Wishful Thinking: Five Fights for 2017
Like everybody else in the world, we here at ThePrizeFighters.com are hopeful and optimistic about the following twelve months. Showtime is all set to broadcast live female boxing as early as January and the continuation and conclusion of the WBC female flyweight tournament is expected in the first half of the year among other proposed events makes the future seems bright for female boxing.
With that said, here are five fights we would like to see come to fruition in 2017 to make this year in even better one than the last as far as female boxing. In no particular order:
Jessica “Kika” Chavez (28-4-3, 4KO) vs Esmeralda “La Joya” Moreno (34-9-1, 11KO) – This is the only rematch on the list but the first two were so good, why not see it again? They first met in 2011 with Moreno taking a unanimous decision over the less experienced Chavez, but their second meeting this past July has been heralded as the best female fight of 2016 at least by us at ThePrizeFighters.com. Chavez defended her WBC flyweight title with a razor thin majority decision which Moreno has protested ever since. Since both have made it to the second round of the WBC female flyweight tourney set to resume early this year, we just might see this rematch next or at least in the final as both Chavez and Moreno are considered the best the division has to offer. Their second face-off produced so many fireworks and action, only WWIII can be expected now with the bad blood brewing since then.
Cecilia “First Lady” Braekhus (29-0, 8KO) vs Layla McCarter (38-13-5, 9KO) – Braekhus has been on top of the pound for pound heap for quite some time now with Layla McCarter a thorn on her side for most of it. Don’t be fooled by the thirteen losses on McCarter’s ledger, she is a season fighter through and through. McCarter has not tasted defeat in such a long time, nine years, her taste buds have forgotten the bitterness of it. Despite McCarter being the naturally smaller woman, she might be Braekhus’ biggest threat skill wise. The fight has been talked about for some time with the proposed site in Europe but no serious offers have been made according to McCarter’s team. With Braekhus historically opening up her home country of Norway’s boxing market, hopefully the funds are to make this fight a reality this year.
Amanda Serrano (30-1-1, 23KO) vs Jelena Mrdjenovich (37-10-1, 19KO) – If not the fighter of the year, Amanda Serrano undoubtedly is the most accomplished female fighter of capturing both the vacant WBO featherweight and super bantamweight titles this year. What is missing? A signature win over a world-class fighter. She just might get that this upcoming January 14th when she faces former WBC bantamweight champion Yazmin “Rusita” Rivas of Mexico at the Barclays Center and broadcast live on Showtime Extreme. Although impressive, a win over Rivas will still be with an asterisk signaling the Mexican is fighting over her natural weight class. Entering stage left: Jelena Mrdjenovich. It is rumored she was the first choice as an opponent for Serrano before pricing herself out but the Canadian, who holds the 126-pound WBC and WBA titles, has stated Serrano is one she would like to face soon. Mrdjenovich has also stated she is looking to shrink herself down to 122 pounds to look for a title so there might be no escaping for Serrano and it seems these two are on a set collision course. With both possessing power in both fists, Serrano’s exceptional boxing skills and Mrdejenovich’s take no prisoners style, we can only hope its sooner than later.
Nana Yoshikawa (7-1, 4KO) vs Arely Mucino (22-3-2, 10KO) – This fight might not produce as many fireworks as the previous three but depending on winner, it would produce a world record. The twenty-seven year old Mucino of Monterrey, Mexico, is the only Mexican fighter to have held flyweight titles by all three of the major sanctioning bodies. This year she is looking to make it all four. Mucino captured her first title, the IBF 112-pound strap, back in 2011. She captured the interim WBA title with a win over former champion Melissa McMorrow a year later. In late 2012 she captured the green and gold WBC version with a unanimous decision over Shindo Go and now is going after the WBO belt which Yoshikawa owns. It might be easy pickings for the much more experienced Mucino since Yoshikawa has faced absolutely nobody of note except current WBA strawweight champion Anabel “Avispa” Ortiz in April of 2015. Ortiz defeated her with a unanimous decision. The hard part will be getting her out of Japan. The fact the WBO doesn’t actually have public female rankings might also make it difficult to force a fight against her.
Claressa Shields (1-0) vs Maricela Cornejo (6-2, 2KO) or Raquel Miller (2-0, 1KO) – By going pro, the two-time gold Olympic medalist Claressa Shields became the biggest story in female boxing. So much so Yahoo Sports named her the Boxing Person of the Year. She was reportedly paid a well-deserved $50,000 for her pro debut and with Mark Taffet, formerly of HBO, as a co-manager, her career is believed to be well planned. Despite all that Shields does not stop from being a competitive 21-year-old, cocky and sure of herself and her skills. It is said everybody and around her weight class was called before an opponent was found in fellow amateur standout Franchon Crews. A war of words erupted between former title challenger Maricela Cornejo and Raquel Miller regarding who ducked Shields and each other with Shields piping in on social media she was looking for bigger fish to fry than either Cornejo or Miller. Cornejo and Miller had a somewhat well-documented run-in in Las Vegas, NV, recently where instead of clearing up any ill-will between them, it just added more fuel to the fire. Would love to see a box-off between Cornejo and Miller with the winner challenging Shields for trash talk supremacy. It would make sense for all of these women to get a bit more fights and experience under their belts, but where is the fun in that?