Bopp vs Robles
By Felipe Leon
There is a case for Argentina’s Yesica Yolanda Bopp to change her name from “Tuti” to the “Mexican Executioner”. There might not be another active or inactive female fighter that has beaten more opponents from Mexico than the current WBA junior flyweight champion.
On Saturday night Bopp (34-1, 15 KOs) will have another opportunity when she faces Sandra “Perla Negra” Robles (21-2, 10KO) of Tijuana in a scheduled ten rounder. The championship bout will be televised not only in Argentina but in Mexico as well by the Azteca network.
Despite Bopp, 34 and a mother of a three year-old, defeating fighters from Uruguay, Venezuela, Colombia, Russia, England and the United States as well as her native Argentina in her 35 fight professional career, no other has supplied more victims for “Tuti” than Mexico with Robles the ninth opponent from that country.
“We know she is Mexican and that in itself makes it more interesting,” Bopp said of her next opponent. “I am the super champion in the weight class for the WBA and I wanted to face the regular champion, but they opted for a voluntary defense so they offered Robles who is the mandatory. She is a southpaw who comes forward. She is active and aggressive. She will be a good test to see where I am at in this point of my career.”
Along with her WBA strap Bopp is also a licensed psychologist, and along with her gym in the outskirts of her native Buenos Aires, looks to launch a non-profit organization to keep the youth of her city off the streets through boxing.
The attractive Argentinean has defeated a number of Mexican world champions including Jessica “Kika” Chavez, Ibeth “Roca” Zamora, Ana Arrazola and Anabel “Avispa” Ortiz, all of them in Argentina. Other names on her record are Carina Moreno and her country woman Daniela “Bonita” Bermudez. The one time she did travel outside her home country she lost in Mexico in a rematch against Chavez in 2013.
“She first came here, we fought for the title and I won via decision,” Bopp said of her first fight against Chavez in 2009 exclusively to ThePrizefighters.com back in April. “The time passed and she captures a world title and they offer me the fight. There I began to learn about the other side of boxing. Once in Mexico I was in the same hotel as the judges and I ran into the Spanish one assigned to our fight. He said to me, ‘I can’t alone go against two Mexican judges.’ I called my representative because if a judge says something like that, then there is something going on. There should have been judges from other countries and not two from Mexico.”
“At that point I was upset,” she explained. “I told my rep that I wasn’t going to make the weight so that fight wouldn’t be for the title. If she was going to beat me, it was going to be as a boxer, but not for the title. I was the one risking. If I fight for the title and I lose, then I can lose my titles so I decided not to fight for the title. I ate and didn’t make the weight.”
The fight was still announced for the world title on Mexican TV but officially it wasn’t. Bopp has held the WBA 108-pound title for the majority of its existence and for a time was also the WBO champion in the division. In her last fight in early April she defended against fellow Argentinean Soledad del Valle Frias and won via a sixth round TKO.
“I am looking for big challenges,” Bopp said of the future. “I want to fight in the United States. I don’t have a lot of time left in professional boxing so I don’t want to leave with a bittersweet taste at the end of my career.”
The fight against Robles marks Bopp’s 27th in a world title fight, a fact that cannot go unmentioned.
“It is all due to perseverance,” Bopp said of her unbeaten streak in championship fights. “It is one thing to become a world champion but quite another to maintain as one. It has been a long road but it has been about maintaining and not losing sight of what is important. When I think about it, it surprises me all I have accomplished in the sport.”
In Robles, 10 years her junior, she will face a fighter who will be looking for her first world title in her second attempt. One thing about Sandra, also a mother of a young girl, is that she is not afraid to travel to South America and face one of the best female fighters in the world today.
“We are going to her country but I am not afraid,’ she said recently in her native Tijuana before embarking on the day-long trip to Argentina. “I went to Venezuela and scored a knockout, I have been outside of Mexico, I am in confident in my preparation. I am in the gym from Monday to Sunday so I am well prepared.”
In the summer of 2015 Robles traveled to Venezuela to stop a then undefeated Debora Rengifo in the fourth round.
Southpaw and with an aggressive style, Robles will look to be one of the many world champions that have been born in Tijuana. “I want to be part of that long list of champions. I want my name to be mentioned with the best from this city and my country.”
This will be the second time Robles challenged for a world title earlier when dropped down to 105 pounds to challenged long-reigning Anabel “Avispa” Ortiz. The highly competitive fight held in Ortiz’s hometown of Mexico City was abruptly stopped when an accidental head clash opened a nasty gash over the left eye of Ortiz. The champion got the win by a technical decision.
Her only other loss came early in her career when she lost a close unanimous decision against current WBC interim atom weight champion Brenda Flores.
“It has been three years since my last defeat,” she explained. “That loss against Ortiz helped me. I am still hungry. I am hungry for a world title.”
Robles mentions she has studied her opponent well and has the correct strategy to be a world champion. “She boxes very well and uses the entire ring. I sparred with pros and amateurs with a similar style to hers to get ready. We worked very hard.”
One thing is certain Robles assures, is that she will look for a knockout from the opening round.
“I am going for the knockout,” she sentenced. “I don’t want to leave it to the judges. I don’t want to give the opportunity for her to get a hometown decision. We know how good Bopp is but we have studied her well and she has some weak spots that we will look to exploit.”