‘Gwen’ grew up in the Barima River area of the North West District in Guyana, the twentieth child in a family of 21 kids. She says she owes her toughness in the ring to long hours spent doing hard work on her parents’ farm at an early age.  Her father, who was from St. Lucia, died when she was five. She had also had to fight her way through school, so as not to be taken advantage of by boys. “One day I say, (the) boys ain’t beating me no more. I’m gonna beat them.” She said that many times when a fight broke out, by the time the teacher arrived to break it up, it was all over!

Boxer – Gwendolyn Oneil

Gwen’s interest in combat sports began with martial arts but she was introduced to boxing by her husband. Her decision to turn pro, she said, was inspired by a fight she saw on TV. “One day I lie down upon my bed and see two women fighting. And I turn and tell my husband … they can’t beat me!” Gwen became Guyana’s first Woman’s World Champion after defeating American Kathy Rivers in a memorial bout at the National Park in March 2004 for the Light/Heavyweight Woman’s International Boxing Association (WIBA) belt.

Boxing Career

On July 31, 1999 in Port of Spain, Trinidad, she knocked out Kim “Bonecrusher” Quashie of Trinidad in the first round of a heavyweight bout and on December 4, the same year in Georgetown, Guyana she won a four-round decision over Margaret Walcott also of Guyana.

December 26, 2000 at Cliff Anderson Sports Hall in Georgetown, Guyana, Gwen (170 lbs) won by TKO over southpaw Geraldine Cox (160 lbs) of Guyana at 0:54 in the third round of a scheduled four-rounder as part of the “Boxing Day KO”. On August 5, 2001 in Georgetown, Guyana, she fought to a four-round draw in a rematch with Margaret Walcott. On December 26, 2001 at Cliff Anderson Sports Hall in Georgetown, Guyana, Melissa Charles of Trinidad won by disqualification over Gwen, who was ejected for biting her opponent! On May 4, 2002 at Cliff Anderson Sports Hall in Georgetown, Guyana, Gwen TKO’d Kim Quashie of Trinidad in the second round. On December 26, 2002 at Cliff Anderson Sports Hall in Georgetown, Guyana, Veronica Simmons of New York City won a six-round majority (58-56,59-56,57-57) decision over Gwen in a hard-fought light-heavyweight semi-main event.

On May 24, 2003 at Cliff Anderson Sports Hall in Georgetown, Guyana, Gwen won the vacant Guyanese Light Heavyweight title with a fourth-round TKO of Margaret Walcott of Guyana. On November 29, 2003 at Sir Garfield Sobers Gymnasium in Wildey, Barbados, Gwen TKO’d Krystal Lessie of Trinidad in the third round.  Gwen was now 6-3-0 (6 KO) while Lessie fell to 0-6.

Gwendolyn O’Neil

May 29, 2004 at National Park in Georgetown, Guyana, a crowd of about 5000 fans saw Gwen (169 lbs) win a ten-round unanimous (100-90,98-92,98-95) decision over Kathy Rivers (170 lbs) for the WIBA Light Heavyweight title that had been vacated by Jacqui Frazier-Lyde.  On June 28, 2004 in Guyana, Gwen won a six-round unanimous decision over Krystal Lessie of Trinidad.

On September 24th, 2004 at the Phillips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, Laila Ali (174¼ lbs) won the IWBF Light Heavyweight title with a third-round knockout of Gwen (175 lbs). On December 26, 2004 in Georgetown, Guyana, Gwendolyn won a ten-round unanimous decision over Krystal Lessie of Trinidad in a light heavyweight bout. Lessie fell to 0-10-0 with the loss.

Boxer Gwen O’Neil

On July 9, 2005  in Georgetown, Guyana, Gwen scored an eight round unanimous decision over Pamela London of Georgetown, who fell to 4-3-1 (0 KOs). On April 22, 2006 in Georgetown, Guyana Gwen won by a fourth-round TKO over Margaret Walcott of Guyana, who fell to 1-6-1 (0 KOs). On February 3, 2007 at the Emperor’s Palace Casino in Johannesburg, South Africa Laila Ali (168 lbs) stopped Gwendolyn  (165¾ lbs) just 0:56 seconds into the first round of a scheduled ten-rounder for the WBC and WIBA Super Middleweight titles.On June 6, 2008 in St Maartin, Netherlands Antilles, Gwen won a 10-round split decision over Carlette Ewell of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA for the vacant WIBA Light Heavyweight title. On November 1, 2008 in St. Maarten, Netherlands Antilles, Carlette Ewell  (174 lbs) won a 10-round unanimous decision over Gwen (173 lbs) in a rematch for the WIBA Light Heavyweight title.  The judges’ scores were 97-95, 98-96, 99-95. Gwen slipped to 13-6-1 (7 KO’s) while Ewell improved to 13-7 (9 KO’s). On January 29, 2010 at Cliff Anderson Sports Hall in Georgetown, Guyana, Gwen won a six-round unanimous (59-55 x 3) decision over Sharon Ward of Linden, Guyana. Ward fell to 4-4 (0 KO’s) with the loss.

World Champion Gwen O’Neil

On June 5, 2010 at the Princess Hotel in Georgetown, Guyana, Gwen (189 lbs) won a ten-round unanimous (96-94,98-92,98-92) decision over Veronica Blackman (181 lbs) of Guyana for the vacant WIBA Heavyweight title and the GBU Heavyweight title.  Blackman fell to 3-5 (0 KO’s). On September 11, 2010 at Fort Myers Stadium in Fort Myers, Florida, Gwen (200¾ lbs) won an eight round unanimous decision over Laura Ramsey (186¾ lbs) of Winter Haven, Florida for the WIBA Heavyweight title.  Ramsey fell to 9-5 (4 KO’s). On November 6, 2010 at the Princess Hotel and Casino in Providence, Guyana, Gwen easily won a unanimous decision over Pamela London of Georgetown, Guyana, who fell to 6-5-5 (1 KO).Gwen is trained by her husband Lennox Daniels and managed by Samuel Layne of Barbados. Asked why she boxes, Gwen replies “Because I like the game. I like fighting, I like being rough.”Congratulations Gwen for your “Knockout record.”  You Rock!






6 Responses to Gwendolyn “Stealth Bomber” O’Neil: First Guyanese Woman to win a World Boxing Title

  1. George Bobb says:

    I am certain she battle with Mohammed Ali's Daughter.She was beaten?

  2. She was beatten by Mohammid’s Ali Daughter,and she lost.

  3. Rose Roberts says:

    She rocks, and so do you…….

  4. Jillian Richard says:

    And what a fight for Gwendolyn O’Neil this weekend after 3 years of not competing she still rock I was at that fight in St Maarten. And she have taken the World title away from that big mouth she had too much to say, I was so proud of Gwendolyn she is a fighter with a heart of a Lion and a eye of a tiger, 6 times world Champion She should be leading Guyana to the 2016 Olympics . Someone to be proud of.

    • Cloyette HS says:

      Thank you for sharing Jillian. This is another proud moment for Guyana. Please attach any links from media coverage of the fight.

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