Canada’s Jelena Mrdjenovich Wins in France and Other Female Fight News
WBC and WBA featherweight titlist Jelena Mrdjenovich proved once more no boundaries exist when it comes to substantiating her ranking among the best female fighters pound for pound in the world today.
Mrdjenovich (37-10-1, 19 Kos) traveled to Cergy-Pontoise, France to meet undefeated Frenchwoman Gaelle Amand (14-1) and returned home to Edmonton, Canada with her featherweight titles intact after 10 rounds on Saturday Oct. 8.
Is there any doubt about her abilities or ranking as the top female featherweight in the world?
Before embarking across the Atlantic Ocean, the 34-year-old Mrdjenovich admitted that she loved the challenge of meeting undefeated fighters and the added pressure of proving superiority over opponents in their home country. Despite the daunting challenges, Mrdjenovich once again succeeded.
The Canadian prizefighter flew to France accompanied by 20 fellow Canadians to the French city where undefeated Amand awaited her. The actual bout did not take place until nearly midnight.
“I’m used to our main events beginning around 9 to 9:30 whereas we were on around 11:30,” said Mrdjenovich on Monday.
Once the fight commenced the Frenchwoman advanced forward to meet the champion’s attack.
“Amand was good, strong and could take a lot of punishment. She kept taking punches to move in to stuff my left hook,” said Mrdjenovich. “I couldn’t quite seem to move my feet enough into the proper distance to land that clean left hook that I’m used to finishing people with. So I had to use other skills to win.”
The Canadian felt she could end the fight before 10 rounds.
“When the fight started I thought we weren’t going to get out of round one or two,” said Mrdjenovich a veteran of numerous world title battles in the past against the likes of super fighters Melissa Hernandez, Layla McCarter and Ann Saccurato.
Despite the early pounding absorbed, Amand seemed to find her footing and resilience to withstand the Canadian’s firepower in the opening two rounds. But as the rounds mounted Mrdjenovich resorted to her boxing skills to maintain her control over the world title fight.
As most know, fighting in another opponent’s country can result in odd scoring from biased judges. Still, Mrdjenovich felt she had built enough of a comfortable lead.
When the scores were tabulated after 10 rounds of action, two judges scored it 97-93 for Mrdjenovich but a third saw Amand the winner at 96-95.
“I had it 98-92 so I thought 97-93 was good. I have no clue what the other judge saw,” Mrdjenovich said. “Disappointed in the one score clearly. I have no idea how the fight could have possibly be seen as a split decision considering I had her out on her feet multiple times throughout the fight.”
But despite the uncertainty of foreign judges, Mrdjenovich closed out the fight to assure a victory.
“I know I decisively won rounds 9 and 10,” she said.
Mrdjenovich once again had met the challenge.
“Other than the one score, the experience as a whole was great. Being in someone else’s back yard was different, but I was fortunate enough to have over 20 people make the long trek to France to support me and tons of people at home watching eagerly and cheering from afar.”
It was her first title defense of the two belts she regained March 2016 after losing to Argentina’s Edith Matthysse in August 2015 in Argentina. Experience and skill have been her allies. Another challenge, another victory.
“Defending my world title in France was a great experience as the fans could feel and appreciate the magnitude of the fight and were excited,” said Mrdjenovich.
What’s next for the dominant featherweight?
There had been rumors of a possible showdown between Mrdjenovich and New York’s vaunted Amanda Serrano the WBO featherweight titlist.
Regardless, Mrdjenovich proved once again to be one of the very top female prizefighters pound for pound.
Sylvia Scharper (6-1-1) defeated Vatinee Saranburus (0-3) by unanimous decision after six super bantamweight rounds on Saturday Oct. 8. The match took place in Melbourne Park, Australia. Also, in a co-super bantamweight clash Cherneka Johnson (4-0) knocked out Ratsadaporn Khiaosopa (0-6) in the first round.
Femke Hermans (3-0) knocked out Elene Sikmashvili (8-3) in the second round to win the Belgium super middleweight title on Saturday Oct. 8. The match took place in West Vlaanderen, Belgium. Hermans, 26, fights out of Belgium. Sikmashvili fights out of Georgia.
On Saturday, Oct. 15, in Thieu, flyweights Sanae Jah (11-2-1) meets Poland’s Bojana Libiszewska (2-17) in a contest set for six rounds. Jah, 32, fights out of Belgium.
On Saturday Oct. 15, in Fredericton, light heavyweights Annie Mazerolle (2-2) and Shanice Szmidt (0-0) clash in a match set for four rounds. Both women are based in the New Brunswick, Canada.
On Saturday Oct, 15, in Otok, flyweights Nevenka Mikulic (6-7-1) and Katarina Vistica (1-3) meet in a four round bout. Mikulic, 37, fights out of Croatia. Vistica, 23, fights out of Bosnia.
On Saturday Oct. 15, in Frederikshavn, super bantamweights Dina Thorslund 6-0) and Oksana Romanova (9-17-1) meet in a 10-round bout. Thorslund, 22, fights out of Struer, Denmark. Romanova is 44 and fights out of Ukraine. In another female bout, Patricia Berghult (3-0) and Lela Terashvili (7-4-1) fight in a six round super lightweight contest.
Jelena Mrdjenovich (37-10-1) retained the WBA and WBC featherweight world titles by split decision after a 10 round clash with France’s Gaelle Amand (14-1) on Saturday Oct. 8. The title contest took place in Cergy-Pontoise, France. Mrdjenovich, 34, fights out of Edmonton, Canada and is considered one of the top female fighters pound for pound. Amand, 33, was fighting in her hometown.
On Saturday Oct. 15, in Issy-les-Moulineaux, lightweights Myriam Dellal (13-5-3) and Elfi Philips (8-3-3) fight for the vacant WBC Silver title. The contest is set for 10 rounds. Dellal, 37, fights out of France and Philips, 23, fights out of nearby Belgium.
Tina Rupprecht (5-0) defeated Spain’s Joana Pastrana (7-1) by unanimous decision in a battle of undefeated female fighters to win the vacant WBC Silver minimum weight title on Friday Oct. 7. The fight took place in Bayern, Germany. Rupprecht, 24, lives and fights out of Bayern. It was later learned that Pastrana fought with a broken right hand from the second round on. Pastrana, 26, fights out of Madrid, Spain.
Nana Yoshikawa (7-1) captured the vacant WBO flyweight title by majority decision against South Korea’s Eun Hye Lee (8-1) on Sunday Oct.9. The world title match took place in Sakai, Japan. Yoshikawa, 38, fights out of Sakai. Her opponent Lee is 33 and suffered her first loss as a pro. The WBO title was stripped from California’s Melissa McMorrow who held it but could not defend it in term. No promoter was willing to fund the fight.
Jessica Nery Plata (19-1) defeated Jazmin Ortega (2-5-1) by decision after six rounds of a lightweight bout on Saturday Oct. 8, in Queretaro, Mexico. Nery Plata, 21, fights out of Mexico City and has won three consecutive bouts.
On Saturday Oct. 15, in Chiapas, flyweights Diana Fernandez (13-0) and Jacqueline Coutino (0-0) meet in a six round bout.
On Saturday Oct. 15, in Campeche, minimum weights Anabel Ortiz (22-3) and Debora Rengifo (7-2-1) clash in a 10 round bout. Ortiz, 30, fights out of Tepic, and is the current WBA minimum weight titleholder. Rengifo, 29, fights out of Caracas, Venezuela and holds the WBA fedelatin title.
On Saturday Oct. 15, in Guadalajara, super featherweights Yareli Larios (8-0) and Alma Rivas (3-8) clash in an eight-round bout. Also, flyweights Fany Vargas (3-0-1) and Joana Garcia (0-0) meet in a four round bout.
Baby Nansen (3-2) defeated Daria Smith (0-3) by majority decision in a super featherweight bout after four rounds on Saturday Oct. 8, in Manurewa, New Zealand. A heavyweight fight saw Sarah Long (1-2) defeat Tash Pakai (0-1) by unanimous decision after four rounds. Plus, Kirsty Lupeamanu (1-1) defeated Victoria Nansen (0-2) by decision after four rounds in a heavyweight bout.
On Friday, in Moscow, Snezhanna Tsarikaeva (1-0) faces Evgeniya Zablotskaya (8-12) in a flyweight bout set for four rounds.
Marta Branas (8-0) remained undefeated with a decision win over Maribel De Sousa (1-9) after six flyweight rounds on Friday Oct. 7, in La Coruna, Spain.
On Saturday Oct. 15, in Madrid, bantamweights Melania Sorroche (12-1-1) and Ana Maria Lozano (12-5-1) clash for the vacant IBF Inter-Continental title in a 10 round bout. Sorroche, 26, fights out of Manresa, Spain and only loss was in Venezuela this past June. Lozano, 30, fights out of Venezuela.
Matshidiso Mokebisi (6-5-1) beat Melissa Miller (1-5-1) by unanimous decision after 10 rounds to win the vacant WFBI super bantamweight title on Friday Oct. 7. The match was held in Bloemfontein, South Africa.
Ashley Brace (5-0) remained undefeated by unanimous decision against veteran Galina Ivanova (16-13-4) in a super bantamweight fight that went six rounds on Saturday Oct. 8. The match took place in Tylorstown, Wales. Brace, 25, fights out of Wales. Ivanova, 38, is a former flyweight, bantamweight, super bantamweight, super flyweight and featherweight world champion who fights out of Bulgaria.
Soledad Macedo (14-13-1) defeated Fabiana Lopes 0-2) by unanimous decision after six rounds in a super flyweight bout that took place on Saturday Oct. 8, in Salto, Uruguay. Macedo is 33 and fights out of Salto. Lopes is 19 and fights out of Brazil.
Maricela Cornejo (5-2) defeated veteran Eliza Olson (10-6-3) by unanimous decision after six rounds in a super middleweight contest on Friday Oct. 7. The fight took place in Los Angeles. Cornejo, 29, fights out of Los Angeles. Olson, 40, had retired 10 years ago and is a former world champion. The fight was competitive but Cornejo had too much reach and height for Olson. But the veteran was able to have her moments inside with combination punching.
On Saturday Oct. 15, in El Paso, Texas, IBF featherweight titlist Jennifer Han (14-3-1) defends against Liliana Martinez (20-15) of Dominican Republic. Han, 33, is making the second defense of the title she won in September 2015.