Another Look at Jonas and Mayer and More

Reflections on Mayer-Jonas, Upcoming Battles and Kali Reis


By David A. Avila

It was an incredible bout with two high-powered champions Natasha Jonas and Mikaela Mayer firing on all cylinders. It seems ludicrous to say, but the IBF welterweight world title clash could have been even better.

Just on skill alone, the match between Mayer and Jonas is a Fight of the Year candidate.

A major flaw was the two-minute rounds. It’s just not enough time to judge two very talented fighters who left pieces of their soul in the ring. But once again the judges didn’t have enough time to decipher the proper winner of each round.

Championship fights need three-minute rounds, especially when one fighter resorts to clinching instead of punching.

The art of the clinch to me is simply the art of cheating. It goes along the same path as flopping in basketball and soccer, or holding tactics in NFL football. Plain and simple it’s all cheating.

Judges cannot keep rewarding fighters for clinching inside. In a two-minute round fight, two or three clinches can waste a minute of valuable time. This past Saturday we saw Jonas clinch often with Mayer, yet two judges rewarded her with six rounds. How can that be?

And the judges are not alone in their ineptitude. Referees are also guilty of not warning and penalizing fighters for resorting to clinching and holding tactics. Holding in any form is against the rules. It’s written in the rule books and has been since the beginning of professional boxing.

Learn the rules judges and referees.

Despite the lack of proper judging and refereeing, the fight itself was entertaining with both Jonas and Mayer thrilling the crowds in England and those watching around the world. It is a fight worthy of being repeated.

One more stab at the three-minute round. A month ago at a press conference, Jonas and Mayer both said they wanted it. So, what happened?

Boxing promoters are only facilitators, they are not the talent. Without the fighters they are nothing. Fighters dictate whether they want three-minute rounds or not. Not some guy named Ben Shalom. His company is nothing without the fighters. It should have been easy to make the title fight three-minute rounds. But both Mayer and Jonas caved in.

It worked out for Jonas, not for Mayer.


Flyweight battles

IBF flyweight titlist Gabriela Fundora defends against New York’s Christina Cruz on Saturday Jan. 37, in Phoenix. DAZN will stream the Golden Boy Promotions card.

The last time we saw Fundora she was annihilating Mexico’s Arely Mucino. It was a mismatch that the younger, much taller, faster and stronger fighter Fundora easily wiped out the Mexican champion from Monterrey.

Fundora took the IBF title away from Mucino who took it from Marlen Esparza who vacated it. Recently Fundora signed with Golden Boy Promotions who also have Esparza. Will they fight each other?

Not likely.

In fact, all three Mucino, Fundora and Esparza passed on Kenia Enriquez who many consider the best fighter out of Mexico the past five years. But that’s the way the world turns.

Fundora will face Christina Cruz a very capable fighter at 41 years of age who has tons of boxing experience as an amateur. Can she apply that in this fight against the youngster Fundora? Cruz is wasting no time in going for a world title.

Commerce, Ca.

In Commerce, California, a small town adjacent to East Los Angeles, two light flyweight battles take place on Saturday on the 360 Boxing Promotions card at Commerce Casino.

Lupe Medina (4-0) a hard-hitting light flyweight meets Lilian Almaraz (0-3) while Brook Sibrian (1-0) and Nikkia Williams (0-1) are set to meet also. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the 360 Promotions fight card will be streamed on UFC Fight Pass.

Medina trains with Manny Robles in Los Angeles and spars with numerous top flyweights. Many predict big things for her but its too early to tell. Or is it?


Seniesa vs Yokasta in L.A.?

The battle between Seniesa Estrada and Yokasta Valle has been signed but the date and location have not been finalized. At the moment, it appears headed for Glendale, Arizona in late March. That could change.

Two other locations have been discussed including Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Estrada and Valle have proven to be large attractions in those cities. Not so much in Arizona.

The reason it was set in Arizona is that former world champion Oscar Valdez is set to be the headliner. But that can also change.


Kali and HBO

Don’t miss Kali Reis in the HBO True Detective Series “Night Country” now playing on HBO MAX. The two-division world champion plays a major part in the series alongside Oscar Award winner Jodie Foster.

Reis goes blow to blow with Foster acting-wise in the mystery that takes place near the Arctic Circle after a team of scientists go missing. It’s easy to see why Reis was chosen for the part as a law enforcement officer. First, actual prizefighters like Reis have no problem with roles demanding physicality. Second, Reis already performed in an independent film Catch the Fair One in 2021 that proved her acting abilities. She won Best Actress at the Newport Beach Film Festival in 2021.

I watched the first episode last night and was captivated. She has skills. Don’t miss any of the episodes.


More Fight News


Laura Gomez (5-1) defeated Delma Alaniz (1-2) by unanimous decision after six rounds on Saturday Jan. 20. The bantamweight match was held at Canuelas.

On Saturday Jan. 27, minimumweights Sol Cudos (6-0-2) and Roxana Colmenarez (9-2-1) meet 10 rounds for a regional title at Buenos Aires.



On Thursday Jan. 25, super welterweights Mary Spencer (7-2) and Sonya Dreiling (6-3) meet eight rounds in Montreal.



Maria Gonzalez (3-0) knocked out Danna Saldarriaga (0-1) in the third round on Saturday Jan. 20. The super lightweight match was held in Carmen de Apicala. Also, lightweight Milanyela Viloria (3-0) beat Diana Cotrino (0-8) in four.

On Saturday Jan. 27, super featherweights Liliana Palmera (31-15-3) and Stefania Garnica (0-3) meet six rounds at Monteria.



Sofia Vinther (1-0) defeated Evelin Camporeale (3-8-1) by decision after four rounds on Saturday Jan. 20. The flyweight fight took place in Gilleleje.



On Sunday Jan. 28, super flyweights Mailys Gangloff (8-4) and Gemma Ruegg (7-9-1) meet eight rounds in Deauville.



Mandy Bohm (2-0) won by decision over Karina Szmalenberg (14-60-4) after four rounds on Saturday Jan. 20. The lightweight match was held in Munich.



Sushila Virat (3-0) meets Swati Krishan (0-0) four round on Monday Jan. 22. The bantamweight fight takes place at Gurgaon. Also, minimumweights Ram Bhateri (1-0) and Mehakpreet Kaur (0-0) meet four rounds.



Yesenia Gomez (20-6-4) defeated Mariela Ribera (12-8) by decision after eight rounds on Friday Jan. 19. The flyweight fight was held in Chetumal.



Anahomy Jimenez (1-0) knocked out Leidy Zarco (0-1) in the second round on Saturday Jan. 20. The super bantamweight match was held in Colon.



On Saturday Jan. 27, featherweights Sheila Martinez (6-3) and Anaelle Angerville (6-2-1) meet 10 rounds for a regional title at San Vicente del Raspeig.



On Saturday Jan. 27, super featherweights Zulfa Iddy (0-2-1) and Debora Mwenda (1-0) meet six rounds at Zanzibar.



Peeyalux Sanpokang (5-2) knocked out Kirada Satsitsakul (0-6) in the second round on Saturday Jan. 20. The super flyweight match was held in Pathum Thani. Also, bantamweight Pannaporn Kaewpawong (2-0) beat Arisa Camna (0-6) in four; and super featherweight Somwang Sawinchai (3-9-1) knocked out Saowalak Phosree (0-1) in two.

On Saturday Jan. 27, super flyweights Hee Jung Yuh (27-3) and Jittamat Phomta (2-2) meet 10 rounds at Pattaya for a regional title.


United Kingdom

Natasha Jonas (15-2-1) defeated Mikaela Mayer (19-2) by split decision after 10 rounds on Saturday Jan. 20. The IBF welterweight world title match took place in Liverpool, England. Also, featherweight Karriss Artingstall (6-0) defeated Lila Furtado (9-2) by decision after eight.

On Saturday Jan. 27, flyweights Laura Pain (4-0) and Klaudia Ferenczi (20-107-10) meet six rounds at London, England.



Samantha Worthington (8-0) won by unanimous decision after 10 rounds versus Yazmin Rivas (40-12-1) on Saturday Jan. 20. The regional title super lightweight match was held in Louisville, Kentucky.

Cri Cyborg (2-0) knocked out Kelsey Wickstrum (2-1) in the first round on Friday Jan. 19. The super welterweight match took place in Temecula, Calif.

On Saturday Jan. 27, flyweights Gabriela Fundora (12-0) and Christina Cruz (6-0) meet 10 rounds for the IBF world title at Phoenix, Arizona. DAZN will stream the fight.

On Saturday Jan. 27, light flyweights Lupe Medina (4-0) and Lilian Almaraz (0-3) meet four rounds at Commerce, Calif. Also, Brook Sibrian (1-0) and Nikkia Williams (0-1) meet four rounds.



On Saturday Jan. 27, featherweights Napaporn Ruengsuwan (8-3) and Pei Yi Wu (2-0) meet six rounds at Vung Tau.


(Photo by Lawrence Lustig/BOXXER)