Melissa St. Vil Defends WBC Silver Title in Haiti
By Janice Yim and David A. Avila
Haitian native Melissa St. Vil returns to the warmer climate of her island country once again in defense of her title.
It’s still cold in St. Vil’s (9-2-3) adopted New York City and once again she returns to Haiti where she will defend her WBC Silver super featherweight title against Mexico’s Jessica Gonzalez (7-3-1) on Friday March 31, at the Karibe Convention Center in Petionville, Haiti.
Last November, in Haiti, the always smiling St. Vil fought and defeated Diana Garcia in a six round bout. Before that she successfully defended the title in China last July against former world champion Katy Castillo.
This will be St. Vil’s second defense of the title.
“My fight against Katy Wilson Castillo was by far my toughest opponent so far and toughest fight. Katy moved well, had good hand speed. It was like an intense chess match, not a brawl,” said St. Vil about her first title defense against Castillo in Chengdu, China on July 9, 2016. “Prior to the fight some people told me I wasn’t going to win flat out. But I kept quiet, worked hard, stayed humble and ended up beating Katy.”
Now St. Vil makes her second defense against a Mexican fighter known for giving a hard time to everyone she faces.
Gonzalez, 29, fights out of Mexico City and has lost back-to-back split decisions to fighters in their hometowns. What that means is even in their comfort zones Gonzalez has been able to convince at least one judge she was the winner. Last August she lost to former world champion Yazmin Rivas in Durango, Mexico. Last June she lost in Colombia to Liliana Palmera the WBA current world champion.
Basically Gonzalez can fight. She has wins over three world champions including Rivas in 2013.
St. Vil, 33, welcomes fighting in her native Haiti and hopes to help those in need. It’s been her goal to assist those in her country that still feel the effects of the devastating earthquake that occurred in January 2010.
She also hopes to inspire those in her country about the sport she loves.
Recently Brooklyn-based female champions have been providing some of the best fights in the country. St. Vil looks to add her contribution to the growing fire that includes Amanda Serrano and Heather Hardy.
Can St. Vil keep the fire growing?
(Photo by JP Yim)