Hollie “Hot Stuff” Dunaway (1984–)

Hollie “Hot Stuff” Dunaway is a model, wrestler, and former professional boxer. From 2003 to 2013, fighting at the minimum weight (98–115 pounds) and flyweight levels, the diminutive Dunaway (her height is generally listed at about five feet) crafted a successful career in the developing world of women’s boxing, winning numerous flyweight and minimum weight world titles.

Hollie Natashia Dunaway was born on October 18, 1984, in Van Buren (Crawford County). Little about her family or her youth is known. She first became attracted to boxing while watching female boxers training at the World Class Fitness Center in Fort Smith (Sebastian County). Even though she had never seen a professional boxing match, she decided that she wanted to pursue a competitive career in the sport.

Determined to be a professional fighter, Dunaway skipped the amateur circuit—a step that she later acknowledged made aspects of her early career more challenging. With less than a month of training, Dunaway was offered the chance to be a last-minute fill-in, making her professional debut at 105 pounds on February 4, 2003, in Memphis, Tennessee, against Melissa Shaffer, a Fort Smith native.

She lost to Shaffer by a technical knockout (TKO) in the second round. While Dunaway started out aggressively, Shaffer’s experience won out as she hurt Dunaway with a hard left hook right before the end of the second round, and the referee called the fight. Dunaway was back in the ring by the end of March, earning her first win via a first-round TKO in a match at Wild Wings Club in Fort Smith.

Over the course of over thirty-five fights, Dunaway became an ever more successful fighter, far outdistancing her lack of amateur experience. To advance her career, she relocated to St. Louis, Missouri, and she also traveled to Hungary, a fertile training area for American female boxers, as well as to Germany, in an effort to hone her skills and pursue matches with the world’s top fighters.

Over the course of her boxing career, she won numerous titles, becoming a four-time world champion. She won the North American Boxing Federation (NABF) Flyweight Title in 2008, the Women’s International Boxing Council (WIBC) Minimumweight Title and the Global Boxing Union Female Minimumweight Title in 2006, the Women’s International Boxing Association (WIBA) Minimumweight Title in 2005, and the USA Mid-West Light Flyweight Title in 2004.

By the end of Dunaway’s boxing career, male boxers sometimes served as the undercard for her matches; women’s boxing was added to the Olympics in 2012. On April 18, 2013, Dunaway became the first woman inducted into the St. Louis Boxing Hall of Fame.

After relocating to Atlanta, Georgia, she continued her modeling career and began to compete in wrestling. Her modeling work has mostly consisted of bikini photo shoots for magazines and online media outlets, but she also posed nude for Penthouse magazine in the summer of 2010, explaining that she wanted to show that “strong women can also be feminine.”

For additional information:
Daneghyan, Narine. “Hollie ‘Hotstuff’ [sic] Dunaway. ‘When I Put on Boxing gloves, I Become Terrible.’” MediaMax Sport, January 10, 2014. https://sport.mediamax.am/en/news/interviews_sport/8675 (accessed December 21, 2022).

“Hollie Dunaway.” Sport and Note: Boxing Passion. http://www.sportenote.com/vedi_dettagli.asp?id=11097 (accessed December 21, 2022).

“Hollie Dunaway.” Women Boxing Archive Network (WBAN); https://www.womenboxing.com/biog/hdunaway.htm (accessed December 21, 2022).

“Hot Stuff Hollie, Wrestling Sensation, Boxing Legend.” FemCompetitorMagazine, March 6, 2015. https://femcompetitor.com/hot-stuff-hollie-wrestling-sensation-boxing-legend/ (accessed December 21, 2022).

William H. Pruden III
Ravenscroft School


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