Claressa Shields Turns Pro on Ward-Kovalev Card and Female Fight News
Las Vegas will be the site for the professional debut of two-time Olympian Claressa Shields.
The home of mega slots, glitzy hotels and a town that never sleeps gets first crack at hosting the double gold medal winner when Shields makes her debut on the Sergey Kovalev versus Andre Ward light heavyweight showdown at T-Mobile Arena on Nov. 19.
What a move.
“After working hard for so many years and having the honor to represent my country at two Olympic games, I am thrilled to take the next big step in my career, fighting professionally and leading the rise of women’s boxing worldwide,” stated Shields on a press release. “There is no better place to begin the journey than to join the biggest fight of the year, Kovalev vs Ward, and to fight alongside my idol and fellow U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist Andre Ward. I can’t wait to entertain the fans on Nov.19!”
Her promoter Roc Nation along with Main Events will co-promote the event. HBO pay-per-view will not televise the Shields fight.
Instead, her fight will be shown on the free portion of the fight card. Not the pay-per-view portion.
It’s been a mere two months since Shields mowed down the international competition including wins over Russia, Kazakhstan and the Netherlands to pick up her second gold medal. Unlike the first Olympic adventure in London, most of the competition was mentally prepared for her ballistic like punching style in Rio. Still, the Michigan boxer with a junkyard dog attack mentality stormed through taller opposition and those that preferred to hold instead of box. It didn’t matter. She sliced through them like tissue paper.
Now Shields will be facing professional boxers who may be older and accustomed to fighting more than four rounds as in the amateur world. In the pro scene 10 rounds is a title fight. But two big things in her favor will be smaller gloves and no head gear.
Knockouts were a big part of her game as an amateur. Can you imagine fighting as a pro with smaller gloves?
“Claressa Shields is a uniquely talented and special young woman. At just 21 years old, she is a once-in-a-lifetime type athlete whose talent inside the ring and charisma outside of it gives her the potential to be a trailblazer for women’s boxing and for all of boxing for years to come,” said Mark Taffet and Jamie Fritz, co-managers of Claressa Shields. “We are proud to be part of Claressa Shields’s team and are thrilled she will be part of the year’s marquee event, Kovalev vs Ward, on Nov. 19 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.”
Expect 21-year-old Shields to run right through the competition like a runaway train.
The only chink in the announcement was the leaving Shields off the pay-per-view portion of the boxing card. After winning her second gold she participated in a number of television shows including Good Morning America on ABC. That show alone has several million viewers each morning. America knows Shields a lot more than it knows Ward or Kovalev. Leave it to the boxing know-it-alls who run the networks to miss the opportunity. They have been missing it for decades while MMA enjoyed televised fights of females due to the emergence of Ronda Rousey.
One step at a time I guess.
WBC Flyweight tournament
Flyweights took center stage in Mexico and Germany in a continuance of the WBC tournament started several weeks ago.
In Mexico City, two former flyweight world champions clashed for 10 rounds with Esmeralda “La Joya” Moreno winning the decision over “Mighty” Melissa McMorrow on Saturday Oct. 22.
“Tough night. Took the L. It wasn’t our best night,” said McMorrow on Facebook. “We will rest up, evaluate, improve, and come back stronger than ever. Promise you that.”
Moreno was fighting in her hometown and swept the judge’s scorecards winning 100-88, 100-90, 98-89. Now she advances to the next stage.
In Vienna, Austria, another Mexican flyweight surprised many with an upset win. Ana Arrazola, a former light flyweight world champion from Mexico City, traveled to Europe and toppled the favorite Raja Amasheh of Germany. Few expected the Mexican southpaw to win though her last loss came against talented fellow Mexican Kenia Enriquez two years ago.
Female Fight News
Anahi Lopez (7-0-1) defeated Fabiana Lopes (0-3) by unanimous decision after six rounds in a flyweight bout that took place Saturday Oct. 22, in Villa Canas, Argentina.
Marisa Portillo (17-13-3) won by split decision over Betiana Vinas (10-7-3) after six rounds in a super featherweight clash that took place on Saturday Oct. 22, in Rosario, Argentina. Also, Evelyn Bermudez (1-0) won her pro debut by unanimous decision over Adriana Maldonado (1-5-1) after a four round super flyweight match.
Anyelen Espinosa (1-0) dominated Romina Gorosito (0-1) to win by unanimous decision after a four round light flyweight bout on Saturday Oct. 22, in Campana, Argentina.
Daniela Rivero (1-0) won by decision against Belen Messina (0-1) after four rounds of a bantamweight fight on Saturday Oct. 22, in Rafael Calzada, Argentina.
Mel Baker (1-1) won by majority decision versus Monthida Rattanachai (0-2) after a four round bantamweight clash on Saturday Oct. 22, in Toowoomba, Australia.
Shannon O’Connell (14-4-1) retained the WBC Silver super bantamweight title by unanimous decision after 10 rounds with Edina Kiss (10-2) on Friday Oct. 21, in Chandler, Australia. O’Connell, 33, was making the second defense of the title she won in April 2016. Kiss, 26, fights out of Budapest, Hungary.
Eva Voraberger (21-5) won the vacant IBO, WIBF and GBU super flyweight titles by unanimous decision after 10 rounds versus Eileen Olszewski (10-7-3) in Vienna on Saturday Oct. 22. Voraberger, 26, fights out of Vienna. Olszewski is 48 and fights out of New York City. In a WBC flyweight tournament bout, Mexico’s Ana Arrazola (26-11-3) upset Germany’s Raja Amasheh (19-1-1) and won by unanimous decision after 10 rounds. (For more, read the story above on the WBC flyweight tournament.)
Stephanie Essensa (2-1) defeated Michele Nelson (4-4) by decision after a six round featherweight bout on Saturday Oct. 22, in Saskatoon, Canada.
Marie Eve Decaire (5-0) defeated Karla Zamora (3-3) by unanimous decision after a six round welterweight contest on Thursday Oct. 20, in Montreal, Canada.
Timea Belik (1-2) won by decision over Krisztina Makra (0-1) after a four round super welterweight match on Thursday Oct. 20, in Budapest, Hungary.
Monica Gentili (6-6) defeated Milena Svonja (2-1) by decision after a six round lightweight clash on Saturday Oct. 22, in Rome, Italy. Gentili, 39, fights out of nearby Lazio, Italy. Svonja, 21, fights out of Serbia and suffered her first loss as a pro.
Minayo Kei (4-5) beat Sarasa Ichimura (2-3-1) after four rounds in a minimum weight fight on Sunday Oct. 23, in Kochi, Japan.
Tomomi Takano (9-2) stopped Natchakamon Chanthasri (0-3) in the sixth round of their featherweight bout on Thursday Oct. 20, in Tokyo, Japan. Also, Jun Yabuki (6-0) knocked out Saranyaphong Theinthong (0-8) in the second round of their light flyweight match.
Esmeralda Moreno (34-9-1) defeated Melissa McMorrow (10-6-3) after 10 rounds in a flyweight match by unanimous decision on Saturday Oct. 22, in Mexico City. Also, Monserrat Vazquez (3-0) beat Jacqueline Cruz (1-1) by decision after four rounds in a light flyweight contest.
Arely Mucino (22-3-2) defeated Judith Rodriguez (8-11) by unanimous decision on Saturday Oct. 22, in Tijuana, Mexico. Mucino, 27, is a former flyweight world champion who fights out of Monterrey, Mexico. Rodriguez, 34, fights out of Mexico City, Mexico.
On Friday Oct. 28, in Hermosillo, several female bouts are planned including flyweights Sulem Urbina (1-0) versus Mary Borquez (1-0). Another female bout includes Montserrat Alarcon (7-3-2) versus Brenda Ramos (8-3).
On Saturday Oct. 29, in Gomez Palacio, Durango, bantamweights Irma Garcia (15-1-1) and Leticia Uribe (4-7) meet in an eight-round bout. Garcia is a former bantamweight world champion. The southpaw fights out of Mexico City. Uribe, 32, fights out of Huichapan, Mexico.
On Friday Oct. 28, in Kohiharama, heavyweights Nailini Helu (2-0-1) and Cheyenne Whaanga (1-0) clash in a six-round bout. Also, super featherweights Baby Nansen (3-2) and Briar Johnston (0-0) meet in a four rounder.
Amanda Serrano (30-1-1, 23 Kos) knocked out Alexandra Lazar (8-2) in 44 seconds of the first round to add the WBO super bantamweight world title to her list. The New York City resident also has the featherweight, super featherweight and lightweight world titles. She becomes only the second Puerto Rican behind Miguel Cotto to have four world titles in four different weight divisions. (Read story on this web site for more information.) The fight took place on Tuesday Oct. 18, in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
On Saturday Oct. 29, in Ekaterinburg, welterweights Irina Poteeva (0-0) and Patima Ayshalova (0-1) meet in a four rounder.
Agnes Nick (7-3) defeated Timea Alfoldi (5-2) after eight rounds by decision in a super bantamweight fight in Sturovo on Sunday Oct. 23. In a six round super welterweight match, Nikolett Popp (1-0) won her pro debut over Bernadett Czegeledi (1-7) by unanimous decision. In a flyweight match, Claudia Ferenczi (12-53-6) snapped a two-fight losing streak by defeating Maria Domeova (0-3) after four rounds by decision.
Olivia Gerula (18-16-2) won the vacant UBF Inter-Continental featherweight title by split decision after eight round versus Nydia Feliciano (9-8-3) on Thursday Oct. 20, in Washington D.C. Gerula, 37, fights out of Winnipeg, Canada and was in her first bout since a first round knockout loss to Amanda Serrano in February. Feliciano, 27, fights out of the Bronx, New York.
Rosalinda Rodriguez (5-0) won the vacant NABF bantamweight title by unanimous decision over Noemi Bosques (11-8-2) after eight rounds on Wednesday Oct. 19, in Charlotte, North Carolina. Rodriguez, 30, fights out of Miami and won every round according to the judges. Bosques, 33, fights out of St. Petersburg, Florida. Also, Britain Hart (1-0) won her pro debut after four rounds in a featherweight contest with Crystal Sutton (0-2). The boxing card was the promotional debut of former great Christy Martin who co-promoted with Mercedes Vazquez.
On Friday Oct. 28, in Laredo, Texas, flyweights Christina Fuentes (5-8-5) and Samantha Salazar (1-2-1) meet in a match set for four rounds.