A Final Tribute for Junior Middleweight Champion Giselle Salandy

Sue FoxContributor IJanuary 8, 2009

On Sunday morning shortly before 7 a.m., female multi-world champion Giselle Salandy of Trinidad and Tobago was involved in fatal car accident, crashing into a concrete pillar on Beetham Highway, located on the outskirts of Port of Spain.

Salandy, just 21 years old and two weeks short of turning 22, was rushed to the Port of Spain General Hospital, where she died of massive head and internal injuries at 8:29 a.m.

Salandy also had a passenger, National footballer Tamar Watson, in the front seat at the time of the accident. There is speculation at this time that Salandy may have fallen asleep at the wheel, and police are saying that alcohol was not involved. 

Salandy had just fought on Dec. 26, 2008, at the Jean Pierre Complex, successfully defending three of her junior middleweight world titles [WBC, WIBA, and WBA] against Yahaira Hernandez of the Dominican Republic, where she won the bout by points.

Salandy made history twice in women’s boxing, by first becoming the youngest world champion at age 14, and then fighting for six world title belts in a unified championship bout, in 2006. 
Salandy was not only a champion inside the ring, but also outside the ring. She would give presentations to youths in her country, and perform other public service tasks to represent her country in a positive light.  
Salandy said in one presentation to a group of young girls in August of 2006: “I came here today to speak to you all on how things can get better for you and that there is always hope no matter what. As a young girl growing up, I lost my mother; she died of a heart attack. I had to fend for myself at age 11.

"It was very possible for me to end up in an institution like this, but by the grace of the almighty father he pointed me in the direction of a gym where I began boxing, and I was able to pull through.

"I am pleading with you, as a young woman to you young women, get involved in sport, it helps boost your self-esteem and confidence—it also gives you discipline. However it helps to be successful if you have your academics attached, so stay focused on it."

WBAN [Women Boxing Archive Network] recognized Salandy’s efforts 2006, when she was awarded the "Top History Making Fighter of the Year for 2006." That same year, Salandy was also awarded the First Citizens Sportswoman of the Year for 2006.  

Her funeral service was held yesterday at 11 a.m., at the St Benedict's Roman Catholic Church, La Romaine, and she was buried at the Siparia Cemetery. 

[To read thoughts and condolences to Salandy and her friends and family, go here: http://womenboxing.com/NEWS2009/news010809salandyfinaltribute.htm. You can also email your condolences to wban100@aol.com, and it will be posted on the WBAN Final Tribute page]