This topic got exhausted pretty quickly, but that doesn't mean there isn't anything left to say about it.
We in the media aren't great at staying with a story, after the initial hubbub flares. And part of that is because we tend to try and give the people what they want. People want the info now, ASAP, to be in the know about whatever is being buzzed about.
I sensed that the market for more material about that Seniesa Estrada vs Miranda Adkins fight which took place on July 24 wasn't that robust after a week or so passed. It makes sense, many reporters hopped on the seven second rubout by the Cali-based Estrada (age 28; 19-0 with 8 KOs) on the undercard of a Vergil Ortiz Jr-Samuel Vargas main event put together by Golden Boy, which ran on DAZN.
I put in my two cents, as well.
As part of that, I reached out, on social media, and left a message for the Kansas native Adkins (age 43; 5-1 with 5 KOs). I'd heard back from the man who booked her into the fight, John Carden, who I'd seen referred to as her husband, or boyfriend, or ex. After the dust settled, and we all focused on other dust kicked up by other objects of media and fan fascination, Adkins replied.
I sent her some questions, for her to answer via email, if she wanted to.
Here are the questions, and her answers.
Q) Much has been said and written about your fight with Seniesa Estrada…But not from you. Has the reportage been correct? What would you add or look to correct, of what has been put out there?
A) Thank you for the opportunity to have a voice to the public! Much appreciation! There has been a lot out there on social media! There are a few things I would like to correct. One: To my knowledge my past opponents were not “strippers” and I'm not quite sure where that came from? I didn't know any of them before I fought them, with an exception of one opponent that I fought twice. Those opponents were matched by my promoter. They came to the bouts prepared to fight, and wearing all of their gear- with an exception of an occasional forgotten mouthpiece, which my promoter and I made sure they had before the bout. It was very apparent that those opponents were also very prepared to bring all their fight to the ring!
I have a primary professional career that I have worked extremely hard for, and enjoy very much! I began martial arts, kickboxing, and boxing journey back in 2016 when I lost my mom to ovarian cancer and I fought my own medical battle the same year she lost her battle and passed away. It was a therapeutic journey and a promise kept to my mom: to do things I've always wanted to because life is far too short not to! I didn't just wake up one day at age 42 and say,”Hey, I think I will be a professional boxer today!” That would be very egotistical, unsafe and unintelligent. And anyone who authentically knows me knows that I am anything but those descriptions.
It is true that I only began professional boxing a couple years ago. However, previous to boxing, my amateur career was diversified with several matches in kickboxing and few years prior to that several matches in MMA. I trained both intensively at a local, competitive gym here in Topeka. I soon discovered I was more comfortable on my feet as a kickboxer and boxer versus MMA. All of my professional boxing and amateur kickboxing matches were competitive, challenging, with most going the distance. I also had a pro boxing match that was three minute rounds with a tough opponent who came in much larger than I. Thankfully I was able to put on enough weight in under an hour to salvage the match. That happens a lot in woman's boxing, especially when you are in a smaller division.
Q) Mr Carden did respond to me…He said you wanted this fight, wanted this challenge, etc…but it's better to hear from the person themself. I've seen him referred to as your husband, an article by Thomas Hauser speculated he is now an ex partner. That may be neither here nor there, but if so, at least for accuracy's sake, please feel free to in your own words tell readers if he is husband/manager, or was boyfriend/advisor, etc.
A) My promoter John Carden is not my husband or significant other any longer. Our dissolution of marriage was in reality finalized around two weeks before he showed up at my door with the Golden Boy fight offer. This offer was presented (by him) to me as my promoter. In all honestly, it took me a few days to think it over before I made the decision to accept the offer. At that point my promoter Mr. Carden and I made a verbal agreement that I take the fight with clear boundaries that he would be my promoter with an agreed upon flat fee to him when I signed the contract.
Yes, I was aware that Estrada was way out of my league (click here for Estrada record), and with several more years of experience. However, I made the decision to move forward based on a few factors. One, I knew I would be able to raise awareness for ovarian cancer in honor of my late mother, which is why my boxing trunks say “Mom” and on the back of them in teal “Fight Cancer.”
I did waver on backing out of the fight a few times, in which my promoter assisted me to see it through till the end. He spoke very often to me about how tough I am and insisted that I not back out. That gave me all the motivation and drive that I needed to think, ‘I know I won't win, but I do think I may go a few rounds, and honestly what do I have to lose?'
I didn't have much time to train due to last minute notice on the fight. It was around three weeks notice, but I was training 3-4 hours every day before and after work while working a full time career in the ER. (EDITOR NOTE: She does work with veterans.) I know my strength and determination and when I set my mind to something I see it all the way through, unless I hit a brick wall that won't move.
In regards to Mr.Carden's comments: I wanted more challenging opponents indeed and actually years before this bout…but the opponents in this area in my weight division are very limited. I was told there is no one else, if you want to fight, this is all we have as an option. So I trusted in that and gave it all I had in each match. I lost weight, gained weight with-in hours. I fought much larger opponents, had injuries, a broken nose, and one match had an eye contact (lens) knocked out in first round so I fought half blind (but won by) KO in the second round. My promoter has always been a bit all or nothing in his thought process. Although, that's not always a bad trait. When it comes to what he wants that is what happens! If you're offered a bout- its the final decision as solidified, a take it or leave it. And most likely not ever get another option, if you don't take the offer. It is unfortunate that in “women's boxing” I feel this is most likely still the norm, rather than the exception.
Q) I wrote that I didn't see you get more of an opportunity to show your fighting skills…that Estrada came out hard and fast….Is there something to that, do you believe that if more of that round played out, you'd have shown you were not out of your league?
A) Estrada did come out hard and fast! Nothing about that bout went anything like her or my previous fights! I feel there was definitely something to that! First off, with my humble but confident determined personality, and with no boxing footage out there to see…(intentionally I might add- promoter didn't want any of that released) I feel that she had no idea what she was up against in this bout. Due to that anomaly she had no intention of leaving anything to chance, especially her belt! (The WBC silver light flyweight was on the line.) I think that the unknown usually either makes people react in two ways: fight or flight. You can back down or plan to take down the unknown threat as soon as possible in order to solidify your win. Her strategy was KO ASAP! She came fast across the ring, before I could even meet her in the middle, with the intent to KO as fast and as soon as possible.
I don't blame her one bit, makes perfect sense. I guarded her first jab, her second punch was a perfect left hook. Took a blow directly in the jaw area that connects to your skull. Medically you're going to be KO'd immediately in that area. If you play the tape in slow motion you can see that I was already “standing knocked out” before the last 4-combo flurry. I honestly didn't even have the time to fight back, kinda hard to do when you're standing KO on punch number two. I have never been knocked out before and usually go the distance.
On the flip side scenario- without being targeted for an immediate KO…My team and I had a really good strategy trained for, worked on, and planned for. Estrada does have a lot of matches and experience. She is an amazing female boxer! With that exposure also comes a lot of bout footage out there to research. Observing patterns of behavior is my forte in my career outside the ring. Given the opportunity to box with her, trade with her, would I have demonstrated a competitive match with endurance, strength, and truly show Estrada what I had to bring to the table…100% ABSOLUTELY! I am very confident given the opportunity to “box with her” it would have went a few rounds or more and I would have really enjoyed that! I am confident, but also, humble. Therefore, I am not one to build myself up to more than God made me to be. Would she still have won the bout no matter what? ABSOLUTELY! I know she would have won no matter what. She is very skilled!
Q) That KO LOOKED scary..What do you remember about it? And what were your thoughts on the fight in the dressing room after…and then the next day…and today, now that more time has passed? What if any lessons were learned and what should people outside looking in know about this fight, and Miranda Adkins?
A) Honestly, the last thing I remember was her first jab, and subsequently waking up on the mat with a lot of people asking me questions to check my alertness and orientation.
Right after the fight the adrenaline was still surging so absolutely no pain. Most often I feel no pain until the realized injuries show a few days later. I suffered “visible injuries” outside of my body by way of bruising from the fall backwards onto the ropes. No other bruises or cuts. I am still suffering fairly intensive back pain, neck pain, and chronic headaches. By the grace of God only I will not suffer any life-threatening effects and I maintain all of my cognitive faculties. Medically- knockouts can actually cause immediate death or subsequent delayed death from traumatic brain injury reasons, even many days later. The KO did look worse on TV than it really was. But that is why it got so much exposure right?! Because it was quick, methodical, deliberate, and because we are both WOMEN! If the same match had been two men the exposure and horrifying terms like “Estrada slaughtered Adkins” would not have gained nearly as much exposure. Guess this was one way women's boxing finally got more exposure than men's boxing! Sad but true!
What lessons were learned days later? This same lesson below may apply more to younger female boxers as they have more time to check around for alternate options in boxing. I really want to give advice to “my younger selves” out there in women's boxing…Ladies if you want experience that will challenge you gradually, building up to a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity- shop around. What I mean is look for second opinions, and talk to a few professionals in the business. If you have a manager, promoter, or coach that is not willing to listen at all to what you know your body needs for growth in this sport, do not, I repeat, do not, take what that person insists on as the ONLY option just because options are limited and ESPECIALLY not just because you are a woman! This sport is far too dangerous to accept only one option as the ultimate plan.
Life is not all or nothing- do research and talk to others who are invested in your health and safety, your dreams for growth in this sport, not merely your record. If given the opportunity to build up to a number one ranked boxer “gradually” by fighting more challenging opponents with winning records, that would have been, and was voiced a few times as my preference. However, with that being said was this ultimately my choice and my choice alone…
No one forced my signature- so yes! I hold no harsh feelings for Golden Boy Promotions, the commission, or Seniesa Estrada and her team.
I feel that due to previous opponents' injuries and fighting the COVID clock they did the best they could with an almost impossible scenario. Every one of Golden Boys' promotional team and Team Estrada showed respect, integrity, and very warm hearts! I want to thank them for all they did!
Will I come back from this KO? I already have!
This day, tomorrow, and every other day that God allows me to wake up and appreciate one more day that he has blessed me with. One more day blessed with the opportunity to use his gifts doing compassionate, meaningful, very fulfilling work, every day in helping others in my profession.
God's blessings, and my moms' strength…that's my KO!”