Layla McCarter vs. Victoria Cisneros at Sky Ute Casino
By David A. Avila
Even the best can lose.
Many consider Layla McCarter the very best fighter pound for pound in the world despite having 13 losses in her career. The simple reason: she hasn’t lost a fight in over a 10 years despite fighting on foreign soil against bigger and stronger opponents.
But even McCarter can lose if not focused.
The Las Vegas-based prizefighter McCarter (40-13-5, 10 KOs) clashes with Victoria Cisneros (13-19-2) on Saturday March 3 at Sky Ute Casino in Ignacio, Colorado. It’s a dangerous fight against a dangerous opponent for the GBU and WIBF welterweight titles.
Cisneros, 32, though she has six more losses than wins, has a reputation as a hard-charging fighter with a nothing-to-lose attitude. The New Mexico prizefighter has clashed against many of the best in the world in her 14 year career. She even fought McCarter before in 2006.
McCarter knows what to expect.
“Cisneros is very tough and very aggressive. Her best victory of late was against undefeated Paty Ramirez in Mexico, where she picked up a version of the WBC title,” said McCarter. “The referee stepped in and stopped the fight because Cisneros overwhelmed Ramirez with her aggression.”
The last time McCarter lost a fight was back in 2007 when she clashed with old foe Melissa Hernandez. Though both had fought two months earlier with McCarter winning by stoppage, the next time they met McCarter was beaten. That would be the last time McCarter endured a loss.
Since that day on April 27, 2007, the extremely talented McCarter has embarked on a career that has taken her around the world where she has battled and defeated many of the best in the world including Jelena Mrdjenovich, Cindy Serrano, and Fujin Raika.
One of her greatest feats was moving up to super welterweight and winning the WBA title by knockout over Noni Tenge in South Africa. At the time McCarter was fighting at 135 pounds but unsuccessful in obtaining a fight. So she willingly accepted a fight overseas against a much bigger opponent. It didn’t matter. McCarter’s skills are near legendary. Now she’s fighting in Colorado.
“I’ve fought at the Sky Ute Casino in Ignacio, Colorado many times including my first matchup with Cisneros. I won my first world title (IFBA Featherweight) vs. Sandra Yard in October of 2000. I was 21 then and the youngest IFBA champion ever,” said McCarter, 38, who was one of the first women to compile more than 50 pro bouts. “Over the past 18 years, I’ve watched the town and the families of the Southern Ute tribe grow, and they have watched me. It feels like my hometown here and I’m so comfortable fighting for this crowd that loves me.”
McCarter is ranked number one in the world in the welterweight division.
An expected clash with fellow pound for pound contestant Cecilia Braekhus did not materialize despite heavy negotiations between each fighter’s promoters in January. If it should occur it would be the Fight of the Century for women’s boxing. That is why this title fight with Cisneros is very important.
The undefeated Braekhus holds all the world titles in the welterweight division. McCarter is the number one contender. She needs to maintain her spot.
Cisneros has a knack for upending fighters from time to time with her aggressive style.
“She will not walk in easily without taking stiff punches. I intend to take charge of the fight as soon as possible with my jab and movement,” said McCarter. “Also, I will be looking to land my power shots as often as possible. I want to stop her!”
And if a showdown with undefeated Braekhus can still not be made, McCarter seems willing to keep pace and maintain her status as the number one welterweight contender in the world.
“The Braekhus fight will happen if and when she is ready to agree to a reasonable purse. Meanwhile, I will maintain my #1 welterweight status,” McCarter said. “If she doesn’t really want to fight me, there will be other options for me at other weights 135-154.”
And her other goal for this year?
“This year is very important to make the best fights possible while I’m still 100% ready to show the world who is the best ever,” she said.
On Saturday evening Cisneros stands in her way.