Hannah, Kenia and Female Fight News for week of May 29

Female Fight News for week of May 30 Hannah and more


By David A. Avila

A super welterweight championship fight and a battle for a vacant light flyweight title took center stage last weekend in Central America and North America.

Next weekend Argentina gets the spotlight with a super lightweight showdown.

Hannah Gabriel who is Costa Rica’s most revered sports star defended her WBA and WBO super welterweight titles against Canada’s Natasha Spence. The world title clash took place in the capital city of San Jose.

Gabriel is beloved by fans in her country. The former track star and now three-time world champion has fought before more than 17,000 fans. I attended one particular fight in a soccer stadium in March 2011, the fans arrived by the thousands. Even the president of the country at the time was there.

Against Spence she had an opponent who was not going down. The super welterweight fight was extended the full 10 rounds with Gabriel winning by unanimous decision. Each round was competitive.

But can she do that against Cecilia Braekhus, Claressa Shields or Layla McCarter?

Gabriel, now 34, has picked up enough experience and skillset to move on toward bigger paydays in riskier fights against the above aforementioned and others. Or, she can simply defend against ranked opponents and risk losing by knockout to nondescript opponents like Oxandia Castillo for paltry purses.

It’s something her management is probably debating right now.

Meanwhile, in Mexico, a budding star has emerged in Kenia “La Gema” Enriquez who at a mere 23 years old has already won a world title as a 112-pound flyweight and now an interim world title as a light flyweight. It’s one of the most competitive divisions in female boxing.

Enriquez has serious pop in that slender 108-pound figure and showed it in a third round knockout win when she delivered a left hook to the liver. The sound of that blow was loud and clear even on video.

Based in Tijuana, the Mexican prizefighter has already faced numerous ranked opponents and has never tried to protect her record. Enriquez is waiting for the outcome between Esmeralda Moreno the current WBC light flyweight titlist and Jessica Chavez the current WBC flyweight titlist. If Moreno wins, then Enriquez will automatically become the light flyweight champion. If Chavez wins then Enriquez will fight Moreno.

She doesn’t care.

You have to love someone like Enriquez who openly admires Puerto Rico’s Amanda Serrano for taking on all challengers in her quest to conquer six weight divisions. The Mexican fighter also intends to conquer other weight divisions too.

Challenges are what excites the fans especially now that television has arrived to cover female title fights and more.

Japan has opened up to female boxing and once again saw an exciting fight when Tomomi Takano knocked out Kai Johnson in the third round of their super bantamweight rematch on Friday in Tokyo. In their first clash it was Johnson who won by knockout three years ago.

Rematches are great.

On Saturday in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the super lightweight division showcases a great rematch that looks like a sizzler when Ana Esteche defends the WBA, IBF, WBO titles against Adela Peralta who formerly held those belts. It’s the third time these two have met.

Esteche will try to duplicate her feat when she handed Peralta a loss by unanimous decision last November. Peralta won their first clash in July 2015 by majority decision.


Female Fight News


Julieta Cardoza (11-0) was victorious over Noelia Gutierrez (6-4) by unanimous decision on Friday May 26. The 10-round bantamweight contest took place in Buenos Aires.

Soledad Frias (11-9-4) was the winner over Marta Juncos (5-27-4) by unanimous decision after six rounds on Friday May 26. The super featherweight fight took place in San Luis.

On Saturday June 3, super lightweights Ana Esteche (12-4-3) and Adela Peralta (8-2) engage in a rematch for the WBA, WBO, IBF world titles in Buenos Aires. Esteche defeated Peralta to grab the three world title belts last November.



Claire Hafner (1-0) won her pro debut by majority decision over Annie Mazerolle (3-3) on Saturday May 27. The four round heavyweight fight took place in Fredericton, New Brunswick.



On Friday June 2, super flyweights Daniela Asenjo (4-1-2) and Ruth Pasternossti (0-1-1) meet in a four round contest in Valdivia.



Zhezhe Ni (2-0) knocked out Kanyarat Yoohannqoh (0-1) in the fourth round of a scheduled six round fight on Friday May 26. The super flyweight bout took place in Haikou, China. Also, a super featherweight match saw Akerke Nauryzbayeva (1-0-1) beat Sisi Zhao (0-1) by unanimous decision after four rounds.


Costa Rica

Hannah Gabriel (17-1-1) retained the WBA and WBO super welterweight titles by unanimous decision after 10 rounds versus Natasha Spence (8-3-1) on Saturday May 27. The world title fight took place in San Jose. Gabriel, 34, fights out of Costa Rica. Spence, 31, lives in Canada.



Alexandra Lakatos (5-0-1) defeated Veronika Hornyak (4-14) by unanimous decision after four rounds on Tuesday May 23. The super bantamweight clash was held in Budapest.



Tomomi Takano (10-2) knocked out Kai Johnson (5-11-3) in the third round on Friday May 26. The super bantamweight clash took place in Tokyo, Japan. It was a rematch. In the previous encounter Johnson scored a knockout win over Takano in 2014.

On Sunday June 4, bantamweights Tomoko Okuda (3-1) and Aya Morita (0-0) engage in a four round contest in Sakai, Osaka.



Kenia Enriquez (19-1-1, 9 KOs) knocked out Maria Salinas (15-6-3) to win the interim WBC light flyweight world title on Saturday May 27. The championship fight took place in Ciudad Obregon. Enriquez, 23, is a former flyweight world champion who dropped down in weight to win a title in a second weight division. (For more read Felipe Leon’s story on this web site.) Also, Sulem Urbina (5-0) knocked out Carol Castro in the third round of a flyweight fight. In other female fights Jessica Nery Platas (20-1) beat Delia Lopez (10-5-2) by decision and Melissa Esquivel (3-0) beat Beatriz Arambure (0-2) by decision.

On Saturday June 3, flyweights Jackie Calvo (10-2-1) and Yesenia Gomez (13-4-1) meet in an eight round contest in Cancun, Quintana Roo.



Monica Henao (1-0-2) and Marlene Aguilar (0-2-1) fought to a draw after four rounds on Saturday May 27. The lightweight fight took place in Panama City. Henao, 29, fights out of Colombia. Aguilar, 22, fights out of Panama City.


New Zealand

Tania Reid (1-0) won her pro debut by decision over Wendy Talbot (0-4) after four rounds on Friday May 26. The super featherweight fight took place in New Plymouth, New Zealand.

Monica Tai (2-0) was the winner by decision over Quinita Hati (0-1) after four rounds on Thursday May 25. The welterweight fight took place in Auckland.



Firuza Sharipova (5-1) defeated Olga Sabavina (0-7) by technical knockout in the third round on Saturday May 27. The scheduled 10-round super featherweight fight took place in Moscow.



Judit Hachbold (4-1) defeated Nora Kiss (0-6) by decision after six rounds on Sunday May 28. The flyweight bout took place in Sturovo. Also, Eniko Tiringer (2-0) beat Timea Alfoldi (5-5) by decision in a six round super bantamweight fight.


South Africa

Melissa Miller (1-6-2) and Nathaline Bania (4-6-1) fought to a draw after six rounds on Friday May 26. The bantamweight fight was held in Johannesburg.



Eva Naranjo (8-0) defeated Johanna Rydberg (4-1) by decision in a battle of undefeated super flyweights on Friday May 26. The match took place in Valencia. Also, Katharina Thanderz (5-0) won by technical knockout of Mirabela Caluqareanu (0-10) in the second round of a super featherweight clash.


United Kingdom

Ashley Brace (7-0) defeated Nevenka Mikulic (7-9-1) by decision after six rounds on Friday May 26. The bantamweight fight was held in Cardiff, Wales. In a companion bout, Chantelle Cameron (1-0) defeated Karina Kopinska (9-17-3) by unanimous decision after a six round super featherweight bout.



On Saturday June 3, featherweights Shelly Vincent (19-1) and Jeri Sitzes (15-10-1) meet in a 10-round clash in Mashantucket, Connecticut. This is Vincent, 38, first fight since August 2016 in a battle of undefeated fighters that was televised. Sitzes, 38, fights out of Missouri and is returning to the boxing ring after a three-year absence.