Noriko Kariya

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Noriko Ann Kariya (born June 12, 1979 in Vancouver, British Columbia) is a professional female boxer.[1][2]


Noriko Kariya grew up interested in becoming a hockey player, her brothers being professional players Steve, Martin and Paul Kariya. As a child, Noriko looked up to her brothers, particularly Paul.[1][2]

Kariya moved to the United States once she turned 18, to study at the University of Maine,[3] where she became a member of the women's field hockey team. She intended to keep in shape, so she joined the local KO Boxing Gym.[1][2][4]

Kariya's presence at the gym proved difficult for the gym's other patrons. Many at KO boxing Gym felt uncomfortable with having a woman train next to them. Kariya felt unwelcomed, but, after her first sparring session, she felt she loved boxing so much that she wanted to have a career in that sport.[2]

Kariya had a difficult time letting her family know about her new sport of choice, but she found encouragement from them once she told them she would be dedicated to boxing, especially from Paul.[1][2]

Noriko Kariya moved to Jersey City, New Jersey, where she began training with Mike Skowronski and Teddy Cruz, who have also worked with Arturo Gatti.

On May 2006, Kariya, nicknamed "Lady Bang", had a photo of her which was taken by Al Bello of Getty Images appear on Ring Magazine. The nickname is a spin-off from her brother Paul's achievement in the NHL when he won the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy in both 1996 and 1997 for the most gentlemanly player of the year.[2]

Amateur career[edit]

Noriko Kariya had ten amateur bouts, winning 9 and losing 1.[1][2][5]

Professional career[edit]

Kariya debuted as a bantamweight fighter on May 29, 2005, beating Cindy Christian by a four round decision at Hull, Quebec.[1]

Her next fight took place on August 19 of the same year, in what was her first professional bout abroad. She defeated Camille Casson in Whippany, New Jersey by another four round decision.[1]

On January 28, 2006, Kariya defeated Maria Contreras on points at Atlantic City.[6]

On May 24, she had her most important test up until that date, meeting undefeated Amanda Knight in New York City. The pair, both undefeated, held on to their conditions as undefeated fighters when the bout was declared a draw (tie) after four rounds.

December 13, 2007, saw her up against Salina Jordan at the Roseland Ballroom with a third round referee decision of Kariya being the outright winner.[7]

Kariya has 8 wins, 2 losses and 1 draw, with no knockout wins.[2][5]


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