Mexico’s Brenda Flores Beats Bang Bang by Split Decision
By David A. Avila
INGLEWOOD, Calif.-Tijuana’s Brenda “La Bonita” Flores used the same recipe another Mexican fighter used to bloody and upset Louisa “Bang, Bang” Hawton by split decision and take the WBC atom weight world title on Saturday.
Mexico’s Flores (13-4-1) masterfully used a counter-punching scheme to out-box the constant rushes by Hawton (8-2) before a loud and supportive 4, 019 fans at the Inglewood Forum. It was reminiscent of last February when Anahi Torres also of Mexico handed the Aussie her first pro loss.
“I was a little afraid that because she was signed with the promoter of the fight card that things would not go well,” said Flores. “But after every round I felt I showed enough to win.”
Though Mexican fighters are known more for being aggressive, it was as a counter-puncher that Flores found success from the start. It was a strategy that worked all through the fight.
Hawton suffered a bloody nose by the second round and though smiling throughout, she was running into big right hand shots. It was a common theme for most of the fight. Flores moved away through a shuffle to her left or right and then stopping to tag the aggressive Hawton with short crisp right crosses.
The blood running down the nose and face did not look good to the fans or the judges despite the smiles.
“Most of the cuts and bruises were from head butts,” said Hawton. “We butted heads a lot.”
Midway through the fight Hawton began finding the proper range to attack and was especially effective to the body with combinations. But Flores kept scoring with solid rights to the head and that kept the fight up in the air but it seemed the body shots slowed down the slim Mexican fighter a bit.
“I worked the body hard and had her on her back foot all night. I was the aggressor,” said the Aussie from Perth.
Hawton never took her foot off the pedal and despite the blood streaming down her face she kept attacking and attacking. Flores circled and never stayed in front of the rushes and jabbed to keep her distance.
The crowd was pleased with the action and both female prizefighters seemed in top physical shape. Flores kept sharpshooting with rights and occasional left hooks while Hawton found success with body shots and rapid combinations.
“After a few rounds I felt I was ahead but wasn’t sure because she fights for the promoter,” said Flores a mother of two. “I was afraid that the judges wouldn’t see it my way.”
After 10 action-packed rounds one judge saw it 97-93 for Hawton while two others saw it 97-93 and 96-94 for Flores who won the vacant WBC atom weight world title by split decision. The Mexican fighter becomes the third female from Tijuana to win a world title.
“I’m happy I was able to show that Tijuana has good fighters,” said Flores. “We have Jackie Nava, Kenia Enriquez and now I join them.”
Flores was ecstatic.
“I’m very happy right now,” Flores said. “Louisa was very tough and aggressive and fought well.”
The 25-year-old Flores returns home with the WBC belt.
(Photo by Tom Hogan)