by Malaika H Kambon
One minute and 14 seconds into the first round, the professional boxing middleweight fight debut of Raquel “Pretty Beast” Miller and Sara “Mac Tire” Flores was over, and Raquel Miller had scored the win via TKO after the center referee stopped the bout.
The fight was part of promoter Michael Bazan and Square Vision Entertainment’s “Night of Glory III – Battle for the Golden State” on a card of nine scheduled bouts, held at the Richmond Memorial Auditorium on May 21, 2016.
One minute and 14 seconds into the first round, the professional boxing middleweight fight debut of Raquel “Pretty Beast” Miller and Sara “Mac Tire” Flores was over, and Raquel Miller had scored the win via TKO.
Both fighters have lengthy resumes going into their professional boxing debut. Raquel “Pretty Beast” Miller’s resume is impressive.
Becoming an elite athlete in just two years, 2010-2012, she was several times a state and national champion, a 2012 Olympic alternate and member of the first U.S. Women’s Boxing Team to grace Olympic competition. Recently she medaled bronze at the 2016 Olympic Trials.
She is an entrepreneur in her own right, an outstanding community leader in her San Francisco, California, Bayview Hunters Point community, and is co-founder with her sister Taneisha of Ladies In Power, a non-profit organization dedicated to “positively impacting the lives of girls and women around the world through our vision of sisterhood and each one teach one.”
Raquel’s growth from high school street fighter to Olympian and co-founder of Ladies In Power was part of a 2013 storytelling project between the San Francisco Arts Commission and local public radio station KALW 91.7 FM with funding from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. The eight stories featured “remarkable people who live, work and make a positive change” in Bayview Hunters Point.
One of those remarkable people is Raquel Miller, and the feature is entitled, “Sights and Sounds of the Bayview – In Your Corner: Bayview Boxer Raquel Miller,” produced by Mitzi Mock and videographer Brian Storm and photographed by Malaika H Kambon, with music by DAFOP and Dynamic.
Ladies in Power recently completed a very successful “Fight Like A Girl” event on April 21 at the Third Street Boxing Gym in Hunters Point, in which a day of boxing training and techniques were utilized as a guide to showing young girls how discipline, strength, empowerment and physical and mental wellbeing can enhance participation in any walk of life and any sport they choose.
Another event is planned for this summer, and young boys will be taking part as well.
Ms. Sara Flores, whose resume is not as extensive as Raquel Miller’s, nevertheless trained for three years for her professional boxing debut. Prior to making her decision to turn professional, Ms. Flores had a 4-0 amateur boxing record. She works full time at Food 4 Less in Madera and trains by night at Thrive Gym in Madera with Coach Brian Williams, trainer of Smokin’ Joe Louie Lopez of Team Ruiz.
In her interview on One News Page two days before the bout, Ms. Flores, when asked how she would describe herself as a fighter, said: “I’m going to come at you no matter what. I do not stop throwing; I do not stop attacking. I’ve been told I’m like a hybrid of Canelo,* so we’ll see if that’s true in the ring or I’m going to have my own style.”
At which point the interviewing newscaster said, “I feel so sorry for [and he made a show of having to look at his notes] Raquel Miller,” before Ms. Flores demonstrated some of her glove work.
He could have saved his breath.
Raquel Miller, who is trained by Coach Basheer Abdullah at San Diego’s The Arena Gym in San Diego, threw very precise flurries of left hooks, straight left hands, straight rights, and a stunning jaw dropping upper cut, dominating the fight from start to finish and taking over the ring early in what became a nearly non-existent first round, as the fight was over before it started.
Ms. Flores, who missed punches and tried a variety of defensive maneuvers to no avail – from ducking and dodging, to fighting on the inside – finally trapped herself against the ropes and was unable to respond to Raquel Miller’s left hook-upper cut-straight right hand combinations.
Both women were nearly equal in weight, Raquel Miller’s 156.4 to Sara Flores’ 155.2, but near equal weight is where any similarity between the two women ended.
Ms. Miller – whose fans came out and supported her en masse, showing love, showing that they see how hard she works, how much she’s sacrificed to be where she is today, and how much she appreciates their support – had a slight height and reach advantage over Ms. Flores, and an obviously more developed level of skill.
And equally as important as her development as a boxer, Raquel Miller wants to continue her growth and development in the community. In an interview with Lukie Ketelle of Square Vision Entertainment, Ms. Miller stressed that she is serious about being hands on in the community.
“I don’t want to just be the face,” said Raquel. “I want to be the body, I want to be the voice and I want to be on the ground in the community, not just talking about it but being about it.”
There is no way of knowing yet what Raquel Miller’s next steps are or who her next opponent will be. But at this point, with her strong spiritual faith, work ethic and spirit, and the love of family, friends and community, everything she touches turns to solid gold.
*Santos Saul Alvarez Barragan, born July 18, 1990, is commonly known as Canelo Alvarez. Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, he is currently ranked as the world’s top middleweight boxer.
Malaika H Kambon is a freelance, multi-award winning photojournalist and owner of People’s Eye Photography. She is also an Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) state and national champion in Tae Kwon Do from 2007-2012. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Video: Mario Cabrera Jr.