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When this athlete moved to Thunder Bay from Montreal in the early 1990s she was focused on joining the local police force.  It was while attending police college that her desire to get into the ring was ignited, going on to join the Thunder Bay Amateur Boxing Club. Establishing her unique left handed style, she earned the nickname Shake 'Em Down Williams and began competing as a bantamweight and featherweight, taking on challengers in the US and Canada.  

In no time at all she became a top contender, winning a number of matches and claiming the 1994 provincial title. In 1995, she brought home her second consecutive Ontario championship title and claimed gold at the Canadian Women's Novice Boxing Championships, earning best prospect honours. In 1996, she claimed her third provincial crown and a national title at the first ever Canadian Senior Women's Boxing Championships, being named the top boxer at the event.  Earning a spot on the 1997 national team, she represented Canada at matches in Sweden and Finland, once again coming out on top and earning best boxer honours. Having achieved all that she could at the amateur level, with women not eligible for Olympic boxing, she ended her amateur career in 1998 with a record of 25 wins and 6 losses.

Stepping into the professional ring in 1998, she became known as The Shadow, and went on to win multiple fights throughout the US and Canada, including five Miller Lite Texas State Championship titles.  Going into the year 2000 with a record of 10-1, and ranked  #1 in the world in the junior bantam 115 pound class, she took on world champion Daisy Lang for the Women's Intercontinental Boxing Federation bantamweight title, losing in a controversial 10- round unanimous decision. Later that year she won the Women's International Boxing Association world junior bantamweight title in a 10-round unanimous decision over Denver's Tracy Moulton.  With the closure of her local gym in 2001, training became more and more difficult for this world class athlete, and in 2003 she decided to hang up her gloves, leaving behind an impressive professional boxing record of 13 wins, 5 losses and 4 KO's.

Following her competitive career, this all-round athlete also gave back to sport by assisting with basketball programs at Lakehead University, and serving as a referee at the local, provincial and national level. This pioneer in the sport of women's boxing truly made her adopted community proud with all that she achieved at the highest level of her sport.

Inducted into the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, September 24th, 2016

Kathy Williams

Thunder Bay
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