Pelletier primed for rematch with Woods

MURRAY GREIG, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:46 AM ET

Too much respect can be a bad thing.

Just ask Ayana Pelletier.

The stylish Edmonton lightweight will be out to avenge the only blemish on her 5-1 record in a rematch with Atlanta's Nicole Woods on the undercard of the Aug. 28 Armed & Dangerous card at the Shaw Conference Centre.

"I gave Nicole too much respect, it's as simple as that," Pelletier, who has four knockouts, said yesterday.

"She was on the U.S. national amateur team, she had more pro experience ... I think that kind of psyched me out a little.

"But I started thinking of this rematch the second I left the ring after she beat me. On days when I don't really feel like running or sparring, thinking about our first fight is all the motivation I need to get back into it.

"I want this one so bad, I can taste it."

Pelletier has reeled off four straight wins -- three by KO -- since losing to Woods in May of last year.

The American -- whose ring handle is 'Notorious' -- is 9-1 with just one knockout. She's won six and lost two since beating Pelletier.

"I'm a completely different fighter than I was a year and a half ago; stronger and sharper," said Pelletier, who credits a new yoga regimen with helping her relax away from the ring.

"This fight isn't just about revenge ... it's about showing how far I've come and proving that I'm ready to take the next step and get into title contention.

"My training has been great. I've had a few different sparring partners, including (national amateur champ) Susan Haas, and mentally, I'm right where I want to be. I can't wait for fight night."

Promoter Glen Carriere said Pelletier is "on the cusp" of fighting for a national championship.

"Ayana is one of the most exciting female fighters in the country; one or two more big wins and she'll be challenging for a belt," said Carriere.

The rest of the Aug. 28 undercard is still being finalized, but the semi-main event will be a cruiserweight rematch between former Canadian champ Ryan Henney (12-3, 7 KOs) and Toronto's Bengaly Kourouma (5-2, 3 KOs).

Kourouma was leading on all three scorecards in 2006 when Henney rallied for a 10th-round KO to claim the vacant title at the Shaw Conference Centre.


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