Valerie Mahfood was born and raised in Tyler, Texas where she graduated from Robert E. Lee High School in 1992. She went directly to Kilgore Correctional Officer Academy where she was the youngest to ever be admitted and of the 300 applications, one of only two women selected. Upon graduation, she received her unit assignment at Stiles Prison, an all male maximum security institution where she worked for 6 years. She recently received a promotion to Grievance Lieutenant at the LeBlanc Unit.
Her boxing career began in 1995 after a friend dared her to enter an upcoming local Toughwoman Contest. Mahfood knocked out all her opponents in the local contest and was invited to the national contest in Detroit, Michigan where she held her own but lost on points even though she had knocked down her opponent twice. She had caught the boxing bug and a coworkers son, who was a Junior Olympics boxing gold medalist agreed to train her. Sgt. Jimmy Johnson had two provisions, quit drinking alcohol and quit smoking. She did and won her one official amateur fight by knockout. Through Sgt. Johnson, Mahfood met up with Harrt Murdock and Austin Green co-owners of the Orange Boxing Club in 1996 and they have been her trainers ever since.
Mahfood's professional career began in 1997 in New Orleans, Louisiana when she KO'd Jeanne Martinez of Slidell, La. By the time of her bout in Panama City, Panama, September 17, 1999, her record was 5-3 and it would be the first time two women would fight for the light heavy weight (168-175lbs.) title of the world. In Panama she avenged a previous loss to Kathy Rivers of Miami, Florida and won two world titles at the same time by TKO'ing Rivers at 0:32 in the 10th round. Not only did she win the Women's International Boxing Federation (WIBF) and the International Women's Boxing Federation (IBWF) Light Heavyweight World Titles that day, but it was a big day for women's professional boxing because it was the first women's title match ever to be touted as the main event on a Panama City card. Later that same year at the Radisson Astrodome in Houston, Texas, "The Wolfe" won with a four round unanimous decision in a rematch with Geneva Buckhalter of Columbus, Mississippi. In the weeks before the fight, the media helped to shift the focus from the men's bouts and the Mahfood - Buckhalter fight became the main event for the sellout crowd. As of summer 2001 her record was 10-3 with four KO's and she was named 2001 Fighter of the Year by the Women's Boxing Archive Network (WBAN).
She had been taking classes at Lamar since 1996 and with a full time job at the prison and her rigorous training schedule she is a very busy woman. There are only three women's boxing world titles to be had and Mahfood is the first American woman to hold two of them. The International Women's Boxing Association (IWBA) light heavyweight title is vacant as of summer 2001 and no woman has held all three. Mahfood's status in the women's boxing world makes her a prime candidate for advocating women's boxing, inspiring young women who would like to become boxers and perhaps involvement in future plans for the first women's boxing event at the 2004 Olympic Games.
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