Yesica Bopp: “I am working hard for whatever comes my way.”
By Diego Morilla
Female boxing in Argentina has grown exponentially through the years, and a few fighters are responsible for that extraordinary growth. One of them is definitely Yesica Bopp, a perennial pound-for-pound entrant and current WBA mini-flyweight titlist, who is getting ready to defend her belt on Nov. 12 against Mexico’s Anahi Torres (15-14-1, 2 KO) in the northern town of Rio Hondo.
“She is a tough Mexican fighter, and that’s all I know from her,” said Bopp (29-1-0, 12 KO), the winner of the very first female amateur fight in Argentine history 15 years ago, about her opponent. “She was a world champion (Note: Torres was a “youth” WBC titlist) and fought a lot of other champions, and now we’ll wait to see what she brings and we’ll try to outperform her. We know she’s strong, but we’re working for whatever comes our way. I am working hard for whatever comes my way.”
Presumably, the 27-year old Torres will not pose much of a threat to the talented Bopp, who still has a lot to give at 32 years of age. Motherhood slowed Bopp down and kept her out of the ring for two full years, but she is back with two wins already in 2016 against Vanesa Taborda and Nancy Franco, and she is looking forward to make it a perfect three to run up her record to 30 victories while bringing Torres’ already shaky record down to .500.
“For now I am not worried about my activity because this is the way the business of boxing goes, and I won’t worry about it,” said Bopp, underscoring one of the main problems of the current female boxing scene. “There are not a lot of rivals to choose from, and so I don’t choose – I fight just anybody out there. We need to wait, and sometimes is sad because you end up asking yourself ‘why do I train so hard?.’ We are waiting for bigger and better things all the time, and if not, I’ll have to settle for whatever comes my way.”
Bopp will be defending her belt for a record 16th time (including her interim stint), but that is a common occurrence for a fighter who got her first title belt in her sixth pro bout and has fought with a title on the line more often than not, including the WBO belt she unified and defended ten times as well. She also defeated Daniela Bermudez to briefly hold the WBO flyweight title.
Her list of accomplishments constitute one of the most impressive resumes in a country in which accomplished female boxers abound, and it is this year in particular in which the fruits of her labor are finally showing.
“It is really special to see female boxing finally getting the accolades it deserves,” said Bopp, in reference to the raucous, mostly male crowd surrounding her at the legendary Argentine Boxing Federation stadium, where this interview took place, during the explosive Esteche-Peralta triple unification bout. “We all struggle hard to get the recognition for what we do and to achieve our goal of getting as much money as men do. Until we get to that day, we will be fighting hard for our rights.”
Bopp’s only defeat came in 2013 against Mexico’s Jessica “Kika” Chavez, and she hopes to exact a measure of revenge with a victory over Torres this coming Saturday. But her sights are on a proper revenge against her lone conqueror and to finally have the matchup of her dreams.
“I hope to get my rematch with Chavez in a neutral country, and then I would like to face Susi Kentikian, as always,” said Bopp, who has had a serious fixation with the German-Armenian pocket dynamo for as long as she can remember. “We are negotiating with her, and I hope we get the fight. But the problem is the same we female fighters always have, and it’s money. If the money is there, the fight is made. But if the purses continue being so low, then there will be no fights.”