Jennifer Han Defends IBF Title Against Argentina’s Lizbeth Crespo
By David A. Avila
IBF featherweight titlist Jennifer Han plans to give Argentina’s Lizbeth Crespo a good old Texas welcome. Then it’s business.
Han (16-3-1) welcomes the international competition that Crespo (12-3) offers when they meet on Saturday Feb. 17, at the Don Haskins Convention Center in El Paso.
It’s been years since Han was the one doing the traveling to other countries such as her involvement in a round robin tournament in Mexico many years ago in 2011, that saw her engage against the likes of Andrea Cortina and Jessica Gonzalez.
“I had never been involved in anything like it,” said Han, 34. “It was held in Chiapas. The Mexican people over there are crazy about boxing. They knew every one of our names.”
Crespo, 27, may not be a household name in Texas or anywhere in the U.S. but in Puerto Madryn, Chubut, Argentina where she lives, female boxing has become as strong as male boxing. Her fans know what her goals are.
“My fans know I want to win the world title and they are ecstatic for me to have this opportunity,” said Crespo after the weighing on Friday. “I come from the same area as Lucas Matthysse.”
Both women are anxious to perform. Han has waited a year to defend her title.
“If it was up to me I would fight every other month,” Han said. “Believe me.”
It was exactly a year ago that Han defeated Olivia Gerula by unanimous decision in El Paso. It’s like déjà vu.
“I love fighting. I am always in the gym or doing something,” said Han.
This will be Han’s fifth world title defense since winning it against Helen Joseph in September 2015.