Worldwide there were plenty of female fights to talk about in 2013. However, in the USA, there was such a void in women boxing matches it’s shameful and disgusting that promoters and television networks have not only ignored it and refused to discuss having women on fight shows. It wouldn’t be surprising to see all of them sued for sex discrimination.
Enough of the legalities. The female boxers continue to move ahead as if running with an anvil up a hill. In the U.S. they receive dismal purses and have few opportunities. Still, they continue to train, sacrifice and put on great shows when given the opportunity.
Fighter of the Year
Erica “La Pantera” Farias – She defeated Mary McGee and Chika Mizutani both by unanimous decision after 10 rounds and knocked out Liliana Palmer in the third round in 2013. The lightweight world champion from Argentina is an impressive fighter. Too bad she does not fight outside of her country. Farias is 30 years old and has beaten some pretty good fighters the last several years. She is a strong fighter and aggressive. It was a very good year for the Argentine female boxer known as “La Pantera.”
Best Female Fight
Crystal Morales vs. Rhonda Luna II – Both had fought each other two months earlier in a rousing female clash. On August, they both fought for the vacant IFBA lightweight world title and exceeded the first fight with 10 rounds of non-stop action. When the fight ended, fans tossed money into the ring. Morales won by split decision but both fighters showed what female boxing is all about. How many men bouts have money thrown into the ring because of great fights? It was the second time in a year that both fighters had people so enthusiastic about their performance that a shower of dollar bills fell into the boxing ring.
Round of the Year
Once again you have cite Rhonda Luna and Crystal Morales. In their first fight that occurred in June 6, at the OC Hangar in Costa Mesa. Both female warriors were willing to trade blows throughout the fight. But in the sixth and final round, the two women exploded with a fusillade of blows that prompted fans to toss money into the ring. That sixth round was memorable and exciting.
Knockout of the Year
Dominican Republic’s Oxandia Castillo landed the perfect punch to knock out the undefeated Hanna Gabriel of Costa Rica back in February 2013. Castillo, 19, willingly took the fight in San
Jose to face WBO junior middleweight titlist Gabriel. Whether it was luck or might, Castillo, 18, connected with a perfect right cross and down went the popular Gabriel. The Costa Rican champion tried to get up but was unsteady and the fight was stopped.
Upset of the Year
Ibeth Silva defeated Ava Knight by unanimous decision after 10 rounds last October in Toluca, Mexico. Silva was defending the WBC junior flyweight world title and Knight dropped down from the flyweight division for the challenge. Silva out-worked Knight over 10 rounds and the Mexico City native shocked the boxing world by defeating the bigger girl. Knight was considered a top 10 pound for pound champion. The weight loss proved too much for Northern California’s Knight. Silva was like an Energizer bunny and took the win.
Other upset: Celina Salazar defeating Ana Julaton in Cancun, Mexico. It wasn’t as much an upset as a one-sided fight as San Antonio’s Salazar won every round. She was deducted one point for a rule infraction of hitting behind the back, but other than that, it was Salazar all the way. Fans started the fight cheering for two-time world champion Julaton and ended cheering for Salazar. The little known girl from Texas captured the hearts of the Mexican fans that night in August.
What Ever Happened To…?
Lost in the void made by most boxing promotion companies has been Layla McCarter who is recognized as the very best female boxer in the world today. McCarter, a true lightweight, moved up to challenge for the middleweight title last year and won by knockout in South Africa. This year she has been unable to secure a fight with Cecilia Braekhus the current welterweight champion.
Trainer of the Year
Lucia Rijker may not be a professional fighter any longer but she’s still a champion. The Dutch Destroyer trained Diana Prazak for her title bid against Sweden’s Frida Wallberg. It was a terrific fight but when Wallberg was knocked down twice by Prazak, it was trainer Rijker who demanded that the fallen fighter be re-examined by the ringside physician. It was shortly discovered that Wallberg suffered a brain injury. Rijker probably saved Wallberg’s life.