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Rises and falls of Erin Toughill

Erin Toughill
Photo by Sol Tucker, Pointed Magazine

Русская версия

Exactly three years have passed since our friend, formidable fighter and beautiful woman, Erin Toughill, gave us her excellent interview A lot of events (bad and good) have happened in her life since then. On the ring, she had several bouts - in professional boxing and in her favorite sport, MMA. On September 19, 2004 Erin's baby sister, Megan Toughill, was killed in a car wreck in California. Each of us is very sorry for her family - we are sending condolences to her and her relatives.

Erin and Megan Toughill

Three years on the ring

On July 24, 2003 at the Performing Arts Center in Oxnard, Califorria, Erin (163 lbs) won a four-round unanimous decision in the pro boxing bout over Nikki Conant (164? lbs) of Las Vegas. Toughill out-punched and out-landed Conant from the outside with right hands over the top. Toughill also scored with rights and left hooks on the inside. Conant was cut over her left eye, but this wasn't a big factor in the bout.

On November 14, 2003 at the Quiet Cannon in Montebello, California, Erin (158 lbs) won a four-round unanimous decision over debut fighter Ku'ulei Kupihea (159 lbs), a southpaw from Honolulu, Hawaii. Toughill was ranked #8 at super middleweight by my computer rankings at the time of this bout.

Erin was scheduled to fight IFBA, WIBC and NABA Super Middleweight champion Ann Wolfe of Waco, Texas on February 7, 2004 at Grand Casino Coushatta Pavilion in Kinder, Louisiana, but the bout was canceled at the last moment when Wolfe pulled out (for reasons that were variously reported as complaints about the purse, stomach flu and lip sores.) “I’m sure she would want this fight but she’s sick or something…” said Toughill to the auduence come watching the bout. Nobody from Wolfe's management was present to offer any explanation for the cancellation.

On July 31, 2004 at Sam's Town Casino in Tunica, Mississipp, Erin (170 lbs) won an eight-round unanimous (79-73,77-75,78-74) decision over the prominent knockouter Cassandra Geiggar (170 lbs) of Fayetteville, Arkansas, who fell to 6-3-0 (5 KOs) with the loss. The fighters started with active exchanging with heavy punches. As soon as Toughill got confidence, she began throwing most of her punches in combinations, ending several times with solid hooks to the body. As her confidence level increased, Toughill became more aggressive and less defensive minded. It was very intensive and really tough bout.

On October 22, 2004 on a black tie charity card at the Municipal Auditorium in Sarasota, Florida, Erin (167 lbs) won a ten-round unanimous decision over Yvonne Reis (164? lbs) of Fort Lauderdale, Florida for the WIBF 168-lb Intercontinental title. Reis fell to 3-5-1 (0 KOs) with the loss.

On December 19, 2004, Erin fought in the Smack Girl 2004 World ReMix in Tokyo, Japan, the top female mixed martial arts competition in the world. Erin dominated her bouts in this tournament, thrashed all her opponents, including formidable and unbeatable Marlos Coenen. However, unluckily, she lost by a disqualification in its final. She instantly defeated Miwako Ishihara of Japan by a TKO at 0:27 in the first round when Isihara's corner threw in the towel after Erin landed a series of punches. The most important for Erin was the victory over Marloes Coenen of Olst, Holland, who brought a perfect 11-0 MMA record and was regarded as one of the world's top MMA female fighters. Besides desire to win, Erin had a personal reason to beat Coenen, who once described Erin as the "personification of arrogance". Coenen lost by TKO when she could not continue into the second round after being knocked down by a flurry of punches (see picture) in the first round. In the final, Toughill was dominating Megumi Yabushita of Japan when Yabushita began hanging on to Erin's glove and trying to twist her arm around, an illegal maneuver. Erin responded with an elbow to Yabushita's back, also illegal. Toughill's infraction rendered Yabushita unable to continue; the bout was stopped and Toughill was disqualified, giving the win to Yabushita.

On June 11, 2005 in Washington, DC, Erin Toughill (168 lbs) come out into the ring of the MCI Center to fight against Laila Ali (167? lbs) who appeared with her father. There were 15,472 ringside fans. At 1:54 in the third round Ali TKO'd her opponent and won the newly-minted WBC Women's Super Middleweight title. In the first round Ali and Toughill, both began cautiously. In the second round, Toughill sported a bloody (and broken) nose and the crowd began chanting, “Ali, Ali, Ali.” Ali had the faster hands, and Toughill was unable to mount a consistent attack, so Ali took charge. Though Ali used a jab occasionally to set up other punches, most of her damage was done with a stiff right hand that Toughill seemed unable to avoid. By the end of the second round, Toughill's nose was bleeding profusely, and her corner was unable to stop it. However, Toughill started the third round more effectively but by the end of the round, Ali backed her into a corner throwing a barrage of combinations, landing about 15 unanswered punches to Toughill's face. The bout was stopped when Toughill turned her back to her. Muhammad Ali said of his daughter's performance ... “she’s bad”. The bout was also a defence of Ali's WIBA Super Middleweight and was carried live on Showtime pay-per-view. Erin Toughill fell to 6-2-1. Being a world-class MMA fighter, Erin Toughill had limited boxing experience, that's why (according to the most of boxing gurus) she lost the bout.

Being Erin's fans, we are pretty sure that she has a great pro boxer future. We believe that a return match is around the comer, in which Erin will thrash the arrogant daughter. Erin is the world class hand-to-hand combatant; she just needs a little more specific boxing experience.

Toughill - Coenen, MMA. Photos by Smack Girl"

Toughill - Yabushita, MMA. Photos by Smack Girl"

Toughill - Ali, boxing. Animation using photos © by Ed Mullholland, Boxing Pics

Below we reprint Erin's thoughts which she placed on her personal WEB site just after the loss to Leila Ali.

My Thoughts

Let me start by saying what an awesome experience this was. You cannot get any "higher" in boxing than this. I learned sooo much from this fight and what lead up to it. The one thing I knew when I left that ring was that I will be back to fight again. I lost the battle but not the war. Hell, no fighter wants to lose on international TV - let alone stopped by TKO. Does it suck? Yeah, it really sucks. But you have to move on. I don't plan to sit here and let this stop me from reaching the top in boxing - It will happen and I will not quit. Setbacks DO happen, but all that matters is how you comeback from them.

A few days after the fight, I have a black eye. And what looked to be a very bad broken nose during the fight turned out to be a small fracture on the side of the bridge. (Sorry Laila LOL) Unfortunately, it just happened to be in a place where it was bleeding...A LOT! In fact, I think my nose is straighter than before There was a lot of swelling for a couple days. But four days after the fight - it is gone. My body feels the same as before. No bumps or bruises. The nose will take a little bit of time to heal and then I will be back ready to fight again.

I believed in myself and so did those who worked with me for this fight. You cannot step back into time and change anything. You just move on. I have always taken on the "challenge". I love to fight and sometimes you fight when you can. In boxing, I have taken on competition that was near or equal to my time in the ring. I knew Ms. Ali had the experience and I did not care. I still do not care and I would fight her again. I could have waited and fought more, but I did not. This was something I really wanted to do and I did it. Unfortunately it did not work out the way I wanted but it is just a minor setback. More ring time - that's all. I will get my chance to fight for a title again.

I do not have some new found respect for Laila. I did not respect her before and I still do not. I did not like her before and I still do not. She debases the sport and that is why so many do not like her. Hearing her speak is like hearing nails scratch a chalkboard. She loves to hear herself cackle - that is very evident. At the press conference, I sat two seats away from Mike Tyson on his right side. When Ali came up to talk and talk and talk about herself, Mike Tyson finally covered his ears with BOTH hands and put his head down. If Mike Tyson is sick of hearing you speak, I think that says something

So, I have gotten hundreds of emails leading up to this fight and after this fight. 99.9% of these emails are extremely positive. The ones that are not are funny if anything. Me and my friends were reading some of them literally laughing our butts off. Everyone is entitled to their opinion - it's just funny the time that some people take outta their lives to actually sit down at a computer and write how much they "hate" you. How much you "suck" at boxing. How "bad" they think you did. How much they "never want to see you fight again". How much they "think you should stick to MMA". Too bad for them things like that only make me stronger. I am hardly concerned what all the backseat drivers have to say. It's always the ones who have never and will never fight that have the most to say. But that is life. You're damned if you do and damned if you don't.

One of the greatest male fighters of all times, Kosta Tyszu, lost to Ricky Hatton the week before my fight. He was beaten in almost every round and then did not come out for the 11th round. Now he is a "quitter" and a "has been" and he "sucks" and he looked "old". What I do know about sports is that you are only as good as your last outing. People will say what they want. And believe me, they WILL say what they want People will say good things about me and they will say horrible things about me. But I am the one getting in there - not them.

One thing I found extremely funny was how Laila went on and on and ON mostly about herself, but also about how when I lose to her it will "break my heart". The only thing that "breaks my heart" is that I don't have the chance to break both of her arms. It did not "break" anything in me losing to her. I knew going into that fight that everything was stacked against me. A lot of people said I needed more fights. But just as many people thought I did not. What matters is what I thought and I was ready and willing to fight. I went to HER venue on a card promoted by HER people. I knew that this would be a real challenge. There were 16,000 people in that arena chanting for Ali and Tyson. They surely could not be chanting for the Irish McBride and Irish Erin Toughill (at that card Tyson lost to McBride). Those are the chances you choose to take. You get in there and do what most people can only dream of doing. Someone has to win and someone has to lose. Hey, and that was me!

I have come into boxing wanting to better myself as a fighter and wanting to fight the best, I can say that. I will continue to fight and fight until I reach my goal. I went into this fight willing to take a shortcut to the top. We wanted to reach it this year - not next year or the year after. Would it have been nice to have that "shortcut" work? Definitely. But now, we will go back to the beginning and take that longer route. We will climb that ladder again and again till we reach the top.

Tyson's camp (along w/ many others) said "it's there". This "goal" is something you can do. His words were, "You are still a baby in the sport. Laila is in her prime. The only thing she has is the ring time". Besides the regular fan emailing me - we have had our fair share of boxers and promoters and managers give their 2 cents as well. The overall consensus is IT IS THE EXPERIENCE. You can sit and spar a million time in your gym - but when you get on that ring that is what counts. There were things I was happy with and of course there were things I was not. Sure, I did not move my head how I knew I could or move my feet like I know I can. If I could not do that stuff in training in the first place, I sure as hell would not get on TV not being able to do it Now I go back and keep doing what I was doing - fighting and training and striving to better myself. I make no excuses. What I do know is I have the potential to move on and become better. That is what matters.

For all those people out there that are really happy I lost and don't want to see me fight again - that's just too bad, Baby. I used to put more stock into what people said. I used to read what all these anonymous people hiding on their computers would write about me. I have not done that for quite some time. In the past 6-8 months, I have gone on a handful of sites a limited amount of times. If I was not doing it then, I sure as hell would not being doing it after this fight!! I know people are saying some cruel things and some are VERY happy that I am "eating crow". Well, that's good for you now, isn't it? I have never had any problems putting myself out there. I am not going to change who or what I am because I lost this fight. I am still gonna have my website, I am still gonna talk trash, and I am still gonna be here for the next fight.

But for as many people who don't like me - there's many, many more who do. Fans are what make it all worthwhile. No one likes negative comments made about them - but that's life. You are in the public eye. People love you or hate you. But it's how you deal with it that can determine certain things.

Laila apparently wanted to make me "tap out" or something to that extent. Riiiiiiight. I know Ali would never fight me in MY sport because she would never be able to fight again and that's a cold hard fact. Only a moron could spout that, so I guess it's no surprise to me coming from her. It would take me about 10 seconds to completely dismantle Ms. Ali in an MMA fight. We ALL know she would never come into my sport. We ALL know she would never be able to fight again. We ALL know it would be embarrassing for her be choked out and thrown on her big ass. Please, I implore you to start training in MMA. Start w/ Judo, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, throw in kickboxing and wrestling. I'll even give you a year to train. Tell me how easy it is and then tell me what it's like to really "tap out".

Yes, you beat me in boxing. But for her to sit there and talk sh*t on my sport; a true warriors sport; a sport that is just as important as boxing and even harder...well, that shows what a truly classless thug you are. I don't care that I lost. I care that she has no respect for another sport. A sport that many of us love and follow. A sport in which every "pure" boxer that I have met thinks that MMA people are "truly insane" and that it's a "really tough sport" (and I have met quite a few boxers) Boxers have an immense amount of respect for this sport. Apparently Ali is the only one who does not.

Well, you will get what's coming to you. The time for honoring yourself will come to an end. It's truly said when someone's arrogance and ignorance completely blinds them. Throughout history all empires have fallen because of emotions like this. And her empire will also crumble. Unlike her, I am truly concerned w/ helping women's boxing and MMA in general evolve. I wanted to bring more recognition to our sport and I think I did. I am truly ecstatic we have such an ambassador in women's boxing. Because of how she speaks and carries herself it's a wonder why we don't see her being endorsed more. *That's a subtle hint for her.*

So, all in all it was a blast. I recuperate a bit and then go back to training. Thanks for all the people who have been supporting me and been on my side. I am not quitting and sure as hell would not be quitting because I lost to such a "class act". I will be back and better than ever!!


Erin Toughill

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Photo by Sol Tucker, Pointed Magazine Erin Toughill
Erin Toughilla
Erin Toughilli
Erin Toughill

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