Thursday, July 13, 2023

Brooke Dierdorff-Millbrook in ink

Brooke Dierdorff-Millbrook. Copic marker and Sharpie on 14" X 17" Bristol Board. Art by Coyote Duran

Brooke Dierdorff-Millbrook. Copic marker and Sharpie on 14" X 17" Bristol Board. Art by Coyote Duran

One might see a professional boxer's record of 6-5-2 (3 knockouts) and make a snap judgment about how said fighter is a gatekeeper, "tomato can" or a "bum." (Man, I hate those terms and never use them outside of referencing them, as I've done here.) However, in the case of Brooke Dierdorff, this record is a culmination of a fighter who took risks in the pursuit of success.

After all, Dierdorff (now known as Brooke Dierdorff-Milbrook, her married name)) packed a considerable amount of accomplishment in a mere 13 professional bouts, which spanned over just four-and-a-half months, from September 2006 to March 2011.

Among Brooke's wins was a six-round split decision over one of the most recognized names in women's boxing, Mia St. John, whose record at the time was 43-8-2 (18 KOs) (and that was in Brooke's fourth professional fight), an eight-round unanimous decision over St John in their rematch (in Millbrook's 10th professional bout), which netted her the WBC international lightweight title, and a six-round unanimous decision over then-future IBF junior welterweight titlist Mary McGee - a surefire future International Women's Boxing Hall-of-Famer - who was undefeated, at the time, with a record of 17-0 (10 KOs).

Not for nothing, Brooke even beat David Morrison - yes, a dude - in her third professional fight, by first round stoppage. Now Morrison could've been a reversed version of the late, great Andy Kaufman, known for his intergender professional wrestling spectacles, but what really matters is he got his ass handed to him by a woman.

"Hit like a girl," indeed. I'll bet that hurt, Dave. Dude had it coming. Shouldn't aspire to hit women, man.

In Brooke's final professional fight, in March 2011, she fought to a draw versus Ashleigh Curry in River Grove, Illinois (home of the legendary, late, lamented Thirsty Whale). You know, it ain't a bad way to go out. While amassing her aforementioned professional record, Brooke's pursuits earned her induction in the International Women's Boxing Hall of Fame in 2022.

And interestingly enough, during a conversation in which my residence was brought up, I learned that up until a few years ago, she and her family lived in Oswego, Illinois - less than 10 miles away from me. Talk about a small world. I later learned Brooke trained at Jesse "The Law" Torres' (a retired police officer and former Illinois State junior welterweight titlist, who challenged Jorge Paez and Phillip Holiday in the pros and Hector Camacho in the amateurs) gym in my birthplace of Aurora, Illinois.

Did I mention it's a small world?

So when Brooke asked me to render her in a commission, I was more than happy to oblige. So, I took a different bent, broke out the Copic and Sharpie markers with a Pentel Pocket Brush Pen and a 14" X 17" sheet of Strathmore Bristol Board and went with a comic book-inspired approach. If you missed them, here are some in-process shots, courtesy of my Instagram feed:






My daughter Makayla holding Brooke's portrait commission in a proud "Girl Power" moment.

My daughter Makayla holding Brooke's portrait commission in a proud "Girl Power" moment.

Here's to you, Brooke! Please keep inspiring future female champions to dream big, work hard and never give up!

Oh...and stay tuned for this piece in a brand-new episode of "Have Paw, Will Draw with Coyote Duran" on YouTube, coming very soon! 😉

Questions? Comments? Complaints? Commissions? Hit me up at You can also follow me on Twitter @CoyoteDuranon Instagram @CoyoteDuran, on Threads @CoyoteDuran and on Facebook @CDCreationNation.


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