Kaliesha West Headlines

Kaliesha West Headlines at Agua Caliente Casino


By David A. Avila

Kaliesha West Headlines at Agua Caliente Casino

By David A. Avila

It’s the return of Kaliesha “Wild” West, the former two-division world champion after more than three years in seclusion.

Now at 29, West (16-2-3, 4 Kos) meets Kirstie Simmons (8-2) at Agua Caliente Casino in Rancho Mirage, Calif. on Saturday, Sept. 23. The six-round fight will be the main event in the super featherweight class under 130 pounds.

The last time West stepped in the ring was in 2014 when she accepted a fight against Olivia Gerula in a featherweight fight in Canada and lost a disputed decision. She vows never to go back to Canada.

“It was just a bad experience,” says West, who is a former WBO bantamweight titlist and a IFBA super bantamweight world champion. “But I never retired.”

Still living in Moreno Valley, the daughter of a professional fighter has spent more than half of her life in the sport of boxing. It’s a world that West feels comfortable and she’s been one of the few prizefighters willing to travel anywhere to face a challenge, except Canada.

“Nothing they (promoters) promised us happened,” said West of her last excursion to Canada in August 2014. “But that won’t stop me from fighting in other countries.”

During her 10 year career she has fought in Denmark, Peru and several times in Mexico. On Saturday, it will be the first time since 2012 that she’s fought within driving distance of her home territory. The popular female fighter has a large fan base that has expanded over the years.

“I accepted this fight to force myself to get ready,” said West. “She’s (Simmons) a tough girl and has a good record.”

At one time West was considered one of the top female prizefighters in the world. Can Moreno Valley’s first world champion find her place on the dance floor?

“I’m a little nervous,” said West. “But I love boxing.”