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5'1" bantamweight Mary Elizabeth Ortega lives and trains in Kansas City, Missouri.

Mary was born on May 30, 1980. She boxed as an amateur, going  7-3 with 2 KO's. She won the Missouri State Silver Gloves and Kansas City Golden Gloves twice, also the junior Olympic regionals, going as far as female boxers were allowed to go in each tournament.

She boxes out of the Eastside Boxing Club in Kansas City and attended North Kansas City High School.

On July 14, 1997 in Kansas City she won a unanimous decision over Shelly Walden, who fell to 0-2-1.

On September 30, 1997 in Kansas City, Missouri, she won a six-round unanimous decision over Brenda Rouse of Bartlesville, Oklahoma, who fell to 6-3-1.

Mary Elizabeth OrtegaOn November 15, 1997, she won a unanimous decision over former Ohio state kickboxing champion Sue Chase, dropping Chase's pro boxing record to 0-13.

On January 20th, 1998 at the Kansas City Market Center in Kansas City, Missouri, Mary Elizabeth weighed in at 112 lbs and won a 3rd-round KO over Tina Speakman of Atlanta, Georgia, who fell to 1-7-0.

On March 28, 1998 at the Market Center in Kansas City, Missouri Mary (115 lbs) scored her second TKO, over pro debut fighter Shawnita Amerson (115 lbs) at 1:48 in the first round.  Amerson hasn't fought since.

On May 12, 1998 at the Kansas City Flamingo Hilton Casino she won a six-round unanimous decision over Natasha Wilburn of Atlanta, who fell to 0-6.

On June 26, 1998 in Baraboo, Wisconsin, she won a four-round decision over Natasha Wilburn, dropping her record to 0-7.

On July 16, 1998 at the Flamingo Hilton Casino in Kansas City, Missouri, she won a four-round unanimous decision over Theresa Fry of Vinita, Oklahoma, who fell to 0-4.

On September 10, 1998 in Kansas City, Missouri she won a first-round TKO over debut fighter Barbara Pretz, who had obtained her pro boxing license that day. (This bout was an example of dubious matchmaking against a raw beginner, for background read here.)

On November 12, 1998 in Kansas City, Missouri, she won a six-round unanimous decision over Brenda Burnside of Albuquerque, New Mexico, who fell to 4-5-2 with 1 KO.

On January 12, 1999 at the Ambassador Club in St. Louis, Missouri, Mary Elizabeth (118 lbs)  won a four-round unanimous decision over debut fighter Kim Ventimiglia (115 lbs) of St. Louis.

On February 26, 1999 in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands she won a six-round decision over Sue Chase of Norwalk, Ohio who fell to 0-17.

On March 23, 1999 at the Park Place Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri. she won a six-round unanimous decision over Kimberly Sykes of Plant City, Florida, who fell to 1-3.

On May 20, 1999 at Argosy Casino in Kansas City, Missouri, she won a six-round unanimous decision over Sue Chase of Norwalk, Ohio, who fell to 1-19.



Mary Elizabeth (right) trades with Nora Daigle
© Copyrighted photo taken by Sandy Goldberg

On June 11, 1999 at the Horseshoe Casino in Bossier City, Louisiana, Mary Elizabeth overcame a significant reach disadvantage in winning a six-round unanimous (58-56, 60-54, and 60-54) decision over veteran Nora Daigle of Quebec City, Canada who fell to 5-3-1.

On October 19, 1999 in Kansas City, Missouri, she won a six-round unanimous decision over Jamillia Lawrence of Atlanta, Georgia who fell to 3-2.

On January 21, 2000 at Grand Victoria Casino in Rising Sun, Indiana Mary Elizabeth  (132 lbs) won a four-round unanimous decision over Sue Chase (123 lbs) of Norwalk, Ohio. Chase fell to 1-21-1.

On February 4, 2001 at the Lucky Star Casino in Concho, Oklahoma, Mary Elizabeth won a four-round decision over Imelda Arias of of Ciudad Juárez, México, who fell to 5-5-0 (5 KO).

On June 24, 2001 at Harrah's Casino in Kansas City, Mary Elizabeth (124 lbs) won a fourth-round TKO over Crystal Bolles (143 lbs) of Springfield, Missouri, who fell to 1-3.

On November 16, 2001 at the Convention Center in Austin, Texas, IBA Bantamweight and WIBF Americas Junior Featherweight champion Ada Velez of Puerto Rico won the WIBA 122-lb world title by outboxing Mary Elizabeth for a clear ten-round unanimous (96-93,98-91,98-91) decision. Velez bloodied Ortega's nose but Ortega gave her a good fight all the way to a rousing toe-to-toe finish in the final round. Velez, who boxes out of Hollywood, Florida, improved to 9-0 (4 KOs).

On May 22, 2002 in Kansas City, Kansas, Mary Elizabeth (127 lbs) won a second-round TKO over Willicia Moorehead (134 lbs) of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, who fell to 2-9.

On July 16, 2002 at Civic Center in Canton, Ohio, Kelli Cofer of Willard, Ohio and Ortega battled to a four-round draw. Ortega kept pressure on the taller Cofer for much of the fight while Cofer boxed well from the outside and landed her straight left solidly in the latter half of the bout. Judge Mike Ancona scored the fight 39-37 for Cofer, Gary Merrit had it 39-37 for Ortega while Gayle Van Horn had the fight even at 38-38. Given the close scoring, it was unfortunate that the fight was shortened from the originally scheduled six rounds to just four. Cofer advanced to 7-0-1 (3 KO).

On November 20, 2002 at Ameristar Casino in Kansas City, Missouri, Ortega (117 lbs) moved back towards her original fighting weight and won a ten-round unanimous decision over Delia Gonzalez (115 lbs) of Chamberino, New Mexico in a bout that had billed as for the WIBA Americas Super Flyweight (i.e. Junior Bantamweight) title. The fight became a non-title bout as Ortega did not make the required weight limit. The veteran go-anywhere Gonzalez fell to 13-8-4 (3 KO).

On April 2, 2003 at Ameristar Casino in Kansas City, Missouri, Mary Elizabeth (123 lbs) won a six-round split decision over Jerri Sitzes (126 lbs) of Springfield, Missouri. Sitzes dropped to 2-2-0 (1 KO).

On September 12, 2003 at the Beaumont Club in Kansas City, Missouri, Mary Elizabeth (122 lbs) won a six-round unanimous decision over Liz Drew (124 lbs) of Troy, Missouri. Drew's record slipped to 5-4-0 (1 KO).

On November 12, 2003 at Ameristar Casino in Kansas City, Missouri, Mary Elizabeth (121 lbs) won a six-round unanimous decision over Liz Drew (5'6", 130 lbs), who fell to 6-5-0 (1 KO).

On January 23, 2004 at KCI Expo Center in Kansas City, Missouri, Jerri Sitzes (5'5", 117 lbs) of Springfield, Missouri avenged her earlier split decision loss to Ortega (5'1", 117 lbs) by TKO'ing her in the fifth round. Sitzes, an active kickboxer with a 9-0 record who holds the UKF world lightweight title, improved her pro boxing record to 3-2-1 (1 KO).

On September 22, 2004 at Ameristar Casino in Kansas City, Missouri, Mary (119 lbs) won a four-round unanimous decision over Leslie McNamara (119 lbs) of Columbia, Missouri, who fell to 0-4-0 with the loss.

On November 19, 2004 at Union Station in Kansas City, Missouri, Mary (115 lbs) won a four-round unanimous decision in a rematch with Leslie McNamara (118 lbs), who fell to 1-5-0 with the loss.

On March 25, 2005 at Union Station in Kansas City, Missouri, Mary (110 lbs) won a TKO at 1:6 in the second round over Stephanie Dobbs (108 lbs) of Moore, Oklahoma.   After an action packed first round, Dobbs was hit with about three unanswered punches and referee Danny Campbell jumped in to stop the fight. Dobbs fell to 12-18-3 (6 KOs) while Ortega improved to 28-2-1 (6 KO).

On June 11, 2005 at Harrah's Hotel and Casino in North Kansas City, Missouri, Mary (107 lbs) TKO'd Terri Moss (106 lbs) of Athens, Georgia at 1:40 in the second round of a scheduled 10-rounder for the IWBF Junior Flyweight title.  The 39-year-old Moss fell to 6-8-0 (2 KOs) with the loss, wile Mary improved her record to 30-2-1 (7 KOs).


Mary Elizabeth Ortega vs Elena Reid
© Copyrighted photo taken by Alan Messick

On August 31, 2006 at Harvey's Lake Tahoe, Stateline, Nevada, Elena Reid (111½ lbs) f Las Vegas won the WIBA Flyweight title with a ten-round unanimous (98-92, 98-92, 97-93) decision over Mary Elizabeth (112 lbs). As reported by Lee Bates of Inside Women's Boxing, "From the opening round, Reid flashed her superior hand speed by boxing beautifully from her southpaw stance, and countering the on-rushing Ortega with head-snapping combinations. This trend continued on until the middle of the fight, when Ortega's consistent pressure finally paid off and she was able to back Reid into the ropes where she landed head shots of her own, winning a few rounds in the process.  Having been on the bad end of decisions in her two previous attempts at a world title, Reid was not going to leave any doubt to the judges. She began to use Ortega's pressure against her in the home stretch of the fight, beating her to the punch and fighting of the ropes. The two fighters had the entire crowd on their feet as they slugged it out toe-to-toe in the final 30 seconds of the fight."   Elena improved her record to 18-3-5 (5 KO's) with the win while Ortega fell to 30-3-1 (7 KOs).

On August 3, 2007 at the Ameristar Casino in St. Charles, Missouri, Hollie Dunaway (111 lbs) of St. Louis won an eight round unanimous (80-72,79-73,78-74) decision over Mary Elizabeth (110 lbs) in what was reported to WBAN as a very entertaining bout. (For photos of this fight by Jim Compton, see Photo Gallery #436 on the WBAN Records Member Site). Dunaway, who was the WBAN #2 ranked flyweight, improved to 20-5-0 (10 KOs).

On December 1, 2007 at the Beaumont Club in Kansas City, Missouri,  35-year-old Jessica Mohs (123 lbs) of Phoenix, Arizona and Mary Elizabeth Ortega fought in a four-rounder that ended in a majority draw with scores of 38-38, 38-38, and 37-38.  Mohs was now 7-16-2 (2 KOs) and Ortega 30-4-2 (7 KOs).

On April 5, 2008 at Burg-Waechter Castello in Dusseldorf, Germany, Mary Elizabeth Ortega KO’d Elena Miftode of Bucharest, Romania at 1:21 in the first round of a scheduled eight round bout. Miftode fell to 6-10-0, (3 KO's).

On May 10, 2008 at the Brandberge Arena in Halle an der Saale, Germany, Armenian-born Susianna Kentikian (112 lbs) of Hamburg, Germany won a stunning TKO at 1:53 of the first round over Mary Elizabeth (110¼ lbs) defending the WBA / WIBF world Flyweight titles. As reported by WBAN correspondent Torben Lodberg, "Kentikian caught Ortega with a left-right combination that sent Ortega to the floor 50 seconds into the round. 20 seconds later Kentikian hit the target with another hard right hand, that made Ortega's legs buckle, but she managed to stay on her feet, much to the surprise for Kentikian who was already heading for the neutral corner. The relentless attack from Kentikian continued, and  Ortega had to take another 8 count after being knocked down about 90 seconds into the round. She was visibly shaken when she got off the floor the second time, but the referee let the fight go on, keeping a close eye on Ortega.  However, he decided to stop the fight 10 seconds before the end of the round, after Ortega was backed up against the rope, unable to block much of the incoming fire. The United States boxer immediately protested against the stoppage---although her corner did not seem to join in the protests. Most boxing folks had expected a long and hard fought fight that could go either way. That includes the former WIBF world champion Regina Halmich who co-hosted the event, who predicted very hard work for Kentikian. The world champion stated in the post fight interview, that she had anticipated the fight to go the distance, but she was obviously pleased with the way it turned out."   Video--You Tube  Fight Report with photos  Kentikian improved to 21-0-0 (16 KO's) while dropping Ortega to 30-5-2 (8 KO's).

On August 6, 2010 at Memorial Hall in Kansas City. KS, Mary Elizabeth Ortega won a six-round unanimous decision over Kerri Hill from Little Rock, Arkansas, who fell to 2-15-0 (1 KO) with the loss.

On September 10, 2010 at Memorial Hall in Kansas City. KS, Mary Elizabeth Ortega won a six-round unanimous decision over Kerri Hill from Little Rock, Arkansas, who fell to 2-17-0 (1 KO) with the loss. (Note this is not a cut-and-paste error, Ortega did fight Hill twice in five weeks).

On December 10, 2010 at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, KS
Ada Velez (117
¼  lbs) from Hollywood, Florida won a six-round unanimous decision over Mary Elizabeth Ortega (116¾ lbs). Ortega fell to 31-6-2 (8 KO's) while Velez improved to 18-3-3 (6 KO's). 

Mary OrtegaMary Elizabeth says her mother, Victoria, is the biggest booster of her boxing career!  Her younger sister, Stephanie, is also a pro boxer.

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