Kaliesha West gallery - all photos by Al Applerose
Referee Raul Caiz Jr. inspects the gloves of Kaliesha West who was the first world champion from Moreno Valley, Calif. It's also the home of male world champion Mikey Garcia who currently holds the WBC lightweight world title.
Kaliesha "Wild" West returned to the world of prizefighting after a three-year absence. The two division world champion had not fought since 2014 but was anxious to show that she had not lost a step. Here she enters the boxing ring at Agua Caliente Casino in Rancho Mirage, Calif.
Southpaw Kirstie Simmons was aggressive when the fight first began and West took a few moments to figure out the attack.
Immediately West discovered that the left hook was going to be the primary weapon as she unloaded and nearly dropped Simmons early in the fight.
West listened intently as her father and trainer Juan West delivered instructions in between rounds at the packed arena at Agua Caliente Casino.
West used her experience to keep Simmons at bay. Though Simmons never quit it was difficult for her to enter the firing zone without absorbing punishment from the former world champion.
Simmons was hoisted by her team after the fight. The Colorado-based prizefighter never quit and showed determination in the six round battle held at the super featherweight division. She gave an excellent effort.
Simmons never quit despite running into more than a few left hooks. She tried to attack repeatedly but was unable to penetrate West's defense.
Friends, fans and family greeted West after her victory at Agua Caliente Casino. The two-division world champion proclaimed herself ready for any and all champions and contenders. "You know me, I don't refuse any fight," she said after the win.
All three judges scored the fight in favor of Kaliesha West who had not won a fight in nearly five years due to inactivity and an inability to obtain a fight. Now she's gunning for another world title and expects to fight at the bantamweight, super bantamweight or featherweight levels.