World Champions Lead Female Fight Card in SF Bay Area Dec. 3.
In the past decade the San Francisco Bay area has been a hotbed for female boxing in both the amateur and pro arenas.
One major reason has been Blanca Gutierrez a former kickboxer turned boxer turned promoter.
She’s like the Pied Piper of Pacifica.
An all-female professional boxing card called “Boxing Meets Beauty” features former world champions Melissa McMorrow, and Martha Salazar plus several others on Saturday Dec. 3, at Pacifica Cages in Pacifica, Calif. The fight card is co-promoted by Babyface Boxing Promotions. Doors open at 6 p.m.
It’s Gutierrez’s first professional fight card and her love of female boxing will be on display for fight fans in Northern California. She’s already a veteran of amateur boxing shows where she learned the fight promotion business. They were dress rehearsals for the pros.
“That’s how it feels like that for me. All these six amateur shows were dress rehearsals,” said Gutierrez. “I also helped out on the pro-am shows.”
The Bay area promoter spent years as a kickboxer and in various boxing gyms. It’s while in those gyms that she met others like current fighters Salazar, McMorrow, Carina Moreno and Eliza Olson. All four are former world champions.
“Out here in Northern California a long time ago there was just me and Martha and Carina Moreno. We all started in kickboxing,” said Gutierrez adding that she fought Moreno in kickboxing. “What we did is sticking all together. I went to different spots and invited them over. They didn’t care about politics, especially in women’s boxing. We all will spar and take care of each other.”
Word spread that it was easy to find female sparring in Gutierrez’s gym and soon others came. It was quickly apparent that she was also quite proficient in matching female fighters with opponents. That also led to promoting.
After several years of staging amateur female boxing shows with successful results called Beautiful Brawlers, female boxing blossomed in the San Francisco Bay area. It’s now a hotbed for female world champions.
Champions fight card
McMorrow (10-6-3) just recently was the WBO flyweight world titlist after defeating the very dangerous and talented Kenia “La Gema” Enriquez by split decision in 2015. But after a year of inactivity due to an inability to secure a title defense, McMorrow had her belt taken from her by the WBO. She did not lose it in the boxing ring. Instead, the fighter known as “Mighty” opted to go to Mexico and face former flyweight champion Esmeralda “La Joya” Moreno on October 22, in Mexico City. In a brutal slugfest McMorrow lost by decision.
But here is McMorrow one month later ready and willing to engage in the ring. She faces Blanca Raymundo in a six round flyweight bout. It should be action-packed.
Another former world champion set for action is Martha Salazar (13-5) the former WBC heavyweight titlist from San Francisco.
The slick-fighting heavyweight known as “The Shadow” will be facing Tanzee Daniels (4-4-1) once again. Both fought for the vacant WBC title two years ago with Salazar taking the decision. Rematches like this are always good for the fans.
Salazar’s last fight was a somewhat controversial majority decision loss to Alejandra Jimenez last March in Cancun, Mexico. One judge scored it even with another scoring it six rounds to four against Salazar. But one third judge only gave Salazar two rounds in a 10-round fight that many felt she won. Still, the televised fight was a great moment for women’s boxing.
“Martha and I went to Cancun for that fight. It’s exciting to see what they are doing over there. We want to create a following like they do in Mexico. They’re focused and it’s beautiful to see,” said Gutierrez of the success of female boxing in Mexico. “Martha will get a rematch against Alejandra Jimenez again.”
Building a following remains key for Babyface Boxing and Beautiful Brawlers Promotions.
“All the girls take fights for love of the sport,” said Gutierrez. “They don’t worry about losses on their records.”
Gutierrez also feels that the timing is right for a surge in female boxing with the emergence of Olympians like Claressa Shields, Franchon Crews and Katie Taylor entering the prizefighting arena.
“I knew it was time with Claressa coming out I knew it was time. You got to do it with a gold medalist coming out,” said Gutierrez. “It’s either now or never.”
Other female prizefighters on the card are Samantha Salazar, Sara Flores, Temitope Pedro, Katonya Fisher, and Dalia Gomez.
Pacifica Cages is located at 640 Crespi Drive, Pacifica Calif. 94044. Doors open at 6 p.m. the first bout is scheduled for 7 p.m. For more information and for tickets go to www.babyfaceboxing.com