Clash of Mrdjenovich vs Cruz at West Point and More Fight News
By David A. Avila
That swelling wave of women prizefighters continues to grow larger and more visible.
WBA featherweight titlist Jelena Mrdjenovich defends against Mexico’s Erika Cruz in the main event on Thursday April 22, at West Point, New York. The Ring City USA fight card will be shown on NBC Sports Network and on Twitch.com.
The year 2021 has been a breakout year for women’s boxing with various media outlets showcasing the female fights more than ever.
Mrdjenovich (41-10-2, 19 KOs) hails from Edmonton, Canada and has been one of the longest reigning world champions. Though most of the boxing world prefers to see her match punches with WBC and WBO featherweight titlist Amanda Serrano, this match still merits attention.
Mexico’s Cruz (12-1, 3 KOs) has been hardened by her Mexico City wars and also fought in Italy where she handily defeated Vissia Trovato where she breathes, in Milan. Though not as experienced as Mrdjenovich, the Mexican fighter is 30 years old and there’s no time to gather experience. The time is now.
This is Mrdjenovich’s second consecutive clash against a Mexican foe. Her previous fight against Paola Torres was a bloody slugfest last December in Los Angeles. This might be more of the same.
Whoever wins might be next for Serrano who seeks to unify the featherweight division. She already has two of the belts, one that previously belonged to Mrdjenovich who allegedly ignored previous challenges from the Puerto Rican slugger.
Mrdjenovich and Cruz promises to be another slugfest.
Postponed and Re-scheduled
A scheduled world title fight between WBC flyweight titlist Ibeth “La Roca” Zamora (32-6) and American Olympian Marlen Esparza (9-1) has been postponed. The new fight date will be June 19, in El Paso, Texas. DAZN will stream the Golden Boy Promotions card.
Originally, Zamora and Esparza were set to meet this week, but the male headliner was canceled due to an injury to D’Mitrius Ballard who was meeting Mexico’s Jaime Munguia. Both bouts will now meet in June.
Another fight card featuring former featherweight world titlist Heather “the Heat” Hardy and Canada’s Jessica Camara has also been moved to another date. The DiBella Entertainment fight card will be moved to Friday May 14 at Nashville, Tenn. UFC Fight Pass will stream the card.
Hardy (22-1) and Camara (7-2) are the main event but several other notable fights will also be shown including lightweight contender Melissa St. Vil (13-4-4) versus Olivia Gerula (18-18-2); former world champion Carina Moreno (25-7) versus Natalie Gonzalez (6-1) in a light flyweight bout; and Mikiah Kreps (1-0) versus Alex Love (3-0) in a bantamweight clash.
DiBella has a number of high quality female fighters itching to perform. He will be showcasing them later in the year on UFC Fight Pass.
Hanna Wins Two Divisions
Costa Rica’s Hanna Gabriels won the vacant WBA light heavyweight and WBC heavyweight world titles by technical knockout over Martha Lara in San Jose, Costa Rica this past Saturday.
Gabriels held the WBA super welterweight title but somehow was shoved aside when Claressa Shields grabbed it without a fight. They had fought each other before in 2018 but that was in the middleweight division. Shields won by unanimous decision and was floored for the first and only time in her pro career.
With Shields capturing the light heavyweight and heavyweight titles, does that mean she is going to stay at the heavier weight class?
One thing, it does position the Costa Rican fighter to meet Shields, Franchon Crews-Dezurn or Savannah Marshall if any of them want to add another weight division world title on their resume. They can come through Gabriels if they desire.
More Female Fight News
Naiara Pacheco (1-0-1) and Florencia Villarreal (0-0-1) fought to a draw after four rounds on Saturday April 17. The flyweight bout was held at Mendoza.
Florencia Salazar (1-0) was the winner by unanimous decision after four rounds against Erica Alvarez (0-1) on Saturday April 17. The lightweight match took place at Santa Fe.
Sara Jolanen (1-0) defeated Tina Sougleris (0-1) by unanimous decision after four rounds on Friday April 16. The super featherweight match took place in Sydney.
On Wednesday April 21, super flyweights Viviana Ruiz (0-0) and Bec Moss (0-0) meet four rounds at Wollongong.
On Friday April 23, super bantamweights Amanda Galle (4-0) and Amy Reid (0-0) meet in four three-minute rounds at Vancouver.
Daniris Garcia (1-0) knocked out Mileydis Hoyos (0-1) in the first round on Saturday April 17. The light heavyweight bout was held at San Antonio de Palmito.
Hanna Gabriels (21-2-1) defeated Martha Lara (11-10) by technical knockout in the second round on Saturday April 17. The WBA light heavyweight and WBC heavyweight title fight took place at San Jose.
Victoire Piteau (8-1) defeated Sara Marjanovic (7-9) by unanimous decision after 10 rounds on Saturday April 17. The lightweight match was held at Indre.
Priscilla Peterle (3-0) won by unanimous decision after eight rounds versus Laurie Catherin (0-1-1) on Saturday April 17. The French middleweight title fight took place at Nord.
On Saturday April 24, bantamweights Mailys Gangloff (4-2) and Romane Geffray (1-2-1) meet eight rounds for the French title at Morbihan.
Nina Meinke (12-2) won by unanimous decision after six rounds over Tereza Dvorakova (3-5) on Saturday April 17. The featherweight fight took place at Hamburg. Also, Natalie Zimmermann (4-0) won by knockout in the first round versus Fagbule Esther (0-4) in a lightweight match.
On Saturday April 24, super lightweights Dilar Kisikyol (3-0) and Karina Kopinska (13-37-4) meet six rounds in Hamburg.
Stephanie Silva (1-0) defeated Andrea Lo Sicco (0-1-1) by decision on Sunday April 18. The lightweight bout took place in Roma.
Melissa Esquivel (12-1-1) defeated Marisol Corona (11-9-3) by unanimous decision after 10 rounds on Friday April 16. The featherweight title fight took place at Culiacan.
Monica Henao (4-1-3) knocked out Iris Bustamante (1-1) in the third round on Friday April 16. The lightweight bout took place at Panama City. Also, Azucena Zuniga (1-1) defeated Yanissa Castrellon (0-1) by decision in a four round flyweight bout; and Monica Cruz (2-1-1) and Luciana Ascanio (1-0-1) fought to a four round draw in a super flyweight match.
On Friday April 23, super flyweights Saida Bukvic (6-0) and Ivanka Ivanova (3-12-3) meet six rounds at Belgrade.
On Saturday April 24, super featherweights Nozipho Bell (9-3-1) and Asandiswa Nxokwana (6-3-2) meet six rounds at Eastern Cape.
On Thursday April 22, featherweights Jelena Mrdjenovich (41-10-2) and Erika Cruz (12-1) meet 10 rounds for the WBA featherweight world title at West Point, New York.
On Saturday April 24, heavyweights Chia Fei Asbury (0-0) and Princess Hairston (1-1) meet four three-minute rounds at Vienna, West Virginia.