There’s no quit in Melissa McMorrow. This Saturday, February 28th, the former world flyweight champ will go south of the border for the third straight time to face undefeated WBO flyweight champion Kenia Enriquez (13-0, 6 KO’s). At just 21 years old, Enriquez is one of the top rising stars in female boxing and is making the first defense of the title she won just three months ago.
For McMorrow, a 33 year old out of San Francisco, California with a 9-5-3, (1 KO) record, this is yet another trip to the lion’s den. This will be her 10th straight bout fought on her opponents’ home turf, but that doesn’t faze the former flyweight champ, it’s just part of doing business.
She’s picked up some big wins along the way, defeating both Susie Kentikian and Nadia Raoui in Germany in WBO and WIBF flyweight title bouts, but has also been the victim of questionable scoring; this was the case with her last two fights, both in Mexico, where she was outpointed by Mariana Juarez and Jessica Chavez in contests that many felt should have been scored in her favor.
We had a chance to speak with Melissa as she prepares for this Saturday’s contest:
JM: Did you have any reservations about taking this fight in Enriquez’s back yard, given her rising popularity and your prior experiences with scoring fighting in Mexico?
MM: I do have reservations in terms of whether or not it will be judged fairly, but I have no reservations about my ability to win the fight. Regardless of external factors, I will bring my best fight.
JM: About being judged fairly; you were the victim of what many felt was questionable scoring in your last two fights against Mariana Juarez and Jessica Chavez, is that something you’re taking into consideration as you prepare for this contest? Will it affect your strategy in this fight?
MM: I am not dwelling on the past. I have prepared well for this fight and am always working to better my skills. I am sure it will show.
JM: You have an edge in experience, having faced better opposition than Enriquez. How will that experience come into play?
MM: I do think it I will be a factor, and I don’t think she has seen a fighter like me. We’ll see how she deals with pressure.
JM: It always seems like you’re the one having to travel to your opponents’ hometown for the big fights, this being your 10th bout on the road. Does it ever get frustrating having to be the “runner”, or do you view it as just part of the game?
MM: It has always been the case so I see it as part of the game. I love to travel and like to see the world, though it does wear on me if I don’t get a decision that I think I deserve.
JM: Going back to your last two fights in Mexico, any luck in securing rematches? Do you think either one wants to face you again?
MM: I really don’t know, but I do think I had the upper hand on both of them. Neither one has reached out to me, but really, I want a shot at real titles. Both of them hold the WBC International title and I want a shot at the world title.
JM: What about Susi Kentikian? She lost to Carina Moreno after you beat her, and faced Moreno again within a few months; did she ever reach out to you for a rematch?
MM: No. I was contracted with a promoter in Germany- essentially in anticipation of a rematch between the two of us but she turned it down over and over and refused to fight me again. Somehow she is now ranked #1 on boxrec.com again while dodging me.
JM: There were some promotional issues after you won that fight, what happened there?
MM: I signed with a promotional company in Germany. As I said before, I think they anticipated a rematch between the two of us. However, Susi kept turning down the fight so the contract kept stringing out without the promoter putting me on any fights. After a year I walked away from the contract because I was not active. This made the WBO vacate my belt because I hadn’t defended it in the required time frame.
JM: Well, this is an opportunity for you to become a two time WBO world champion, anything you’d like to add?
MM: I’m looking to recapture my belt against Kenia!!!