Female Fight Card Sparks Expectations for 2012
By David A. Avila
Crowds for the two female world title bouts in Las Vegas were not huge but included UFC’s Dana White, middleweight world champion Sergio Martinez and various female prizefighters anxious to support their trade.
In a nip and tuck battle Puerto Rico’s Ada Velez (20-3-3, 6 KOs) made adjustments from their first encounter to win by majority decision over hometown Las Vegas fighter Melinda “La Maravilla” Cooper (21-2, 11 KOs) on Sunday at the Texas Station Casino.
Last March Cooper lost to Velez in
Many people are looking toward 2012 as the “year of women boxing” especially as the Olympics will finally include female amateur boxing for the first time in its history.
Pro boxing is not hesitating as Velez and Cooper put on a fearsome show with back and forth punching on Sunday at the Texas Station.
Combinations by Cooper landed early and Velez landed some good single right hands in round one with neither fighter needing to get warm. It was a very busy first round as it looked like Cooper was going for the knockout early.
Even exchanges took place in round two as Cooper looked to be landing the big shots and Velez was countering with her own. Both landed big blows with neither backing up. Left hooks by Cooper were followed by left hands from Velez.
Stiff right hands by Cooper landed in round three. Velez fought off the blows and for the next several rounds the fight was taken inside as both fighters seemed to collide heads several times. Holding and hitting by Velez was not stopped by the referee so she continued.
A solid right uppercut during a clinch at the bell was the best punch landed by Velez who used the holding and hitting tactic for several rounds until she seemed to tire in round seven. Cooper began to follow the Puerto Rican fighter who looked like she needed a breather and landed several single shot right hands.
Back and forth each fighter banged with Cooper able to slip more punches down the last three round stretch, but Velez battled during each exchange. At the end of round nine Velez returned to her corner with a look of serious pain.
The final round saw Velez land a stiff left cross with Cooper moving inside and landing multiple punches. Both fired with Cooper landed several lead right hands and then Velez returned fire inside. It was Cooper’s round but the fight was never clear cut.
One judge scored it 95-95, the other two 98-92 and 97-93 for Velez. It was a much closer fight than the two scores indicated but Velez was the winner. Both fighters showed a lot of skill in their 10-round battle. It was a good day for women’s boxing.
Other title bout
A Santana right hand dropped Reile in round two and a point deduction from an intentional head butt gave the Dominican a five-point edge by the third round. From there on it was just a matter of staying on her feet and she did.
Reile’s conditioning and strength kept her in the fight as she continued forward and Santana began tiring after round seven. Both exchanged evenly with the challenger firing more blows as Reile kept her guard high.
In round nine both clashed heads and tangled each other up.
During one clinch Reile stopped to yell “She bit me.” The fight resumed. All
three judges scored it for Santana 97-90, 98-90, 97-91. Last March, Reile beat
Female champions attend
Attending the female co-main events in
Fights on television
Sat. HBO, 7:30 p.m., Saul Alvarez (38-0-1) vs. (33-4-1).