Olympic inclusion is closer than ever!

Happy New Year everyone! Hope you had a peaceful holiday season.  I leave Saturday for a USA Boxing Board of Directors meeting and "Think Tank" happening this weekend at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado.
It looks like the Olympic Inclusion of women's boxing is getting closer than ever. The IOC was officially petitioned and it looks like there will be a decision before November of this year. Stay tuned to LetThemBox.org for the latest information.

Angel just finished the lastest Athlete Advisory Council newsletter which can be viewed as a PDF here on yahoo or will be available at www.usaboxingathlete.com website soon.  Lots of exciting things happening in the world of Olympic boxing.  Stay tuned!



Ready for National PAL's!

We are our taking our youngest members of the LA Boxing Fight Team to compete at the National PAL's in Oxnard, CA Sept 27-October 4th.

Last weekend Gabe battled the sun in an outdoor show and won his bout in convincing fashion in Cohoes, NY while later that night, Natalie put on a great performance and won her bout in Long Island.

Thank you to everyone who helped buy and sell raffle tickets to help us get these deserving kids to the competition. Drawing will be held October 6th.

Special thanks to Andi C, Dom and Anthony Rizzo, John M., Emily B., Marissa, Craig and Wendy, Jackie and Dean, Starbucks, Chocolations, Suntan Strip, La Cave Wine, Shoreline Embroidery, Applebees, Diamond Car Wash, United Towing, Theraputic Body Center and LA Boxing. . . and of course everyone who worked behind the scenes to make this happen!

Saccurato wins WBC Championship in Tokyo, Japan!

---For immediate release August 11, 2008

Westchester's own Ann-Marie Saccurato becomes THREE TIME WBC World Lightweight Champion!

In the Main Event last night at the Tokyo Dome in Toyko, Japan, Ann-Marie defeated World Champion Emiko Fujin Raika to become a three-time WBC Lightweight World Champion!

The scores were 98-92, 97-92, 97-93 all in favor of Saccurato. Last November, Ann-Marie fought Raika in Toyko and received a very questionable and head scratching loss for the WIBA title in which Emiko Fujin Rakia was also the promoter of the fight.

To quiet the skeptics, Ann-Marie came out strong in the first round and landed several powerful right hands, breaking Raika's nose. The battle continued with Ann-Marie boxing on the outside and Raika having a hard time finding her with her punches.

In the sixth round, Raika landed a head butt, which cost her a point on the judges scorecards. Ann-Marie suffered a cut from the head butt which required stitches after the fight, but her corner was able to control the bleeding and Ann-Marie continued to out-box Raika with her skill and incredible punching power.

Ann-Marie has now fought for, and won, the WBC Lightweight World Championship belt three times- having the distinct honor of beating World Champions Jelena Mrdjenovich, Jessica Rakoczy and Emiko Fujin Raika-all in their own hometowns.

Saccurato states, "Now that I have proven myself three times in other boxer's hometowns, I would love to come back home and have a fight in my backyard where all my friends and family who support me could come out and watch."

Saccurato has always been known as a staunch supporter and advocate for women's boxing. She works hard to promote the sport in attempts to raise the bar in regards to skill level, marketability, spectator support, promoter interest, and competition opportunities for both professional and Olympic-style boxers. In a recent report from ESPN, ranking the world’s toughest 60 sports based on athleticism, strength, agility, coordination and 6 other criteria, boxing came out as the #1 most demanding sport.

Saccurato stated, "I hold myself up to the highest level of training standards to show the promoters, fans and the world that women's boxing is a great skillful sport, very marketable, and here to stay. It is amazing the skill level that exists out there considering 99% of the women boxers do not get the financial support to train full-time without also working full time to support themselves and their families. Women make less than 5% of what the men make for similar title bouts. In most cases it doesn't cover the training expenses involved, so right now the women you see are doing it for the pure love of the sport. While that makes for amazing fights, I hope in my lifetime successful women boxers will also be able to start making a living in the sport and warrant the type of pay-days they deserve."


"I am extremely proud to be a three-time WBC World Champion. They are a very professional and fair organization. I also enjoy taking part in the WBC Cares events with other champions, which helps disadvantaged kids all across the country. It gives them such a positive view of the sport, which I think boxing so desperately needs.”

Ann-Marie trains at Gleason Gym in Brooklyn and at LA Boxing in Mamaroneck, NY.
For interviews or more information contact Ann-Marie at 914-490-7015 or teamsaccurato@hotmail.com.
To learn more, visit www.teamsaccurato.com

News from Japan---Ann-Marie Saccurato defeats Emiko Raika for WBC Lightweight World Championship bel

---For immediate release August 11, 2008
Westchester's own Ann-Marie Saccurato becomes THREE TIME WBC World Lightweight Champion!

In the Main Event last night at the Tokyo Dome in Toyko, Japan, Ann-Marie defeated World Champion Emiko Fujin Raika to become a three-time WBC Lightweight World Champion!

The scores were 98-92, 97-92, 97-93 all in favor of Saccurato. Last November, Ann-Marie fought Raika in Toyko and received a very questionable and head scratching loss for the WIBA title in which Emiko Fujin Rakia was also the promoter of the fight.

To quiet the skeptics, Ann-Marie came out strong in the first round and landed several powerful right hands, breaking Raika's nose. The battle continued with Ann-Marie boxing on the outside and Raika having a hard time finding her with her punches.

In the sixth round, Raika landed a head butt, which cost her a point on the judges scorecards. Ann-Marie suffered a cut from the head butt which required stitches after the fight, but her corner was able to control the bleeding and Ann-Marie continued to out-box Raika with her skill and incredible punching power.

Ann-Marie has now fought for, and won, the WBC Lightweight World Championship belt three times- having the distinct honor of beating World Champions Jelena Mrdjenovich, Jessica Rakoczy and Emiko Fujin Raika-all in their own hometowns.

Saccurato states, "Now that I have proven myself three times in other boxer's hometowns, I would love to come back home and have a fight in my backyard where all my friends and family who support me could come out and watch."

Saccurato has always been known as a staunch supporter and advocate for women's boxing. She works hard to promote the sport in attempts to raise the bar in regards to skill level, marketability, spectator support, promoter interest, and competition opportunities for both professional and Olympic-style boxers. In a recent report from ESPN, ranking the world’s toughest 60 sports based on athleticism, strength, agility, coordination and 6 other criteria, boxing came out as the #1 most demanding sport.

Saccurato stated, "I hold myself up to the highest level of training standards to show the promoters, fans and the world that women's boxing is a great skillful sport, very marketable, and here to stay. It is amazing the skill level that exists out there considering 99% of the women boxers do not get the financial support to train full-time without also working full time to support themselves and their families. Women make less than 5% of what the men make for similar title bouts. In most cases it doesn't cover the training expenses involved, so right now the women you see are doing it for the pure love of the sport. While that makes for amazing fights, I hope in my lifetime successful women boxers will also be able to start making a living in the sport and warrant the type of pay-days they deserve."

"I am extremely proud to be a three-time WBC World Champion. They are a very professional and fair organization. I also enjoy taking part in the WBC Cares events with other champions, which helps disadvantaged kids all across the country. It gives them such a positive view of the sport, which I think boxing so desperately needs.”

Ann Receives TOP Honors from the WBAN in 2007!!

The Best and the Worst of 2007!
Another year has gone by and it is time to have the "hot"
picks and "not" picks for the year 2007! There were definitely the GOOD, the BAD, and the NOT so good this year
in women's boxing! WBAN ran a survey for BOXING FANS to give them an opportunity to submit their picks!

WBAN "Top Honors"of the Year
Ann Marie Saccurato
It was astounding to see through the voting from boxing fans this year, the notice that Ann Marie Saccurato, of Plains, New York, has received through her pure no-nonsense ferocity that she displayed in 2007. She took on some very tough fights, not in her hometown-but others hometowns. Saccurato did not play it safe---she went to Japan, and fought Emiko Raika; she went to New Mexico and fought Holly Holm--and she last fought in Lemoore, CA, and KO'd Jessica Rakoczy in the 10th round for the WBC lightweight title. If this sport had more "Saccuratos" in it---there would be no stopping the sport moving up to another level.

Biggest KO of the Year
Ann Marie Saccurato
vs. Jessica Rakoczy

On September 27, 2007, at the Tachi Casino, in Lemoore, California, Ann Marie Saccurato, became the new WBC Lightweight world champion when she stopped Jessica Rakoczy, 134, Las Vegas, Nevada, 1:58 seconds of the 10th round.

Top Fights of the Year
Ann Marie Saccurato vs. Jessica Rakoczy
September 27, 2007

The "Road Warriors" of 2007
Ann Marie Saccurato
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Congrats to Ann-Marie and Team Saccurato for working so hard in 2007! Can't wait to see what 2008 brings!

Tokyo results.

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In what we believe is a case of hometown scoring, Ann-Marie lost a decision to Japan's hero, Emiko Raika tonight at the Shinjuku FACE arena in Tokyo, Japan.

The scores of 93-97, 95-95, and 93-97 (I need to double check those scores) in favor of Raika does not accurate reflect the fight that actually occured. We are very disappointed to see Ann-Marie winning rounds in a bout that never end up on the juddges score cards.

Objectively, Ann landed more punches than Raika in every round but one and out boxed Emiko and we are sad to see the three Japanese judges did not see it that way.

But every the Champion, Ann will continue to take these type of risks of fighting boxers in their own hometowns- to continue to put forth to the public excellent displays of women's boxing in her quest to elevate the respect, marketibilty, salaries, and talent of women boxers everywhere!

Stay tuned. . .

Weigh In Tokyo


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The weigh-ins happened last night at Raika's gym. Sorry I couldn't take any photos-the gym was about 20 x 20 feet and full of press!
Ann was able to eat at Outback after the weigh-in so you know she was very HAPPY!

Raika is quite famous here in Japan-a lot of documentaries have been done about her life growing up in an orphange, etc.  She seems like a great person!  They both weighed in almost exactly the same weight. Raika 1/2 pound lighter than Ann but looks much smaller to me.

The big event is in about 8 hours--so please wish us luck. I will post results as soon as we get back to the hotel. Thanks to everyone sending us good wishes as this has been quite the expereince for us both!  Blessed!

Day 1 training in Tokyo

We made it to Japan! 15 hours in a plane, and another hour in a car and we made it!  We feel very fortunate to be able to have this opportunity.  I really hope this is a glipse into what professional women's boxing could be in the future.

Today we went to a small amateur gym with one of Raika's coaches to train. We got an interpreter that has actually trained at Gleason's--half way around the world we are reminded how small the world really is.  Everyone has been very nice and I look forward to seeing more of this amazing country.  Hearling more of Raika's story of her youth in an orphange and boxing as a vehicle for her to better her life reminds us both of the power of boxing as a social influencer and a way to help bring about positive social change around the world!  Boxing is a great stage to promote women's equality.

 

Win a Fantasy Boxing Lesson & Autographed Gloves from 3 World Champions!

Win a boxing lesson and autographed gloves from Ann-Marie Saccurato and other World Champions to benefit the Women's Sports Foundation!

Visit this link:

http://www.charityfolks.com/cfauctions/auction_verticalngo.asp?slrid=301

. . .to see incredible auction details!

Place your bid on a 90 minute fantasy boxing lesson at the legendary Gleasons Gym in Brooklyn, NY with 3 World Champion female boxers - Ann-Marie Saccurato, Melissa Hernandez and Belinda Laracuente! Also includes a pair of boxing gloves signed by Women World Champions!

The pair of boxing gloves is signed by Women World Champions Jessica Rakoczy, Carina Moreno, Holly Dunaway, Ann-Marie Saccurato, Melissa Herdandez and Belinda Laracuenta.

Learn to box from the best of the best!

Ann-Marie Saccurato is a two-time WBC Lightweight World Champion - boxing's most prestigious title. She is the #1 ranked Lightweight in the World! On September 27, 2007 at the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino, in Lemoore, California, Ann Marie won the WBC Lightweight title by knocking out local favorite Jessica Rakoczy of Las Vegas at 1:58 in the tenth round. Rakoczy had controlled the early rounds but was in trouble from a later-round rally by the hard-charging Saccurato although she was reportedly ahead on two of the three scorecards. Saccurato dropped Rakoczy with a stunning straight right to her face, and the referee stopped the bout. Rakoczy fell to 27-3-0 (11 KOs) as Saccurato improved to 13-2-2 (5 KOs).

Melissa Hernandez is the current WIBA Super Lightweight World Champion. On April 27, 2007, Melissa (130 lbs) returned to the Orleans Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas for a rematch with Layla McCarter (133½ lbs) this time taking the GBU Lightweight title away from the home-town favorite by an eight-round majority decision.

Belinda Laracuente is the current GBU World Champion. On June 15, 2007 at the Orleans Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, Belinda (137 lbs) won the GBU Junior Welterweight title with a 12-round unanimous (115-113,115-113,116-112) decision over a tough and gritty Melissa Del Valle (139 lbs) of Miami, Florida. Del Valle fell to 29-6-1 (11 KO's) while Laracuente improved to 23-18-3 (9 KOs).

Bids start at only $100!!

Saccurato regains her WBC World title by KO in 1:58th of the 10th round!

Working the corner of this fight was a heart-stopper!  One of the best fights I have had the pleasure of being involved with.  KO with two seconds, yes TWO seconds left in the fight.  The ten rounds was a roller coaster of emotion! WOW!  Jessica and her team are amoung some of the nicest and quality boxing teams out there!  They treated us with nothing but respect.  Such a breath of fresh air to work with them!

In an amazing women's boxing display, Ann-Marie Saccurato (12-2 5KO) came into Jessica Rakoczy (27-2 10KOs) hometown and fought to regain her WBC World Championship in a 10 round main event at the Tachi Palace Casino!

An real nailbiter of the fight, Jessica won the first 5 rounds and Ann-Marie started to find her distance and her right hand won round 6-9. . .then in an thrilling upset, Ann-Marie knocked Jessica out with a right hand only 2 seconds left in round 10. Jessica fell, started to get back up and fell again and the fight was over!
This was truly the fight of the year--two champions, one belt. Check www.wban.com for all the fight details and photos.

Thanks to the WBC for the opportunity! Thanks also to the Institute of Human Performance, Performax Physical Therapy, LA Boxing in Mamaroneck, and Champion Nutrition!