Monserrat Alarcon vs Nora Cardoza
By Felipe Leon
All of a sudden the tiniest of weight classes in all professional boxing is heating up. Last September in one of the best fights of 2018 Mexican Brenda “Bonita” Flores raged war against Louisa “Bang Bang Lulu” Hawton of Australia for the vacant WBC interim atom weight while in the same month Czech Fabiana Bytyqi captured the vacant full-fledged version. In Japan Saemi Hanagata captured the vacant IBF version in September of last year as well.
Hawton captured the interim version in her second try in December when the rematch against Flores couldn’t be made while Flores actually defended her champion in recess strap in early March. Earlier this month Bytyqi defended her title with a controversial draw against Maria Soledad Vargas. There is talk of a rematch between Hawton and Flores to determine the next mandatory challenger for Bytyqi.
The division has seen more action in the last six months than in recent memory when the majority of the major titles where owned by Asian women.
This Saturday night from Atotonilco El Alto, Jalisco, Mexico, two-divisional world champion Monserrat “Raya” Alarcon (11-4-2) defends her WBA 102-pound title for the first time against fellow Mexican Nora Cardoza (14-5-2, 6KO) in a scheduled ten rounder.
“Time is going by slow, it is almost stopped,” Alarcon said with anxiousness when asked about her next fight. “Seconds seem like hours. My focus is only on the fight.”
The fight will be the main event broadcast live in Mexico on the Azteca network and presented by Canelo Promotions in association with Zanfer.
Alarcon captured the vacant belt last August with a unanimous decision over tough veteran Mayela “Cobrita” Perez. Before that Alarcon had held the WBO flyweight title which she captured in spectacular fashion in April of 2017.
Alarcon, 25, traveled to the land of the rising sun, Japan, to take a technical decision over Nana Yoshikawa over seven rounds. She ended up losing the title in her first defense against Arely Muciño early last year.
Alarcon admitted she was way out of her weight class after the loss and made her way down to 102 pounds.
Alarcon is trained by former WBC super flyweight champion Jose Luis Bueno and this week they finished their camp towards the fight this Saturday night.
“It was a tough training camp,” Alarcon shared. “I am ready for the fight this Saturday night. I know of Cardoza’s experience and style. She likes to come forward, throwing punches. I like that style because it makes for a good fight.”
“I am ready to face Cardoza,” she continued at the final press conference before the fight. “She is a tough opponent whose plan is to make me look bad. I am ready for anything she might bring. I have a bigger responsibility because I am the champion but I trust my training.”
“She looks good, focused,” Bueno said when asked about his charge. “We’ve worked on a couple of things since her last fight. Her defense, jab and ring control are some of them. I think she will look like a more complete fighter, a more complete champion. She is anxious for the fight.”
The fight Saturday night will be her second time in her last three bouts she fights in Jalisco. “Fighting in Jalisco motivates me. The people of Atotonilco El Alto have received me with open arms and I’m not going to let them down. I am going to make a successful first defense of my title.”
The 36-year-old Cardoza is putting her chances on winning on her experience. A pro since 2007, Cardoza of Chihuahua, the world title fight against Alarcon won’t be her first. Back in late 2013 Cardoza challenged the legendary Momo Koseki for the WBC version of the atom weight crown but came ups short via unanimous decision.
“I am very grateful for the opportunity,” Cardoza said when given the microphone at the final press conference prior to the championship fight. “It is not every day you fight for a world title. I am ready to give a real war inside the ring.”
(Photo by Notifight)