Rosetta Reed is a petite, professional attorney and a natural conversationalist. In her list of accolades lies an unexpected title, boxing champion.
Reed was born in Tehachapi and grew up in Mojave. A resident of Bakersfield since she was 16, Reed worked for a local newspaper called the Rosedale Roadrunner and eventually married Tony Reed, the publication’s owner.
Reed’s boxing career began when she and some friends decided to watch amateur matches in 1976. Reveling in the fight, Reed was hooked.
Kern County boxer Rosetta Reed faced off against No. 1 contender Bonnie Prestwood in Bakersfield in 1980.
Two weeks later, Reed was at the Munoz boxing gym on East California Avenue, and her husband became her manager.
“I liked boxing because I liked the exercise, and it kept me tone. And I was really competitive,” said Reed, who started boxing at age 26.
Women’s boxing was tough, not just in the ring, but as an up-and-coming sport. Society preferred the bouts between men rather than women. Reed was a pioneer of the sport but not before some intense training.
Working with Paul Munoz for a couple of years, Reed switched trainers to Chuck Wiggins in 1979. For Reed, the gym work was easy, but the running was the toughest part of becoming a champion. She often ran from Hart Park to Bakersfield and even along the California coast in the sinking sand.
“I hated it every step of the way,” Reed said.
Finding fights was like pulling teeth. Not only were there few women fighters, but Reed’s flyweight division (108 lbs – 112 lbs) had hardly anyone at all. But her big moment came at last in 1978 when she fought Nancy Thompson and knocked her out in just two rounds. [click to continue…]