WBC light flyweight champion Ibeth “La Roca” Zamora Silva (27-5, 12 KO’s ) successfully defended her title for the eighth time Saturday night, stopping previously undefeated Nina Stojanovic (9-1, 3 KO’s) in the third round of their scheduled 10 round contest at Gimnasio Municipal in Mexico. Body shots by Silva dropped the challenger in the second frame, with the champ wrapping things up at the 1:17 mark of the following round. It was her third straight stoppage win and her shortest fight in five years.
In a contest for the vacant WBO bantamweight title, Sabrina Maribel Perez (15-0-1, 2 KO’s) remained undefeated and claimed the belt with a 10 round unanimous decision over Alondra Garcia (16-3-1, 1 KO) in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Both fighters came in with lesser titles to their credit; Garcia as the WBC Youth light flyweight title holder and Perez as the interim WBO champ in the super bantamweight class. Final scores were 97:93, 98:92, and 96:94 all for Perez.
Eun Hye Lee (9-1, 4 KO’s) of South Korea scored a second round TKO of Thailand’s Nongnun Mor Krungthepthonburi (5-4-1) in front of a home crowd at the Seohee Youth Culture Center in Icheon City. Lee scored two knockdowns in the second round before the fight was waved off; the win earned Lee the previously vacant WIBA flyweight title, she briefly held the WBO light flyweight belt in 2015.
Irish Olympian Katie Taylor (1-0, 1 KO) kicked off her pro career with a bang, scoring a third round stoppage over Karina Kopinska (7-15-3, 2 KO’s) at Wembley Arena in London.
It was a one sided contest for as long as it lasted; the 2012 Olympic gold medalist displayed impressive hand and foot speed, mounting a body attack early on and scoring with incredibly fast combinations before the scheduled six round bout was stopped halfway through the third frame. She was barely hit by Kopinska, a 25 fight pro that had only been stopped once prior to this contest
Taylor entered the pros after a highly successful amateur career that includes an Olympic gold medal, five World Amateur Championship gold medals, and and six gold medals in the European Amateur Championships. She finished third in the 2016 World Amateur Championships and lost in the quarter finals of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
Putting this year behind her, she’s now focused on becoming just as successful in the paid ranks. Competing now as a lightweight, she’s already voiced her desire to become multiple division world champion and fight for a world title in Ireland.
Promoter Eddie Hearn summed up the impressive display perfectly: “it couldn’t have gone any better…forget women’s boxing, forget men’s boxing, it’s just boxing, and Katie Taylor can fight”. She’s scheduled to face an opponent to be named in two weeks at Manchester Arena in Lancashire and Hearn also has plans to bring her Stateside next year.
Two time Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields (1-0) notched her first win as a pro last night, scoring a shut out decision over Franchon Crews (0-1) in a four round contest at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The bout was broadcast online and by select cable and satellite providers as part of the free-view portion of the nights pay per view card headlined by Andre Wards 12 round decision over Sergey Kovalev.
The amateur rivals put on a highly entertaining bout; Crews came out aggressive from the start, but was unable to match the speed and technical skill of Shields, who beat her to the punch repeatedly and never lost focus despite being shoved to the canvas twice. She took all four rounds on the judges’ scorecards resulting in a 40-36 decision across the board.
Give Crews credit where it’s due though, despite being outgunned and appearing winded at the fights mid-point, she never took a step back, and landed some solid punches but just couldn’t land the one big shot that could turn the fight around.
The two had faced off three times in the amateur ranks, with a 2012 win over Crews in the Olympic trials setting the stage for Shields to become American boxing’s first female gold medalist. She became the first American boxer to win back-to-back gold medals this summer in Rio when she defeated Nouchka Fontijn in the Olympic final.
Shields said she hopes to fight again in January or February.
Jim is one of the Tribunes original members and has been Involved in the sport for over 35 years as a competing amateur, fight collector, and computer fight simulator. Follow him on Twitter: @_GreenMachine_