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Sumya Anani

Sumya Anani (born February 12, 1972) is one of the top fighters in the sport of women's boxing.

Anani, like many women's boxers, came to the sport in a roundabout fashion. While living in Kansas City in the early 1990s and working as a massage therapist, she took a course in self-defense. When she impressed her instructor with her athletic ability and powerful punch, he encouraged Anani to give boxing a try.

She entered professional boxing in August 1996, mostly fighting in and around Kansas City. She quickly made a name for herself when, in her fourth fight on December 12, 1996, her opponent Katherine Dallam suffered career-ending injuries during a fight that ended in a fourth-round knockout.

In her ninth fight, in March of 1998, Anani defeated Andrea DeShong, a longtime rival of world welterweight champion Christy Martin. Then, on December 18 of that year, Anani faced Martin herself, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Coming into the fight, Martin was unbeaten in her last 34 bouts. However, Anani dominated the fight from start to finish and won a stunning victory.

The win over Martin propelled Anani into the top rung of women's boxing stars, and she won her next three fights before suffering an upset at the hands of Britt Van Buskirk on September 17, 2000.

While waiting for a rematch with Van Buskirk, Anani captured the IBA lightweight title from Liz Mueller in May of 2001. Then, on October 20, she got the rematch and took a 10-round unanimous decision over Van Buskirk for the GBU welterweight title.

Her next fight, a month later, ended in a draw with Fredia Gibbs for the WIBA light welterweight title, as one judge had Anani as the winner, but the other two scored the fight even. In February of 2002, Anani gave Van Buskirk a rubber match and beat her on a unanimous decision.

On June 21, 2002, Anani won her third world title when she faced Jane Couch for the WIBA light welterweight title that eluded her the year before. This time, she overwhelmed Couch and won on a fourth-round technical knockout. Then, on November 2, she won her fourth world title, knocking out Lisa Holewyne for the IBA welterweight title.

On April 18, 2003, Anani faced Gibbs for a second time and fixed the only other blemish on her record by way of a first-round TKO.

As of September 2003, Anani is the No. 1 rated women's boxer in the world at light welterweight by the WIBA and in virtually every computer ranking system, and she is regarded by some experts as the best women's boxer in the world.

Anani is nicknamed The Island Girl because she lived in Jamaica for a year as a young woman; she was actually born in Minnesota.

Her current record is 21 wins, one loss and one draw, with 10 knockouts.

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