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World Boxing Federation Champions Of The Past: Renata Szebeledi
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FEATURE   Photo: Former World Boxing Federation (WBF) Womens World Bantamweight Champion Renata Szebeledi.

Since the World Boxing Federation was originally founded by American Larry Carrier in 1988, many of the sport’s biggest names have won a WBF title, and proudly defended the blue, red and gold belt all over the world.

In the Champions Of The Past Series we take a closer look at some of the boxers who held WBF titles in years gone by, from lesser known champions to world renowned fighters, legends of the sport and current or future Hall of Famers.


The career of former WBF Womens World Bantamweight Champion Renata “Barbie Girl” Szebeledi is remarkable, to say the least. She last fought in May of 2013, but at time of writing the Hungarian is still only twenty-four years old and would have plenty of time to add to her achievements if she made a comeback.

- NOTE: This article is written assuming the date of birth listen on her BoxRec profile, and several other places, is correct, but it must be mentioned that at least one other source has Szebeledi three years older.

Born in Budapest, she made her professional debut on August 1, 2008, one day before her fifteenth birthday! That alone is remarkable. But, despite a successful past in Kickboxing, where she won all but a few of her forty-seven bouts, the transition to professional boxing wasn’t easy.

She didn’t have anything handed to her either, as her first five bouts were decision losses abroad against very good opponents. She likely learned a lot in those fights, but her record after fifteen months as a pro was never the less a depressing 0-5.

In her debut, still only fourteen years old (if we go by 1993 as the years she was born), she was out-pointed by future European Champion Corina Carlescu (4-1-1) in Romania, and at fifteen she lost two back-to-back decisions to future European Champion Valeria Imbrogno (4-0) in Italy.

Two months after her sixteenth birthday she came up short against current WBC World Lightweight Champion Delfine Persoon (then 1-0) in Belgium, and a month later she returned to Italy where debutant Perla Bragagnolo beat her on points after six rounds.

But just after Christmas of 2009, things started to turn around for Szebeledi when she beat Gabriella Vicze (1-0) in Slovakia. Between December 2009 and June 2010, she won five of six outings, only losing to reigning French Champion, and future two-time WBF World Champion, Nadya Hokmi (13-6-1).

That string of success put her in line to fight Unathi Myekeni (7-0) for the vacant WBF World Super Bantamweight title on September 12, 2010 in Mdantsane, South Africa. Szebeledi lost the fight on points, but put up such a good performance that she was promised a rematch.

The rematch never materialized, but just two months later she fought Oksana Vasilieva (7-4) for the WBF World Featherweight title in Russia. Again Szebeledi did well, boxing well over her natural weight, but lost a clear unanimous decision.

In December of 2010 she finally got a big fight on home soil, and she took full advantage of it when she captured the UBO World Super Bantamweight title with a fourth round stoppage of Romanian Gabriella Insberger in Budapest. She soon vacated that belt to pursue new titles at Bantamweight.

After three non-title bout victories Szebeledi won the Hungarian national Bantamweight belt by stopping Eva Marcu (3-0) in June of 2011. Soon after she was picked to fight Pia Mazelanik (12-3-1) in Germany, with the vacant WBF World Championship on the line.

This time, on July 7, 2011, Szebeledi would not let fighting abroad get in her way. She boxed wonderfully, and was awarded a deserved unanimous decision to become WBF World Bantamweight Champion.

After a couple of low-key victories, Szebeldi was offered the opportunity to move down to Super Flyweight to challenge IBF World Champion Simona Galassi (16-1-1) in Italy. She happily accepted, and again proved she was true world class by giving Galassi all she could handle before losing a very close, some would say disputed, decision.

Less than a month after the trip to Italy, Szebeldi retained her WBF World Bantamweight crown by, again, stopping old foe Eva Marcu (now 6-3) in Budapest. Convinced that she was still fighting at a too heavy weight, it was a god-send when another phone-call came from Italy.

Simona Gallasi, who had so narrowly defeated Szebeledi to defend the IBF World Super Flyweight title, had moved down to Flyweight and needed an opponent to fight for the vacant WBC World title on October 27, 2012. Szebeledi was given a second chance, and she took it and ran with it.

But this time she would not let the judges have a say. In a stunning performance, Szebeledi floored Gallasi in the first round, and never let the local girl off the hook as she went on to stop her in the third, shocking the Italian fans watching from Ringside and on TV.

Seven months later she traveled to Japan to defend the WBC World Flyweight crown against Shindo Go (11-2), but it would not be another fairy-tale chapter to her story. Go won a clear unanimous decision, and, at least for the time being, it was the last fight of Szebeledi´s career.

Her final record being 17-10 (one win not included on her BoxRec), with ten victories inside the distance, Szebeledi only fought in Hungary nine times. All her losses were abroad, every time on points and against opponents with a combined record of 66-14-2.

Three World titles in three different weight classes, in less than five years! Not bad for someone who started out losing five fights in a row!

  Part 45: Lester Ellis
  Part 44: Patrick Vungbo
  Part 43: Patrick Washington
  Part 42: Ric Siodora
  Part 41: Guy Waters
  Part 40: Natascha Ragosina
  Part 39: Nicky Cook
  Part 38: Fahprakorb Rakkiatgym
  Part 37: Felix Camacho
  Part 36: Homer Gibbins
  Part 35: Joe Bugner
  Part 34: Myriam Lamare
  Part 33: Darrin Morris
  Part 32: Suwito Lagola
  Part 31: Aaron Zarate
  Part 30: Tommy Small
  Part 29: Matthew Charleston
  Part 28: Jane Couch
  Part 27: Fahlan Sakkreerin
  Part 26: Kenny Keene
  Part 25: Yvan Mendy
  Part 24: Ronnie Magramo
  Part 23: Randall Yonker
  Part 22: Holly Holm
  Part 21: Vinnie Curto
  Part 20: Robin Reid
  Part 19: Lionel Butler
  Part 18: Mads Larsen
  Part 17: Ken Sigurani
  Part 16: Orlando Fernandez
  Part 15: Roger Turner
  Part 14: Roy Jones Jr.
  Part 13: Fitz Vanderpool
  Part 12: Steve Roberts
  Part 11: Thulani "Sugarboy" Malinga
  Part 10: Junior Witter
  Part 9: Jimmy Thunder
  Part 8: Juan Lazcano
  Part 7: Jeff Malcolm
  Part 6: Ricky Parkey
  Part 5: Carl Daniels
  Part 4: Angel Manfredy
  Part 3: Samson Dutch Boy Gym
  Part 2: Greg Haugen
  Part 1: Johnny Nelson

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