By David A. Avila
Female heavyweight prizefighters are the rarest of all.
WBC female heavyweight titlist Martha Salazar has roamed the heavyweight division for quite some time and seen the travails and highlights of the weight class that numbers around 150 in the entire world.
Salazar, 46, has accomplished almost everything she dreamed of accomplishing. One thing remains and that comes tomorrow.
“Just to say that I accomplished my title defense in Mexico, then I have accomplished everything I want to in boxing,” says Salazar, who lives in San Jose, California. “Some of my family that live in Jalisco can come and see me fight.”
Salazar (13-4, 3 KOs) defends the WBC female heavyweight title against Mexico’s Alejandra Jimenez (5-0, 4 KOs) on Friday March 18. The world title match takes place at the Oasis Hotel in Cancun, Mexico. Ring.tv will stream the fight live at 5:30 p.m. Pacific Time.
Jimenez, 28, of Mexico City, seeks to become the first native Mexican female or male to win a heavyweight world title.
The champion Salazar doesn’t know much about Jimenez “only that she has five fights and is ranked number five in the world and has never been past four rounds,” she said.
When Salazar meets Jimenez in the ring she will have a slight height disadvantage. But that can’t compare to her three clashes with then champion Vonda Ward who was a towering 6’6” and handed the Northern Californian three of her four losses. All were very close fights.
Salazar has a very good defense and knows how to use her skills in close or from the outside. She will have to resort to her defense against the hard-punching Jimenez. Salazar has a slippery style and has an abundance of confidence.
It’s been a long road for Salazar who learned how to fight after being the target of bullies.
“When I was I high school I was jumped by two ladies. After that day I decided to take something to defend myself so I started doing kickboxing,” said Salazar who then lived in Oakland. “And then I met my trainer and he asked me to go into professional boxing without any amateur fights.”
The Northern Californian won her first five fights including against Kisha Snow. Then she fought Ward for the heavyweight title at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas in 2003. It was a preliminary bout on the Roy Jones Jr. fight for the heavyweight title against then WBA champion John Ruiz. Salazar lost her world title fight but fans were able to see her skillset against the much larger Ward.
After 15 years in the fight game Salazar has finally reached her dream fight in Mexico.
“After this I have accomplished everything I wanted in boxing,” she says.