Contenders fall and emerge at Featherweight
Laila Ali hosts Women’s Boxing Wrapup with a quick update from all the goings around in the Featherweight division. As usual, watching from home is Virani MacVicar and Emma McGale.
After recapping some of the more prominent divisions, Laila turns her attention to the Featherweight division.
Laila: “Up first, we have a champion on the comeback trail in Yenifer Perez. Having lost her title to the Empress and then getting knocked out by Kayleigh Parsons, the flamboyant and popular fighter seemed to fade into obscurity. However she returned home to Colombia and rejoined with her old trainer Hector Sanchez. Her return was on a local card in Colombia, where she took on the tough local Mariana Vasquez.”
“Yenifer showed much more of the defensive style that she used in her rise to the top. Eventually, she became much more of an exciting volume puncher, but that style seemed to cause her own downfall.”
Laila: “Returning to her prior style, Yenifer cruised to an easy 8 round decision over Mariana, taking very little damage in the process. It was a return to form from Perez, who continues to hang around in the Featherweight rankings. Perez seems committed to rebuilding at the moment, but she can throw a spanner into a world title picture without a doubt. She could be a threat at Featherweight or Super Featherweight.”
Emma: “Good to see Yenifer back. She’s got talent and a following.”
Virani: “Don’t know if she has the chin. She got KO’d by Kayleigh and Hee Jung.”
Emma: “Sounds like a good opponent for you then.”
Virani: “I’ll take that as a compliment.”
Mechelle Polishes off Lexi Mills
Laila: “One of my favourites on Women’s Boxing Wrap-up was also in action over the weekend, as we saw the former Canadian Featherweight champion take on Lexi Mills.”
“This one was not as close as it should have been on paper. Gauthier seemed to have all the answers for Mills and put an end to the fight in Round 5 when she dropped Mills with a clever shot to the liver.”
Laila: “Mills went down hard and showed no ability to beat the count, after being felled by the Quebecois fighter.”
Emma: “That’s the end of Lexi then. You and I both knocked her out. She’s like the fifth best Featherweight in Canada.”
Virani: “Can’t say I’ll miss her.”
Laila: “Gauthier was coming off a loss to Emma McGale in a fantastic match, but she looked as good as ever in this one. Gauthier and her team have made it public that they are looking for a third and decisive match with Emma, but there’s not been any comment from the Canadian Champion, who recently knocked out Takara Oshima in brutal fashion.“
Virani: “No comment?”
Emma: “She’s below me. What’s the point. Maybe if I need a fight to keep busy.”
Virani: “Love the confidence, babe. I’d love to see a trilogy though, it’s rather visually appealing.”
Emma: “Is that a backhanded way of saying I’m pretty?”
Virani: “Do you really need me to tell you that?”
Laila: “One of the biggest stories of the month in the division has not come from inside the ring, but from outside the ring, where the negotiations between Kayleigh Parsons and Michaela Sommer have been fraught, with both sides accusing the other of trying to sabotage the fight. It seems like the biggest points of contention are the location of the fight and broadcasting rights, with the Final Bell represented Sommer wanting a fight in continental Europe that is broadcasted by Box TV and the camp of Parsons wanting a fight in London broadcast on EBC Sport.”
“Both fighters have taken to Twitter with their frustration about the delay.”
Laila: “Sources have confirmed to me that both sides are confident of getting a deal done, not the least of which because the Twitter war has increased demand from fans to see the matchup as soon as possible.”
Laila: “And last we have a high quality matchup between Wambui Njeri of Denmark and Selina Martinez of the United States. Robinson and Njeri, both top five fighters in Featherweight and Super Featherweight, agreed to meet at a catchweight of 128 pounds. With both being former title challengers, this was a rare case of best agreeing to meet best in the boxing world.”
“Wambui got off to a strong start, being able to use her superior footwork to work with a good 1-2 including a snappy jab from the southpaw, Njeri.”
Laila: “The fight came to a sudden and startling end in the fourth round. A good straight left hand had Martinez reeling a bit and she seemed a little bit hurt. ‘The Chadian Warrior’ kept on the pressure, and a mistake by Selina saw her getting caught by a flush left hook that completely buckled the American’s legs.”
Laila: The veteran Martinez tried to hold on, but Njeri was able to overpower the girl in green and she was able to land another right hand right on the temple of Selina, that seemed to turn of the American’s lights immediately.
Virani: “Gotta respect anyone that can pounce on an opponent that is hurt. That’s not an thing every boxer has. You’ve got that, Emma.”
Emma: “Thanks for noticing.”
Laila: “Martinez went down like a stone, her left arm actually trying to hold on to Wambui. Fortunately for her health, the referee called an immediate stop to the fight, which was protested by absolutely no one. A startling finish from ‘The Chadian Viking’ who despite her powerful build does not often win by KO.”
Virani: “Damn, that is a knockout. I thought she was a nice girl.”
Emma: “Outside of the ring.”
Laila: “The Chadian Viking said afterwards that she hopes to challenge the winner of the Kayleigh Parsons – Michaela Sommer fight, should it ever take place, and for my money, this win has established Njeri as the logical next challenger for the world title. Njeri’s only losses have been to top fighters and displays like this one make her a threat to any champion.”
Emma: “I’d agree with Laila that Wambui is probably the next challenger for the title.”
Virani: “I don’t like being thought of as outside the title picture.”
Emma: “You need one solid win, and that will put you on track. You have an established rivalry with either Michaela or Kayleigh. I wouldn’t worry about it.”
Virani: “You are too logical. I just want to whine.”
Emma: “Oh yes, poor rich beautiful girl.”
Virani: “Shut up. Now let’s see if we can find something good on Netflix.”
I was wondering what the future was going to hold for Perez. Some fighters bounce back after they lose a few important fights while others sink into an abyss and never really recover, their immortality lost forever… Will be interesting to see if she can regain her mojo.
The Sommer/Parsons bad blood was VERY entertaining, both for the choice of words and the characters involved!
Yenifer is one of the characters whose design is just too good to just leave to the side. So I’m happy to have her bounce back.
Kayleigh and Michaela have such opposite personalities, they were always going to spark off of each other like that. Just makes their inevitable clash that much more ‘can’t miss’
A return to form for Yenifer, huh? That’s welcome. Like many other athletes before, she lost her way by leaving her natural assets behind and playing warrior. Sound defending is something she appears to do well. Mariana isn’t given a chance, which has to be frustrating over eight rounds.
Mechelle was merciful by choosing the left hook to the liver to knock Lexi out. No need for facial damage. No concussion. The opponent is incapacitated long enough to be declared out. Such a sweet girl.
I see a budding friendship between Michaela and Kayleigh 😂
That exchange is typical of what happens when fight negotiations get complicated behind closed doors. One of the fighters goes for public pressure to sting the other, and watches as the fans foam at the mouth.
Who’s right? Michaela’s argument about picking a location for money is a powerful one. Boxers want good paydays during their short careers. However, she who has the world title belt has the last word. I wouldn’t expect Kayleigh to budge because she doesn’t have to.
Wambui strikes me as the kind of fighter you want to avoid. Moves well. Got size and strength to probably throw anyone around like a rag doll. She finishes you quickly if she has you hurt. Selina finds out and should stay down even if she can get up.
Yenifer seems to realize how she fell from the top. She lost her work ethic and shifted to a style that she thought would make her more marketable, only to forget one thing – people only pay to see winners. Now she seems like she might be back and hungry again for a title.
Mechelle is sweet :D. Just a little touch of the liver and she incapacitates Lexi for a 10 count. Precise 😀
Michaela and Kayleigh may not exchange Christmas cards this year. Hopefully we get to see them exchange leather though. Michaela wants the fight in Germany and with the backing of Final Bell, no doubt she could get a good payday from such an event. Kayleigh doesn’t seem to care as much. As you said – she doesn’t have to budge, the challenger does.
Wambui puts an exclamation mark on a fight and she seems to be a fighter that is very much at the top of the division, maybe only lacking just a little that would push her over the top. But we’ve only seen her lose to The Empress, so her losses tend to be to quality fighters.
Well this was interesting, good to see what’s going on in the featherweight division with the fighters.
First we have Yenifer making a rise again, glad to see that she’s doing well and not being a party animal lol. She dismantled her opponent pretty well and would be an interesting match for other fighters up in the division.
“Don’t know if she has the chin. She got KO’d by Kayleigh and Hee Jung.”
Coming from the girl who also doesn’t have the best chin, no offense to V of course but that did make me laugh, love her confidence 😂❤️
But I’m really loving Emma’s confidence right now, winning against Takara really means something but a rematch with Michelle would be interesting but I feel that should wait for a later date or maybe sometime next year.
Also it’s nice to see Michelle knocking out Lexi just like V and Emma did. She seriously should just stop boxing while she’s ahead.
And the one that gives me ahead and annoys me to no end….that bling bitch Kayleigh. Seems like her and Michaela are really going at it on Twitter, and wonders why no one likes her.
While I agree with Michaela that the fluke doesn’t like to leave London, but since she’s the champ….she kinda has the right to have the fight placed in her home town….sadly….it would be an interesting match…but as we’ve seen in most of her fights we all know how that ends 😑 V need to hurry up and get back on the rise soon.
And then there’s Wambui who’s also had a good victory recently, she’s an interesting one, I feel like we don’t really see her in action much so it would be cool to see her face off with Michaela or blond bitch for the title, or facing off with V in the future.
Yenifer has traded in partying for hard work and dedication. It’s very hard to remain at the top when you are not putting in your full effort to keep yourself there. But Yenifer has always had the talent to be there. It’s good to see her back in contention.
Haha, though Virani is probably right about Yenifer, you are totally right about Virani. She’s not exactly iron chinned!
Emma’s quite confident. She dismisses a rematch against Mechelle. And she’s probably right, Mechelle, though lovely is not quite on Emma’s level at the moment.
Kayleigh and Michaela get into a Twitter war, and though it’s fun, it would probably be more fun to see them actually fight in the ring.
Wambui is in action a bit, usually fighting people in the top of the ranks. She’s good for sure. As Laila said, shes probably in line to fight for the title or against another top contender. We’ll have to see if she can get a moment to shine…
Oh my goodness, that Twitter spat between Michaela and UK’s greatest champion of all time was fantastic to watch! Is it petty? Yes. Unnecessary? Yes. Was it fun to watch for drama? Yes. It is clear they want hometown advantage, I think that right should go to the champion since it is her prize that is on the line and in theory, a World champion should have a little more leverage than the challenger. I think Michaela should save herself the loss, as I would predict Kayleigh to pull out another big win if it takes place.
Even though they lost, Mariana and Lexi did catch my eyes for potential here. Despite the knocks on Lexi, I don’t think being the 5th best in Canada is a bad thing considering the talent there. Could it be the end? Maybe. But from other times we thought the end came for other boxers, it did end up being just another chapter instead of a final conclusion.
Petty? Unnecessary? Sounds like boxing Twitter to me 😀
Kayleigh of course wants to have a home fight for her first title defence. I would say she’s probably entitled to it, but that’s not to say that others can’t be unhappy with it!
Michaela and Kayleigh is bound to happen though. Maybe it needs to happen in a boat in international waters 😀
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