Yazmin Rivas Loses WBC Title in Baja California, Raja Keeps Belt

 Yazmin Rivas Loses WBC Title – An entertaining fight card was the fitting closing for the historic Second Annual WBC Female Convention held in Tijuana, Mexico, on the last weekend of January of 2016.  On that Saturday night, January 30th, at the state-of-the-mind Rosarito Convention Center in the small sea village just south of Tijuana, WBC Female Bantamweight champion Yazmin “Rusita” Rivas (34-9, 14KO) was surprised by the quickness and skill of Zambia’s Catherine Phiri (11-1, 5KO) and was dethroned via a majority technical decision after six rounds of a scheduled ten.

The special fight card featuring five female bouts was presented by Zanfer Promotions and broadcast live in Mexico by the Azteca channel and in the United States on Bein Sports.

With the win Phiri became the first female African boxer to capture a WBC world title.  Previously Phiri had held the African Boxing Union bantamweight title and the WBC Silver title. Her only loss was in May of last year when she dropped majority decision to Ireland’s Christina McMahon in a quest for the interim WBC title.

Rivas’ history is much longer than Phiri’s, with forty-seven fights as a professional she is one of the most accomplished female fighters in Mexico.  Rivas captured the vacant title with a unanimous decision over Alesia Graf of Germany back in June of 2014.  She defended successfully four times against Susie Ramadan, Celina Salazar, Simone Da Silva Duarte and Kandy Sandoval before facing Phiri.

Phiri was the aggressor from the opening bell landing quick precise combinations from the outside.  Rivas just couldn’t catch up to not only the speed but neither to the punch output of Phiri although the tough Mexican would look to counter with her own set of punches but with not as much luck.  Rivas’ defense left much to be desired as Phiri landed nearly everything she threw and at times sent Rivas back.

In the third and fourth rounds Rivas looked to pressure the African but Phiri on this night was pumping on all the cylinders and proved to be too much.  In the sixth during a heated exchange with Phiri scoring the better punches, their heads met accidently and Rivas suffered a cut over her right eye.  Inexplicably, referee Raul Caiz Sr. deducted a point from Phiri despite announcing the head butt as accidental.  At first glance it didn’t look that serious but once ringside doctor Ernesto Franco took a look, he decided she could not continue.

The decision went to the cards with Raul Caiz Jr scoring it 59-55 and his son Sergio seeing slightly closer with a 58-56 for Phiri.  The sister scored it an even 57-57 after the six completed rounds giving Phiri the win.  The night also featured the first time a family, the Caiz clan, worked as officials on the same championship fight.

Earlier in the night current WBC Female Silver flyweight champion Raja Amasheh (19-0, 4KO) remained undefeated while defending her title against the experienced veteran Eileen Olszewski (10-6-3, 1KO) of Hawaii over ten rounds.

The shorter Amasheh of Germany by way of Jordan had no choice but to try to get on the inside on the forty-seven year old Olszewski.  Early on the veteran was successful with her straight punches down the middle and an uppercut as Raja would come in.  As the fight wore on, Amasheh was able to close the distance but Olszewski was right there and began to score even more right hands.  In the last third of the fight Amasheh was able to maintain her rhythm while keeping up the pressure taking the unanimous decision with scores of 97-93 twice and 96-94.

Mexico City’s Ana “Bronca” Arrazola (25-11-3, 13KO) captured the vacant WBC Female Silver junior flyweight title with a unanimous decision over the Anely Hernandez (6-6) in a ten rounder.  Throughout the night the southpaw Arrazola controlled the action with her long jab and then would drop combinations down the middle.  The shorter Hernandez never was able to get on the inside as Arrazola used superior foot work to stay on the outside.  Scores were 100-91 and 100-90 twice.

In a six round female light flyweight fight, Silvia Torres (10-0, 4KO), sister of the legendary Ana Maria Torres, took an easy unanimous decision over Joselyn Reza (0-6).  Torres used superior footwork, sharper punches and intelligence to control every minute of every round.

In the first female fight of the card, local Tijuana favorite Sandra “Perla Negra” Robles (12-2, 6KO) stopped the overmatched Luz Rodriguez (5-6-1) of Mexicali, Mexico, in the third round of a scheduled mini flyweight six rounder.  The southpaw Robles, who fell short in her challenge of the WBA 105lb. title in her last fight, dominated the exchanges form the opening bell while she pressured. During the onslaught Rodriguez suffered two cuts over and around her left eyes that in the third round forced the third man in the ring to stop the contest.  Official time was 1:22.