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© Copyrighted photo taken by Mike Blair of BoxingProspects

5'6" southpaw Terri Blair was born on July 6, 1975 in Paintsville, Kentucky. She now fights out of Terry Middketon's gym in Louisville, Kentucky.

Terri has a biology degree from Georgetown College, but she is putting that on hold and working as a shipping clerk while she trains 3 hours a day, six days a week for her career as a pro boxer.

She studied karate for seven years before taking up boxing.

On June 30, 2001 at Westwood Recreation Center in Dayton, Ohio, Terri lost to Trisha Hill of Kennesaw, Georgia in a 132-lb amateur boxing bout.

In her pro debut on February 22, 2002 at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus, Ohio, she faced Ohio State student Kelli Cofer (128 lbs). Kelli dominated Terri (126½ lbs) winning a lopsided four round decision behind one of the better jabs in women's boxing. The unbeaten Cofer was able to keep the shorter Blair at the end of her punches for most of the fight and improved her record to 5-0 (1 KO). Blair fell to 0-1.

On July 12, 2002 at Applebee Park in Lexington, Kentucky, Terri (127 lbs) evened her pro record at 1-1 with a first-round TKO of debut fighter Sherrie Simms (120 lbs) of Cincinatti, Ohio.

On August 23, 2002 at Promo West Pavilion in Columbus Ohio, Terri (132½ lbs) improved her pro record with a four-round unanimous decision over Sue Mullett (135 lbs), who fell to 7-8.

On September 27, 2002 at the Palace in Auburn Hills, Michigan, Terri (128½ lbs) lost a four-round unanimous decision to pro debuter Kara Ro (5'8", 128½ lbs) of Windsor, Ontario. Ro was a former national Golden Gloves champion with considerable amateur experience before turning pro.

On January 31, 2003 at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus, Ohio, Terri lost a majority decision to Kelli Cofer in a rematch of her debut bout. Kelli, now ranked #16 at featherweight moved to 9-0-1 (3 KO).

On May 23, 2003 at Gray's Armory in Cleveland, Ohio, Mary Jo Sanders (140 lbs) of Detroit won a four-round unanimous decision over Terri (140 lbs), advancing her own record to 2-0.

On June 14, 2003, at the Radisson Hotel in Merrillville, Indiana, Terri (129 lbs) TKO'd Shelby Walker (125 lbs) of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida at 1:48 in the fourth round of a scheduled four-rounder, dropping Walker's pro record to 5-2-1 (5 KOs).

On July 31, 2003 at Kewadin Casino in Sault Saint Marie, Michigan, Mary Jo Sanders (138½ lbs) won a four-round unanimous decision over Terri (137 lbs). 

On October 10, 2003 at the Holiday Inn in Janesville, Wisconsin, Terri won a four-round decision over Andrea Nelson of Dodgeville, Wisconsin, who fell to 8-1-1.  Nelson, who had been out of the ring for over two years, was attempting to make a comeback as a pro boxer, but did not fight again after this loss to Terri.

On May 23, 2004 at Club Avalon in Denver, COlorado, Terri (128 lbs) TKO'd Mercedes Mercury (130 lbs) of Centennial, Colorado at 1:56 in the fifth round of a scheduled six-rounder. Mercury fell to 3-5 (1 KO) with the loss.

On June 25, 2004 at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Garfield Heights, Cleveland, Ohio, Terri (134 lbs) fought to a four-round draw with Kelli Cofer (127½ lbs). Cofer was now 10-2-4.

On July 16, 2004 at the Memorial Civic Center in Canton, Ohio, Mary Jo Sanders (142½ lbs) improved her record to 10-0 with a four-round unanimous decision over Terri (142 lbs).

Holly Holm won the IBA junior welter title vs. Terri
© Copyrighted photo by Chris Cozzone

On December 10, 2004 at the Isleta Resort and Casino near Albuquerque, New Mexico, Holly Holm (138 lbs) of Albuquerque won a ten-round unanimous (99-91,99-91,96-94) decision over Terri (138¼ lbs) for the vacant IBA Junior Welterweight title.  Fighting her first ten-rounder, Holm made Blair chase her round the ring and then out-boxed her, but she also won the close-quarter battles. Blair had taken the fight on a week’s notice after Denver’s Angie Poe got the flu, setting up a rare two-southpaw match-up

According to Chris Cozzone, "Blair spent the night walking into jabs and straight left hands when she got close enough, yet she never gave up. After four rounds of trying to pressure Holm, eating that jab and left hand every time she closed the gap, Blair could do little but continually shake her head at Holm as if to say, ‘I ain’t hurt.’" Blair's corner then tried to taunt Holm, calling out “track star! Track star!”, and urging their own fighter to use her overhand left. In the fifth round, Holm started to trade with Blair at close quarters, outworking her with three or four-punch combinations before slipping away. Blair finally got to Holm in the sixth and landing several overhand lefts that visibly hurt Holm. Blair could not repeat her success in the seventh as Holm out-hit her in some of the fight's best action. Holm then went on to out-hustle Blair for the rest of the bout. Holm improved to 8-1-2 (3 KO) with the win while Blair fell to 5-7-1 (3 KO).

Terri (right) battles Molly McConnell in April 2005
© Copyrighted photo taken by Mike Blair of BoxingProspects.com

On April 2, 2005 at the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, Washington, Molly McConnell (139½ lbs) of Olympia, Washington won a four-round majority (40-36,39-37,38-38) decision over Terri (137½ lbs), advancing her pro record to 4-0 (1 KO). For more of Mike Blair's photo coverage of this fight see Photo Gallery #251 on the WBAN Records Member Site).

Terri vs. Molly McConnell in June 2005
© Copyrighted photo taken by Mike Blair of BoxingProspects.com

On June 4, 2005 at the Chinook Winds Casino Resort in Lincoln City, Oregon, Terri (136 lbs) avenged this loss with a six-round split decision win over McConnell (140 lbs). Photographer Mike Blair (no relation to Terri) told WBAN, "What a different fight between Blair and McConnell this time around. While Blair's answer to the difference this time around was that she spent time in the gym, she was a different fighter. She did not simply stand in front of McConnell. Instead she moved to her right so McConnell had to throw farther to connect. What that meant is that a lot of the time McConnell was off balance, and her shots, though some landed, did not do as much damage. Blair kept her balance and tucked her chin and pressed the action of the fight. On this night, Blair simply looked stronger. She showed that strength in one of the late rounds when she pinned McConnell on the ropes and landed some pretty fierce combinations to the body." For more of Mike Blair's photo coverage of this fight see Photo Gallery #267 on the WBAN Records Member Site).

On July 7, 2005 at the Radisson Hotel in Morgantown, West Virginia, Angel McNamara (135 lbs) of Cambridge, Maryland won a six-round split (60-54,58-56,56-58) decision over Terri (136 lbs), advancing her own record to 5-1-1 (2 KOs).

On December 30, 2005 at the Mountaineer Racetrack in Chester, West Virginia, Terri (130 lbs) battled Leslee Perella (128 lbs) of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to a four-round majority draw, leaving Perella's record at 3-1-1 (2 KO's).

Terri vs Jessica Rakoczy, February 2006
© Copyrighted photo by Jessica Trevino

On February 23, 2006 at the Tachi Palace Casino in Lemoore, California, Jessica Rakoczy (134 lbs) of Las Vegas won an eight-round unanimous (79-71,80-72,80-72) decision over Terri (132½ lbs). According to FightNews Canada correspondent David Robinett: "Rakoczy outboxed the plucky Blair via unanimous decision, though the fight seemed closer than the official scores. While Blair had her moments when engaging Rakoczy in close quarters, she had no answer for Rakoczy’s punishing right hand and superior boxing skills from the outside." Rakoczy improved her record to 22-2-0 (7 KO's) while Blair fell to a deceptive 6-10-2 (3 KOs) with the loss.  For photo and video coverage of this fight by Jessica Trevino see MPEG/Photo Gallery #339 on the WBAN Records Member Site).

On March 25, 2006 at the Grand Victoria Casino in Rising Sun, Indiana, Terri stunned the women's boxing world by TKO'ing the much-feared Sumya Anani of Overland Park, Kansas at 1:37 in the tenth round of a ten-rounder for the IBA Welterweight title.  Blair suffered a five-stitch cut over her left eye during the fight. Anani, who had never been stopped before and was ahead by one point on two scorecards going into the final round, had risen to prominence with a hard-fought win over Christy Martin in 1998. She fell to 25-2-1 (10 KO's) with this loss.

On May 27, 2006 at the Louisville Gardens in Louisville, Kentucky, Terri (141 lbs) again stopped Sumya Anani (143 lbs), this time by a TKO at 1:59 in the ninth round. Anani led in the early going and Blair took some punishment but Blair rallied in the ninth, knocking an apparently tiring Anani down three times to keep her IBA Welterweight title.  It had been an emotional week for Blair as her grandmother had died the Tuesday before the fight and she had gone straight from her funeral to the weigh-in. "It's been kind of bittersweet," Blair said. "I have all this stuff going on with the fight that I should really be excited about -- and I am excited. But with the stuff going on with my grandmother, I've been kind of walking around not sure how to act."  Terri improved to 8-10-2 (5 KO's) with her second straight stoppage of Anani, who fell to 25-3-1 (10 KO's).

Terri's manager Abdul Jarvis said about the fight: "(Anani) came out with a different game plan. She boxed a whole lot better this time. But I knew that she couldn't keep up that pace. I told you before that we don't degrade over a period of time…; I knew (Anani) was getting hurt. She would freeze every time she got hit."

Anani complimented Blair after the loss, telling the Louisville Courier-Journal: "She caught me. It happens. It's boxing. Who was it that made the statement that it takes one punch to change a fight?" and adding  "She's such a sweetheart. As an athlete you always try to do your best. Of course, you're kind of upset about it. But to lose to a sweetheart like her … she represents her sport well."

On September 23, 2006 at the Belterra Casino and Resort in Belterra, Indiana, Terri (133 lbs) won an NABC Lightweight title with a TKO of  Leora Jackson (5'4", 134 lbs) of Springdale, Arkansas at 1:17 in the eighth round.  Jackson fell to 2-10-0 with the loss while Terri improved to 9-10-2 (6 KO's).

On December 14, 2006 in Tokyo, Japan, Emiko Raika (133 ¾ lbs) of Japan won a 10-round unanimous (97-95,97-94,98-93) decision over Terri (134 lbs) for the WIBA World Lightweight title. According to WIBA President Ryan Wissow, "The Raika-Blair fight was a war!  Blair had Raika hurt a few times, and was the harder puncher of the two, but Raika landed more clean punches, and was the aggressor for most of the fight, especially later in the fight.  Blair told me she hurt both of her hands on Raika's head, and she said what a good chin Raika has. The shots she landed would have knocked out most women. Raika is the real deal, and Blair is world class."  Raika improved her record to 16-2-1 (6 KO's) while Blair fell to 9-11-2 (5 KOs). 

On May 17, 2007 at the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino, in Lemoore, California, a sold-out crowd of 1,450 saw Jessica Rakoczy (136 lbs) of Las Vegas win an eight-round unanimous (80-72,80-72,80-71) decision over Terri (133½ lbs) in what was described to WBAN as "a very entertaining fight".  Rakoczy improved to 27-2-0 (11 KOs) while Blair fell to 9-12-2 (5 KOs).

Chevelle Hallback slugs it out with Terri Blair
© Copyrighted photo taken by Mary Ann Owen

On July 2, 2007 at Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, California, Chevelle Hallback (133¾ lbs) of Plant City, Florida defeated Terri (133¾ lbs) by an eight round unanimous (79-73,78-74,77-75) decision in an eliminator for the IFBA Lightweight title. Hallback boxed skillfully to hold off the hard-charging and hard-hitting Blair. The fifth round was a slugfest with both trading their best shots in toe to toe action that liberated Hallback's chest protector, forcing her to continue without it. “It was rough” said Hallback, adding “She never hurt me in the fight but after the fight those body shots she landed bruised my ribs. My trainer kept telling me to fight outside but you know me, I like to fight on the inside too. I felt I was doing alright inside. It’s easy to see how she beat Sumya Anani that girl can really punch, she can really fight. She’s very good.”  Chevelle improved to (26-5-1, 11 KOs) while dropping the bloodied but always-pressing Blair to 9-13-2 (6 KO's).

“That was as good as a women's match can be,” said promoter Roy Englebrecht. "I felt it was a lot closer,” said Blair after the bout "but Chevelle is a great fighter.”  (For more photos of the fight by Mary Ann Owen, see WBAN Photo Gallery #434 on the WBAN Records Member Site).

On December 6, 2007 at the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino, in Lemoore, California, Terri won an eight-round split decision over Jill Emery for the NABF Junior Welterweight title.  The judges' scores of 78-74, 74-78, 77-75 were announced as all for Blair at the fight, but this was later corrected.  The 37-year-old Emery, who went 62-8 in a long amateur career, fell to 8-2-0 (3 KOs).

On May 2, 2009 at the Cambria County War Memorial Arena in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, Terri (139 lbs) returned to competition of and defeated Adelita Irizarry (143 lbs) of Hartford, Connecticut, by a six-round unanimous (59-55,59-55,60-54) decision.   According to Mike Mastovich of the Johnstown Tribune-Democrat, "Blair ended a layoff of more than a year, winning a unanimous decision over
Adelita Irizarry in a women’s junior welterweight bout. 'It’s been about 15 or 16 months since I’ve been in there,' Blair said. 'I was
trying to work all the angles. She’s a tough girl and she was heavier than I was. She was leaning a lot. I tried to get in and brawl a little bit. I tried to box a little bit. I tried to mix it up and put on a good show for the people.'  Blair was anxious to fight. The tough economy and a lack of opposition kept her away from the ring.
'I’ve been out unwillingly,' Blair said. 'I jumped at this chance to come in here and fight. It felt great to get back in the ring. I love fighting here. The people are just really into it and they put a lot of energy into the fighters.'" 
Irizarry fell to 6-3 (2 KO's) while Blair improved to 11-13-2 (6 KO's).

On August 28, 2009 at New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas, New Mexico, Holly Holm (145 lbs) of Albuquerque defeated Terri (143½ lbs) by a ten-round unanimous (100-90,100-90,99-91) decision for the WIBA Welterweight title.  Holm improved her record to 24-1-3 (6 KO's) with the win while Blair fell to 11-14-2 (6 KO's).

On November 28, 2009 at the Mulungushi Conference Centre in Lusaka, Zambia, Terri Blair fought to a 10-round draw (98-96,96-96, 94-96) with Esther Phiri of Zambia for the WIBA junior welterweight title. Blair, who had pressured Phiri for the whole fight, stated after the fight “If you want to know the winner of this fight, give us another two rounds just now and see what I am gonna do to her. I have been cheated. I'm ready to fight her again anytime, anywhere including now."  Phiri was cut under her right eye and the fight was halted temporarily in the sixth round to clean the blood.  Blair moved her record to 11-14-3 (6 KO's) while Phiri's went to 10-3-2 (3 KO's).

On March 26, 2010 at the Isleta Casino & Resort in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Victoria Cisneros (136 lbs) won an eight round majority (77-75,77-76,76-76) decision over Terri (140½ lbs) who fell to 11-15-3 (5 KO's).  Cisneros improved her record to 4-8-2 (1 KO).

Other Terri Blair links

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Page last updated: Monday, 10 December 2012


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