|Does a place in the IBHOF await Mia St. John?|
Compiling an impressive record of (47-13-2, 18 KOs) St. John has established herself as one of the most influential female boxers ever, appearing on Bob Arum boxing cards during an era when women’s boxing enjoyed immense popularity. Her efforts, in concert with Christy Martin and Laila Ali, maneuvered women’s boxing into the mainstream during the late 90's and the early portion of the next decade; a level of popularity that women’s boxing has failed to achieve in the United States since. St. John's achievements as a women’s boxing pioneer are arguably Hall of Fame worthy.
On April 13, heavyweight Sonya Lamonakis (7-1-2, 1 KO) New York, New York lost a unanimous decision to Martha Salazar (12-4, 3 KOs) San Francisco, California. It was later discovered that the first four rounds were three minutes long when normally, women’s professional contests are two minutes in duration. In June, a hearing was conducted by the State of California on the matter determining that Salazar will keep the victory - labeling it a “technical win.”
A return match will take place in New York City in August.
A look back at June 2013 in women’s boxing:
Styles make fights. A great example of this was on display in Mexico on June 1 as two top-level junior flyweights met in an event named, “Dangerous Curves," Yesica Yolanda “Tuti” Bopp (24-1, 11 KO’s) Argentina, typically a lead puncher, challenged Jessica “Kika” Chavez (18-3-2, 4 KO’s) Mexico, primarily a counter-puncher, for the WBC Silver female light flyweight title held by Chavez. Early in the career of both, they met for the interim WBA light flyweight title with Bopp winning the fight by a lopsided unanimous decision. Since, Chavez has developed and flourished, losing only to the KO Digest’s #11 pound-for-pound boxer, Esmeralda Moreno, eight fights ago in 2011.
|Bopp battles Chavez|
Bopp rallied in the ninth and tenth rounds as she sensed that the fight was slipping away, and Chavez slowed due to the high pace of the battle. In the end, the fight was consummated on the highest level with both fighters battling every minute of every round. The judges, two from Mexico and one from the United States, ruled in favor of Chavez (97-93/97-93/96-95) KO Digest also scored for Chavez, (96-95). With the win, Chavez set up possible super-fights with fellow Mexican junior flyweights, Esmeralda Moreno (25-6, 9 KO’s) or the current WBC junior flyweight champion, Ibeth Zamora Silva. Bopp still holds the WBO, WBA junior flyweight titles and is currently scheduled to defend in July.
|Mathis in position to unify|
On June 14 in Stockholm, Sweden, Diana Prazak (12-2, 8 KOs) Los Angeles, California, by way of Melbourne, Australia, scored a stunning knockout in the eighth round of the previously unbeaten, Frida “Golden Girl” Wallberg (11-1, 2 KOs) Gothenburg, Sweden. Wallberg was sharp early landing crisply and moving out of the way of any responses from her determined challenger. Wallberg seemingly lost a step in the fifth round allowing the normally pedestrian moving Prazak into the fight. Prazak landed with considerable power punches to the body and head over the remainder of the bout, buckling the knees of Wallberg in the seventh with a right cross; a punch that in retrospect Wallberg never recovered from. At 1:02 of the eighth round, Prazak landed a well-placed counter left-hook on the point of Wallberg’s chin, felling her to the canvas. Wallberg rose from the knockdown appearing wobbly but was allowed to continue until a clubbing right hand, a punch that Wallberg normally absorbs in stride, knocked her to the canvas for a second time where the fight was properly halted by the referee. At the time of the stoppage, Wallberg was leading on all three scorecards, (68-65). KO Digest also had Wallberg leading, 67-66 giving her each of the first four rounds and Prazak 5-7.
|Lucia Rijker prevents a terrible tragedy from getting any worse|
As a result of Team Prazak’s timely intervention, Wallberg was removed from the ring on a stretcher and taken to a local hospital where it was discovered that she sustained a subdural hematoma which required emergency brain surgery. Thankfully, Wallberg awoke from a medically induced coma a few days later and posted positive comments to Facebook. In 2009, Rita Figueroa suffered a brain injury that required emergency surgery ending her boxing career. Concerning the Wallberg injury, Rita commented, “It was ridiculous that she was not attended to right away, and it took at least 30 seconds for someone to even get her a stool. Thank God Lucia was there and got things moving. Doctors need to be more prepared to look for signs of head injury; it’s a matter of life and death. A minute or two is crucial at that time.” With the win, Prazak claims the WBC super featherweight belt and sits on top of a skilled division that also boasts, “Queen” Ronica Jeffrey, Amanda “The Real Deal” Serrano, and popular Peruvian, Kina Malpartida.
|Winner and still champ - Erica "La Pantera" Farias|
On June 29 in Mexico and televised on Fox Deportes, Yazmin “La Rusita” Rivas (28-7, 9 KOs) Torreon, Mexico, successfully defended her IBF female bantamweight title with a ten-round unanimous decision shutout victory over Kimka Miyoshi (8-6-1, 3 KOs) Kawasaki, Kanagawa, Japan (100-90 x3). Miyoshi, best known for her split decision victory over Riyo Togo, fought outside Japan for the first time in her career was thoroughly outclassed by the technically proficient Rivas. Rivas is likely to defend next against, Carolina Raquel Duer (14-3-1, 5 KOs) Argentina who is the #1 contender and the WBO female super flyweight champion. On the same card, Ibeth Zamora Silva (18-5, 8 KOs) defended the WBC female light flyweight title with an eighth round stoppage of Maricela “La Baby” Quintero (11-4-1, 0 KOs) Culiacan, Mexico. Silva, the for WBA minimumweight champion, won the vacant WBC female light flyweight title in March with a ten-round split decision victory over Naoko Shibata in Tokyo, Japan.
|La Tigresa ready to roar again?|
|Hernandez looking to get back in the title picture|
On July 13, in Dresden, Sachsen, Germany, KO Digest’s #4 pound-for-pound female boxer, and two-division champion, Christina Hammer (14-0, 7 KOs) Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany defends her WBF and WBO middleweight titles against Mikaela “Destiny” Lauren (19-2, 7 KOs) Stockholm, Sweden. Hammer, aged 22 last saw action on May 4 when she dismantled Zita Zatyko winning a unanimous decision and the WBF and WBO female super middleweight titles. Holding two wins over the current IBF welterweight title holder, Eva Halasi and decision victories over junior middleweight, Rachael Clark, and welterweights, Cindy Serrano, and Jill Emery: Lauren has constructed a boxing record worthy of a second attempt at the welterweight titles held by Cecilia Braekhus; an attempt at Hammer’s middleweight titles is an indictment on the quality of the middleweight division of women’s boxing. In 2010, Braekhus defended the WBC, WBA, and WBO welterweight titles stopping Lauren in the seventh round. Hammer will pound out a stoppage victory in the middle rounds preserving her titles without much difficulty. That said the 37-year-old Lauren has a widespread following in Europe that, in concert with the ever-growing popularity of Hammer in Germany, will ensure a large following of this matchup for as long as it lasts.
|Agripino ready to dive into the world of pro boxing|
Three Questions - Sweet Side Q&A with Brandi Montoya
Southpaw bantamweight Brandi “Baby Doll” Montoya (5-2, 0 KOs) originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, and the current WIBA youth super bantamweight title holder, began her professional career with two losses before rattling off five consecutive victories including a grudge-match win over Natalie Roy who spoiled Montoya’s professional debut winning a majority decision. Her most impressive victory is a 2012 eight-round unanimous decision victory over Chantel Cordova who just a year earlier battled Arely Mucino for the IBF female flyweight title. Since then, Montoya has joined the United States Marine Corps. KO Digest investigates with a special 4th of July edition of Three Questions:
A: I joined the Marine Corps because I was having trouble paying for college, fighting, working and living on my own. When I was considering the military, I would talk to people about it and the reputation that the United States Marine Corp had was fascinating. I desired an MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) that would translate into a civilian career. And to be able to say that I joined the smallest, roughest, toughest and most prideful military branch!
Q: Which is more important to you, winning a fight or defending America?
A: Defending my country, well it’s just as rewarding as winning a fight, but I think it’s an extremely selfless act, and that is another form of joy.
Q: What does the future hold for Brandi Montoya?
A: I definitely want to continue my boxing career. I will not stop at a 5-2 record. At the age 20, I have too much potential to stop. I am almost finished with my military training, and then I will be able to hit the fleet, start working my job, find a boxing gym on or near the base and get back into my zone!
KO Digest's Dynamite Dozen Pound-for-Pound Ratings:
|Prazak crashes the P4P ratings at #12|
2- Erica Anabella Farias (17-0, 9 KOs) Argentina
3- Ava Knight (12-1-3, 5 KOs) United States
4- Christina Hammer (14-0, 7 KOs) Germany
5- Jessica Chavez (18-3-2, 4 KOs) Mexico
6- Yesica Yolanda Bopp (24-1, 11 KOs) Argentina
7- Ann Sophie Mathis (27-3, 24 KOs) France
8- Jelena Mrdjenovich (29-9-1, 14 KOs) Canada
9- Melissa Hernandez (18-4-3, 6 KOs) United States/P.R.
10- Layla McCarter (35-13-5, 8 KOs) United States
11- Esmeralda Moreno (25-6, 9 KOs) Mexico
12- Diana Prazak (12-2, 8 KO's) Australia
"The Sweet Side of the Sweet Science" is written and compiled by women's boxing expert Mark Jones - exclusively for KO Digest. You can find more of Mark's work on his women's boxing blog: Boxing Jones