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Gilroy
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November 28, 2021

Jeffries wins fifth title

SAN JOSE
– Add another belt to the wardrobe of Kelsey Jeffries.
With the IBA super bantamweight world title on the line, the
Gilroy native held on for a hard-fought victory over Jeri Sitzes
Thursday night at the HP Pavilion in San Jose.
SAN JOSE – Add another belt to the wardrobe of Kelsey Jeffries.

With the IBA super bantamweight world title on the line, the Gilroy native held on for a hard-fought victory over Jeri Sitzes Thursday night at the HP Pavilion in San Jose.

“I’ve got four belts in my room right now,” Jeffries said. “I haven’t picked out a spot for this one yet.

“I’m going to have to figure out where to put it.”

First, though, she had to figure out a way to win.

Now 7-0 at Fight Night at the Tank, Jeffries said Sitzes provided the stiffest test of any of the fighters she’s faced in San Jose.

Almost immediately, the Missouri native came out swinging with her sneaky right hand. Sitzes won the first round and offered a preview of the closeness to come.

While it appeared Jeffries won several of the middle rounds – a body shot to the hip in the third round was especially effective – Sitzes only occasionally looked exhausted.

The former world champion kickboxer was only 5-5-1 entering the match, but Jeffries’ world-class trainer, James “Buddy” McGirt, knew better.

“When you see 5-5, you never know which five is going to show up,” McGirt said. “It was the first five tonight.

“But it’s not like we were surprised. She was tough. We expected this to be close.”

And it was throughout.

Sitzes looked especially tough in the seventh and eighth rounds and McGirt warned his fighter about the right hand.

“I was a little mad at her, because she knew I wanted her to move away from (Sitzes’) right,” McGirt said.

When Sitzes went rapid-fire with that right hand, she actually won over some of the Tank crowd of 3,389, usually solidly behind Jeffries.

According to Jeffries, though, not that many were actually landing.

“She was getting desperate, trying to get lucky and land one,” Jeffries said. “She did get a few in, but I think some of the crowd liked her because it looked like she was landing stuff.

“Really she was an awkward fighter. But she looked aggressive to them.”

Jeffries easily won the ninth round, but Sitzes didn’t go down without a fight.

The 10th and final round was as intense and aggressive as any during the match. Any exhaustion from a few rounds earlier seemed to disappear.

“We were both just as tough in the 10th as we were in the first,” Jeffries said.

By the end, the judges were split on just how close the fight was. One of them scored it a draw.

The other two, though, had Jeffries winning – one 96-94 and the other 97-93.

So with a few hundred fans from Gilroy and Hollister cheering her on, Jeffries lifted up the glistening golden belt, the newest in her collection.

She already reigned as IFBA World Champion, WIBF America’s Champion, WIBA Intercontinental Champion and California State Featherweight Champion.

“Personally speaking, I know it was a close fight,” Jeffries said. “But I know I won it, too.

“Maybe I didn’t win it as cleanly as I would’ve liked to, but I did win it.”

Other results:

– Super Flyweights (4 rounds): Alejandro Perez (1-0-1, 1 KO) and Felipe Rivas (3-0, 1 KO) end in majority draw

– Featherweights (4 rounds): Jose Perez, Jr. (4-0, 2 KOs) over Richard Alduenda (1-1-1)

– Light Welterweights (4 rounds): Israel Ornelas (3-1, 2 KOs) over Luis Perez (6-3, 3 KOs)

– Welterweights (1 round): Paul Williams (24-0, 18 KOs) over Javier Valadez (16-16-1, 13 KOs)

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