It’s been a slow start all around, but the first two women’s world title bouts of the new year took place this past Friday night, one in Venezuela and the other in Laredo, Texas.
At the Polideportivo José María Vargas in La Guaira, Venezuela, interim WBA bantamweight champ Mayerlin Rivas (11-3-1, 8 KO’s) became the divisions “regular” world champion, stopping Calixta Silgado (12-5-2, 8 KO’s) in five rounds to win the vacant WBA strap. She had failed in two prior world title attempts dating back to 2012. The win marks her third straight, and her second straight win by stoppage; in August she defeated Arely Valente by ninth round TKO.
Silgado also has a number of failed title attempts, with this loss being her third in three different weight divisions, having also fought for the featherweight and super feather weight titles. She has a regional title loss as a super bantamweight as well.
In a six round under card bout, Debora Rengifo (4-0, 1 KO) remained undefeated with a six round win over Basilia Mancilla (0-3-1).
In Laredo, Texas, IFBA flyweight champion, “The Hawaiian Mongoose” Eileen Olszewski (10-5-3, 1 KO) successfully defended her title, taking a 10 round unanimous decision over Christina Fuentes (3-7-5) by narrow scores of 95-94 twice, and 96-93. It was the second meeting between the two, who fought to an eight round draw in a non-title bout in September.
It was a back-and-forth contest, with Fuentes winning the toe-to-toe exchanges and Olszewski having the advantage where she chose to box. The deciding factor when all was said and done was a first round knockdown scored by Olszewski, which secured her the 10-8 round she needed to pull ahead on two of the judge’s scorecards.
Since her fourth bout in 2007, Olszewski’s been a steady figure in the world title picture. She’s a two-time WIBA flyweight champion, and a former GBU titleholder in the same division. She’s also scored draws against Nadia Raoui and Stefania Bianchini in world title challenges (Raouoi won a rematch), and lost to Melissa McMorrow and Patricia Alcivar where the New York State title was up for grabs. She won the IFBA belt in September of 2013, winning a rematch with Alcivar by eighth round TKO and followed up with a six round win that earned her the vacant UBF flyweight title.
Fuentes has won just two of her last 12 contests, both wins being four round decisions over opponents without a victory on their record. She lost an IFBA bantamweight title bout in 2013 to Christina Ruiz.
“Women in Combat Sports” will be this year’s theme for the Tucker Center Film Festival, to be held February 2nd at the TCF Bank Stadium DQ Indoor Club Room at the University of Minnesota. This is the fifth anniversary of the TCFF, and is just one of more than over 1,000 events nationwide that will celebrate the National Girls and Women in Sport Day. The three films that will be featured are “The Heat”, “espnW Nine for IX Short: Rowdy Ronda Rowsey”, and “Outside the Ring”.
Congress has proclaimed the National Girls and Women in Sport Day each year since 1987. It recognizes the progress of females in sports and the benefits that sports and fitness activities can bring to their lives.