Headlining a card in Annandale, Virginia, WIBA International welterweight champion Tori Nelson (9-0-3, 1 KO) put what very well may be the final nail in the career coffin of former world champion Mia St. John (47-14-2, 18 KO’s), stopping “The Knockout” in two rounds to retain her title and undefeated record. The stoppage was a surprise all around, as Nelson, who had never scored a stoppage win before, stated in a post-fight interview with Gary Williams that a knockout wasn’t her plan.
Nelson started her pro career as a middleweight, winning the WBC middleweight title in 2011, then the WIBA International middleweight title in 2012 before scoring back to back draws with Teresa Perozzi where the WBA and WBC middleweight belts were contested. She dropped down in weight for her next bout and won the WIBA International welterweight belt, defending it two times including the win over St. John.
This was the third straight loss for the 46 year old St. John, who was stopped in three rounds by Cecilia Braekhus last year. St. John has been a pro since 1997 and a mainstay in the world title picture since 2005, having mixed results but winning titles in the lightweight, welterweight, and light middleweight divisions. Her last victory came in 2012 when she scored a 10 round decision over former world champion Christy Martin to win the vacant WBC light middleweight title.
Two world titles were up for grabs in Osaka, Japan. Yuko Kuroki (11-4-1, 6 KO’s) won her first belt, defeating Mari Ando (11-7, 5 KO’s) to win the WBC minimum-weight championship. Kuroki had lost back to back contests early last year, one being a WBA title bout. She came back with a draw and a TKO win to secure the shot against Ando, who had won the title in her last bout after losing three of her previous four outings.
In the accompanying bout, Nao Ikeyama (14-3-1, 4 KO’s) became the first ever WBO atom-weight champion with a wide 10 round decision over Jessebelle Pagaduan (6-1, 4 KO’s). Ikeyama is a former world titlist, holding the WIBA minimum-weight title in 2007. Pagaduan holds the minimum-weight belt for the Philippines Games & Amusement Board.
California’s Sindy Amador (12-1, 1 KO) won a close split decision over Maria Suarez (8-1-1) dealing Suarez her first pro defeat to retain the IFBA light flyweight title. Last July Amador failed in an attempt to snag the WIBA light flyweight belt when she was outpointed by Jolene Blackshear. She came back in October and won the IFBA strap, beating Amaris Quintana over 10 rounds. This was Suarez’s first title shot and first time going past six rounds. She’s still new to the pro game, taking up the paid ranks less than a year and a half ago.
Undefeated flyweight Raja Amasheh (17-0-1, 4 KO’s) added two more titles to her accomplishments, winning the vacant WBF world and WBC Silver flyweight belts with a 10 round decision over Susana Cruz Perez (15-6, 8 KO’s) in Germany. Amasheh won the WBF super flyweight title in her last contest and had already held the WBF Intercontinental title prior to that. Perez was unsuccessful in two prior world title attempts, but had won the WBC Youth minimum-weight belt last August and won her first defense in October.
IBF super flyweight champion Debora Anahi Dionicius (17-0, 5 KO’s) remained undefeated, beating Alejandra Maria de Lujan Rios (6-6-2) in an eight round non-title bout. The champ won the vacant title in late 2012 and has made five successful defenses since, usually fighting every two to three months. Rios, who has now lost three straight and had never fought in an eight rounder before was obviously chosen to keep Dionicius active being that she hadn’t fought since March.
Xu Chun Yan (5-3, 2 KO’s) held onto the WBC International featherweight title with a seventh round TKO over Sriphrae Nongkipahuyuth (12-4-2, 5 KO’s) in Nanyang, China. It was Yan’s first defense of the belt since defeating Lindsay Garbatt in February. Oddly enough, Nongkipahuyuth is in line for a world title shot next month despite losing two straight contests after being inactive for 17 months.