TIJUANA, MEXICO-WBA minimum weight champion Anabel Ortiz (21-3, 4KO) of Tepic, Nayarit, Mexico, survived a knockdown to stop veteran Jolene Blackshear (9-8, 4KO) of San Diego, CA, at the end of the eighth round of a scheduled ten to defend her title for the seventh time on Saturday.
The good-action championship bout was the main event of the Zanfer Promotions presented fight night at the Municipal Auditorium of Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, and broadcast live in Mexico by Azteca channel.
Ortiz held the WBC version of the 105-pound title in ’09 but lost it two fights later to Japanese Naoko Fujioka. She quickly captured the silver version in 2012 but went after the WBA title she now holds with a split decision win over Etsuko Tada in 2013 in Tokyo.
Since then Ortiz has punched her way to the number one spot at minimum weight defending her title six times prior to tonight with wins over the likes of Neisi Torres, a rematch with Etsuko Tada, Sandra Robles and former champion Katia Gutierrez.
Blackshear began her pro career back in 1995 and by her third fight won the IFBA light flyweight title with a ten round unanimous decision over Anissa Zamarron. Three more fights in the next two years plus some personal issues made her take a nine-year hiatus from the sport but she came full-force in 2009 with win over two-time flyweight champion Melissa McMorrow.
Blackshear also owns wins over Lili Barajas, Linda Soto, Sindy Amador and Susan Reno. After her last fight, a 7th round TKO loss to WBC light flyweight champion Ibeth Zamora in May of 2015, Blackshear had announced her retirement. She surprised many by announcing on her social media about three weeks ago she was coming back to challenge Ortiz for the WBA title.
San Diego’s Blackshear looked to establish her jab early on and was the more active of the two in the beginning stanzas. Ortiz looked content to hang back and wait for the San Diego fighter to come in and look to counter. Mid-way through the second round Ortiz began to press the action a bit more and caught Blackshear with a couple of left hooks that seemed to bother the 46-year-old American.
By the third round it was all Ortiz with hard power punches to the head of Blackshear but Ortiz still had to walk through fire since Blackshear was game and looked to land her own set of body work. Blackshear’s best moment came in the fourth when a perfectly placed right hand wobbled Ortiz and forced her to touch her glove on the canvas. Referee Rafael Ramos quickly called it a knockdown.
It was the best Blackshear was going to do.
The always-tough Blackshear, who by the sixth round looked winded while her nose bled, tried as she might to get back in the fight and score another right hand but Ortiz was just too strong and quick for the veteran fighter. Ortiz tightened up her defense and closed the door on that hard overhand right from Blackshear. Ortiz was able to land a number of combinations flush to the head and body of Blackshear gradually breaking her down.
Ortiz opened up the seventh by putting the pedal to the metal with straight punches dead center to the face of her opponent while she switched it up between the body and head while closing the round the same way.
Early in the eighth Ortiz landed a left uppercut, which made Blackshear take a step back, and seconds later she hurt her again with a right hook. A punch opened a nasty gash over Blackshear’s left eye and Ortiz went in for the kill. Ortiz did not stop throwing and landing punches until the final bell of the round. When Blackshear made her way to her corner referee Rafael Ramos correctly followed her there and waived off the bout.
Blackshear did not protest. Official time of the technical knockdown was 3:00 of the eighth round.
“I was surprised how good she was but I think I proved that I am champion by getting up from that knockdown,” Ortiz said after the fight. “I knew she didn’t have that much power but that she was very precise with her punches.”
Robles Defeats Polo
Former world title challenger Sandra “Perla Negra” Robles (14-2, 7KO) of Tijuana got awarded a technical decision over Mexico City’s Ana Victoria Polo (3-1) after an accidental head butt in the sixth and final round caused a severe cut and forced the third man in the ring, Christian Curiel, to halt the action.
The much more experienced Robles was in full control throughout the fight as reflected in the cards of 50-45 and 49-46 two times.