Saturday night, April 16th the Trusts Center in Auckland, New Zealand saw a full night of womens boxing go down as seven high-level fights were on tap.
The main event of the evening saw Providence, Rhode Island’s own Kali “KO” Reis take home the WBC’s World Middleweight title by defeating Las Vegas fighter Maricela Cornejo.
For Reis, the title comes after years of dedication and paying of dues. In her eight year pro career, the 30 year old has traveled to Germany, Bermuda, Costa Rica and Spain in search of fights, and along the way the “road warrior” has amassed a wealth of experience.
In an interview prior to this fight in New Zealand, Reis referred to being on the road as “her comfort zone” and it proved to be the case as she was able to handle the bigger Cornejo over the ten rounds. Having faced world champions such as Christina Hammer (18-0) and Hanna Gabriels (15-1-1) she was prepared well for this opportunity.
Reis is now 9-5-1 overall, and she is comfortable fighting at 154 and even at 147 lbs. Whereas she used to be the “fighter” brought in to face the local star, the newly captured belt will give her some leverage. It will be interesting to see who Reis fights next, as she has long talked about avenging a few of her prior losses. That WBC belt puts her back on the list to face the likes of Gabriels, Hammer and even Cecilia Braekhus.
In other action from Auckland, featherweight Ronica Jeffrey is now 15-1 and the owner of the WBC’s Silver belt after a points win over Gentiane Lupi. The super featherweights were on display as Melissa St Vil also took home the vacant WBC Silver belt with a win over Baby Nansen.
Nydia Feliciano took home the UBF Female featherweight title with an eight round win over veteran Noemi Bosques. In a four round fight, legendary Mia St john returned at 48 years old to go four rounds with Lisa Lewis, the events promoter who was making her debut. On an otherwise terrific night of fights, St John vs Lewis should probably be labelled an “exhibition”.