WBO Super Flyweight Champion Raja Amasheh Is Looking At A Bright Future
By Phil Woolever
Women’s boxing continues to expand in the global market, with a currently cresting wave of potential new stars. WBO Super-Flyweight titlist Raja Amasheh, 22-1-1, is a new face that could achieve a top level of international acclaim.
“Ragin’ Raja,” who relocated to Germany from Jordan as an infant, recently added the WBC Diamond belt to her collection with a unanimous decision over solid Linda Lecca in Karlsruhe, Germany. Amasheh earned an entertaining unanimous decision over former WBA champion Lecca, serving notice that Amasheh could extend her rumbling recognition well beyond the German border.
The 36 year-old Amasheh holds MA and BA degrees in business administration, and is employed at a pharmaceutical company in a strategic business role.
She certainly looked all business against Lecca during numerous stinging exchanges, in a venue that looked more like an upscale nightclub than a typical boxing hall. The pre-fight anthem was performed with a live piano and violin while formal looking card girls were attired in evening gowns.
It was a clean contest overall last September, but the combatants seemed to piss each other off quickly. Much of the action was rough, with plenty of inside brawling as both women showed they were multi-dimensional combatants.
Lecca stayed busy with faster hands but Amasheh scored more and landed bigger shots. The fight was close but Raja maintained a barrage of big hooks that maintained her solid lead down the stretch for a comfortable unanimous decision.
Amasheh also demonstrated that she is no choirgirl, as she repeatedly applied harsh shoulder slam moves into her opponent’s face during clinches.
“It was very close. She is a very strong fighter and held the WBA title for a long time and only lost controversially,” said Amasheh after the rumble. “She is a real warrior and I have much respect for her, she gave me a battle and that’s what I was looking for. I was prepared for a hard fight and it came like that. It was great for the audience and I deserved the decision. I won my titles against a top contender and former world champion.”
Amasheh’s fistic journey began on more of a whim than a mission.
“Actually, there was no inspiration, I was looking for a sport and some friends got me into kickboxing,” she reflected. “I loved fighting from my first sparring so I decided to continue. I started with that and Thai boxing and had more than one hundred fights. Later I did some amateur boxing before going pro in 2008. I have no dream fight, the only thing for me is to give the people great fights, which I will do if I fight women like Linda Lecca.”
The more titles and recognition a boxer receives, the bigger a target they become. Such is the now case for Amasheh, who has contenders lining up and was recently called out by Amanda Serrano.
“I’m coming for that title,” said Serrano. “I’m her mandatory. I’m the WBO’s Super Champion and one of the things I’m allowed to do is challenge any of the other champions. Based on the fact that almost every champ has chosen less than full title defenses, they grant the super champ first options. You can’t always play it safe as a champion.”
With Serrano’s promoters currently looking for noteworthy opponents, especially title-holders to fill out a recent DAZN contract prior to a probable match with Katie Taylor, Amasheh could soon get an offer that would mean travel to the US for a high-profile fight.
Amasheh takes any potential future challenges in stride, responding, “It’s kind of an honor and it shows that I did something right. Of course I know of Amanda, she is a great athlete and boxer. I was hoping to see her against Jelena Mrdjenovich. Besides Amanda, we also have Nicola Adams fighting for the WBO 115 pound interim title to challenge me. Some other women have contacted my management, so the list is getting longer and longer.”
“Anyhow, my last fight was just a little while ago so I will catch my breath and take a rest. My management, Dominik Junge at Fachersport, will sort out everything else. From my side, I do not reply on challenges via social media or through any other channels. So, if somebody would like to challenge me, please contact Dominik, he will be more than happy to do his job.”
One of the more intriguing possibilities for Amasheh could be a face-off against popular Susi Kentikian, who hasn’t fought in over two years but remains the subject of speculated comebacks.
“Of course I am aware of Susi,” said Amasheh. “At this point in time it is up to her to decide what to do or not. From my side I wish her all the best and think she is a great fighter who did a lot for female boxing in Germany. But actually, there were three negotiations for three different fights between us. My management accepted all the conditions they wanted but the fights never happened.”
Since a draw in her 2008 debut, all of Amasheh’s bouts have been in Germany except a 2016 UD win over Eileen Olszewski in Rosarito Mexico, and a subsequent visit to Vienna the same year that resulted in Raja’s only loss (UD 10), against another Mexican fighter Ana Arrazola.
Amasheh remains open to fighting away from home, which could mean a return to Mexico, the female boxing capital, versus someone like Maribel Ramirez or Guadalupe Martinez Guzman. “Sure I would travel,” said Amasheh. “Actually we tried to get Guadalupe to Germany but it did not work out, but of course I would go to Mexico again.”
Whatever the future holds, Amasheh seems unflappable and focused. When asked what her greatest strength as a fighter is, she replied “my very strong will.”
As the year winds down, it seems quite likely that both Amasheh’s will to fight champions, and her boxing resume, will be growing even stronger very soon.