Centro De Convenciones in Rosarito, Baja California, Mexico played host to a world title double header featuring two of Mexico’s best and most popular champions, Jackie Nava and Kenia Enriquez.
Super bantamweight champion Jackie Nava (32-4-3, 14 KO’s) defended the WBC and WBA titles against Mayra Alejandra Gomez (16-4, 4 KO’s), the WBO bantamweight champ. While Gomez was a game challenger, the difference in skill was evident and by the third round Nava was easily having her way. Things got worse for Gomez over the next two rounds as the champion battered her around the ring, with the referee finally stepping in at the 1:22 mark of round six to stop the contest. Nava has now won seven consecutive title bouts; Gomez’s title was not on the line.
In the accompanying bout, rising star Kenia Enriquez (13-1, 6 KO’s) made the first defense of the WBO flyweight title against former champion Melissa McMorrow (10-5-3, 1 KO). As reported Saturday night by The Boxing Tribune, McMorrow brought the fight to the younger title holder, taking her out of her comfort zone and never letting off the gas. Both fought hard over the 10 round distance, but in the end McMorrow was able to erase the memory of two prior controversial losses and take a split decision, dealing Enriquez her first defeat and becoming a three time world champion. Melissa was also named WBAN’s March Fighter of the Month.
Another double header in Osaka, Japan saw Kumiko Seeser Ikehara (6-1-2, 3 KO’s) and Jessebelle Pagaduan (7-1-1, 4 KO’s) fight to a 10 round draw in a contest for Ikehara’s WBO minimum-weight crown. It was Ikehara’s first title defense since beating Gretchen Abaniel for the vacant belt in September and Pagaduan’s first world title opportunity.
In the night second contest, WBO atom-wieght champion Nao Ikeyama (16-3-1, 4 KO’s) successfully defended her title for the second time, comfortably outpointing Norj Guro (7-4-1, 4 KO’s) over 10 rounds. The 45 year old champ is also a former WIBA minimum-weight title holder and IFBA world title challenger. After a three year stint of inactivity, she returned in late 2013 and has now won four straight contests.
WBF super welterweight champion Anne Sophie Mathis (27-3-1, 23 KO’s) retained the title, fighting to a 10 round draw with former WBO champion Oxandia Castillo (13-2-3, 10 KO’s). Mathis, best known to American fans for her brutal seventh round knockout of Holly Holm in 2011, has now won just one of her last five bouts, and was controversially disqualified in her previous bout with Christina Hammer. That ruling was changed to a no contest after further review.
Castillo’s title reign was short; after a 2013 title winning stoppage of Hanna Gabriel, she was beaten soundly by Cecilia Braekhus in a unification bout followed by a regional title loss against Noni Tenge.
WBC lightweight champion Delfine Persoon (31-1, 15 KO’s) stopped Florence Muthoni (11-5-2, 5 KO’s) in eight rounds in a non-title bout in Belgium. She’s scheduled to defend the belt against EBU champ Nicole Boss in August.
Former multi-division world boxing champion Holly Holm has been building a career in mixed martial arts since 2011. Making her UFC debut Saturday night at UFC 184, Holm remained undefeated in eight contests, scoring a five round split decision over Raquel Pennington in the events co-feature bout. The win puts Holm one step closer to a much anticipated contest with Ronda Rousey, who won her 11th straight match that night with a 14 second submission of Cat Zingano.
According to UFC President Dana White, Holm needs “needs a couple more fights” before a bout with Rousey is considered. Holm recently recovered from a herniated disc, which postponed her UFC debut which was supposed to take place last year.