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Marsha Valley
© Copyrighted photo taken by Mary Ann Owen


5'10" Marsha Valley was born in Toronto, Canada on October 31, 1970. She began her boxing career in Toronto, where she went 14-0 as an amateur light-heavyweight. She says that she learned to defend herself at an early age in order to stand up to her big brother.

"I first got involved in Tae Kwon Do, and then kickboxing, and then finally boxing -- any contact sport I could do, I wanted to be all over it. My folks were great too. They never discouraged me or told me that 'girls can't do this.' And I know a lot of people don't have that family support", says Valley.

She moved to to Los Angeles and turned professional in 1997. She now trains with Victor Hernandez at the Los Angeles Boxing Club where she fine-tunes her style with male sparring partners.

Marsha ValleySometime sparring partner Laila Ali has had a taste of Valley's power and it apparently left her with a sour taste in her mouth ... three short sparring sessions of Valley's punishing pummeling left Ali calling it quits. "I kept beating her ass, and she finally said she wouldn't fight me anymore. I thumped her", recalls Valley.

Marsha's pro debut was a whirlwind of action.

Her first pro bout was on January 28, 1998 at the Great Western Forum in Los Angeles, where she weighed in at 165½ lbs and defeated Brenda Drexel from Seguin, Texas, (5'3", 173 lbs), by unanimous decision over four rounds. Both fighters were making their pro debuts.

Valley (161 lbs) stopped veteran kickboxer Robyn Covino (160 lbs) of Hollywood, California at 0:55 seconds of the first round. in the first round a week later at Arizona Charlie's in Las Vegas. This was Covino's pro debut.

Marsha then went on to a four-round unanimous decision over Trina Ortegon of Albuquerque, New Mexico at the Grand Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi just nine days later, on February 15, 1998!  Ortegon fell to 1-1 with the loss.

After posting this 3-0 record in four-rounders, Marsha moved up to six-round bouts.

On June 26, 1998 at Bally's Casino in Las Vegas, Marsha (154 lbs) scored a TKO at 1:19 in the second round over Jennifer McCartney (152 lbs), who fell to 2-3-1.

On September 17, 1998 at the Grand Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi she won a six-round split decision over Mitzi Jeter of Dalton, Georgia, who slipped to 5-2 with this loss.

Weighing in at 158 lbs, she fought Suzette Taylor (160 lbs) of Atlanta, Georgia to a six-round draw in Las Vegas at the Orleans in Las Vegas on October 30, 1998. This bout moved Taylor's record to 2-1-1 with 1 KO.

March 6, 1999 saw Valley in St. George, Utah for a four-round tilt with local fighter Summer DeLeon. This match produced Valley's first loss, by a unanimous decision after a she took a trip to the canvas in the second round. DeLeon moved to 2-1 with the win as she dropped Valley's pro record to 5-1-1.

A ten-rounder with Mitzi Jeter for the the vacant IFBA welterweight title in Bossier City, Louisiana on April 30, 1999 produced another draw. The draw moved to Jeter's record to 9-2-1 and left the vacant IFBA welterweight title still undecided!

Valley (150 lbs) then fought a six round rematch with Summer DeLeon (147 lbs) at the Pechanga Center in Temecula, California on June 18, 1999, only to lose to the tenacious boxer from Utah again, this time by a majority decision. The win moved DeLeon's pro record to 4-1.

On November 27, 1999 at the Hyatt Regency in Monterey, California, Marsha dropped a hard-fought 58-56, 57-57, 58-56 majority decision over six rounds against then IFBA Junior Middleweight champion Gina Guidi of San Leandro, California. The fight was the highlight of the show and had fans on their feet. Gina won the early rounds, but Marsha came on late, and the crowd was chanting "Marsha, Marsha, Marsha" towards the end, according to a Women's Boxing Page correspondent. Guidi's record improved to 12-1-1 with the win, while Valley slipped to 5-3-2.

On December 3, 1999 On December 3, 1999 at the Pechanga Center in Temecula, California she weighed in at 156 lbs and battled Summer DeLeon (152 lbs) for a third time, this time to a six-round draw.

On February 11, 2000 at the Treasure Chest Casino in Kenner, Louisiana, Marsha moved her pro record to 6-3-3 with a unanimous six-round (59-55, 59-55, 60-53) decision over Patricia Demick of Chile, who slipped to 3-2. Valley's 5'10" height and ring skills were too much for Demick to overcome in this bout. (See the full fight report by Sue TL Fox).

Marsha vs. Dakota Stone in April 2000

On April 15, 2000 at the Lucky Eagle Casino in Rochester, Washington, Marsha weighed in at 157 lbs and fought to a four-round majority draw with Dakota Stone (156 lbs) of Auburn, Washington. The scorecards were 39-37,38-38,38-38 with the dissenting judge calling the fight for Valley. My correspondent said that "Valley was the aggressor in the early rounds and seemed to have the edge throughout the first three rounds but both boxers appeared to tire towards the end. Neither was ever in difficulty." Stone fell to 1-1-1 with the loss.

On June 3, 2000 at the State Fairgrounds in Albuquerque, New Mexico, IFBA middleweight champion Trina Ortegon (153 lbs) of Albuquerque won an eight-round decision (78-75, 78-74, 79-74) over Valley, who weighed in at 156¾ lbs. Ortegon moved her pro record to 9-2 while avenging her loss to Valley from February 1998.

On July 3, 2000 Marsha returned to the Hyatt Regency in Monterey, California and weighed in at 155 lbs for a rematch with Gina Guidi (153 lbs) of San Leandro, California, who was then the IWBF Middleweight champion. Their previous outcome was repeated as Guidi won by a six-round majority (59-55,57-57,58-56) decision. Guidi moved to 14-1-1 with the win, while Valley slipped to 6-5-4.

Marsha vs. Kendra LenhartOn July 20, 2001 at Crystal Park Casino in Compton, California, Marsha weighed in at 171 lbs and knocked out WIBF Super Middleweight champion Kendra Lenhart (6'1", 171 lbs) of Chatworth, Georgia at 1:59 in the third round of a scheduled six-rounder. Valley knocked Lenhart down near the end of the second round with a right to the head and unleashed a barrage of unanswered punches to end the fight with Lenhart in the ropes (see fight report by CraigO). Lenhart fell to 7-9-1 (7 KO's) with the loss. Valley made it clear that she's looking for a match with fellow Los Angeles resident Laila Ali (who was at ringside and received a "Boxer of the Year" award from the promoter). Lenhart had taken Ali to a six-round decision last October while Valley gave Laila Ali a tough boxing lesson during a sparring session that left some bad blood between the two, according to correspondent Craig Ogawa. This continued as they exchanged words with each other at ringside after Valley’s demolition of Lenhart.

Marsha was named WBAN's Fighter of the Month in August 2001.

On September 27, 2001 at Hollywood Park Casino in Inglewood, California, Marsha won by a TKO over Kelly Whaley of Cedar City, Utah just 0:38 into the first round of a scheduled four-rounder. Whaley seemed overwhelmed by Valley, who landed almost at will; the TKO came when Whaley's corner asked for the fight to be stopped. Whaley fell to 3-9 (1 KO) with the loss.

Marsha in a rugged battle with Shirvelle Williams
© Copyrighted photo taken by Tony Duffy

On February 28, 2002 at Hollywood Park Casino in Inglewood, California, Marsha weighed in at 168 lbs and advanced to 9-5-4 (4 KO) with a six-round unanimous (59-55,59-55,60-54) decision over undefeated Shirvelle Williams (159 lbs) of Tampa, Florida, who fell to 4-1-0 (3 KO). This was a rugged bout on the inside with both fighters being warned for fouls but Valley used her height and reach advantage well to control the smaller and less experienced Williams in the later rounds. (See fight report by Craig Ogawa).

Marsha battles Kathy Rivers in Las Vegas
© Copyrighted photo taken by Mary Ann Owen

On June 1, 2002 at the Stratosphere Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, Marsha (178 lbs) dropped a controversial majority (56-56,57-55,57-55) decision to Kathy Rivers (189 lbs) of Woonsocket, Rhode Island. Women's Boxing Page correspondent Craig Ogawa told me this was the "fight of the night" and a "true slugfest". The edge for Rivers on the scorecards came when Valley had two points deducted in the fourth round, one for hitting on the break and one for holding and hitting. Both fighters continued to battle after the final bell, and had to be broken up by their corners. Rivers advanced to 13-2-1 (4 KO) while Valley slipped to 9-6-4 (4 KO).

Ann Wolfe had too much firepower for Marsha
© Copyrighted photo taken by Tony Duffy

On June 21, 2002 at the Convention Center in Waco, Texas, Marsha (167¾ lbs) stepped in as a late substitute to take on Ann Wolfe (5'9", 162 lbs) for the vacant IFBA Super Middleweight title. Wolfe used a relentless body attack to wear Marsha down and TKO her in the sixth round to take the vacant title. Valley was clearly tiring when she took an eight count on one knee in the fifth after being hit on a break. Valley thought the punch had come illegally and took the knee expecting to get time to recover, then protested as the referee began to count. Valley recovered the point this had cost her when Wolfe obviously hit her after the bell. 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.” Wolfe moved to 12-1-0 (9 KO) with the win. [For round-by-round details, see the fight report by Kevin Cockle.]

Marsha Valley in her rematch with Ann Wolfe, December 2002
© Copyrighted photo taken by Tony Richard.

On December 21, 2002 at War Memorial Auditorium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Ann Wolfe (166½ lbs) of Waco, Texas stopped Marsha (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. Wolfe progressed to 14-1-0 (11 KO).

On March 18, 2004 at Chumash Casino in Santa Ynez, California, Marsha (183˝ lbs) won a six round split (58-56,56-58,58-56) decision over Martha Salazar (5'9", 239 lbs) of San Francisco, California who fell to 6-3-0 (1 KO).

On October 16, 2004 at the Oakland Arena in Oakland, California Martha Salazar exacted revenge with an eight-round decision over Marsha for the vacant WBE Women's Super Heavyweight title. Salazar improved to 7-3-0 (1 KO).

On December 10, 2004 at the Gund Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, Vonda Ward (185 lbs) of Macedonia, Ohio TKO'd Marsha 1:47 seconds into the fourth round of a scheduled non-title10-rounder. Valley was knocked down twice in the round before the fight was stopped. Ward had used her jab effectively and dominated Valley from the opening bell. In the fourth round, Ward landed a lead left-overhand right combination to drop Valley for the first time. Valley beat the count and continued to fight, but Ward quickly got her against the ropes with a barrage of combinations. When Valley dropped to one knee, the referee stopped the fight. Ward improved to 19-1 (16 KO's) with the win.

On June 18, 2005 at the FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tennessee, Ann Wolfe (169 lbs) of Waco, Texas TKO'd Marsha (174 lbs) at 1:17 in the sixth round of a scheduled ten-rounder for Wolfe'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. Wolfe improved to 20-1-0 (14 KOs) with the win. 

On July 21, 2005 at Arco Arena in Sacramento, California, Martha Salazar stopped Marsha at 1:49 seconds of the fourth round in a scheduled six rounder. Marsha fell to 10-12-4 (4 KOs) while Martha Salazar improved to 10-3-0 (3 KO's).

Engaging and high-spirited with a playful smile, Marsha loves the rough-and-tumble of a good fight. When she isn't pounding someone inside the boxing ring, she may be doing it outside as well ... as a registered massage therapist!

"I think all women in boxing are pioneers ... considering all (that)  women have to put up with in the gym. And believe me when I say being a woman in a gym full of male boxers is a bitch. We have to stick together. You know, the guys just want their piece and aren't thinking about whether we're skilled fighters or not", says Valley.

Marsha can be reached by email at lucasave@hotmail.com.

Other Marsha Valley links

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Page last updated: Monday, 10 December 2012


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