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Suszannah Warner

Suszannah “Destiny” Warner was born on August 6, 1970 in Leeds, U.K. Her first venture into sports was as an amateur soccer player, first in England then, after moving to the United States in 1992, in New York. Most recently she played with Barnstonworth Lady Rovers of the New York Women's League, where she was a striker.

Suszannah has always been eager to pass her interest in sports on to others. When she first came to the USA, she taught sports to impoverished inner city children at summer camps in Detroit, Massachusetts and upstate New York. Her interest in boxing came later, as a byproduct of surgery for an ACL injury that she suffered during a soccer game. Her knee required extensive physical therapy, during which she joined the Equinox Gym. There she saw a "white-collar" boxing class, which she joined as a way to help rehab her knee.

She then took to boxing as quickly as she had to soccer!

“It’s funny,” says Warner, “but when I first came to the United States, boxing wasn’t even on my radar. I had gone to a few training sessions, but was too involved in soccer to take it seriously. It really hit home, though, in 2003.”

On April 3, 2003 she competed in the New York City Golden Gloves 106-pound finals at Madison Square Garden, losing to Mincy Monay of Gleason’s Gym.  This temporary setback did not deter her - her competitive boxing career was now under way!

A year later, on April 16, 2004 Suszannah won the same 106-lb division in the New York Golden Gloves, defeating Christina Beckles of Gleason’s Gym. “Everything just escalated out of control after that,” she says.

Suszannah went on to win the 106-lb division of the 2005 USA Boxing National Championships at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. In the semi-final bout on March 18, 2005 she stopped Valerie Duran of Houston, Texas, RSCO-3 and in the final on March 19 she defeated Bianca Ledezma of Van Orny, Texas by a 9-3 margin.

Soon after this, she decided to turn pro and trained at altitude in Colorado with the respected Krishna Wainwright for the first six months. Turning pro at age 35 gave her an urgency about her boxing career that many new fighters do not have. In Colorado, she was training in a sport that she loved, but not in a place where she felt at home after eleven years living as a New Yorker.

Warner made her pro debut at the The Paladium in Denver, Colorado in September, 2005. Weighing in at 119 lbs she TKO'd Doreen Hilton (122 lbs) at 0:55 in the first round of a scheduled four-rounder.

On October 28, 2005 at Michael Marr Gymnasium in Las Vegas, New Mexico, Jodi Esquibel (109 lbs) of Albuquerque won a four-round unanimous decision over Suszannah (108 lbs). Esquibel out-gunned Warner, winning by 39-37 on all judges' score cards, and advancing her own pro record to 2-0.

On December 29, 2005 at the Convention Center in Pueblo, Colorado, Terri Cruz (116 lbs) of Colorado won a four-round unanimous (40-36 x 3) decision over Suszannah (115 lbs).

On February 3, 2006 at the Qwest Arena in Boise, Idaho, USA Suszannah (112 lbs) won a four-round split (40-36,39-37,36-40) decision over Kelly Vannan (116 lbs).

On February 23, 2006 at San Manuel Indian Casino in San Bernardino, California, Suszannah (117 lbs) lost a four-round unanimous (40-35) decision to Kaliesha West (118 lbs) of Moreno Valley, California, who was making her pro debut. Warner was knocked down in the second round.

On March 18, 2006 at the Boardwalk Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Suszannah won a four-round majority (39-37,39-37,38-38) decision over undefeated Canadian Noriko Kariya, who fell to 3-1. 

This win over the much-publicized Kariya, who is the sister of NHL hockey star Paul Kariya, marked something of a homecoming for Suszannah.  “The Atlantic City fight came up and I thought it would be a great opportunity to find the right people to work with and return to where I belong” she says.  It also marked the start of her winning run for her first pro title.

On May 18, 2006 at Huntington Townhouse in Huntington, New York, Suszannah (110 lbs) won a four-round split (39-37,37-39,40-35) decision over debut fighter Kimberly Tomes (110 lbs) of New York.

On July 26, 2006 at Monticello Raceway in Monticello, New York, Suszannah (104 lbs) won a four-round unanimous (40-36) decision over Camela Parker (100 lbs) of Winter Park, Florida who fell to 0-5. In the third round, three successive jabs to the jaw of Parker had persuaded her not to attempt much pressure on Warner the rest of the way.

On December 8, 2006 at the Paradise Theater in the Bronx, New York, Suszannah (101 lbs) won an eight round unanimous (78-74,79-73,78-74) decision over southpaw Yvonne Caples (5'4", 100 bs) of Las Vegas, Nevada for the vacant NABF Atomweight (102-lb) title. Caples, a veteran of four highly competitive world title fights, fell to 7-11-2 (1 KO) with the loss.

On January 25, 2007 at the Paradise Theater in the Bronx, Suszannah (107 lbs) scored a third round TKO over Nancy Bonilla (106 lbs) of Camuy, Puerto Rico, who fell to 2-5. Warner dominated the fight from start to finish, dropping Bonilla in the second round. The bout was stopped to prevent a further beating to the overmatched Bonilla.

Suszannah vs. Carina Moreno
Copyrighted photo taken by Alan Messick

On February 22, 2007 at the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino in Lemoore, California, Carina Moreno (103 lbs) of Watsonville, California won a clear 10-round unanimous (100-90,100-90,100-90) decision over Suszannah (103 lbs) for the WBC Interim Straw-weight title. Moreno dominated the action from the opening bell, chasing Warner around the ring and landing solid combinations whenever she could get inside.  The bout set Moreno up as the mandatory challenger for Nanako Kikuchi of Japan for the full WBC title. Moreno improved to 11-1-0 (3 KO's) with the win while Warner fell to 7-4 (2 KO's). For more photos of this bout by Alan Messick, see WBAN Photo Gallery #412 on the WBAN Records Member Site.

On August 24, 2007 at the Paradise Theater in the  Bronx, Eileen Olszewski of New York, preparing for a WBC flyweight title fight on September 14 in Italy against champion Stefania Bianchini, won a close, fast paced four round majority decision over Suszannah. Both fighters had weighed in at 107 lbs. The scorecards were: 38-38, 39-37 and 40-36. Olszewski moved her record to 4-0 (0 KO's).

On December 6, 2007 at the Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino, in Lemoore, California, Carina Moreno won by a 10-round unanimous decision over Suszannah in a rematch for Moreno's WBC Straw-weight title. Moreno improved to 16-1-0 (5 KOs) with the win while Warner fell to 7-6-0 (2 KOs).

On February 1, 2008 at Fort McDowell Casino in Fountain Head, Arizona. Suszannah spoiled the ring comeback of previously undefeated Becky Garcia of Mesa, Arizona, winning a 40-36,39-36,40-35 unanimous decision over the local favorite, who was cornered by four-time world champ Michael Carbajal.   Garcia had been inactive for almost two years after a knee injury but she began the fight aggressively, only to be decked by a straight right. Referee Wes Melton ruled it a knockdown caused by a punch, though many in the crowd believed it had been a push. Garcia became more aggressive but Warner landed more punishment, leaving her mark on Garcia’s left eye and nose in the second round. The third and fourth rounds followed the same script as Garcia's ring rust began to translate into weariness before the scheduled four were over. A jubilant Warner threw her hands in the air and hugged her trainer at the decision. Asked about Garcia’s vaunted right hands, Warner said, “What right hands? I’m sorry, but I don’t remember feeling any right hands.”  Garcia conceded that her time away from the ring had affected her performance, saying “I was really surprised by how tired I felt, but I didn’t want an easy opponent in my first fight back. I wanted to see where I was.”  Garcia fell to 5-1 (3 KO's)

On September 27, 2008 at Arena Mexico in Mexico City, Mexico,
local favorite Mariana Juarez (111 lbs) won a 10-round unanimous (100-90,99-89,98-92) decision over Suszannah (111 lbs) for the WBC International Flyweight title.  Juarez improved to 17-5-3 (9 KO's).

On March 6, 2009 at the Marconi Automotive Museum in Tustin, California, Suszannah (103 lbs) fought to a six-round draw with Julie Rubalcava (102 lbs) of Westminster, California whose record moved to 4-1-1 (1 KO).

On May 14, 2009 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Irvine, California, Suszannah (106 lbs) lost a six-round majority (58-56,58-56,57-57) decision to Melissa McMorrow (107 lbs) of San Carlos, California who improved to 3-1 (0 KOs).

On December 4, 2009 at the Isleta Casino near Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, Suszannah (101 lbs) won an eight-round split (74-78, 77-75,78-74) decision over Jodi Esquibel (101 lbs) of Albuquerque to retain her NABF Minimumweight title. As reported by Chris Cozzone, "Esquibel won the early rounds by outboxing Warner, but midway through, momentum swung the opposite way. In the first, Warner chased after Esquibel in a close round, Esquibel busier and bouncing on the outside. Able to get within Warner’s longer reach, Esquibel took the round by outpointing her foe, zipping in and out of range. Round three was a better round for Warner, who was able to close the gap on more than one occasion, to maul Esquibel. In the fourth, closer still, it was Warner’s pressure and straight rights against Esquibel’s attempts to catch her foe coming in. By now, Esquibel’s nose was starting to bleed; Warner’s pressure making its mark. The fight changed in the fifth, when Warner came out swinging. Backing up Esquibel, Warner’s straighter punches raised a welt under Esquibel’s right eye. Tying up more often than throwing, Warner edged the round. Warner went to the body in the sixth, then turned her attention upstairs where she landed an increasing number of rights and hooks to Esquibel’s face. It was Warner’s first dominant round – but not her last. In the final two rounds, Esquibel was kept on the defense while Warner mounted a relentless attack. Unable to counter effectively, Esquibel sought to trade with Warner but control of the fight was, by now, long gone."  The win moved Suszannah's record to 9-8-1 (2 KOs) while Esquibel fell to 5-5-1 (2 KOs).

On February 6, 2010 at Mungyoeong-city Gymnasium in South Korea, Ji-Hyun Park (100 lbs) of South Korea won a controversial 10-round split (98-93,96-94,94-96) decision over Suszannah (101 lbs) for the IFBA Strawweight world title, as two Korean judges called the fight for Park while an American judge called it for Warner. The fight was a battle of body blows, according to the IFBA's web site, "Round One was calm and easy paced as Warner stuck out little jabs to test the distance.  Park doing the same, with a little more activity took the judges' nod to begin the match, as well as the Second Round. The Third Round quickened with Warner’s team encouraging her to pick up the pace and start breaking down the body with more shots. Into the Fourth Park claimed the ring and pushed Warner back some taking the round.
All that could be heard during the next three rounds was to tear up the body of Ji Hyun Park. Team Warner seeing weakness knew this was the best plan of attack. You could see the reaction on Park’s face as she began lowering her elbows to try and protect herself.  At more than one point it looked as though she wanted to turn away and quit, but she toughed it out and made it out of the Seventh. The battle continued into the Eighth with neither one wanting to give and inch.  Back and forth the pressure would go.  Each one with their backs to the rope and reversing the other, and each judge going back and forth with their scores also. The ninth began with both camps urging their fighter to continue to the body.  More shots were beginning to be blocked so some judges favored Warner and some the Champion Park. Warner had given a lot of pressure through the middle rounds and seemed like she let up slightly in this round.  Having defended her title many times, Park began to push harder and won two of the judges nod for the Ninth.
The Tenth had you wondering why Park hadn’t done this earlier, as she used her reach and movement more and accelerated her pressure, which won her the final round.  The bell rang and both fighters immediately put up their hands feeling they had taken the fight."  
Team Warner formally protested the fight scoring to the IFBA, the latest in a series of similar protests of scoring in IFBA-sanctioned bouts supervised by the Korean Boxing Commission.  Park's record is now 10-2 (4 KO's), Warner's 9-9-1 (2 KO's).

On October 22, 2010 at the Capitale Club in New York City, Eileen Olszewski (109 lbs) of New York won a six-round unanimous (58-56,58-56,59-55) decision over Suszannah (107 lbs).  WBAN correspondent Bernie McCoy wrote that "It was, to me seated at ringside, a very close fight, each round competitively fought, although the fourth round was clearly a big round for Warner. On my very unofficial scorecard, I gave Warner the second, fourth and fifth rounds. I awarded Olszewski the first and sixth rounds and I called the third round even. I made it 58-57 Warner. Would I have argued with a score of 58-57 Olszewski? No. Does 58-56 for either fighter seem terribly out of line? No. Was 59-55, for either fighter, an accurate assessment of the bout? Not for the six round flyweight fight I watched at the Capitale last Friday night. I don't believe either of the two fighters dominated the six round bout to the extent that she should have been awarded five of six very close rounds ... while there could and, probably, should, be room for discussion over the decision, there can be no disagreement over the fact that the standing room crowd of boxing fans saw two very good female fighters put on six rounds of very good boxing". Warner fell to 9-10-1 (2 KO's). while Olszewski advanced to 6-2-2 (0 KO's).

On October 29, 2011 at Coliseo Mario 'Quijote' Morales in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, undefeated triple world champion Yesica Bopp (107 lbs) from Buenos Aires, Argentina TKO'd Suszannah (105 lbs) at 1:21 of the first round defending the WBO Junior Flyweight title.  The referee waved the bout off after Warner's second trip to the canvas although Warner was back to her feet by the five count and appeared more annoyed than hurt by her trip to the canvas.  Bopp improved to 18-0 (8 KO's) with the win while Warner fell to 9-11-1 (2 KO's). 

“I can’t believe that I’m here,” said Warner of her boxing success. “It is very surreal to me at times. I’m surprised how quickly everything has happened, hence my nickname of Destiny. I want to go out and win titles in various weight classes and make my mark. I want people to be inspired by the fact that I went out and followed my dreams, even if they came later in life. ”

Suszannah has also worked for the International Commission for Insurance for Holocaust Survivors.

“I would love for people to say she went out and did it at the age of 33,” she continued. “The lesson is that you should never give up on your dreams. Not at 20. Not at 30 or 40. Not ever.”

Other Suszannah Warner links

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Page last updated: Thursday, 13 December 2012


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