When we see the various professional fighters making their way to the ring, we rarely consider their background. As they approach the stairs, we’re eyeballing their swagger, head movement, width of shoulders, size of arms followed by the thickness of their thighs. It’s our duty; after all you know the person next to you is bound to ask, “Who do think is going to win this one?” And nobody likes to be wrong.
On Thursday evening, October 25th, 2012 at the Salon Las Pulgas Concert Hall in Tijuana, San Diego’s Kealani “The Hawaiian Punch” Vanderleest will be making that trek. Her opponent is 18 year-old Sandra Robles who is also be making her Pro-boxing debut. Vanderleest is one of ten ladies on the “She wore Pink” all female fight card presented by Promociones Mayen and Zanfer Productions.
On the fight posters it says all female, “All Female?” The promoter wanted me to be emphatically clear about this claim. The show will feature female referees, female judges, female managers, a female announcer, female seconds, a female timekeeper and even a female official to distribute the gloves.
There’s a rumor circulating that they’ve also arranged for female police officers to be stationed at the front door.
You ask, ‘Who’s going to be waiting on the tables?’ The females have graciously relinquished this chore. The male help will be waiting on the tables.
As you can imagine, they’ll be many lecherous males gazing about, going gaga as the female boxers parade passed to breach this traditionally male dominated sport.
It won’t be anything out of the ordinary for Vanderleest. After she began her training four years ago, she’s competed several times in front of sizable audiences, mostly in the sport of Muay Thai. The largest audience being the sold out crowd at this year’s World Championship of Muay Thai event at the Pala Resort and Casino in Pala, CA.
Being fearless, she took that fight on short notice and came very close to defeating the Russian Champion, Lena “The Hunter” Ovchynnikova. Ovchynnikova was scheduled to meet Emily Bearden from New York City for the International Kickboxing Federation (IKF) World Super Bantamweight title but Bearden was injured in training.
Like President Obama, Vanderleest was born in Hawaii. She’s a graduate of Platt College, a freelance graphic design illustrator, an artist and one of the happiest individuals you’ll ever meet.
With her husband Charles’ backing, she now trains full time at the 858 Fight Shop on Miramar Road in San Diego under the guidance of two well respected trainers/coaches, Eric Hoover and Doug Dickey. Besides her WCK Muay Thai fighting, she’s also participated in several USA Amateur Boxing bouts.
Kealani not only has a keen eye for what is good art, she dabbles in it herself. Regarding her unique art work, we have attached several samples of her work – Charlie and Duke on La Conchita Beach, Penguins in a Sushi Bar, Stories of Pele Hawaiian Fire Goddess, Canoe on beach, Dude Characters.
The hubby was asked if he had any complaints about being married to a professional fighter. He said, “For one, being that she’s from Hawaii, she’s always making me nervous because when we go anywhere near a cliff. She wants to go cliff diving. She can be childish. And she has this pet, Pepe LePue, needless to say, we don’t get along.”