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  WBAN Goes One on One with the Island Girl!
by Sue TL Fox
May 16, 2003
WBAN had an opportunity to talk with Sumya "The Island Girl" Anani, one of the top women boxers in the sport today. Anani talks about the recent event that she attended on May 9, 2003, at the Osceola's Lakeside Resort, in Iowa, where Christy "The Coal Miner's Daughter" Martin was fighting a six-round exhibition with Ragan Pudwill.  Anani also talks about Lucia Rijker, and her last fight with Fredia Gibbs! And  believe me folks, Anani pulls NO punches in THIS interview!

TL Fox:  Sumya, I know that you just attended the event that featured Christy Martin where she fought Ragan Pudwill in a six-round exhibition….why did you go to the fight?

Anani:  I had planned for a month on going to the fight because a friend of mine from Kansas City was turning pro on the card....actually, there were three fighters from K.C. on that card, but I was asked to help in just one of their corners.

TL Fox: When you found out that Martin was going to fight on this card, what was your initial reaction?

Anani:  My first thought was 'Christy is going to think that I am stalking her like Rijker does....following her to all of her fights.'

TL Fox: . Did you say anything to Martin when you went to the fight? AND did Martin say anything to you?

Anani:  After she got out of the ring, I was sitting ringside and she walked by me and I put my hand out to tap her glove, and when she saw that it was me, she shook her head and her gloved hand "NO", as if to say she didn't want to tap gloves. A reporter friend of mine had asked her the day before the fight if she would fight me again, and she blew the question off, making it sound like she was willing to make the fight happen. (yeah right) After the fight, he told her (Martin)  that I was willing to fight her again. She told him, on camera, that "Sumya can kiss my ass." I think what she meant to say is "Sumya can kick my ass." hahaha

Something else really funny happened. The promoter wanted to introduce me in the ring, before Christy's exhibition, so I went over to sit by the stairs, and I happened to be sitting in front of these two ladies. I told them that I wouldn't be in their way for long. We started talking, and it turns out, they were Jim Martin's sisters, Christy's sister-in-laws. I didn't even mention to them that I was the girl that beat Christy. Then, my trainer Barry, came over and sat next to them, and of course, he told them that I did beat her. I told them that Christy had really done a lot for the sport years ago, and had actually inspired me a little to get into it. They were sweet ladies. I even went up to them after Christy walked by me at ringside and asked them to pass a message on to Christy----that I wasn't stalking her.....that she could relax and enjoy the evening.

TL Fox:  Do you think at this point in the game that you will EVER get to fight Martin again?

Anani: No. Never. Besides, I'm the one that won. If she really thought she could beat me, she would be biting at the bit to fight me again. I'm moving on to other fighters....I know she will never fight me again because I beat her at her own game, when she was at the top of her game. I had only been boxing for 2 years then, she had been boxing for 11 years. She knows now that I am much more experienced, fighting all the top girls, girls that she never has thought about fighting. It says a lot about her confidence level that she won't fight top contenders, and has to fight exhibitions with girls that have nowhere near the experience that she has.

TL Fox:  What was the crowd's reaction to the exhibition? Was it well-received?

Anani:  When the crowd figured out that Christy was carrying this girl, they were a little pee--ode. I could hear people yell stuff like 'Come on, hit her, Christy.' Boxing fans don't like that kind of stuff--they pay to see fights, not exhibitions between overmatched opponents.

TL Fox:  How did Ragan Pudwill fare against Martin?

Anani: Ragan did a great job for someone with the experience she has. Great job. I look forward to seeing her more in the future. I love those mid-west fighters. Go Ragan.

TL Fox: Moving ahead on to maybe a "reality" future fight, is there any particular boxer you would like to mix it up with?

Anani:  Yoohoo, Lucia, why aren't you stalking me from fight to fight? Christy won't fight you, but I will. Beating Christy isn't going to prove anything anyway. I was lucky enough to see Fashion Emergency and Lucia was on it. (I hardly ever watch T.V., but a friend was surfing the channels and found it.) You looked gorgeous, Lucia. But don't let the fashion industry convince you that you need all that makeup and hair dye to be beautiful--you are a natural beauty...truly. And at the end of the show------when you said 'I'll see you in the ring,' I can only hope you were talking to me. But I can't hold my breath for that fight---I think Lucia is avoiding me like Christy Martin avoided her.

TL Fox: Can you give some insight to your last fight against Fredia Gibbs where she apparently hurt her hand, and the early stoppage of that fight? Would you ever consider a rematch after this incident?

Anani:  Honestly, I have a hard time believing that Fredia hurt her hand. The promoter of that fight sent a doctor back to her dressing room after the fight. Fredia refused to be seen by the doctor.....That leaves questions in my mind. First, why on earth would any fighter refuse to have their 'tools' looked at by professionals.. if there were a legitimate injury? We're talking about a fighter's hands here--these are very important to a fighter. An injury to a hand could end a career. We fought in a casino 30 miles away from the nearest city, and she might have broken something, and she declines to have a doctor look at it, who are trained and at the fights for these exact reasons, even LOOK at her hand?

Second, after watching the tape over and over again. ESPN punch stats of her only landing 8 punches. I can't see any punch where she could have possibly hurt it. The way she was acting when they were just taking the glove off would give you the assumption that trying to hit someone with an injury would r e a l l y hurt. But during the whole first round, she showed no sign on her face of any punch hurting her hand, no wincing, no favoring of an injured hand, nothing. Then, when she came out after the fight, and even the next night when she worked in Mia St. John's corner, she didn't have her hand bandaged. She had a sling over elbow. Now, if her hand or fingers or thumb was injured, that is what should be wrapped because that is what should be protected...not your elbow. So I can't help but think Fredia was practicing for her audition to the sequel to 'Knockout.'

WBAN would like to give a special thanks to Sumya "The Island Girl" Anani for taking the time to be interviewed! Sue TL Fox




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