Friday, December 10th, 2010 at the Longbranch Entertainment Complex in Raleigh, NC, the number two light-heavyweight in the world Bonnie The Queen “B” Mann (13-9-0, 6 KOs) will go head-to-head with number one light-heavyweight in the world, Carlette “The Truth” Ewell (14-7-0, 9 KOs). The winner will take home both the Women’s International Boxing Association and the Women’s Boxing Federation title belts.
The two camps have agreed to fight at the catchweight of 185 for ten rounds. It isn’t often that Raleigh sees women’s title fights; if you’re anywhere within driving distance of this match, get your tickets from LA Boxing on North Harrison in Cary, NC now; every seat in the Longbranch has an incredible up-close view of the ring and some seats are already sold out. Standing-room only tickets are $35, and they go up from there.
I was able to sit down with Bonnie after a sparring session last week to talk with her about the upcoming fight.
You and Carlette are both coming off of two solid wins. But you are going to be fighting on home turf on the 10th. What other major advantages do you feel you have going in to this fight?
I’ve been able to stay as agile at this heavier weight as I was back when I was fighting at 154 and 160. I’ve seen Carlette down at 160 — she moves better but doesn’t have the same power. I think the advantage for her is that she’s at a weight she’s comfortable with, but I have my agility and speed working for me. My power is better at this weight, too.
What has your primary training focus for this fight?
Working a lot of angles, turning my opponent, working on the inside. I’ve always been comfortable on the outside. I can keep distance on anyone. So now I’m working inside, and I’m very tight on my defense.
You’ve done some sparring with Carlette before now. What are you going to be watching out for from her?
Definitely her right hand. She’s a strong woman. Obviously her title and her record proves that she deserves to be where she’s at. And I deserve to be where I’m at. It’s going to come down to who wants it more, who throws more, who lands more effective punches. I don’t see any knockouts in this; I’m confident in my defensive abilities and I know she can take punches. It’s going to come down to the score, and who the judges believe has landed more punches.
Carlette is talking big about how well her training is going. Do you think she’ll overtrain?
It’s possible, but I don’t think she’ll overtrain; I know she’s getting her cardio up because her camp is going to want her to throw a lot of punches or keep me against the ropes so that she can work the body. But that’s not gonna work on me.
You seem pretty comfortable working everywhere in the ring. You remind me some of Melissa Hernandez, who even seems to take up position on the ropes!
Oh, yeah — there are times I draw my opponent in that way to work something different. Melissa Hernandez, Chevelle Hallback, Christy Martin — all those woman work everywhere in the ring. I’m very comfortable with that now.
Anything you’d like to say to Carlette? She’s talking a little bit of smack, you know.
When people talk a lot, it’s usually nervous chatter. One, they’re trying to hype up the fight, which is great. But if it’s a lot of smack, it’s usually because you’re nervous. That’s why you don’t hear me doing it. Talk is cheap. What matters is what you do in the ring. Go ahead and bring it on. I could care less what you have to say; bring it to the ring. The words that come out of your mouth are just words. Bring it to the ring.
I have respect for anybody, but I don’t like it when people are disrespectful with their words. When they talk like “I’m gonna crack your dome,” and all that. That’s just talk. I’ve never had my ‘dome cracked’ and she’s not gonna be the one to do it. I know what she’s capable of and she’s not going to be able to keep up with me.
What’s after this fight? Any opponents you’d particularly like to face?
It depends on what weight class I stay in. I’d like to go against some of the top 10 girls in Germany.
Like Natalia Ragozina?
Definitely. She’s number one in the world in her weight. I’ve always fought top boxers, and it would be nice to actually make some money, too. Women rarely get much of a payday; it’s a lot of work, and it’s nice to get a little pay.
I bet you’ll have some young up-and-comers, too; girls looking to get a shot at whoever’s in the number one position.
Yeah, you get those for a couple of reasons. They want to go against someone who isn’t completely undefeated, but has experience, holds titles, and is a little bit older. They underestimate us. They’re already looking beyond us. I like surprising those 22 year-olds!
I never look beyond my opponent — I don’t care what my opponent’s ability level or background or age is, anybody has a shot at winning a fight and all it takes is one punch to change a fight.
Who are the boxers you most admire and have learned the most from?
Paul Marinaccio, that one’s easy. He’s my best friend. He’s just an incredible human being. If not for Paul and Carlton Holland I wouldn’t be here. They showed me respect and helped me come up in the boxing world.
And there are so many women. The women’s boxing world is tight-knit. You can reach out to them and talk to them and get answers. People like Mia St. John. Meeting her was a thrill. Just the fact that we were able to sit and talk for a while, and now we go back and forth with emails and talk. Melissa Del-Valle. She is a great person. She’s always been supportive. Trina Ortegon is great. She’s been a huge supporter. Carley Pesente, Ada Valez, Ria Ramnarine. And there are fighters I first saw back in the 80’s on an all-women’s card that I had on VHS tape! Dora Webber and her twin sister Cora. Women I keep up with now on Facebook.
There are so many others, it’s hard to even name them all. I don’t think they realize how much I look up to them; it means so much to me to be getting encouragement and support from them all.
We’re all looking forward to seeing you fight on the 10th. Some of us will be ringside, but many more will be waiting to hear, and supporting you as you make a bid for the titles!