Female fighters pay their dues just like men. Sometimes they pay the ultimate cost.
South Africa’s Phindile Mwelase, 31, paid that cost on Wednesday, Oct. 29, when she passed away. She had been in a coma after being hospitalized following a boxing match in South Africa.
During a fight with Liz Butler on Oct. 10, in Pretoria, South Africa, Mwelase was knocked out in a junior welterweight clash. She was taken to Kalafong Hospital and was in a coma for two weeks. She was placed on life support and never emerged from that coma. She underwent surgery to prevent bleeding in the brain, otherwise known as a subdural hematoma. Mwelase never recovered and was taken off life support.
Thousands of women enter the pro ranks looking for their shot in the prize ring. Though they scramble to get on fight cards and suffer lower wages for their fights, they continue to risk their lives. But despite these risks, few promoters pay attention.
Promoters, especially in the U.S., refuse to make room for the female boxers on their fight cards. There are lots of excuses, including that no one likes female boxing, which is definitely not true. Sure there are those that do not, but it’s the same amount as people that don’t like men’s pro boxing… period.
The doors have to open soon.
Las Vegas bantamweight Melinda “La Maravilla” Cooper will be fighting Mexico’s Zenny Sotomayor on Wednesday, Nov. 5 in Tijuana, Mexico.
Cooper, who many consider one of the top female boxers pound for pound, has not fought in more than two years. But the pixyish boxer with a big punch and quick hands and feet is willing to cross the border to tangle with Sotomayor.
The last time Cooper stepped in the ring was against Celina “The Sweetheart” Salazar in Las Vegas in 2012. After six intense rounds of back and forth fighting Cooper was declared the winner by majority decision. She is eager to return and find her place among the other stars.
Flyweight title match
IFBA junior flyweight titlist Sindy Amador (12-1-1) will move up in weight to test the waters against former WBC flyweight titlist Ava Knight (12-2-3) on Nov. 13, in Washington DC.
Amador, who lives in Riverside, Ca., accepted the fight at the higher weight and will be severely shorter in height by as much as six inches. Knight is a tall flyweight who lost her last fight in Mexico when she dropped down to 108. This fight is set for 112 lbs.
Another female boxer from Las Vegas ready to show her skills is “Amazing” Layla McCarter, who should be recognized as the top female boxer pound for pound. She’s set to meet another top female fighter, Melissa “Huruacan” Hernandez, on Nov. 21 in Las Vegas at the Orleans Casino.
McCarter has not lost a fight in more than seven years. The last boxer to beat her was Hernandez in 2007. They’ve been itching to break the tie. McCarter stopped Hernandez in their first encounter but was beaten in the rematch.
Mexico’s undefeated Kenia Enriquez (12-0) faces Ana Arrazola (20-10-2) for the vacant WBO flyweight world title on Nov. 21 in San Diego. Enriquez lives in Tijuana but has been fought her last several fights in San Diego.
Enriquez is a boxer-puncher with good speed and a powerful left hook.
Arrazola is a southpaw who fights out of Mexico City. This is her ninth attempt at winning a world title. Her last attempt took place in Japan this past August.
The female world title fight takes place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in San Diego.