) decision over Michele Nielsen of Houston, Texas, who
fell to 6-2-1 (2 KO).
In July 2002 WBAN named Kelsey its
"Fighter of the Month".
On July 11, 2002 at Compaq Center in San Jose, California, a crowd of nearly 4000 saw Kelsey (125 lbs) win a
four-round unanimous 40-36 decision over Sosadea Razo (5'3", 124 lbs) of Santa Rosa. Razo,
who had not fought for almost a year, took the bout at short notice as a substitute for an injured
Cynthia Prouder. Razo came out aggressively and cornered Jeffries, but Kelsey soon showed that she had the speed,
footwork and boxing skills to get out of trouble and control the action. Razo made a fight of it again in the second,
trading solid combinations with her more experienced opponent, but Jeffries took charge in the third with good ring
movement and Razo drew a warning for a low blow. Razo threw all she had into the start of the fourth but Jeffries
responded with several solid rights and then got the better of fierce action in the closing moments.
Correspondent Brian Low told WBAN: "With
Razo’s lack of defense, Jeffries seemed to score with just about everything
she threw." The game but
overmatched Razo fell to 0-3 with this loss.
On August 8, 2002 at Centennial Garden in Bakersfield, California, Kelsey (126 lbs) won a six-round unanimous (60-54)
decision over #12 ranked junior lightweight Cynthia Prouder (127 lbs) of Los Angeles in a semi-
main event for Jeffries' California State Featherweight title. Jeffries controlled the action in the early rounds and
worked on the inside with good combinations. Prouder picked up her pace in the second half of the bout but still couldn't
match Jeffries' steady barrage of leather as the Bakersfield native pitched a shutout. This was the third fight between the
two California rivals; all three won by Jeffries. Prouder fell to 8-10-1 (3 KOs).
On October 18, 2002 at San Francisco Concourse, San Francisco, California, Kelsey advanced to 16-7-0 (1 KO)
with a convincing six-round unanimous (60-54,58-54,59-55) decision over #2 ranked featherweight JoJo
Wyman of Los Angeles who fell to 9-6-1 (0 KO) with the loss. This
six-rounder was the card's semi-main event, for the California women's
featherweight title. Jeffries tried to work Wyman onto the ropes in the early
going but Wyman's boxing skills kept her out of trouble until the fourth round,
when Jeffries began to land with some serious leather to Wyman's head and body.
Both looked tired in the late going but Jeffries had the edge with some genuine
power in her punches, which Wyman couldn't match.
On November 7, 2002 at Centennial Gardens in
Bakersfield, California, Kelsey (125½ lbs) celebrated her birthday by
winning the IFBA world
Featherweight title with a ten-round unanimous
(100-90,97- 93,98-92) decision over Layla McCarter (125 lbs)
of Las Vegas. Jeffries was the aggressor in the early going and tried to work on McCarter's body at close quarters while
McCarter replied with good movement, hand speed and nifty counterpunching with her left hook. After a close opening round
in which both tried to establish their jabs, Jeffries kept the heat on McCarter enough to convince the judges to hand her
the IFBA title by a broad margin on the scorecards.
McCarter, who boxed effectively in the later rounds and landed
some solid shots in the final stanza, was upset by the lop-sided scoring, saying that she felt she had done enough to win
the fight and had lost a hometown decision. McCarter fell to 11-8-4 (2 KO) with the loss.
"She didn't knock me out,"
Jeffries said, mocking a pre-fight KO prediction by McCarter. "She was lazy with her jab. My goal was to cut her off. She
really spent most of the time running away. I pressed the fight; I made the fight. She boxed and had a decent jab. She's a
little quicker than what I had seen on tape. I just wanted to track her down and nail her ... she didn't want to fight me.
But when I cut her off she had nothing; she couldn't do nothing. I take on all comers. If she wants to fight again and if
its made, I'll take it. She's a good fighter, she's a tough girl."
On February 13, 2003 at Centennial Garden in Bakersfield, California, Kelsey won a six-round unanimous
(60-54,60-54,60-54) decision over IFBA junior bantamweight champion and Para Draine
of Spokane, Washington, who fell to 13-6-1 (2 KO). This
non-title bout was added to the card at short notice. Jeffries was originally supposed to take on Marilyn Salcido
at 124 lbs and
Draine took the match at the last moment. Jeffries
told WBAN that she was very impressed with Draine, who "had a lot of heart."
Jeffries said that after the match-up with Salcido fell through, she went down
two more pounds as Draine's weight was about 119 lbs.
Kelsey sizes up Rolanda Andrews
© Copyrighted photo taken by Brian Low
On March 20, 2003 at HP Pavillion in San Jose, California, Kelsey (125¼ lbs) won a ten-round
unanimous (99-91,99-91,98-93) decision over Rolanda
Andrews (126 lbs) of Atlanta, Georgia to retain the IFBA Featherweight title. There were no knockdowns. Andrews fell to 6-7-0 (3
KO). (See WBAN Photo
Gallery #39 on the WBAN Records Member Site.)
Kelsey mixes it up with JoJo Wyman
photo taken by Mike Blair
On April 21, 2003 at Yakima Nation Legends Casino, Toppenish, Washington, Kelsey won an eight-round unanimous
(76-75,76-75,77-75) decision over JoJo Wyman of Los Angeles. Wyman fell to 9-8-1 (0 KO).
Wyman put Jeffries on the
canvas in the first minute of the fight, and according to WBAN correspondent
Lori Steinhorst "the grin on Wyman's face made you very well aware that
she was pleased with the changes that she had made." Wyman kept
Jeffries off her rhythm for the first five rounds, but Kelsey adapted as the
fight went on despite suffering a cut beside her left eye (from an
accidental head butt) that would eventually require ten stitches (see
below and WBAN
Photo Gallery #75 on the WBAN Records Member Site).
10 stitches ... but she won the fight!
photo taken by Mike Blair
On June 13, 2003 at Civic Auditorium in San Jose, California, in their third pro rematch, JoJo
won an eight-round majority (79-73,79-74,76-76) decision over Kelsey.
Jeffries lacked her usual aggressive
spark early in this fight, and seemed content to stick and move. This
tactic allowed Wyman to push the pace of the early rounds, but Jeffries
began to play catch-up by letting go
some power shots in the fourth. Wyman responded well and began to catch
Jeffries with solid lefts to the head in the
fifth and sixth. Jeffries did some of her best work in the seventh and
eighth, landing a solid right in the seventh and
putting on a strong finish in the eighth, but by then it was too little
and too late for the two judges who'd scored the
early rounds solidly for Wyman. Wyman, who was a late replacement for
Liz Drew, ended a four-fight winless streak and
advanced her record to 10-8-1 (0 KO) while Jeffries saw the end of her
own nine-fight winning streak.
Jeffries was upset by the lop-sided scores on two of the cards, telling
reporters “I thought I won the
fight. She hardly landed with anything.”
Kelsey Jeffries vs. Melissa Del Valle in July 2003
© Copyrighted photo taken by Jesus Sanchez
On July 10, 2003 at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Kelsey (124½ lbs) bounced back by winning
a six-round unanimous (58-55) decision over previously unbeaten Melissa
Del Valle (129 lbs) of Miami. Del Valle took the
early rounds with her slick boxing skills, movement and counterpunching but Jeffries began to find the range in the third
and engaged her in trading some solid leather. Jeffries, who had sworn to "give her hell" before the fight, and
challenged Del Valle to stand and fight her in the fourth, became more aggressive as it went on and the California crowd
got behind her. She won the battle going away with body shots that set up clean, crisp punches to Del Valle's head. Del
Valle, who came into the bout heavier than the 127 lb contract weight, had a point deducted in the fifth for punching on
the break. Jeffries said that Del Valle was "my smartest opponent, but she wouldn’t stay in there and fight with me. She
kept running and that’s so bad, I know she doesn’t mean to run, but that’s how she fights. She’s strong, too. She cracked
me with a good punch. I wanted a fight, that’s what I told her, ‘come on tough girl. Stop running. You came to fight,
let’s fight.” Del Valle fell to 27-1-1 (11 KO). (See
WBAN Photo Gallery #83
on the WBAN Records Member Site).
On September 19, 2003 at Centennial Garden in Bakersfield, California,
Kelsey (125 lbs) was held to an eight-round split (77-75,78-74,75-77) decision by unranked
McGee (126 lbs) of Sacramento, California. McGee hurt Jeffries with a right to the jaw in the opening round but Jeffries
began to come back in the third despite often being beaten to the punch by McGee. McGee faded later in the bout and
Jeffries was able to squeak out the win against a surprisingly difficult opponent. Jeffries, a Bakersfield native, said
of McGee: "She's a good fighter, but I felt I did enough to win the bout. I felt she was holding a lot and I was the
aggressor." McGee, aware that she was fighting in Jeffries' original
hometown, said "Being this is where she was from, I
knew I had to knock her out to win. You just learn from this and go on." McGee
slipped to 1-2-0 (0 KO).
On November 6, 2003 at HP Pavilion in San Jose, California,
Kelsey (123¾ lbs) won a ten-round unanimous
(98-92,98-92,97-93) decision over Kelli Cofer (5'9", 125½ lbs) of Willard,
Ohio. Jeffries, who pursued and overpowered the taller Cofer for the full ten rounds,
retained her IFBA Featherweight title with the
win and advanced her pro record to 23-8-0
(1 KO) while Cofer slipped to 10-2-3 (4 KO). Cofer had a reach advantage and she tried to take the fight to Jeffries at first.
Cofer did her best work in the third round when she connected with a right cross
and then a quick combination to the head. Jeffries never looked rattled, but
Cofer finished the round well. In the fourth, Jeffries landed her first solid
shot to the head, a swinging left. When Cofer stood her ground and tried to
counter, Jeffries responded with another stiff left. “She didn’t run,”
Jeffries said. “She started moving and hitting me real good. I started
walking into stuff and then I started getting a little smart, stepping around,
and going to her body.” After that Jeffries'
speed and ring experience were the dominant factor as she worked Cofer's
body (see photo above by Jesus Sanchez) and then went upstairs to land shots to
Cofer’s nose and chin in the fifth. Cofer began to look hurt and tired for the
first time. Cofer responded by holding Jeffries, but Kelsey began going upstairs
with power shots to the head and won the fight going away in the later rounds as Cofer
tired. (see WBAN Photo
Gallery #119 on the WBAN Records Member Site ).
Jeffries prepared for this fight by working for a week with former pro boxer,
now trainer, James ‘Buddy’ McGirt. “That helped a lot. It helped my
strength,” Jeffries said. “I could tell I’m sitting down more, I’m
getting a lot more power with my punches, and my confidence is a little bit
Kelsey TKO's Carla Wilcox, December 2003
photo taken by Mike Blair
On December 12, 2003 at Yakima Legends Casino in Toppenish, Washington, Kelsey TKO'd unranked Carla Wilcox of Seattle,
Washington at 1:49 in the first round. Wilcox fell to 4-4-0 (1 KO). (see
WBAN Photo Gallery #131
on the WBAN Records Member Site).
Kelsey lands a left on Linda Tenberg, March 2004
© Copyrighted photo taken by Jesus Sanchez
On March 12, 2004 at HP Pavilion, San Jose, California, Kelsey (122½ lbs) won a six-round unanimous decision over
Linda Tenberg (123 lbs) of Austin, Texas. Tenberg fell to 8-9-0 (4 KO). (see
WBAN Photo Gallery #153
on the WBAN Records Member Site).
On June 12, 2004 at San Jose State University Events Center in San Jose,
California, Kelsey won all six rounds on every scorecard for a unanimous
decision over Lisa Lewis of Fresno, California. Jeffries advanced to 26-8-0
(2 KOs) while Lewis fell to 6-9 (2 KO).
vs. Leona Brown in June 2004
© Copyrighted photo taken by Mike Blair
On June 17, 2004 in the
Ballroom at Seven Feathers Casino in Canyonville, Oregon, Kelsey (123
lbs) won an eight-round unanimous decision over Leona
Brown (122 lbs) of Pawling, New York. “I had to use a lot of
self-control in this fight,” said Jeffries, who had won every round on
all three scorecards, “I kept my mouth shut.” Jeffries used her
boxing skills, her jab and a lot of patience to defeat Brown, who spent the
whole fight trash-talking, holding and wrestling Kelsey when she wasn't
throwing wild punches. “She called me a b**** every time I came in close.
She had something greasy in her hair and she was trying to stick it in my
eyes. She hit me below the belt a couple of times, she tried to head-butt
me. She kept holding me and she pulled me down to the canvas with her. She
did everything bad that I’ve ever experienced.” Brown was deducted a
point for holding, but it was academic as Jeffries had dominated the contest
anyway. Brown fell to 11-14-0 (5 KO). (For more photos of this fight, see
WBAN Photo Gallery #182
on the WBAN Records Member Site).
On August 13, 2004 at Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula,
California, Kelsey (123½ lbs) won a shutout six-round unanimous (60-54)
decision over Melissa Yanas of San Antonio, Texas. According to WBAN
correspondent Mara Castillon, "From the first
round on, Jeffries bewildered Yanas with non-stop aggression that included
punches to the body and head. Though Yanas took the brunt of the blows, she
never seemed hurt but was unable to land more than one punch at a time.
Jeffries marched in with her two-fisted attack and forced referee Raul Caiz
Jr. to call a knockdown on Yanas in the third round. Yanas seemed more
determined the next round to step her own attack and landed a solid uppercut
but received a stunning right hand almost simultaneously. That became the
theme of the fight with Yanas landing a solid right and Jeffries coming back
with several more. At times it seemed Yanas wanted to kick Jeffries and
lifted her knee up a few inches before dropping it back down to the floor.
But though Jeffries landed numerous punches, Yanas withstood them all and
"It wasn't my best fight out there," said
Jeffries, "she did a lot of holding and she was awkward. She was a little
strong in there ... she'll do better with someone else."
Kelsey goes to the body of Jerri Sitzes
© Copyrighted photo by Jesus Sanchez
On September 23, 2004 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California, Kelsey
(121½ lbs) won a hard-fought 10-round majority (96-94,97-93, 95-95) decision
over Jerri Sitzes (122 lbs) of Springfield, Missouri for the vacant IBA
Super Bantamweight title. Sitzes began well, using her jab to keep
Jeffries off balance, and occasionally beating Kelsey to the punch with a
quick uppercut. Kelsey began to find her range in the second, and scored
with a hard right to Sitzes' temple followed by a two-fisted combination.
Rounds three and four were close as both landed well, with Jeffries busier.
Jeffries began to give Sitzes a boxing lesson in the middle rounds, slipping
Sitzes' punches while scoring frequently with effective combinations to the
body. Sitzes rallied in the eighth, as she began to beat Jeffries with
quick, short, straight punches. However, Sitzes tried in the ninth and
Jeffries again took the initiative, connecting with a hard left to the body
and a right to the head. The final round was close with both landing well.
Jeffries improved her record to 29-8 (2 KO) while Sitzes fell to 5-6-1 (3
Jesus Sanchez, who covered the fight for WBAN said, "This was definitely
the fight of the night! Both fighters took a lot of punishment but their
great conditioning was a factor in this fight going 10 rounds. I was very
impressed with both fighters but let me tell you ... Jerri is the best 5-5
fighter I have ever seen! I believe Kelsey did enough to win a decision but
a rematch would be great to see!" (For more photos of this fight, see
WBAN Photo Gallery #206
on the WBAN Records Member Site).
On November 6, 2004 at the Sevens Feathers Hotel and Casino Resort, in
Canyonville, Oregon, Kelsey (125 lbs) won her fifth
title defense of her IFBA Featherweight World title belt with a ten-round
unanimous (100-90,99-91,99-91) decision over Trisha
'TNT' Hill (126 lbs) of Atlanta in the card's main event.
According to Katherine Dunn of Cyberboxingzone.com, "Jeffries attacked
from the first bell on, took control with fast, intense combos to head and
body, and never allowed Hill to come out of her defensive posture. The
fight ended with a standing ovation, and both Jeffries and Hill were
extremely impressive." Hill took a lot of punishment but kept
rallying as she fell to 8-5-1 (4 KOs).
IFBA President Judith Kulis presented Jeffries with the award for IFBA
Fighter of the Year for 2003. She also clearly earned her ring
moniker, the " Road Warrior ", by her willingness to fight all over the United
States, as well as
Germany and Poland, and to take on opponents
who are significantly
bigger then her natural 122 pounds.
On June 16, 2005 at Seven Feathers Casino in Canyonville, Oregon
Kelsey (123 lbs) won a six-round unanimous (60-54,60-54,58-57) decision
over LaKeysha Williams (122 lbs) of Philadelphia, PA. “I’ve seen pieces of
her,” said Jeffries before the fight. “Philadelphia fighters are a
different breed. I’m expecting a tough fight. She’s a boxer, and I’m not crazy
about boxers because I have to chase them.” Jeffries improved to
31-8-0 (2 KOs) with the win while dropping Williams to 8-8-3 (1 KO).
Kelsey battles Kim Colbert
© Copyrighted photo taken by Rick Baker
On June 25, 2005 at Legends Casino
Resort in Toppenish, Washington, Kelsey (123½ lbs) won a six-round unanimous
(60-54,60-54,60-55) decision over Kim Colbert (5'3", 125½ lbs) of Southfield,
Michigan. Colbert didn’t make the contract weight of 125 lbs, so she chose to
forfeit 20% of her purse to Jeffries but still made a fight of it once the bell
rang. (For more photos of this fight by Rick Baker, see
WBAN Photo Gallery #270
on the WBAN Records Member Site).
Colbert dropped to 2-8-1
On July 21, 2005 at the HP Pavilion
in San Jose, California, Kelsey
(118½ lbs) won a six-round unanimous (60-54,59-54,59-54)
decision over Leona Brown (122
lbs) of Buffalo, New York. Brown fell to
13-16-0 (5 KOs) with the loss.
On January 28, 2006 at Plaza de Toros in Cancún, Mexico, Jackie Nava (117¼ lbs) of
Tijuana, Mexico successfully
defended her WBC Super Bantamweight title against Kelsey (119¾ lbs) with a
ten-round unanimous (98-91,96-94,96-93) decision. Jeffries was dropped to one
knee by a right hook to the left side of her head in the fourth. She was up
before the referee could start counting and she tried to get the referee to rule
it a slip, but to no avail. This was a "great, technical, exciting, beautiful
fight" according to former world champion Laura
Serrano Garcia who told WBAN: "Kelsey began very strong, dominating Nava
and dictating the fight, Kelsey was the aggressor in the first three rounds. She
was connecting (on) Nava with a busy and very effective left hand. In the fourth
round, Jackie was attacking more and connected Kelsey with a very strong right
hand, Kelsey went down and Nava gained confidence. By the sixth and seventh Nava
was fighting with speed and working, throwing to the head and especially to the
body effectively and Kelsey was BOXING, moving her legs with nice and fine
movements around the ring. In the eighth round, Nava got cut in the right
eyebrow and Kelsey was imposing her pace and experience. By the last
round Kelsey was dominating and showing her skills, she was moving side to side
and she was very busy. At the end of the fight Kelsey’s face was clean with some
bruising. Jackie’s face appeared swollen, with black eyes, and the cut".
Kelsey told her local newspaper the
Gilroy Dispatch about the knockdown "That was a changing moment in the
fight, she hit me at the perfect time." Her manager Bruce Anderson
added "The thing is, it was just traumatizing, it got her out of her focus."
Both had praise for Nava, Jeffries saying "The girl had a chin of stone"
and Anderson conceding that "(Nava) was tough, tough girl. When (Nava)
won a round, she won big. Those were dramatic rounds and they're indelible. It
was a great fight. There were people there, fighters who said that the girls
could show the men how to fight." Kelsey also relates that boxing
legend Roberto Duran put his arm around her and told her "You won the fight.
But you're in Mexico and you're not going to win."
Jackie Nava improved her record to 13-1-1 (8 KOs) while Kelsey fell to 33-9-0 (2
KOs) with her first loss since June 2003.
On June 15, 2006 at the Seven Feathers Resort and Casino in Canyonville, Oregon,
Kelsey was tested hard by Melissa Hernandez of New York, who battled her to a
split draw (95-93 Jeffries, 96-94 Hernandez, 95-95) decision over 10 rounds in
just her fourth pro fight. Jeffries won the first two rounds but
Hernandez picked up her pace and began to land a hard right that would be
effective throughout the fight. Jeffries appeared to struggle against the
speed of Hernandez in the middle rounds, but she appeared to turn the fight back
her way with busy combinations in the seventh. The eighth was more evenly
fought but Hernandez went to the canvas in the final moments from what appeared
to be a slip but was scored as a knockdown for Jeffries. Hernandez picked up her
pace again to land well in the ninth, a round that ended with a fierce exchange
as both went all out. The tenth looked even until Hernandez caught
Jeffries with a left hook that put the champion on the canvas. The fight
ended with another all-our slugfest by both. Jeffries is now 33-9-1 (2 KO's),
Hernandez 3-0-1 (1 KO).
On September 14, 2006 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California,
Kelsey Jeffries (118¾ lbs) of Gilroy, California, stopped
Stephanie Dobbs (116½ lbs) of Moore, Oklahoma, by TKO in the fourth round.
Jeffries took control of the fight from the start, repeatedly backing Dobbs into
the ropes and using an effective jab to land several shots. Midway through the
second round, the Road Warrior connected on a solid blow to Dobbs' head, and
moments later landed three more punches to her retreating opponent's body.
"The body shots, after I found out where I needed to put 'em, were working
well," said Jeffries, "right hands ... everything was actually landing
really well." Dobbs had run out of gas by the third round, but gamely
hung on despite taking steady punishment.
technician. I wanted to use my jab ... make her miss, and then make her pay,"
said Jeffries, adding "I felt in control the whole time, definitely."
Dobbs, who took the fight on just a few days' notice, fell to
21-24-4 (13 KOs) while Kelsey improved to
35-9-1 (3 KO's).
Kelsey throws a right at Rhonda Luna
© Copyrighted photograph by Mary Ann Owen
On March 22, 2007 at the Isleta Casino near Albuquerque, New Mexico
(123 lbs) won a ten-round split (97-93,94-96,96-94) decision over
Rhonda Luna (124 lbs) of Rowland Heights, California,
defending her IFBA Featherweight world title. This was a non-stop action bout,
with Luna the heavier hitter starting the fight strongly, and Jeffries throwing
the sharper and quicker punches, warming up as the bout progressed. Both threw
nice combinations, effective jabs and body shots. In the fourth round, Luna
developed a large lump on her forehead, which got larger as the fight continued.
Jeffries had begun to find a home for her straight right and showed excellent
use of footwork and angles to penetrate Luna's defense. The seventh round was
one of the most “brawling rounds” of the fight, with the two exchanging puches
ferociously at the end of the session. Jeffries pressed the action in the eight
and ninth and the tenth was a barn-burner as both unleashed everything left in
their arsenal of solid punches. Jeffries improved her record to 37-9-1 (3 KOs)
with the win while Luna suffered her first pro loss in falling to 12-1-1 (1 KO).
(For coverage of the weigh-in, and fight photos by Mary Ann Owen and Patricia
Butaud, see MPEG/Photo Galleries #419 and #420
on the WBAN Member Site).
Donna Biggers vs Kelsey Jeffries, June 2 2007
© copyrighted photo by Mary Ann Owen
On July 2, 2007 at Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, California,
in the co-main event, Kelsey (122¼ lbs) won a 10-round unanimous (10-90 x 3)
decision over unranked Donna Biggers (124 lbs) of Boiling Springs,
South Carolina to retain her IFBA Featherweight title.
“I’m not surprised it went the distance", said Jeffries of the
bout that some had considered a mismatch. "The girls I fight always bring their best.
The girl can punch. Now I know how she got 15 knockouts. Nothing comes easy for me”.
Biggers fell to 19-5-1 (15 KOs) with the loss.
(For more photos of the fight by Mary Ann Owen, see WBAN
Photo Gallery #434 on the WBAN
Records Member Site).
On November 3, 2007 at Seven Feathers Casino in Canyonville, Oregon, USA,
Kelsey (121 lbs) won a ten-round unanimous (98-92
on all cards) decision over Elizabeth Villarreal
(125 lbs) of San Antonio, Texas in the Main Event for the vacant GBU
According to WBAN correspondent Ricardo Ibarra, "Jeffries got off to a
slow start in the first round of the bout as she struggled to get around her
opponents long, rangy jab. Villarreal effectively kept Jeffries off balance and
unable to get a rhythm going. In the second round Jeffries slowly began to
assert herself, finding angles and landing repeatedly with precise jab-right
hand combinations. Using good lateral movement and quick, straight punching
Jeffries effectively stopped Villarreal from getting off first. A big double
right hand combination from Jeffries stunned her opponent in the third round.
Villarreal made it out of the round, moving out of harms way and snapping her
jab to keep her opponent from landing anything of consequence. Jeffries used her
jab and effective right hands to easily outbox her opponent throughout the
remainder of the fight. Villarreal mounted a small comeback in the fifth round,
landing repeatedly with hard one-twos as Jeffries slowed her output. Jeffries
came back strong and stunned her opponent once again in the seventh round,
snapping her head back with a straight right-left hook combination. Villarreal
proved to be a tough fighter and fought back gamely throughout the fight, but
she was in with a different level of fighter." Jeffries improved her
pro record to
39-9-1 (3 KOs) with the win while Villarreal dropped to 4-5-2 (0 KOs).
On June 12, 2008 at Seven Feathers Casino in Canyonville, Oregon, USA, Kelsey (120½
lbs) TKO'd Jessica Mohs (126½
lbs) of Pheonix, Arizona in the fourth round. Mohs fell to 7-18-2 (2 KO's)
with this loss.
On September 12, 2009 at HP Pavilion in San Jose, California, Ana Julaton (120¼
lbs) of Daly City, California won a ten-round majority (96-94,95-95,98-92)
decision over Kelsey (119½
lbs) for the vacant IBA Junior Featherweight title. According to a
report by Andrew Matheson in the Gilroy Dispatch, "Julaton
used speed and a strong left jab to set the tone in the early rounds, and tried
to stay on the outside as Jeffries preferred to battle closer to the body. The
differing styles allowed for a stop-and-go bout, the main event of American
Metal and Irons' Fight Night at the Tank. "But I thought I had the edge,'
Jeffries said ... 'I thought I won the fight.'"
"I wouldn't want to say surprised, but I feel
overwhelmed right now,"
said Julaton, who had an extensive amateur career of 30-plus fights.
Julaton moved to 5-1-1 (1 KO) with the win while
Jeffries slipped to 41-10-1 (4 KOs)
Kelsey is an On Call Firefighter for the Hollister City Fire Department.
© Copyrighted photo by Don Smith and SVS&E
courtesy Kelsey Jeffries
Kelsey is trained by former two time World
Champion James "Buddy" McGirt. She attends extended training camps in his
Elite Boxing Gym
in Vero Beach, Florida. Her manager is Bruce Anderson who can be
reached by telephone at 503-682-1132 and
by email at
Many thanks to Mike Blair of Boxing Prospects for permission to
use his copyrighted photos in this profile of Kelsey ... Dee
More Kelsey Jeffries 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:
Sunday December 16, 2012