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Shelby Walker Photo from the website Boxing Insider
By Tom Casino/Showtime

Shelby Walker

In the middle of interviewing Shelby Walker when we waited for her other answers by e-mail, we learned sad news: on September 23, 2006, "The First Lady" of the American Top Team, Shelby Walker suddenly passed away at the age of 31 (of apparent pain medication overdose)… Female Single Combat Club would like to send condolences to the family and friends of Shelby Walker.

We decided to publish the incomplete piece of the interview along with extracts from two other interviews with Shelby Walker conducted by Scoop Malinowski and Benny Henderson.

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Shelby Walker Photo from the website Boxing Insider
By Tom Casino/Showtime

"She was a wonderful person who inspired many people.
However she succumbed to personal demons.
Shelby was loved and will be greatly missed by all that knew her…
Shelby should be remembered as the fun loving beautiful person who was the life of any party and got to live her dream."

Larry Goldberg

Shelby Walker ("The Girl"), Texas, USA (125lbs / 5'6"), 31. Professional boxer and fighter in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). Pro boxing record: 7-6-1 (6KO); 2 wins in MMA. Also practiced in kickboxing and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. The first lady of the "American Top Team" (one of the largest and most active MMA teams in the world). Possessed a record – the quickest knockout (five seconds).

What do you mean saying you have “always been a fighter”? Is that literally or in a figurative sense?

Literally! I have always had a fighter! I just love to fight!

When did you start fighting?

Stating at 4 or 5 years old, I had always seen the competitiveness, in combat and was totally interested.

Were you violent?

My brother Rick 1 1/2 years younger, is my #1 witness. I didn't want to "hurt" anyone, just always loved the competitive "fight".

When did you start practicing in combative sports?

I didn't start training in one specific art until the age of 24. I started training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in my hometown with a then Blue belt named Leo Cantu. Immediately after starting was 100% enthralled and wanted to compete. First one in the gym, and the last to leave...

Is it possible you didn’t practice any combative sport before 24?

Before Jiu-Jitsu, I was in the Army for 5 years - it was my dream to be a soldier. I loved hand to hand combat but, wasn't trained specifically enough.

What is your best achievement?

My best achievement was wining my second professional fight after on less than 6 months of training in boxing!

What the title you are the most proud of?

"The first lady of American Top Team!"

Which combat disciplines are the best for fighting in the MMA style as far as skills are concerned?

In my opinion, good wrestling background and boxing are superior for MMA.

What was your happiest moment on the ring?

When I knocked out Angela Wilson in five seconds by straight right hand on the chin…

What was your unhappiest moment on the ring?

When I lost to Tara LaRosa in “Hook’N’Shoot Revolution” in 2002. I had some personal reasons to kick her ass. I was gonna knock her out… Sad! I am kidding, Tara is one of the best MMA fighters.

How people react being learned you are a professional fighter?

I get different reactions from different people. Usually it's disbelief and shock. People start asking a lot of questions and eventually I have good response from people.

Why women's boxing haven't included into the Olympics as freestyle wrestling, taekwondo and judo have?

I think that most of the people in charge of making boxing decisions are still pretty "old school". It's hard for some people to see women get hit.

Please name the best three female fighters, on your opinion?

Christy Martin, Laila Ali and Layla McCarter

What would you choose, boxing or MMA, if you have to choose only one of them?

I would choose MMA for the good of my soul and boxing - for the career.

What women can add to the male dominated world of comat sports?

Whatever women add to any activity. I guess women diversify and ennoble fighting sports even though many think it's a men's world. Some women are real fighters (as I am ).

What is your dream?

To be in the first women’s bout in the UFC octagon.

Extract from the question-answer biography by Scoop Malinowski

Scoop Malinowski: Funny Boxing Memory.

Shelby Walker: My very first boxing match ever (in Indianapolis in 2002). My opponent (Christmas Davis) came in with her hair taped up off the top of her head. In the second round I hit her and her hair flew off. It turned out it was a weave. The ref separated us and had to give her hair to her corner. (Who ended up winning?) I won by 2nd-round TKO. I guess she got flustered a little when her hair flew off.

SM: Embarrassing Moment.

SW: I showed up at a new boxing gym one day, just trying it out. I was boxing about two rounds. A guy came up to me and tapped me on the shoulder - the whole seam of my shorts had torn out. And I had on thong underwear. And that was their first impression of me.

SM: Childhood Dreams.

SW: A nurse for a while. And then I wanted to be a soldier, which I did for the Army.

SM: People Qualities Most Admired.

SW: Honesty, loyalty.

Extract from the Interview conducted by Benny Henderson on January 2005

Benny Henderson Jr.: What would possess a lady as yourself to want to get into the fight game?

Shelby Walker: I have always been a fighter and the fact that I found a way to possibly capitalize on it and be able to do something that I love really means a lot to me. So I don’t know what would posses me to get in into the fight game, I guess the same thing that would posses a baseball player to want to be a professional baseball player; just the love of the game.

BH: Do you feel you are taking seriously in the fight world as a female fighter and what are the challenges you face as a female in a predominantly male sport?

SW: Well it’s hard to be taken seriously sometimes especially a lot of the men in the sport still see it as a man's sport. But women’s boxing and MMA is definitely evolving. There are big rumors that girls may even fight in the UFC so women’s fighting is coming to a whole new light.

BH: Well what are your thoughts on the critics saying that you are just another pretty face in the business and not serious about your fighting career?

SW: Well I think that is kind of what my family thought when I decided to sign up for the US Army too. I guess they are going to have to sit back and watch and the critics who think I can’t fight need to watch one of my fights.

BH: What are your thoughts on joining the UFC as a part in a women’s division, do you believe that will go well as seeing the women fighting in the octagon as the men do?

SW: I definitely think that the waters need to be tested and I think the perfect place for that would be UFC Japan because women’s MMA in Japan is growing rapidly as women’s boxing in the United States. So I think we should test the waters and Erica Montoya and I should fight it out in Japan and see how it goes and take it from there.

BH: How important is it for you to be taking seriously by the fight world and not just being looked at as another pretty face in the crowd?

SW: I work so hard; I dedicate all my time, energy, blood and bruises to my career. I really want people to know that and to understand that this means a lot to me, it means everything to me.

BH: What is your training regime?

SW: I train probably a combined total of four hours a day. Running, sprints, jump rope, sparring, heavy bags, speed bags, it varies form day to day but usually about four a day, six days a week.

BH: What is the one thing that you can tell us about yourself that nobody else knows about you?

SW: I’m a nice girl.

Photos from the website Boxing Insider
By Tom Casino/Showtime

Shelby Walker

Shelby Walker

Shelby Walker

Shelby Walker

Shelby Walker

MMA bout: Shelby Walker VS Adrienna Jenkins.
Photos from the website SherDog

Shelby Walker VS Adrienna Jenkins

Shelby Walker VS Adrienna Jenkins

Two videoclips

Shelby Walker

Shelby Walker VS Angela Wilson
Shelby Walker knocks out Angela Wilson

>> Our Interviews

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