Female Fight News for week of Sept. 11, Autumn Light
By David A. Avila
American prizefighters are storming the month of September especially in the lightweight division.
Long one of the most dormant divisions in American female boxing, the 135-pound fighters are making a strong return to the forefront this year led by Olympians far and near.
In the United Kingdom it was announced that Ireland’s Katie Taylor will be challenging current WBA lightweight titlist Anahi Sanchez who just won the world title on Saturday by knockout over fellow Argentine Cecilia Mena. They will fight on Oct. 28, on the men’s heavyweight title card in Wales.
A couple of former American amateur lightweight stars are on Taylor’s tail.
Last weekend Selina “Aztec Queen” Barrios (2-0) fought Taylor’s last opponent Jasmine Clarkson (4-10) and won by unanimous decision in San Antonio. Both Barrios and Clarkson call Texas home.
“I was able to cut off the ring and put a lot of pressure on Jasmine,” said Barrios. “She was very tough but I give her a lot of credit for going the distance.”
Clarkson was stopped by Taylor when they fought this past July, but never went down.
Another American primed to enter the ring is Mikaela Mayer who fought in the Rio Olympics last year.
Mayer (1-0) will be displaying her multiple talents against Allison Martinez (1-2) at the Tucson Convention Center in Tucson, Arizona. The Top Rank boxing card takes place on Friday Sept. 22 and will be televised on ESPN.
The ultra-fast Mayer won by quick knockout in early August when she stopped Widnelly Figueroa with a left hook to the body in the first round in Los Angeles. It was a brief but electric performance for the Southern Californian.
Lightweights have been a rarity for American females the past 10 years. A few elite lightweights such as Layla McCarter have been forced to move up in weight to find a fight. Or they were forced to fight in foreign lands where decision wins can be at the whim of capricious judges.
A few have toiled away with a fight here and there such as Crystal Morales who despite a losing record has very good fighting skills and actually won a world title. Sadly, because of the dearth of lightweights, she has never defended that title she won five years ago. There are other American lightweights out there like Jessica McCaskill and Kimberly Connor.
Argentina has been a strong haven for lightweights the past 10 years with fighters such as Erica Farias, Victoria Bustos, Alejandra Oliveras and others combatting each other. Maybe now they will have competition with American and European lightweights joining the fray.
Costa Rica’s Yokasta Valle has been in talks to face Japan’s Naoko Fujioka in a light flyweight battle for the vacant WBO title.
During a recent visit to Southern California the Costa Rican prizefighter said she is ready and willing to face Fujioka or anyone in her weight class including the Mexican fighters.
Fujioka is a four division world champion and is seeking a fifth world title in a fifth weight division. Japan’s best female fighter already has conquered the bantamweights, super flyweights, flyweights and strawweights. She only needs the light flyweight title to make it five.
Speaking of light flyweights Seniesa “Superbad” Estrada put on a clinic against Mexico’s Anahi Torres at the StubHub Center this past Saturday. The super quick East L.A. boxer had no problems with the former title contender. Is a world title next?
Female Fight News
Anahi Sanchez (17-2) won by technical knockout in the sixth round over Cecilia Mena (10-2-1) on Saturday Sept. 9. The win at San Miguel, Tucuman, gives Sanchez the vacant WBA lightweight title. Mena, 29, was fighting in her hometown. Sanchez, 26, fights out of Pergamino, Buenos Aires and is a former super featherweight and featherweight champion.
Alejandra Zamora (6-1) won by unanimous decision after four rounds against Makarena Gallastegui (4-3) on Friday Sept. 8. The super featherweight match was held in Comodoro, Chubut.
Deanha Hobbs (4-0) won by technical knockout of Sarah Dwyer (2-3-1) in the first round on Saturday Sept. 9. The win gave Hobbs the vacant Australian super lightweight title and took place in Newstead, Queensland. Also, Flor Hani (1-0) won her pro debut by knockout of Irva Nurmalia (0-1) in the second round of their featherweight contest.
On Saturday Sept. 16, welterweights Verena Kaiser (9-0) and Dominican Republic’s Diana Garcia (14-24) meet in a 10 round bout for the vacant GBU and WIBF titles in Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen. Also, Roxana Ion (1-0) and Jasna Curcin (1-4) meet in a four round super bantamweight contest.
Felmi Sumaehe (2-0) won by unanimous decision over Anchalee Mankong (1-2) on Saturday Sept. 9. The super bantamweight fight was held in Jakarta.
Yuko Henzan (5-6-3) won by majority decision over Jutamas Jitpong (2-1) after six rounds on Sunday Sept. 10. The bantamweight contest took place in Nakagami, Okinawa. Jitpong, 19, fights out of Thailand. Henzan, 30 lives in Tomigusuka, Okinawa.
On Wednesday Sept. 13, light flyweights Shione Ogata (7-6) and Issei Watanabe (0-1) meet in four three-minute rounds. The match takes place in Tokyo.
Estrella Valverde (15-5-2) defeated Costa Rica’s Carolina Arias (13-1) to win the vacant WBC International title on Saturday Sept. 9. The super flyweight match was held in Tecamac, Mexico City.
Karina Hernandez (10-2-3) defeated Lidia Garcia (1-2) by unanimous decision after six rounds on Friday Sept. 8. The bantamweight contest was held in Neza, Mexico City. Also, Sharon Morales (4-1) beat Rebeca Hernandez (0-3) by decision in a super featherweight fight.
Noni Tenge (18-1-1) won by unanimous decision after 10 rounds versus Mapule Ngubane (6-5-3) on Friday Sept. 8. The win retains the WBF super welterweight title for Tenge. It was her second defense. She has not lost since Layla McCarter beat her in 2012. A featherweight fight saw Unathi Myekeni (11-4-1) beat Asandiswa Nxokwana (6-2-1) for the vacant WBF title. In another fight, Simangele Hadebe (3-1-1) beat Ellen Simwaka (6-2) after eight bantamweight rounds. Sindiswa Ncube (1-0) beat Mphumi Sibiya (0-3) in a four round featherweight bout. And Thelma Zuma (1-0) and Nothuthuzele (1-0) both won their pro debuts on an all-female fight card held in Kagiso, Gauteng.
Seniesa Estrada (11-0) won by unanimous decision after eight rounds against Mexico’s Anahi Torres (16-17-1) on Saturday Sept. 9. The light flyweight contest took place in Carson, Calif. Estrada, 25, fights out of East L.A. Torres, 28, fights out of Tlalnepantla, Mexico City.
On Friday Sept. 15, super featherweights Shelly Vincent (19-1) and Angel Gladney (9-12-1) meet in an eight round contest in Mashantucket, Conn.
On Saturday Sept. 16, flyweights Marlen Esparza (2-0) and Tania Cosme (5-6-1) meet in a four round clash at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Also, Nicola Adams (2-0) and Alexandra Vlajk (11-6) meet in a four round light flyweight match. Both female fights will be three-minute rounds.
On Saturday Sept. 16, bantamweights Marcia Agripino (1-0-1) and Frederica Bianco (2-1) meet in a four three-minute rounds fight at Lincoln, Rhode Island.
(Photo by Robert Elizondo)