An undefeated record in women’s boxing usually means weak competition for that fighter that’s why Crystal Morales bout against Gloria Ramirez should be an interesting match.
Both Morales and Ramirez have losses.
Boxing records for women are not indicative of their ability and fans get an opportunity to see well-trained female prizefighters Morales and Ramirez prove it on Friday at the Performing Arts Center in Oxnard. The fight will not be televised.
“I know that to get better you have to fight the best fighters out there,” said Morales (5-4-1). “That’s why I’m happy to fight someone like Gloria Ramirez. She has a lot of experience and has fought good fighters.”
These fighters like a good scrap.
Ramirez (9-14-6) is a prime example of a good female boxer who’s tangled with several world champions such as Jessica Rakoczy, Eliza Olson and Laura Serrano and lost. But the experience she gained allowed her to fight to a draw with the highly touted Suswella Roberts who fights as welterweight. Ramirez is a natural lightweight.
Usually boxing fans look at fighters records to determine whether they should watch a prizefight. But a dearth in female fighters and the unwillingness of promoters to stage competitive matches between women allows some fighters to pick and choose opponents advantageously.
A few female world champions have established a fan base such as Holly Holm in New Mexico or Mary Jo Sanders in Michigan. Even Rakoczy, who is without a world title, finds it easier to remain in her home base and reap the financial rewards.
Then you have talented fighters like Morales, Heather Percival and Chevelle Hallback who are forced to journey to other states or countries to obtain a fight. Home cooking or not, they take the fights.
“I’ll fight anybody anywhere,” said Hallback, the WIBA and IBA junior lightweight world champion who a year ago fought in Japan and Canada. “In fact, I’ve only fought in my hometown Tampa once.”
Meanwhile fighters such as Holm maintain an undefeated record by fighting primarily in their native soil. In New Mexico, Holm has beaten Mia St. John, Jane Couch and Christy Martin. Both Martin and St. John were miffed at the scoring.
“She never hit me in the fight,” said Martin, who was angry at the lop-sided scoring in favor of Holm. “All she did is run around.”
St. John, who travels internationally and recently fought in Rhode Island, said it was definitely home brewing.
“You can’t beat her in New Mexico,” St. John said of Holm.
Lately, a new wave of female fighters who are willing to fight anywhere have emerged.
Morales jumped right into the fray with a bout televised from the Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills in only her second match. She could have passed up a match against talented volume puncher Rita Valentini. Instead she fought hard and suffered a loss by decision. But fans remember her.
Of her 10 professional bouts only one came against an inexperienced fighter and Morales won that fight by knockout.
She loves to fight.
Though she’s fighting in her hometown, don’t expect preferential treatment from California judges who are known for favoring aggressiveness.
“This is the first time I’ve ever fought in my home town,” said Morales happily. “It’s my first main event too.”
Her two bouts against Lissette Medel and two fights against Sosadea Razo proved her mettle and built a devoted following in Oxnard with carloads of fans traveling to watch her in the ring.
“I know she gives her Oxnard fans a good show every time,” said Rene Carranco, who heads Bring It On Promotions that is promoting the fight card.
Take me to the gym
It’s a far cry from her junior high days when girls ridiculed her and attempted to intimidate the soft-spoken Morales.
“They would pick on me all of the time. They wanted to fight me,” said Morales who even now can’t understand why the problems existed. “That’s why I asked my dad to take me to the gym so I could learn to box.”
Soon the young Morales began to impress many with her quick learning ability as an amateur boxer. At age 15 she was asked by the Mexican Olympic team to go to that country as a team member.
But as in Oxnard, she found many opposed her in Mexico too.
“They didn’t like me because they were all born in Mexico and I was born here (United States),” said Morales, 20, about three Mexican amateur fighters on the team. “I had to fight all three and I beat them.”
During her stay in Mexico she met that country’s president and trained with the team for two months. She also learned much about nutrition and boxing training in the first class boxing facilities.
Though only a sophomore in high school, Morales learned independence and self-discipline while living away from her family.
“I found out I can make it on my own,” she said.
That same independence and self-discipline allows her to compete in a pro sport that seldom is lucrative for its participants. But it drives her and keeps the competitive juices flowing for the hunt toward a world title.
Now ranked number 11 by the WBC, Morales faces Ramirez who is ranked number 12 by the IBO. Losses or not, the pair are fearless fighters who accept any challenge in the ring.
“This girl has much more experience than me,” Morales said. “I like it.”