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©Copyrighted Photo by Sue TL Fox


5'0", 100-lb Nina "Tha Bomb" Ahlin was born in Painesville, Ohio, on 16 July 1973 and now lives in Atlanta, Georgia. 

Although "Tha Bomb" is a former Atlanta Falcons cheerleader, don't be fooled by her glamor photos! Nina is no sideline ornament once she steps into a boxing ring. She is a slick, sound technical boxer with good ring sense who keeps her composure under pressure, and counterpunches well.

Nina became an Atlanta Falcons cheerleader in 1997 and began boxing that November.

"I was at a party", she recounts, "there were all these boxers there, and one of them invited me to come down to the gym. I said I had been wanting to do this for years, so I might as well go down and take a look. And I've been going ever since."

She made her amateur debut in April of 1998 against reigning Atlanta women's champ, Eve Toledo. Nina won a convincing decision, and went off to the pros under the managerial auspices of Steve Strelzik and Peter Morrison.

On November 20, 1998 at the Atrium at Stone Mountain, Georgia, Nina weighed in at 104 lbs and won her pro debut with a four-round unanimous decision over another Atlanta fighter, Natasha Wilburn (105 lbs).  When the bout was set up, Nina was supposed to have faced another debut boxer, Sonia Ruiz, but Wilburn was a late substitute.

"The night of the weigh-in, I see Natasha's name, and I'm like 'Who is this?'. But I wanted to fight her and go all out or nothing", says Ahlin.  Wilburn already had significant fight experience, in eight losing efforts against an array of very capable boxers, including Para Draine, Anissa Zamarron, Mary Ortega twice, Leona Brown, SengŁl ‘zokcu and Patricia Martinez. Ahlin also had an an upper respiratory infection at fight time, so her trainers were nervous. However, after four rounds, Nina's cool and calm boxing style had produced her first pro win and left Wilburn at 0-9.

vs. Natasha Wilburn in Nina's pro debut

On December 30, 1998 at the Tabernacle in Atlanta, Georgia, she weighed in at 102 lbs and scored a first-round knockout over Sherry Furstenburg (100½ lbs) a St. Louis native fighting out of her husband Binky's gym and making her pro debut. Ahlin unleashed a devastating barrage of punches that brought an early halt to the proceedings. (Furstenburg went on to lose her second fight by TKO and left the pro ring.) 

On April 30, 1999 in Marksville, Louisiana, Nina got her first taste of controversial decisions when she earned only a 4-round draw with Lisa Butler after a bout that most ringside observers and one judge thought she had won.

On June 11, 1999 at Casino Magic in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, she scored a TKO at 1:27 of the first round over Sarah Jones Rama of the Philippines, who was making her own pro debut. (Rama now fights professionally as Sarah Goodson.)

On August 20, 1999 at the Argosy Casino in Baton Rouge, Louisiana Nina moved her pro record to 4-0-1 with a four-round unanimous decision over Christina Van Ravensway of Arkansas, who was making her pro debut (and hasn't fought since).

Nina AhlinOn September 17, 1999, Nina made her national TV debut against Missouri's Andrea Blevins on ESPN2's Friday Night Fights at the All-American Sports Park in Las Vegas, Nevada. Against the wild-swinging Blevins, Ahlin stayed calm and tried to control the action with crisp, precise punches. Blevins tried to take the fight right at Ahlin, particularly in the third round, but threw many inaccurate, looping punches. Ahlin went to the canvas briefly in the fourth, but it was ruled a slip and she was taking the fight right to Blevins as the action ended.

Many at ringside were outraged when Andrea Blevins's  aggression was rewarded with a controversial 39-37 unanimous decision, as Ahlin appeared to have won it handily with her more accurate punching and ring movement.  Blevins moved to 4-0 with 1 KO with the win, while Ahlin slipped to 4-1-1 with 2 KO's and another lesson in controversial judging.

On November 26, 1999 in New Orleans, Louisiana, Nina rebounded from the televised loss to Blevins with a four-round unanimous decision in a rematch with Sarah (Jones Rama) Goodson. Ahlin again showed her superior boxing skills, winning by 40-36 on all cards.

Tracey Stevens with Nina at their weigh-in in Las Vegas
© Copyrighted photo taken by Mary Ann Owen

On March 4, 2000 at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, Tracey Stevens (104 lbs) from Thunder Bay, Canada outclassed Nina (100 lbs) to earn a four-round unanimous decision in a fight seen live on PPV. Ahlin looked almost out on her feet at times in the last two rounds but she toughed it out to the end against the former Canadian national amateur silver medalist. Stevens improved to 2-3 as a pro boxer with the win, but that included a loss to Kim Messer in her second pro fight, and the short end of a controversial split decision to Natasha Wilburn. Stevens had several dozen fights as an amateur in Canada, and her experience showed as she handed Nina Ahlin her first convincing loss and dropped her to 5-2-1.

On June 30, 2000 at the Centroplex in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 3500 fans saw Nina reboud from this loss with a clear four-round unanimous (40-3) decision over Deanna Nance Gore, who lost her first bout in four pro outings. In a press release after the fight, Ahlin said: "I'm back on the winning track ... I controlled every round and my combinations were coming together. I've got a new trainer and everything is going great now. I'm very excited about this win."

On January 19, 2001 at Casino Magic, Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, Nina won a unanimous six-round decision over Sarah Goodson in their third meeting.  

On April 12, 2001 at the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta, Ahlin moved to 8-2-1 (2 KO's) with another six-round unanimous decision over Sarah Goodson.  Goodson showed little defense and threw many lunging rights at the much more polished Ahlin while dropping her own record to 4-12-1.

Ahlin did a dance routine in the ring with her fellow Atlanta Falcons cheerleaders after the bout, which would be her last for  almost eighteen months.

She next fought on September 13, 2002 at Coca Cola Roxy Theater in Atlanta against Terri Moss of Athens, Georgia. Moss spoiled Nina's ring comeback by winning a four-round split (39-38,39-37,36-40) decision. Moss, who had said she was gunning for Ahlin when she entered pro boxing, stunned Ahlin with her overhand right in the second round and continued to land well in the third. The usually slick Ahlin tried to pull the fight out in the late going as Moss tired ... but only one judge thought she had done enough to win. Moss notched her first pro win in four fights, after losses to  Patricia Martinez, Maribel Zurita, and Wendy Sprowl.

On October 13, 2002 at Silver Star Casino in Choctaw, Mississippi, Nina (104 lbs) won a four-round decision over unranked Stephanie Dobbs (104½ lbs) of Moore, Oklahoma, who fell to 1-4-1. Watch for that rivalry to be renewed, as Dobbs has gone on to be one of the busiest female pro boxers!

On December 6, 2002 at Earthlink Live in Atlanta, Georgia, Nina (106 lbs) won a first-round TKO over Nikki Verbeck (106 lbs) of Paris, Arkansas. Ahlin appeared to mesmerize Verbeck with her bobbing and weaving, speed and power. As she pounded Verbeck near the end of the first round, Verbeck retreated to her corner and attempted to call a time-out after taking a punch to the throat, resulting in a TKO for Ahlin. Verbeck fell to 0-2 and clearly shouldn't have been in the ring with a boxer of Ahlin's caliber.

©Photo by Sue TL Fox. All Rights Reserved.

On April 18, 2003 at Palace Indian Gaming Center in Lemoore, California, Nina (101Ĺ lbs) lost a six-round unanimous (59-55,59-55,58-56) decision to Las Vegas-based Vaia Zaganas (104 lbs), a former Canadian national amateur champion from British Columbia. Both threw punches in bunches throughout an action- packed bout in which Zaganas had the early upper hand but the slick-boxing Ahlin finished strongly in the fifth and sixth. Zaganas progressed to 8-1-0 (3 KO) while Ahlin fell to 10-4-1 (3 KO). 

"I'm in this to win it", says Nina, "and if other fighters want to be matched up with easy opponents, I just don't agree with that."

Nina AhlinAs one of female boxing's more glamorous practitioners, Ahlin is often asked if she is worried about her looks when she climbs through the ropes. "Not at all", she says. "That's the least worry on my mind. I definitely don't worry about that. That can all be fixed later, if it's that bad." And although Nina's looks and stylish outfits bring a little extra to set her apart from many of her peers as she gets in the ring, she knows what really counts in the ring.  In fact, one of Nina's goals is to erase the stereotype of what a female fighter is supposed to look like.

"One of my goals is to get more women involved with (boxing)", she continues. "There is a stereotype in which people talk about the typical boxer. I want to get them into the mindset that it has nothing to do with your looks, that it's the skill that's involved in the sport."

Once the bell sounds, there's no question that's what Nina Ahlin's all about. .

For Nina Ahlin's COMPLETE boxing record, fight reports and huge photos of her and many other women in the sport, please go to the WBAN Records SiteHot photo / Mpeg Gallery #57, exclusively for WBAN members, is all about Nina Ahlin.

Page last updated: Wednesday, April 7, 2004


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