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Emily Klinefelter set for biggest challenge yet

BY JON FRANK | NOVEMBER 12, 2010 7:20 AM

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Emily Klinefelter patrols an empty ring in the Fit 2 Live gym three days out from the fight that will define the remainder of her boxing career.

Light on the balls of her feet, she glides effortlessly. Her arms propel her fists, wrapped in protective tape, forward. Her piercing blue eyes steady as she prepares for Saturday's Fall Brawl event.

"I'm excited to step it up and see where I am," the Iowa City native said.

Klinefelter's career, to this point, has been defined by convincing victories against inferior competition. With an 8-0 professional record, she is ranked third in the nation at the 118-pound weight class.

But her undefeated streak is in jeopardy. The competition — Lakeysha "The Total Package" Williams — is bigger, stronger and more experienced than opponents of the past.

"This is clearly the most experienced opponent that [Klinefelter] has faced as a pro," said Adam Pollack, Klinefelter's trainer. "This is not an easy fight by any means."

Prior to scheduling the fight, Pollack said fellow boxing enthusiasts discouraged him from pitting Klinefelter against Williams because of the lopsided size and experience Williams holds over Klinefelter. Pollack said that Klinefelter insisted on taking the fight.



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Williams dropped her weight to 122 pounds — four pounds above Klinefelter's natural fighting weight. Williams' natural weight lies somewhere closer to 130 pounds.

Aside from a size advantage, Williams' career spans 10 years and 27 fights — the majority of which were decided by the judges' scorecards. Six of her bouts were televised, including a world-championship title fight on ESPN2.

Despite a professional losing record (9-15-3), Williams takes the opposition the distance. She has battled in 137 rounds. And her last nine opponents have a combined record of 142-40-11.

"It's definitely the biggest fight of [Klinefelter's] career," said Klinefelter's sister Katy Klinefelter, who is also a professional boxer. "[Williams] has gone a lot of total rounds. And that makes a huge difference because you can have 10 fights, and if they've never gotten out of the first round, then you've still never been tested."

Williams brings strength and experience to the ring that Emily Klinefelter's never faced.

Regardless, she is eager to test her ring abilities head-on. Her style in the ring is even more aggressive than her ambition to further her career. Always on the offensive, Emily Klinefelter hopes the fight will springboard her reputation to becoming one of the elite female fighters in the nation.

"In the fights I've seen of [Williams], mostly the girls were running away from her and trying to out-box her," the UI alumna said. "[Williams] was probably more of the aggressor. But I don't think she's quite as aggressive as I am. I'm really prepared to do whatever I have to do in this fight."

Katy Klinefelter looks to improve record

Also undefeated in the ring, UI senior Katy Klinefelter will try to improve her fighting record to 7-0. The first Iowa woman to win a national amateur boxing title, Katy Klinefelter faces untested Jessica Wilson.

Although Saturday's fight is Wilson's professional début, Katy Klinefelter said facing an opponent that has no track record outside of amateur bouts poses a dangerous and uncertain foe.

"You're not comfortable with it because you haven't seen what [Wilson]'s done before," the Iowa City native said. "Even if they are really good, I feel more comfortable seeing them fight before."


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