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Female Fight Update: Mexico Taking Lead in Female Boxing



Mexico seems to be leading the world when it comes to female professional boxing.

A decade ago it was Germany behind Regina Halmich and Daisy Lang who heralded the women’s fight movement.

But since the two talented German blondes retired the girls in Mexico led by Mariana “Barbie” Juarez, Jackie “Aztec Princess” Nava and many others seem to have taken the lead when it comes to outstanding bouts.

On a weekly basis Mexican girls are defending their titles as main events in their country and in countries like Japan.

Other countries like Argentina have thrown their hats into the ring but seem reluctant to go to other countries. Instead they offer $3,000 purses to extremely talented fighters like Layla McCarter. Of course they’re rejected.

Lately, European countries like France, Denmark, Poland and Spain have also gained interest. Only the U.S. failed to gain momentum in staging female fight cards in 2015.

Here’s what’s happening this week in female boxing:

WBA female bantamweight titlist Irma Garcia (12-1-1) faces veteran Maria Elena Villalobos (13-13-1) in a 10-round contest on Friday Dec. 18. Both Garcia and Villalobos live and train in Mexico City. The fight will take place in the warm climate of Cancun, Mexico.

Seven female bouts are scheduled to take place in Tlalnepantla, Mexico on Friday Dec. 18. The large card also features several male bouts. Those female fighters participating will be Guadalupe Bautista, Jasseth Noriega, Joselyn Reza, Itzayana Cruz, Marlen Sandoval, Vianey Ortega, Giovanna Ledezma, Eloisa Martinez, Valeria Perez, Rosa Olvera, Itzel Paredes, Nancy Vazquez and Maria Martinez are all scheduled to fight on the large card. It’s an impressive showing and exemplifies the drawing power of female fighters in Mexico.

Alondra Garcia (13-2-1) meets Karla Mora (3-4-1) for the vacant WBC female International light flyweight title on Friday Dec. 18. Garcia, 20, lives and trains in Guadalajara, Mexico. Mora is from Tepic, Mexico. The title fight happens in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Japan’s Nana Yoshikawa (4-1) travels to Mexico City to face Denisse De La Cruz (0-1) in a mini flyweight match set for four rounds. The female fight takes place on Saturday Dec. 19. Yoshikawa last fought in April and lost her world title bid against WBA world champion Anabel Ortiz by decision in Japan.

Nina Stojanovic (8-0) is set to face Mirela Barudzic (1-5) in a flyweight bout set for six rounds. Their contest takes place on Friday Dec. 18 in Budva, Montenegro. Stojanovic, 23, lives in Serbia and Marudzic, 22, also lives in Serbia.

Ewa Brodnicka (9-0) fights Elfi Philips (6-2-3) for the vacant EBU female lightweight title on Saturday Dec. 19. Their title fight will be held in Lomianki, Poland. Brodnicka, 31, lives and trains out of Warsaw. Philips, 22, lives and trains out of Belgium.

In Sri Lanka, Nao Ikeyama (16-3-1) faces off with Jujeath Nagaowa (13-15-1) for the WBO atom weight title on Saturday Dec. 19. Nagaowa, 28, fights out of the Philippines. Ikeyama, 46, lives and trains out of Kyoto, Japan. She has a five-fight winning streak.

Rachel Clarke (6-6-1) is set to fight Brittany Inkrote who is making her pro debut. The female middleweight match takes place Saturday Dec. 19, at Hanover, Penn. Clarke, 32, is a southpaw out of Fayetteville, North Carolina. Inkrote lives in York, Penn. It’s set for four rounds.

In Colonia, Uruguay, Paola Ibarra (3-3) meets Amanda Lopes (0-1) in a featherweight bout set for four rounds. Ibarra, 31, lives and trains out of Montivideo, Uruguay. Lopes lives and trains out of Santa Catarina, Brazil.

WBC female minimum weight titlist Yuko Kuroki (14-4-1) defends the belt against Nancy Franco (14-6-2) on Sunday Dec. 20 in Fukuoka, Japan. The southpaw Kuroki, 24, is making her third world title defense. Franco, 26, is the current IBF minimum weight titlist and fights out of Guadalajara, Mexico.

Female Fight results from Around the World Caroline Andre (2-2) defeated Stella Cecilia (0-1) by technical knockout at 1:30 of the sixth and final round of their super lightweight match. Cecilia was making her pro debut. Andre, 34, fights out of Luxembourg where the contest took place.

In Buenos Aires, Argentina, Maria Rivera (7-4-3) defeated Luna Torroba (9-3-2) by unanimous decision after 10 rounds to win the vacant South American super flyweight title. The match took place on Saturday Dec. 12.

In Perry Park, Australia, Arlene Blencowe (4-4) defeated Nongfah Sithjaepung (0-1) by stoppage at 2:00 of the second round. The fight was scheduled for six rounds. Blencowe, 32, lives in Penrith, Australia. Sithjaepung was making her pro debut.

In Denmark, Dina Thorslund (5-0) defeated Jasmina Nadj (5-12-2) by unanimous decision after six rounds.The super bantamweight bout took place in Brondby, Denmark. Thorslund, 22, lives and trains in Denmark. Nadj, 31, fights out of Serbia.

Dahiana Santana (35-7) defeated Diana Garcia (14-22) unanimous decision after eight rounds in a super featherweight bout. Super bantamweight Liliana Martinez (20-15) won by technical knockout at 52 seconds of the first round over Mima Batista (0-12). Diafana Salazar (3-0, 3 Kos) stopped winless Zuleidiy Mejia (0-16) at 1:14 of the first round in their welterweight bout. It was her second fight against Mejia and second knockout. All three fights took place Saturday in Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Stephanie Ducastel (6-3-1) captured the vacant WBF female featherweight title by technical knockout over Gabriella Mezei (4-4-2) on Saturday Dec. 12. Ducastel stopped Mezei at the end of the sixth round of their title fight held in Strasbourg, France. Also, Angelina Panza (0-0-1) and Licia Boudersa (2-1-1) fought to a draw in a lightweight contest.

Taoussy L’Hadji (3-2) captured the vacant French super featherweight title by split decision over Cindy Bonhiver (5-9) after eight rounds. The title fight took place in Nord, France on Saturday. L’Hadji, 38, and Bonhiver, 32, both live in France.

WBC female flyweight titlist Jessica “Kika” Chavez (25-4-3) retained the belt by technical decision after nine rounds against Italy’s Simona Galassi (23-5-1) on Saturday in Mexico City. The fight was stopped 45 seconds into the ninth round and the winner was determined by the score cards. Chavez, 27, won her second consecutive world title defense. She is also a former mini flyweight world champion.

Also, Lourdes “Lulu” Juarez (13-2) won by split decision over Jazmin Gonzalez (4-1).

Tamara Nunez (6-4-3) defeated Maria Capriolo (5-5-3) by majority decision after six rounds in a lightweight contest on Friday Dec. 11. The match took place in Cordoba, Argentina. Both fighters live and train in Argentina.

In Santa Fe, Argentina, Isabel Gutierrez (4-3) defeated Laura Martinez (0-3) by unanimous decision after six rounds. The super featherweight match took place on Friday. Both female fighters live and train in Argentina.

Etsuko Tada (15-2-2) won the vacant IBF minimum weight world title by unanimous decision over Kareli Lopez (8-6-3) on Friday in Kobe, Japan. Lopez, 27, fights out of Mexicali, Mexico.


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Michael Dutchover Remains Undefeated in Ontario, Calif.

Transplanted Texan Michael Dutchover needed a little time to figure out Costa Rican Bergman Aguilar but when he did it was over quickly on Friday.



Michael Dutchover

ONTARIO-Calif.-Transplanted Texan Michael Dutchover needed a little time to figure out Costa Rican Bergman Aguilar but when he did it was over quickly on Friday.

Lightweight prospect Dutchover (11-0, 8 KOs) knocked out southpaw Aguilera (14-4-1, 4 KOs) in the fifth round with a barrage of body blows that left the Costa Rican limp at the Doubletree Hotel.

For two rounds Aguilar used an awkward counter-punching style that had Dutchover a little tentative. But once he figured out that combination punching was the key, he opened up with barrages and floored Aguilar with body shots at the end of round four.

That signaled doom for Aguilar.

The fifth round saw Dutchover target the body with impunity as Aguilar tried holding, running and covering up with no success. Referee Wayne Hedgepeth signaled the fight over at 2:31 of the fifth round giving Dutchover the win by knockout.

In a bantamweight clash Santa Ana’s Mario Hernandez (7-0-1, 3 KOs) and Mexico City’s Ivan Gonzalez (4-1-2, 1 KO) fought to a majority draw after six back and forth rounds.

Hernandez targeted the body against the taller Gonzalez who relied on long range counters. Both found success but neither could prove superiority after six turbulent rounds.

After six rounds one judge saw it 58-56 for Gonzalez but the two other judges saw it 57-57 for a majority draw.

Other bouts

South Central L.A.’s Ruben Torres (7-0, 6 KOs) extended his undefeated streak with a knockout over Mexico’s Eder “El Koreano” Amaro (6-6, 2 KOs) in a lightweight fight. But it wasn’t easy.

Amaro switched from southpaw to orthodox and was matching Torres for two rounds until the taller local fighter began blasting away to the body and head with precision. Many in the crowd cheered “Koreano” in unison but it couldn’t help once Torres zeroed in.

At the end of the fourth round Amaro could not continue and the fight was stopped giving a knockout for Torres.

Richard Brewart Jr. (2-0) mowed through Edward Aceves (0-5) flooring him with body shots in the first round then overwhelming him in the second. After seven unanswered blows referee Eddie Hernandez stopped the fight at 1:32 of round two giving Rancho Cucamonga’s Brewart the win by knockout in the super welterweight bout.

Southpaw David Ortiz (1-0) won his pro debut by unanimous decision after four rounds in a welterweight match against San Diego’s Mario Angeles (2-11-2). Ortiz lives in Bloomington, Calif. and is trained by Henry Ramirez. No knockdowns were scored.

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Charr-Oquendo Scuttled When Charr Tests Positive; the Odious WBA Saves Face



Manuel Charr

Manuel Charr and Fres Oquendo were scheduled to fight in Cologne, Germany, later this month (Sept. 29). Charr would be defending his WBA world heavyweight title, the “regular” version of it, not the “super” version which rests in the hands of Anthony Joshua.

The bout was quickly cancelled when it was revealed that Charr had tested positive for two banned anabolic steroids. The test was performed by VADA, the anti-doping agency identified with Las Vegas neurologist Dr. Margaret Goodman.

The 33-year-old Charr, born in Lebanon but a resident of Germany since the age of three, won the belt in his last start with a unanimous decision over 281-pound Russian behemoth Alexander Ustinov in Oberhausen, Germany. The title was vacant. Charr won the right to fight for it with a 10-round decision over Albanian slug Sefer Seferi. The victory over Ustinov elevated his record to 31-4. He has been stopped three times, by Vitali Klitschko, Alexander Povetkin, and Mairis Briedis.

If it wasn’t for bad luck, as the old saying goes, Fres Oquendo wouldn’t have any luck at all. For various reasons, his fights keep falling out. Before long he’ll be drawing social security. Well, not exactly, but he turned 45 in April and hasn’t fought in more than four years.

Oquendo has competed for this belt before. In his last ring appearance in July of 2014, he lost a majority decision to Russia’s Ruslan Chagaev in Grozny, Russia. As a concession for taking the fight on short notice, Team Oquendo negotiated a rematch clause in the contract, but a shoulder injury prevented Fres from activating it. When the injury healed, he had to go to court to compel Chagaev to fulfill his obligation. But then the Russian retired, muddling the water.

The WBA was legally bound to find Oquendo a title fight and in desperation turned to ancient Shannon Briggs. But the Oquendo-Briggs fight, scheduled for June 3 of last year in Hollywood, Florida, fell out when Briggs’ urine specimen showed an abnormally high level of testosterone.

Fres Oquendo was dogged by bad luck even before these recent developments. His professional record, 37-8, is somewhat misleading as six of his eight defeats were razor-thin including his 2003 setback to Chris Byrd and his 2006 setback to Evander Holyfield. However, Oquendo, something of a cutie, was never a crowd-pleaser and in none of his narrow defeats was there a public clamor for a rematch.

The cancellation of Charr-Oquendo cuts the World Boxing Association out of a sanctioning fee, but one would think that the WBA honchos are actually rather pleased by this turn of events. The fight, more precisely the WBA’s world title imprimatur, would have brought more unwanted publicity to the Panama-based organization.

ESPN’s Dan Rafael, who has the largest platform of any boxing writer, has been a persistent critic of the organization which once recognized 41 “champions” in 17 weight classes. In 2009, Rafael wrote, “(The WBA) has become such an absolute farce that even somebody like me, who follows boxing closely, sometimes has a hard time keeping track of all the nonsensical so-called world title belts the WBA has been doling out at an alarming rate. It almost reminds me of the ladies at Costco who hand out various samples on a busy Saturday afternoon.”

Rafael took note when WBA president Gilberto Mendoza promised to cull the herd by eliminating “regular” titles, and then became more caustic when Mendoza didn’t follow through. Recently, in one short, punchy diatribe, Rafael blistered the WBA as wretched, vile, and rancid.

Regardless of your opinion, it’s hard not to feel sorry for Fres Oquendo who keeps getting stranded at the altar. No, he’s not fun to watch and a man of his age shouldn’t be taking any more punches, but he has always been an honest workman and by all accounts he’s a very decent man. Born in Puerto Rico but raised in Chicago, Oquendo pitched right in when the island nation of his birth was ravaged by Hurricane Maria. He was personally responsible for relocating Puerto Rican boxing legend Wilfred Benitez and Benitez’s sister, his caregiver, to Chicago where their lives wouldn’t be as hard.

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Bob Arum Hails Terence Crawford (not Lomachenko) as Boxing’s Next Superstar



Arum says Terence

Top Rank’s Bob Arum says Terence Crawford will become this generation’s Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao–elite boxers who became worldwide celebrity sensations. Arum, who promoted both Mayweather and Pacquiao on the way to their historic crossover statuses expects big things from the undefeated Crawford over the next few years.

“He’s the best fighter in the United States, and he’s so charismatic,” said Arum. “He comes from middle America, and In the next year or so, he will be huge.”

Arum’s assertion is noteworthy for two reasons. First, Arum is also the promoter for Vasyl Lomachenko. Lomachenko is ranked No. 1 pound-for-pound by The Ring, the Boxing Writers Association of America and the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board. More importantly, Lomachenko seems to have a groundswell of support behind him both in the media and among fight fans.

Lomachenko has also been heavily featured through Top Rank’s television partnership with ESPN. While Crawford has achieved more in his career than Lomachenko (at least in my eyes) and, as noted by Arum, is a homegrown American talent, Lomachenko seems to be considered the more marketable commodity to that network judging by the amount of promotional materials ESPN has pumped out about the fighter over the last year.

The other reason Arum’s claim about Crawford is interesting is the performance of Canelo Alvarez over the weekend in his majority decision rematch win over Gennady Golovkin. Besides Mayweather and Pacquiao, Alvarez is the clear PPV leader among all of boxing’s current commodities, and his status as boxing’s new money fighter should only grow stronger after the best win of his career.

Still, Crawford is one of the few very elite fighters in all of boxing. He’s ranked No. 2 pound-for-pound by The Ring, the Boxing Writers Association of America and the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board.

While Lomachenko and Alvarez are also candidates to become boxing’s next big thing, there’s no doubt Crawford is also one of the few boxers in the sport right now with the right things in place to become the next Mayweather or Pacquiao.

Omaha’s Crawford is in the midst of an historic run. When he stopped Jeff Horn in round 9 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in June, Crawford captured a world title in his third different weight class, welterweight. This after Crawford had already captured two lineal boxing championships, as well as multiple alphabet titles, in both the lightweight and junior welterweight divisions.

By any measure, Crawford is truly one of the best boxers in the sport. Not only does he look the part in the ring on fight night (something more and more writers seem to value most when voting for pound-for-pound lists), but the fighter has already accomplished so much in his career that it seems Arum is doing more than the fiduciary duty of promoting his fighter when he ascribes to Crawford such lofty praise.

Crawford, still just 30 years old, is already halfway to matching Mayweather and Pacquiao’s shared record of most lineal championships. Over the course of his career, Mayweather captured lineal championships at junior lightweight, lightweight, welterweight, and junior middleweight. Pacquiao won his as a flyweight, featherweight, junior lightweight, and junior welterweight.

In order for Crawford to grab lineal championship No. 3, most believe he’ll have to go through welterweight phenom Errol Spence. While promotional entanglements might keep this superfight on the shelf for a while, Arum said he had no problem pitting Crawford against Spence in what would be one of the best matchups in recent memory.

“Absolutely,” said Arum when asked about working with Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions, who represents Spence, to make the fight. Could any response from him be more exciting? Crawford vs. Spence might be the next superfight in boxing. Both fighters are among the very elite, and unlike what ultimately happened with Mayweather vs. Pacquiao, who fought each other well past their peak years, both would be in the prime of their careers.

Winning that fight would certainly go a long way to making Arum’s vision of Crawford’s future come true. And who knows? Maybe Crawford really is the next Mayweather or Pacquiao. Heck, for all we know, he could even be on his way to doing something more.

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