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Soviet Germans: Ina Menzer


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Well, I think this is the first time I write about a woman boxer! ;-) Ina Menzer was for a long time one of the best German and world's female boxers, and she won the WBC, WBO and WBIF titles during her career, last one being a specifically women's boxing organisation. She was the best featherweight in Europe also in that period, and one of the best featherweights in the world. However, after suffering her lone loss as a pro, in an upset against Jeannine Garside, her career would never quite be the same. She however did go on to win two more lesser titles in her very last fight. She fought as a pro from 2004 to 2013 and finished with a record of 31 wins (11 inside the distance) and 1 loss. Here is the story of Ina Menzer, the only woman to be featured in this series!


Another Kazakh-German, Menzer was born 10 November 1980 in Atbasar, a small town in the north of Kazakhstan (which seems to be where most Germans were exiled) and she moved to Germany with her family in 1990. She has two younger twin brothers. She spent the rest of her upbringing in Moenchengladbach, northwest in the country. There, she started boxing and in 2003 she won the national amateur championships in the 60 kilos (corresponding to lightweight) division. The 5'5 Menzer turned pro next year, under the guidance of trainer Michael Timm and management of Klaus-Peter Kohl. She won her first fight by TKO3 and the second by TKO1. She fought mostly at feather, but sometimes also super feather limit. On 22 October 2005, she won the WIBF (aking to IBF) feather title by UD against Silke Weickenmeier. She defended that title 8 times, before also fighting for the vacant WBC one, against Sandy Tsagouris, 8 March 2008. She won by 97-93 on all three cards and was now a unified world champion. For her achievements, she was named the Sportswoman of Moenchengladbach in 2005, 2006 and 2007. In her first defense of the two titles, she stopped undefeated Stacey Reile by TKO4. She made 3 defenses of those two titles, before winning her third and final one-WBO, against Esther Schouten, by MD, 10 October 2009. She managed to make only one defense of these 3 titles, by stopping the excellent Ramona Kuehne due to a cut in 6 rounds, 9 January 2010. And then came Jeannine Garside, a Canadian underdog who had lost 3 times in world title fights already and had only 9 wins. The fight was held at the Porsche Arena in Stuttgart on 3 July '10 and Garside surprised everyone by outpunching and outworking the German star with her left hook and right jab combinations and also tied her up whenever she came close. She managed to drop a tired Menzer in the very last round, but the referee ruled it a slip-didn't matter, because all three judges gave Garside the fight, deservedly. Menzer's face was bruised up in the end and she had just lost for the first time as a pro, and was no longer a threefold champion.


After that big blow, she took a year off from boxing, before returning in September 2011. After winning 4 fights, on 24 August 2013 she fought for the interim WBF and vacant WIBA titles against the 8-0 Goda Dailydaite of Lithuania. She won clearly on all scorecards, two judges giving her all the rounds and thus won her last titles ever. She would retire soon after that bout and in 2014 she graduated in sports management. She has since given birth to two daughters, one in 2017 and the other in 2019. Ina Menzer was for a long time one of the best German female boxers and was often featured on major cards alongside major male boxers. With her blonde good looks and charm, she was popular with the predominantly male boxing audience, and also because of her boxing skills and toughness she was appreciated by them. In a time where women's boxing was just starting to get big, she was one of the few major female stars. Alongside Susi Kentikian, she was Germany's greatest female boxer of the first decade of this century. And yes...she was indeed a SOVIET GERMAN BOXING CHAMPION!



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