Not many fighters get a second chance to avenge a defeat. Even fewer get to win a title at the same time.
61-year-old Bowmanville resident Janine “Doc” Bibb (0-1-0) will rematch 63-year-old Heather “KO” Alonzo (1-0-0) at the 2017 Golden Gloves Provincial Championships in November for the 140-pound female novice masters league title.
The fight is sanctioned by Boxing Ontario.
Alonzo won the first fight last Dec. 13 and Bibb, who trains out of her coach Chris Tiller’s gym in Oshawa, has been itching for a rematch ever since.
Bibb chalked up the loss to inexperience and confirmed she has since made improvements.
“She was good, but what she did to me that threw me completely off was she windmilled me,” Bibb explained to MMA Crossfire. “When she did that, because it was my first fight, I froze. And when I froze, she popped me on the nose and I had to take an eight-count. And that was that. That’s what cost me the fight. It was my inexperience, but having said that, (when) I stepped into the ring my world was changed. It was amazing.”
It didn’t take long for Bibb and Tiller to work on securing a rematch.
“As soon as we finished the fight and I got out of the ring, coach said we’re getting a rematch,” Bibb said. “And then unfortunately, I hurt my knee which is what put me off for a few months. Nothing serious, but just a little tweak and I was off.”
Bibb should be well into her seven-week training camp by now, but one thing is for certain. Tiller and her favourite fighter Gennady Golovkin (GGG) will have her motivated and prepared for victory.
“When he (Tiller) gets you into the ring to work pads and is talking to you and looking you in the eye and showing you things, you know you’re really being trained,” Bibb said of her coach. “Chris is on you when you’re in the ring with him, so I get at least three 3-minute rounds with him on pads. He’s 100 percent there. And he’s been doing this for so long as he talks to you and you start absorbing the knowledge from him, you know the guy’s a deep well with so much to teach you. He’s inspiring.”
“You come into the his gym and it’s dirty, grungy and there’s blood in the ring, boxing coaches all over, there’s writing on the wall,” Bibb added. ” You feel that like you’re in the atmosphere you want to be in to be able to box.”
It’s no surprise Bibb was confident when asked for a rematch prediction. “If she windmills she again, her abdomen is going to pay for it this time,” Bibb said. “If not, I’m going to be more aggressive and I’m not going to freeze.
“A little bit more time, experience and confidence.”
And perhaps a little bit more training at a pure boxing gym Bibb feels a big part of. She estimates 90 percent of the gym are males, but has felt nothing but support and a genuine willingness to help improve her skills.
In fact, it was Tiller himself who gave Bibb her “Doc” nickname.
“Every gym has to have a Doc and since I’m the oldest one, I get it,” she laughed.
And with that, she has a message to other females who might be interested in sports. “Just try,” Bibb said. “I don’t care if it’s boxing, running, or water polo. Try. If you have an interest in something, just go try it. And you never know.
“At 61 years old (Bibb will be 62 by the time of the fight), it sounds like a cliche, but I have energy, I’m strong. One of the things that boxing does for you that is incredible is it builds your confidence. It makes you feel strong. It eliminates so much of your fear and my life is different. I can do anything I want to do and I’m 61 years old. It’s not just a physical thing with boxing, it’s also a mental thing. It changes the way you look at things. It makes you confident and sure of yourself.
“It’s the best thing that’s happened to me, by far.”