Historic Female Boxing Extravaganza – Gilberto Jesus Mendoza, who succeeded his late father Francisco Gilberto Mendoza as the president of the World Boxing Association, is committed to improving conditions for female boxers and female ring officials. “We are committed to women not only as fighters, but as referees, judges and supervisors,” Mendoza said in a recent interview.
These weren’t just idle words intended to placate a certain group. To the contrary, Saturday’s show at Domo Jose Maria Vargas de la Guaira in metropolitan Caracas, Venezuela is evidence that Mendoza is a man of action. Billed as the “Batalla De Campeonas,” the seven-bout Jupiter Promotions card consists entirely of female bouts. Moreover (and hold on to your hats, fellows), all of the officials – judges, referees, inspectors, etc. – will be women!
This is not the first show designed as a showcase for women’s boxing. Recently, in Auckland, New Zealand, there were seven women’s bouts on a nine-bout card with the men relegated to 4-round preliminaries. However, this is arguably the strongest female card ever assembled from top to bottom, notwithstanding the absence of such notables as Cecilia Braekhus and Layla McCarter.
The ladies will be competing for an assortment of world and regional titles. In one of the featured bouts, Hanna Gabriels (15-1-1, 10 KOs) of Alajuela, Costa Rica opposes Katia Alvarino (8-2-1, 3 KOs) of Juan Lacaze, Uruguay for the vacant WBA World female super welterweight title. Gabriels, a two-time WBO champion, is the most well-known sports personality in Costa Rica. She has been training in Las Vegas alongside her husband, former interim WBO super featherweight champion Bryan Vasquez. Alvarino recently went 10 rounds with the aforementioned Braekhus.
Here are the other bouts on the card:
Mayerlin Rivas, 13-3-1 (9 KOs), Maracaibo, Venezuela vs. Melania Sorroche, 11-0-1 (2 KOs), Manresa, Spain, 10 rounds for the WBA World female bantamweight title. Rivas is the defending champion.
Linda Lecca, 12-2-1 (3 KOs), Lima, Peru vs. Carolina Alvarez, 12-6-3 (9 KOs), Caracas, Venezuela, 10 rounds for the WBA super flyweight title.
This is a rematch. Lecca and Alvarez fought last year in Lima, Peru. The bout was stopped in the second round and ruled a “no contest” following an accidental clash of heads.
Yesica Bopp, 28-1 (12 KOs), Buenos Aires, Argentina vs. Nancy Franco, 15-8-2 (4 KOs), Guadalajara, Mexico, 10 rounds, light flyweights.
Bopp has been a world champion in two weight divisions. Franco previously fought for the WBO World female minimum weight title, losing a 10-round decision on enemy turf to Yuko Kuroki in Fukuoka, Japan.
Debora Rengifo, 6-2-1 (3 KOs), Caracas, Venezuela vs. Eva Guzman, 4-0-1 (2 KOs), Maracay, Venezuela, 10 rounds, light flyweights.
This is a rematch of a 6-round bout held on Nov. 13, 2015. Rengifo and Guzman battled to a draw.
Ogleidis Suarez, 20-3-1 (8 KOs), Caracas, Venezuela vs. Yarley Cuadrado, 7-2 (3 KOs), Monteria, Columbia, 8 rounds, super featherweights.
In 2013 Suarez was voted the top boxing figure in Venezuela by a vote of the Venezuelan sports media, becoming the first woman to receive this honor. A professional model, she has graced the cover of several magazines. This is her second fight back after losing her world featherweight title to Edith Matthysse in Argentina.
Ambar Fajardo, 8-2 (3 KOs), Caracas, Venezuela vs. Yolis Marrugo, 18-9-3 (9 KOs) Cartagena, Columbia, 8 rounds super featherweights.
All bouts will have two-minute rounds.
Historic Female Boxing Extravaganza