Interview with Melissa St Vil: Little Miss Tyson
By: Bryant Romero
Super featherweight contender Melissa St Vil, also known as ‘Little Miss Tyson’ is fresh off her first world title opportunity dropping a controversial majority decision loss to Eva Walshstrom at the champion’s backyard. St Vil to this day feels she was robbed of her glory of becoming a world champion and it only strengthened her belief that boxing is a corrupt sport that shows favoritism to the more popular fighter. The 34-year-old originally from Haiti, now living and fighting out of Brooklyn, New York is hungry for another chance at a world title. St. Vill fights for the underdog, and for the girls who go through struggles. Growing up in an abusive environment, Melissa St. Vil turn to boxing as a safe haven to let her anger out, and to get away from the problems she was going through.
Boxingsider recently caught up with Melissa St. Vil to talk about her controversial loss to Wahlstrom, her plans moving forward, and how boxing has helped her.
“I grew up in an abusive household and I found boxing,” St. Vil said. “I used boxing as an outlet to let go of my anger and I just stuck with it. It was a safe haven for me. I had my first fight when I was 17 and it just took off from there.
“I always liked fighting before boxing; I always got into street fights. Like I said before, boxing was a safe haven for me because I was going through a lot mentally and I just needed to get away and boxing was that for me,” she said.
St. Vil turned that anger into a professional boxing career, debuting in March of 2007 and establishing a record of (10-3-4, 1 KO) in 17 bouts. She’s an aggressive fighter and her favorite boxer to watch is Marvin Hagler. Like Hagler, St. Vil got the short end of a controversial decision where she traveled to Kulttuuritalo, Helinski this past April to challenge WBC super featherweight champion Eva Wahlstrom.
What felt like a sure victory for St. Vil, ended up with a defeat as the outcome, but walked away with the full belief that she was setup in Helinski.
“I definitely did not lose that fight,” St. Vil told me. “People always say that when you go to a girl’s hometown, you have to get the knockout. But sometimes the knockouts don’t come and you can beat their ass for all ten rounds and that’s what she got.
“When I went over there I had no dressing room. When I knocked her down, the ref called it a slip. The tape doesn’t lie, I have the tape. I definitely beat Eva Wahlstrom, she knows it and her team knows it,” she said.
The 34-year-old is itching to get back into the ring and is working on September return but currently doesn’t have an opponent. She’s willing to fight whoever though and is targeting the biggest names in and out of her division.
“I always come in as the b-side but I always come out winning,” St. Vil said. “I’m willing to fight whoever. The biggest fights in my weight class would be Mikaela Mayer and Katie Taylor who is 5 pounds up from me. Those would be two big fights for me.
“Maybe next year, they will definitely get exposed because there is no way they are putting me away. I’m a whole another breed,” she said.
Melissa St. Vil hopes to get another crack at a world title soon and wants to prove she would be a worthy champion, while continuing the fight for women’s boxing and to influence other young girls that are going through the same struggles as she did.
“I definitely want to get another shot at a world title and I want to change the other young ladies life that been through situations like me.
“I want them to see me and know that don’t quit. Whatever you want to do in life just go for it and stay focused. Shout out to all the immigrants and all my Haitians and all the women around the world,” St. Vil said.