Arely Muciño vs Yairineth Altuve for WBO Flyweight Title
By Felipe Leon
Sometimes a tragedy can be a blessing in disguise. Two months ago current WBO flyweight champion Arely Muciño of Monterrey, Mexico, was gearing up to travel to England to defend her title against Olympian Nicola Adams. Despite being a pro for over ten years and one of the most popular TV fighters south of the border, the fight would have been one of the highest profile ones for Muciño in recent years.
Unfortunately a reported injury to Adams’ shoulder was announced in mid-February which forced the fight to be postponed.
“I like challenges, I like to work hard, I like to go against the grain,” Muciño said during an exclusive interview before the injury was announced with the 2-Min Round, the all-female boxing podcast.
Muciño, who is promoted by Tijuana, Mexico’s Zanfer Promotions, quickly looked for a new date.
She got it this Saturday night when in her hometown Mucino (27-3-2, 10 KOs) will be defending her 112-pound strap against Venezuela’s Yairineth “Chinita” Altuve (10-2, 10KO) in a scheduled ten rounder. The fight will be part of the undercard for Jaime Munguia’s defense of his WBO super welterweight strap against Ireland’s Dennis Hogan. It may be streamed by DAZN.
“It is going to be a great night, I am proud and happy that they brought this fight card here to Monterrey,” Muciño said at the final press conference before the fight. “For them to make us part of the card as female boxers goes to show our hard work is being noticed. The world title stays in Mexico, there is no doubt in that.”
The fight will not only be broadcast nationally in Mexico but it is also to be shown by DAZN giving it perhaps a higher profile than the Adams’ fight.
Her fight against Altuve is her second in a row in her hometown of Monterrey.
“This is an important fight for me because I am defending at home, with my people. Every fight is important in its own right. This one is important because it is the one we have in front of us. To fight at home is very important especially for women’s boxing. Fighting on a fight card like this one is what can open more doors for us.”
Throughout her extensive pro career Muciño has never shied away from a challenge. She has faced some of the biggest names in her division while capturing all the major titles at 112 pounds. Susi Kentikian, Chantel Cordova, Ava Knight, Melissa McMorrow, Mariana Juarez, Jessica Chavez twice, Tenkai Tsunami twice, Shindo Go, Monserrat Alarcon and Maria Salinas have been the world-class opposition Mucino has faced in her career.
Her record against the weight division’s elite is 7-3-1, 1KO with one No-Contest.
In her last fight in September of last year she defended her WBO strap with a split decision over world title challenger Maria Salinas. She captured the WBO title, the last of the major four she needed to make Mexican female boxing history, in February of last year with a majority decision over Monserrat Alarcon.
The fight Saturday night marks her second defense of the WBO title.
“We know she is a strong fighter, all her wins are by knockout,” Muciño stated about Altuve in an exclusive interview for ThePrizefighters.com. “She is a fighter that knows her way around the ring, she knows how to fight. We can’t be overconfident. We are ready for anything and confident that we trained adequately for this fight and for that title to stay here in Mexico.”
Muciño will have her hands full with Altuve, both 29, on Saturday night. Altuve, a physical education teacher by day, has won every one of her fights via knockout in the first four rounds in a pro career that spans a little over three years. Her opponents have been limited though with her two losses at the world-class level against Argentina’s Leonela Paola Yudica. The first was a controversial majority decision loss in August of last year which called for a second go-around four months later.
In that fight Yudica was much more convincing winning the fight via a unanimous decision while defending her IBF flyweight title.
Altuve bounced back from the two in a row losses with a TKO win over the over-matched Maria Ortunes this past March.
“I know Muciño is very good,” Altuve said to a Venezuelan daily before traveling to Mexico earlier this week. “She has been a world champion in all four sanctioning bodies. I’ve prepared myself well but quickly since I didn’t get much time since my last fight for this opportunity. I feel that I am in great shape for the fight though.”
Will a convincing win over Altuve put Muciño back on track for the high-profile fight against Adams this year?
“As of right now we don’t know anything about Adams. For me everything that happens is a blessing. For a reason the fight against Nicola didn’t happen,” Muciño answered. “We were a bit desperate because we worked hard for that fight but thank God for this fight and this fight card is very important. We are going to try to get every advantage we can for being part of this meaningful fight card and hope bigger things come our way.”
“I am not focused in the future,” she said when asked what is next. “I think the most important thing is the present. This fight is important. I am focused on this fight right now and after we will see what is presented.”