By Joseph Phillips
With a mission statement that reads “One Dream, One Passion, One Mission to be the greatest,” Gary native and professional boxer Mary “Merciless” McGee said she developed her niche and a love for the sport at the age of 14.
Fast forwarded 20 years later, McGee is now starring in and hosting her very own fight production show in her home state of Indiana on Saturday, February 8, at the Hammond Civic Center. The event is entitled, “The Triple International Showdown,” and is sponsored by McGee House of Champions.
“This event is not just for me, but for all the women at this table,” said McGee at a boxing press conference held in her hometown of Gary, Indiana on Wednesday, February 5 at the Genesis Convention Center.
“The men always get opportunities to fight. So, if I could put on a great show and I brought women along [with me] that could put on a great show, then, we deserve to be equally promoted, and equally paid at the end of the event [too].”
McGee was recently crowned the new IBF Women’s Super Lightweight Champion of the World in December of 2019, and will make her first title defense against Australia’s very own Deanha “(the) Silencer” Hobbs (8-1, 5 KOs) on Saturday night, February 8.
McGee, in addition to her business partners and fight promoters Team Empire Management and DiBella Entertainment, are also looking to take over both the Northwest Indiana and Chicagoland area on Saturday night, and give her hometown fans a great fight and night to remember.
“(This belt is staying at home),” said McGee during the press conference. “I brought pride to Gary Indiana. I’m my city’s first and only world champion. This belt is staying at home!”
McGee said during the press conference that she could have fought anywhere in the world, but chose to fight in the state of Indiana in her hometown–Gary. McGee also said she is very proud to fight against a girl coming all the way from Australia. For McGee it’s not just a fight to defend her title, it’s a fight in front of her people that will help build her brand “McGee House of Champion” for young fighters that will grow up in this city after McGee.
“I am excited to host Mary “Merciless” McGee, one of Gary’s own great fighters here tonight to become one of Gary’s premier stars over the next few years,” said Jerome Prince, Mayor of Gary, Indiana. “It is not every day that we congratulate a hometown hero, who happens to be a world boxing champion. Gary has a long and rich boxing history including names like Tony ‘The Man of Steal’ Zale, Angel Manfredy, and now the IBF Super Lightweight World Champion Mary McGee.”
McGee, who also currently owns a boxing record of 26-3 with 14 knockouts (in nearly 30 bouts), believes her success in upcoming fights will be a contributing factor in the continued growth of Women’s Boxing.
McGee also wanted to make sure that she was a woman of her word by adding 13 fights to the Fight Card on Saturday night.
The Fight Card will feature matches between the always charismatic Melissa “Lil Miss Tyson” St. Vil (12-4-4, 1 KO), originally from Haiti, now residing out of Brooklyn, NY, who will bang in a 10-Round Lightweight matchup against Canadian contender Jessica “The Cobra” Camara (7-1).
Bantamweight Prospect Ebanie “Blonde Bomber” Bridges (3-0, 2 KOs), from Australia, will make her US debut in a 6 Round bout against Crystal “Baby Faced Assassin” Hoy (6-10-4, 3 KOs) of Kansas.
Chicago’s very first female world champion and heavy-handed boxer Leatitia “Baby Girl” Robinson (15-1, 9 KOs) will make her return to the ring in big fashion, after a 10 year hiatus, in a 6-Round fight with New York’s Claire Hafner (4-2).
Chicago’s Northwest suburban native “Savage” Sarah French (4-2-1) will take on Christina Berry of Lacrosse, WI.
Additional bouts will include:
World Ranked Super Welterweight Charles Conwell (11-0, 8 KOs) of Cleveland, Ohio, who is returning to ring action in 2020 after his October 12, 2019 victory in Chicago over Long Island, New York native Patrick Day. Day passed days later due to brain injuries sustained in their match in Chicago.
In addition to Conwell’s boxing debut for the year 2020, Chicagoan Destyne Butler (8-0, 5 KOs) will face-off against boxer Marcus Washington (4-1,1 KO) of Toledo, OH for the American Boxing Federation (ABF) USA Mid America Title.
The event will also feature undefeated middleweight Isaiah Steen (13-0, 10 KOs) of Cleveland, Ohio, square off with an opponent to be named later in a bout.
Indianapolis’ very own Austin Manning (7-0, 3 KOs) will fight 26-14 with 16-KOs Tyron Harris of Lansing, Michigan.
Caleb Hernandez (3-0, 3 KOs) of Schererville, Indiana will fight Gregory Clark (4-4-1, 1 KO) of Washington DC.
Cristian Williams (8-0, 5 KOs) of Crete, IL will fight Fernando Robles (2-2) of Pearland, TX , Anthony Fleming (1-0, 1 KO) of Hammond, Indiana will fight Muhammad Adams (0-4-1) of Cincinnati, OH),Christina Linardatou will take on Prisca Vicot for the WBO Championship belt, and the Main Event of the night: Mary McGee (26-3, 14 KO) will proudly defend her IBF title against Australia’s top ranked Super Lightweight contender Deanha “(the) Silencer” Hobbs (8-1, 5 KOs).
“The female fights on the card are going to be awesome! It’s going to be iconic!” said Brian Cohen, owner of Team Empire Management and manager of Mary McGee. “Mary wanted to fight for her family and friends. We wanted her title fight originally to be here but things fell short. Now I am getting what she wants, what she deserves, what Gary deserves… Iconic Fight Night with their champ!”
Cohen said as a boxing fan, this is an event you don’t want to miss. The event will feature six champions, three world titles, one ring, one night and the matches can be watched via live stream on the LRP network.
For more information on how to watch the McGee versus Hobbs fights and other matches Saturday, February 8, at 5 p.m. on the LPR network, visit their link at “https://lrplive.tv/checkout/?ref=mcgeehoc&add-to-cart=35.”