Keisher McLeod-Wells interview regarding Todas Contra Mexico in Chiapas, Mexico

Since Kiesher McLeod-Wells is multitalented she could end up going in many directions - modeling, sports commentating and of course boxing.

Well known boxing promoter, Lou DiBella, who started featuring Keisher McLeod-Wells on his fight cards, had this to say about her potential: “Keisher is the total package. She’s a pretty girl, very bright, personable, well known in New York’s boxing community, and she’s a married lady with a normal, stable life. And she can fight.”

After Melissa McMorrow (4-2-3) of San Carlos, CA went east on the 9th of February to fight McLeod (4-1-0) at the BB King Blues Club and Grill in New York City, I was hoping to arrange an interview with McLeod to get her feedback on the close decision she won 58-55, 57-56 and 57-56.

In the end, my interview request turned into big doings as McLeod graciously offered to fill me in on the realty program she’s now involved in, a program similar to the Contender Series that aired on ESPN. That show was based on the competitor’s lives and relationships with each other within the show’s living quarters based in Pasadena, CA. The show first aired on July 18, 2006 and the eventual winner received a purse of $500,000.


This program, Todas Contra Mexico, is from Chiapas, Mexico and has 16 female boxers divided into two teams of eight, eight from Mexico and the other eight from different parts of the world. The teams will compete against each other until they whittle each other down and our eventual winner gets $100,000. The Contender Series was hosted by Sugar Ray Leonard while this series is hosted by Maureen “The Real Million Dollar Baby” Shea (15-2-0), a New York featherweight, TV and Radio personality, and boxing promoter. Shea taught actress Hillary Swank how to box for the movie, Million Dollar Baby.’s initial contact, San Diego, 8:46 p.m., March 23, 2011:

Dear Mrs. McLeod, It just dawned on me that you’re on the East Coast and I’m in San Diego which has a three hour time difference. If this is a bad time, just ignore my request as you and your husband are probably getting ready for bed.

Keisher McLeod-Wells’ response from Chiapas, Mexico, 9:23 p.m. on March 23:

Well, I’m actually in Chiapas, Mexico shooting a female boxing reality show for about 3-4 weeks. If you visit my Facebook page and scroll down a bit, you can find some promo videos on the show. Or you can just google it. It’s called Todas Contra Mexico.

SportofBoxing: Locally we have a flyweight boxer, Amaris Quintana, (4-0-2). She has a job to pay her bills, plus she has the full support of her family. She works out in one of the many backyard gyms – the Gutierrez Gym in South San Diego. Are you currently under contract with a New York promoter and is boxing your full time profession?

Keisher McLeod-Wells: Currently I’m not under contract with a promoter. I do have a manager. Lately, I’ve kind of been pretty much managing myself with the help of people from Gleason’s Gym. I do work a second job full time. I work at Gleason’s Gym to pay my bills and my husband also supports me.

SportofBoxing: How hard is it for you to go running when you live in the city – do you have a park near your house?

Keisher McLeod-Wells: It’s not hard to run here in NY. My gym is right under the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan Bridge, so I can run anytime I want. I sometimes run in Central Park as well with my sister who likes to run.

SportofBoxing: Melissa McMorrow, another junior flyweight, is also a local flyweight and she gave Amaris Quintana problems as both of their fights were ruled a draw. With the rounds only going two minutes, both of these fighters went nonstop. How did you find fighting McMorrow who likes to stay small, bore in on you and use those short right and left uppercuts? Were you impressed by her toughness?

Keisher McLeod-Wells: No, I wasn’t surprised by Melissa’s toughness but I was impressed. She gave me a good fight and made it competitive. I knew she was good and never underestimated her at all. It was a bit difficult getting off my shots on her at first because she stayed so low and it took me a round to get adjusted. I remembered fighting someone with the same exact style early in my amateur career. I lost to her and I vowed from that day on to never lose to someone that short who made themselves even shorter like that. I knew I would be quicker and stronger. I started to find my groove towards the end of the second round.

SportofBoxing: It appears the city of New York has embraced your career – is that correct?

Keisher McLeod-Wells: New York has embraced me so much. I’ve gained a lot of support and a nice following. Bruce Silverglade, owner of Gleason’s Gym (and my boss) has been very supportive in allowing me to pursue my dream with great advise and full access to train whenever I need too. Sometimes he allows me to train even while I’m still on the clock.

SportofBoxing: I’m sure the boxing fans in Southern California would like to know more about you, especially if you ever come this way to challenge one of the four local contenders in your division.

Keisher McLeod-Wells: Thanks for your interest in me!

Our interview continued the following day:

SportofBoxing: Believe me, I’m not blowing any smoke when I say you seem to be a very talented writer/communicator. It often takes me hours to write just one article. If you are so multi-talented like Robin Roberts or Cheryl Miller, I wonder if you have aspirations of sometime going on TV to be a sports reporter?

Keisher McLeod-Wells: Thanks for your compliment. I would love to do sport commentating, but I feel I need more public speaking practice.

SportofBoxing: Are you finding it difficult to communicate with the locals in Chiapas?

Keisher McLeod-Wells: Here in Mexico, I’m having a fine time with the Spanish language. I know some Spanish, but I don’t speak it fluently. I can understand it a lot and I’m able to communicate with them. I love the language & do plan to continue my study of it when I return.

SportofBoxing: The timing of this program, Todas Contra Mexico, seems right in line with that flyweight championship that’s been planned to crown the best female boxer in Mexico. I recommend that you watch it on their local TV.

SportofBoxing: I went over the measurements and records of the fellow participants and it appears Jennifer Salinas (11-3-0) who fights at 126 lbs., Karyna Hernandez (1-0) fighting at 126 lbs., Cynthia Munoz (5-0-0, 2 KOs) fighting at 140 lbs. and Yazmin Rivas (20-7-0) have an unfair advantage over the other contestants. Even Jennifer Han (2-1-1) at 129 lbs. from Korea and Crystal Hoy (5-4-3) at 126 lbs from the Philippines are much bigger than the fellow competitors. That added weight is going to be hard to overcome. Are these fights going to be sanctioned when the producers are having super-featherweights and lightweights fighting against natural flyweights?

Keisher McLeod-Wells: The show I’m filming is not for flyweights. The weight they want us at is 122-126. I think that’s for featherweights? Anyway, they wanted me on it still. I will make the weight hopefully and go back down when I’m finished with the show. I believe my style will give the Mexicans problems regardless of any weight I’m at. I thought this show will be a part of history for Woman’s Boxing, not just me. I was absolutely thrilled and honored that the show asked me to represent USA. I’m going to do my best to represent the USA no matter what disadvantage I have in front of me.

All of the fights will be sanctioned. All of the other boxers that you mentioned are all currently around the same weight. It’s required. I really can’t give any further information about the show because I’m under contract to not do so.

SportofBoxing: You once took a fight in Panama City versus Laura Ledezma and that is one of those places where you either have to knock your opponent out or win big time. As a result, you lost yor first fight, a very close mixed decision. Do you have any thoughts on that experience?

Keisher McLeod-Wells: As far as my experience in Panama against Laura Gomez. It was a lesson learned. I learned to do my own homework and not rely on your team to do it for you. Had I known some of the things that came along with taking the fight prior, I probably would not have taken the fight under the circumstances that came with it. I’m not the one to complain and make excuses about the down falls that comes to why I didn’t get the decision, so I will leave it at that. Everyone that I care about and are true fans of boxing know the reality of decisions when going oversees to fight and coming out with a Mixed Decision or Split Decision. So that’s that.

SportofBoxing: How much support will you get as far as from your regular seconds/corner people? Who came with you on this sojourn?

Keisher McLeod-Wells: On this show, I’m on an international team. We have two trainers that have been provided through production. Coach Basheer Abdullah and Hector Roca are the team’s coaches. I and all of the other team members are very happy with the training methods they are providing us to compliment all of our individual styles. My coach back home, Marcos Suarez is very supportive of me taking this journey without him and encouraged me to do the show in the first place. What he has taught me cannot disappear in just five weeks without him.

SportofBoxing: Do you know the names of all the contestants? I imagine they have several ladies waiting in the wings as replacements.

Keisher McLeod-Wells: If you go on the show’s Facebook page, you can find photo albums of all the fighters. You may just have to keep scrolling down the page. Todas Contra Mexico.

SportofBoxing: I’m going to do some follow-up on this excursion of yours and put several articles together for the website. If anything in this article doesn’t suit you, I can easily remove it. Best of luck! If all goes well, the $100,000 for winning this tournament should make a nice down payment on your new house.


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