Female Fight News for week of Jan. 15, 2018 Promoters
By David A. Avila
Female prizefighting ignited with a bang as Claressa Shields opened up the year with an eye-catching performance in her win over Tori Nelson. It’s just the start.
The well-promoted event that was televised on Showtime also brought forth a new sense of purpose that women’s boxing definitely has caught the eye of major promoters in the sport.
Last week another major boxing promotion company announced it had added another female prizefighter to its roster when Golden Boy Promotions announced it had signed East L.A.’s Seniesa Estrada to a long term contract. They now have three female boxers under its flag that also includes Maricela Cornejo and Marlen Esparza.
It was a move long expected especially considering Estrada is a light flyweight and Esparza is also capable of fighting at that weight. The two have battled on Twitter and an imminent challenge can take place on television. Another good reason to sign Estrada is her talent and ability to sell tickets.
Golden Boy already has Cornejo, a middleweight, poised to fight for a world title this year. Whether it’s against Shields or some other titlist remains to be seen but she is already ranked.
Former 2012 Olympian Esparza has been brought along much slower than the other Olympians. But with the signing of Estrada, a showdown is only a matter of time before they clash.
Promoters are taking notice.
Lou DiBella was one of the early major promoters to take a big step into the female fight world and has a number of talented female boxers on his roster. Sadly, multi-division world champion Amanda Serrano will be taking her fighting skills to the MMA world. But her sister Cindy Serrano remains in boxing.
DiBella also has Heather Hardy, Jennifer Salinas, Shelly Vincent and others.
Top Rank surprisingly also entered the female fight world and signed Olympian Mikaela Mayer to a long term contract. There was talk of also signing Australia’s Shannon O’Connell a former bantamweight world champion but that has not come into fruition as of yet.
The entrance by Top Rank into the female fight game came as a big surprise but also shows that experts finally see the possibilities of success.
Perhaps the most notable promotion company stepping forward with serious intent has been Salita Promotions headed by Dmitriy Salita who is based in New York City. After signing Shields to a contract he has also added two Russian amateur stars in Elena Savelyeva (3-0, 3 Kos) a flyweight and featherweight Elena Gradinar (8-0, 2 Kos).
Recently, Salita Promotions also signed former Shields foe Franchon Crews and current WBC and WBO middleweight world titlist Christina Hammer to a deal. Salita Promotions will be obtaining a fight for Hammer the boxer originally from Kazakhstan. After that, she will be lined up against Shields.
With Shields leading the way Salita Promotions is poised to establish a strong foothold on the female fight market. With flyweights, featherweights and middleweights the promotion company will be the focal point for many future battles.
Showtime has taken a leap into the female fight world with both feet. They kicked open 2018 with Shields and are looking to set up a major confrontation between the American star and European star Hammer.
Last month Showtime allowed American audiences to see on its YouTube channel the world title fight between Ireland’s Katie Taylor and American challenger Jessica McCaskill. It was a definite plus for fight fans that saw the Chicago fighter nearly deck Taylor and show the world that America has talent.
American fighters have always had an abundance of elite fighters but have never been given an opportunity to showcase it on television. But they are kicking down the doors now.
ESPN has also been showing female fights but so far only on their apps.
What about HBO?
It seems they’re late to the game.
Although MMA is not a preference of mine they do have good points. Their best decision was getting into the female fight world. It seems their female fighters are taking over especially in UFC.
The ratings for the female MMA fighters have proven to be strong for UFC shows. They gambled and won. Now MMA is stealing away talent from female boxing. But eventually boxing will find its footing and boxers will stay in boxing. It’s all about the money and television for MMA female fighters means more money.
But television is right around the corner for female boxing.
The big advantage boxing has over MMA is that the majority of fans, even those in MMA, prefer to see punch outs not grappling. That’s what boxing has over MMA. Only wrestlers and former wrestlers prefer watching two fighters roll around on the ground. Most fans, even MMA fans, like to see one-punch knockouts.
Female Fight News
On Saturday Jan. 20, lightweights Delfine Persoon (39-1) and Monica Gentili (6-7) meet in an eight round non-title fight in Moorslede.
On Saturday Jan. 20, super featherweights Maiva Hamadouche (17-1) and Myriam Dellal (15-6-3) meet in a 10 round fight for Hamadouche’s IBF world title at Levallois-Perret. This is the champion’s third world title defense since winning the title via decision versus Jennifer Salinas in November 2016. The challenger Dellal just recently fought lightweight world champion Delfine Persoon this past November and lost.
On Saturday Jan. 20, super lightweights Alicia Kummer (11-1) and Lina Tejada (11-3) meet in a 10 round contest at Buchholz. The winner takes the GBU, GBC, WIBA, and WIBF titles.
On Sunday Jan. 21, bantamweights Tomomi Takano (10-3) and Joan Ambalong (6-7-1) meet in an eight round fight for the vacant interim OPBF title in Santos City.
Claressa Shields (5-0) defeated Tori Nelson (17-1-3) by unanimous decision on Friday Jan. 12, to retain the WBC and IBF world titles. The super middleweight championship fight took place in Verona, New York. It was Shields first defense of the world titles. Also, Franchon Crews (3-1) defeated Tiffany Woodard (4-10-3) by decision in a six round super middleweight contest.
On Saturday Jan. 20, bantamweights Briana Gonzalez (2-1-1) and Brittany Ordonez (2-1) meet in a six round fight in San Antonio, Texas. Bantamweights Faith Morones (1-0) and Nina Gallegos (0-0) meet in a four round bout.