Arely Mucino and Lupita Martinez Featured This Saturday
By Felipe Leon
The female boxing world is abuzz with this Saturday night’s culmination of the WBC’s female flyweight tournament where we will see the rubber match between WBC 112-pound champion Jessica “Kika” Chavez face off against her arch nemesis and current WBC 108-pound champ Esmeralda “Joya” Moreno from Ecatepec, nearby Mexico City, and broadcast live in Mexico by mega channel Televisa.
Funny thing is on the other major Mexican TV network, Azteca, an all-female double header is also the main course Saturday night which will probably go ignored by much of the boxing public. Granted the third fight between Chavez and Moreno is probably as good as it gets in female boxing with two highly skilled and experienced Mexican warriors going at it for the third time hoping the ferocity matches their 2016 war which was named by many the Female Fight of the Year.
On Azteca and presented by Zanfer Promotions from Cancun, Mexico, former WBC, IBF and WBA flyweight champion Arely “Amatralladora” Mucino (24-3-2, 10KO) in a rematch against Japan’s Tenkai Tsunami (23-11, 12KO) in a 10-rounder in the flyweight division.
Also on the card will be newly crowned WBC super flyweight champion Lupita Martinez (15-9, 5KO), who is coming off her upset win over long-reigning champion Zulina “Loba” Muñoz last May, defending her title for the first time against Panamanian Carlota “La Liebre” Santos (7-4-5, 5KO) over ten two-minute rounds.
Mucino, 28, is the only Mexican female fighter who has captured nearly all the major titles in one division. In early 2011 she defeated Chantel Cordova for the IBF strap which she defended three times before being ceremoniously knocked out by Ava Knight later that year. In February of 2012 she captured the WBA interim title with a split decision over former champ Melissa McMorrow and in December of 2014 she defeated the WBC version of the crown with a unanimous decision over Shindo Go. She lost it in her first defense to the current champion, the aforementioned Chavez.
Since then Mucino has made it clear she wants to capture the WBO version to complete the set. The current champion is fellow Mexican Monserrat Alarcon who is yet to defend it.
“My promoter will look for the opportunity for the WBO title soon,” Mucino stated last year when she signed to Zanfer. “That is my goal, to win all four major titles of the division.”
Since setting the goal, things have not gone as planned for the fighter from Monterrey, Mexico. She has strung together three consecutive wins over the likes of Judith Rodriguez, Kandy Sandoval and Jessica Guadalupe Martinez but has not looked particularly spectacular in any of them.
She certainly is not looking as if she is ready for a world title opportunity.
Zanfer and her team are hoping her second run at Tsunami might change that. They first met in January of 2014 where Mucino was awarded a hotly contested majority decision in her hometown of Monterrey. Since then Tsunami has asked for the rematch and this Saturday she will get her wish. The Japan fighter is known as a game competitor who despite 11 losses has never been knocked out against such names as Janeth Perez, Mariana Juarez, Zulina Muñoz, Jessica Chavez and Carolina Rodriguez among others.
“I wanted to fight for the world title but the champion decided to take another fight,” Mucino recently stated. “I didn’t want to be inactive so I took this fight. I know this opponent, she is not easy to knock out, but I am glad that my opponents are getting tougher because I want to fight. I like for the fans to get excited.”
As far as Martinez, she wants to prove her surprise win over Muñoz was not a fluke.
By the time “Loba” Muñoz, 30, stepped into the ring in Cancun last May, she had defended her world title 10 times against much bigger names than Martinez. Muñoz, with nearly 50 wins and only one loss, which she avenged, was considered one of the most solid female fighters in the world.
It all came crashing down against Martinez.
Martinez, known more as a tough test for up and coming fighters like Daniela Bermudez, Linda Laura Lecca and Ava Knight among others, had the night of her professional life as she battered Muñoz throughout her fight and was always one step ahead.
A rematch was discussed for August but it did not materialized so now Martinez will have her first defense against the 32-year-old Santos.
“I always knew I would beat Muñoz,” Martinez said confidently. “My talent, my preparation and my bravery was the difference. Now I have made my dream come true of being a world champion. I’m not even considering a tiny bit of letting go of this title. It has changed my life and that of my family. The best is yet to come, this Saturday even with my nails I will defend this title, this title stays in Mexico, I am here to stay.”
Also featured on the card will be local fighter Yesenia “Niña” Gomez (13-4-2, 6KO) against Guadalupe Bautista (9-10-2, 1KO) in a scheduled eight round flyweight tilt.