Arely Muciño Fights for Her Place in History
By Felipe Leon
One person possibly happier than Monserrat “Raya” Alarcon when the Mexico City native captured the WBO flyweight title over Nana Yoshikawa last year in Japan was Arely “Amatralladora” Muciño.
For Muciño, 28, of Monterrey, Mexico, it meant the last piece for her quest in Mexican female boxing history was that much closer.
Alarcon (10-3-2) is set to defend the world title against Muciño (25-3-2) this upcoming Saturday, February 17th, at the neutral ground of Guadalajara, Mexico, televised live in Mexico on Azteca channel.
A win by Muciño will make her the first female fighter born in Mexico to have captured all the four major titles in one division.
“One always prepares for these kind of fights, they just don’t happen,” Muciño stated recently from her training camp in her hometown of Monterrey. “This opportunity has come after years of hard work and dedication. I’ve had the experience of being a world champion three times and of course I want that fourth title. My opponent is very strong; she is where she is at because of her work and quality.”
Muciño captured her first title in the flyweight division, the vacant IBF strap, with a TKO over Chantal Cordova in early 2011. She defended that title before being brutally knocked out in two by Ava Knight later that year. In her very next fight in February of 2012 she captured the interim WBA title with a hotly contested split division over Melissa McMorrow. She defended that title once and then went after the WBC version with a unanimous decision over Shindo Go in December of 2014. She lost it in her first defense to the current champion Jessica “Kika” Chavez via a unanimous decision the following September.
Since that win Muciño slowed down her career after some issues with her previous promoter, Promociones Del Pueblo. Muciño only fought once in 2016, a unanimous decision over the tough Judith Rodriguez, but after jumping ship to Zanfer she fought three times in 2017, all wins although against questionable opponents.
She scored a technical decision against Kandy Sandoval in February, then two unanimous decisions over Jessica Martinez, (not the WBC super flyweight champion) and Tenkai Tsunami in June and September respectively.
“We know her style, we must be strong and persistent in each round,” Muciño said of her next opponent. “My previous fights have not given the results we wanted, we won but we didn’t look like we wanted and we are working on improving that. I know I have to push in every round. If she wants to brawl, we are ready for that and if she wants to box and counterpunch, we have worked on something for that too.”
Against Alarcon, Muciño will find an opponent with vast less experience than her in the pro ranks. Naturally a straw weight, the 23-year-old Alarcon jumped up to flyweight to challenge for the world title against Japan’s Yoshikawa.
Alarcon surprisingly sent the much taller Japanese to the canvas twice before the fight went to the scorecards in the seventh for a technical decision due to a cut over the left eye of the Mexican from an accidental head butt.
Alarcon’s three losses have been against fighters not known on the world stage, a split decision four round loss to Ana Victoria Polo back in 2013 and two majority decisions to Alondra Garcia. The first for six rounds in May of 2014 and the last one in June of 2016 in a ten rounder for the WBC Youth 108-pound title.
Before the Yoshikawa win, Alarcon’s biggest wins were against the always tough Brenda Ramos, once in 2015 and the second in late 2016 for the Mexican minimumweight title and in her last fight, a non-title eight rounder, the experienced Yesenia Martinez Castrejon.
“I know I will be facing a world class fighter,” Alarcon said of Muciño. “I am training hard and my best ever camp under the tutelage of my trainer Agustin Vazquez. My hard work and preparation guarantees a convincing win.”
Alarcon has stated a win over Muciño would guarantee her bigger opportunities and hopefully more chances for world titles. “I want more wins and by the summer or end of the year an opportunity for a world title at junior flyweight or straw weight.”
How important the fight is against Muciño doesn’t escape Alarcon in the slightest.
“This is a great opportunity to give my career great exposure,” Alarcon said at the final press conference before the fight. “To face a good opponent like Arely Muciño who has been a champion in the other sanctioning bodies means something.”
One thing that is different for Muciño is that she is the challenger in the fight; she has been there before but more so as the defending champion. “We have gone against the grain. We know it is a great responsibility going in as the challenger and for my fourth title, being the first woman in my home state of Nuevo Leon to capture a world title but that pressure motivates me.”