LOS ANGELES-A massive fight card erupts but smack in the middle of a testosterone storm Crystal Morales and Celine Roman battle in a lightweight clash today.
Morales, the current IFBA female lightweight world champion, finally meets Roman in the ring at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel after a prior bout more than a year ago evaporated. All Star Boxing and Arqangel Promotions are staging the event.
It’s a non-title fight but that doesn’t matter to either female combatant, who are the co-main event of an 11-bout fight card.
“It’s unfinished business,” said Morales, 27, from Oxnard. “Anybody who steps in the ring can beat you.”
Roman (2-1-1), who lives in Ontario, is equally anxious to finally get this meeting over.
“I’m so glad this fight is finally going to happen,” says Roman, 24, who began as a junior featherweight but feels more comfortable at a heavier weight.
A year ago both female boxers were poised to enter the ring when the entire fight card was dumped for various reasons. Both girls had been weighed and overnight the boxing card drowned.
“Things happen for a reason,” Morales (8-9-1) says.
This past August Morales grabbed the IFBA lightweight title by majority decision over former world champion Rhonda Luna. She was the underdog but mostly because her record is deceiving. Many of her losses came against current world champion in close decisions.
Both Morales and Roman found boxing through strange circumstances.
Morales was given a taste of coffee as a youth and one day she took a few gulps at nighttime and was so hyper that her father decided to burn off some of her extra energy.
“I started teaching her how to punch and kick,” said Rafael Morales, a former boxer and Crystal’s father. “That’s how she began to box. She really likes it.”
Morales is still hyper but uses that overflowing energy to prepare for her fights and take care of her daughter.
“I’m still always hyper,” says Morales, who has a four-year-old daughter.
Roman’s story is equally odd. She played organized basketball for exercise and she tried other sports, but found herself bored one day during the offseason.
“I started hitting the bags and working out on my own and somebody noticed,” said Roman, who has been fighting professionally for two years. “Before that I had no interest at all in boxing. I had never even seen a boxing match.”
Roman soon found herself boxing amateurs for five years and never left the sport. She doesn’t plan to leave until she accomplishes what Morales accomplished – win a world title.
“I want to be a champion,” Roman says.
Morales understands that there can be only one winner. It’s the primary reason she trains ultra-hard and leaves nothing to chance.
“Every time I get ready for a fight I do all that I can in training,” said Morales, who recently signed with Arqangel Promotions to help her get exposure and more fights. “I don’t get nervous because I prepare the same way every time. It doesn’t matter who I’m fighting, I prepare as if she is the best boxer in the world.”
Katherine Rodriguez, a promoter with Arqangel, said, “Crystal always fights with a lot of heart. It’s why she is a world champion.”
A number of excellent fight cards are scheduled to take place, including a heavyweight match between Deon Elam (12-1, 6 Kos) and Geovanni Sarran (4-6). Elam is a former participant in The Contender television reality series. Other fighters set to step in the ring are Anthony Villarreal, Daniel Franco, Charles Martin and Humberto Zatarain.
First bout begins at 5 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the door.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV