Posts Tagged ‘Jelena Mrdjenovich

01
Aug
15

Ever the optimist, the longer view of women in boxing

Ever the optimist, the longer view of women in boxing           

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Heather “The Heat” Hardy (13-0) fights Renata Domsodi (12-6) on 8/1 at the Barclay’s Center on PBC’s Daniel Santos v. Paulie Malignaggi card.

My day job has me pretty busy these days, but it hasn’t stopped me from coming to the gym upwards of three days a week—working as hard as a 60+ girlboxer can to learn to slip my trainer’s straight rights and hooks and gain more savvy in the ring.

IMG_4729“Damn” is about all I can say about those unseen punches, but I have been moving a heck of a lot more in the twelve-foot squared circle we spar in, which has given me my latest “eureka” moment when it comes to boxing, and after four tough rounds last Saturday I thought, “so that’s what it means to set up punches.”

It’s the “seeing more” that got me thinking and the idea that stepping back while in the pocket of engagement, gives anyone of us the opportunity to place ourselves in the grander scheme of things.

So too with women’s boxing.

If we step back for a moment, we can see enormous shifts.

The amateur game has never been better in the United States and globally, with young girls entering the sport as young as seven and eight, and contesting it with remarkable prowess right on through the Elite women, such as 2012 Gold Medalist Claressa Shields, who on the heals of her stunning performances at the 2015 Pan American Games, where she won gold, will contest the sport with vigor alongside her brilliant boxing sisters in the 2016 Rio Games.

Claressa Shields Pan Am medal stand 800

On the professional side, the view form the United States may seem bleak, but the excitement of the sport in places such as Argentina where Canada’s Jelena Mrdjenovich (35-9-1) is putting her WBC world female featherweight title on the line against the other Matthysee, Edith Soledad Matthysse (13-7-1) as the main event on top flight card in Buenos Aires, gives hope of opportunities to come.

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There’s also a main event bout in Brandenberg, Germany tonight between SuperFeatherweights Ramona Kuehne (22-1) and Doris Koehler (12-13-2), a WIBA World Minimum Weight title fight in South Korea between titleholder Ji Hyun Park (21-2) and Gretchen Abaniel (15-7), and a main event ten-rounder between Esmeralda Moreno (30-701) and Jessica Nery Plata (15-0) in Michoacán de Ocampo, Mexico.

In the United States Heather “The Heat” Hardy (13-0) will be facing Renata Domsodi (12-6) in an eight rounder on the Danny Garcia v. Paulie Malignaggi card to be fought at Brooklyn’s premiere boxing venue, Barclay’s Center. This will be Hardy’s third appearance on a major card at Barclay’s and while once again, her fight will not be broadcast, she is creating momentum in the sport and along with the able work of her promoter Lou DiBella, is on the precipice of being televised rather sooner than later.

Most recently in late May, world champion Amanda “The Real Deal” Serrano (24-1-1) appeared on CBS Sports in a six-rounder against Fautima Zarika Kangethe (24-11-2), the first female bout to appear on the network since the late 1970s. That is pretty heady stuff, and despite the sense that the sport continues to decline in the US, I’m feeling rather more optimistic.

The fact that Elite amateur boxing star and Olympic gold medal winner Katie Taylor will appear on boxer Andy Lee’s fight card on September 19th is also a step forward—especially since Andy has been such a vocal supporter of the sport and of Taylor’s importance to female athletics not only in their native Ireland, but around the world. He’s also a very visible fighter in the US and his recent statements in support of Taylor and women in the sport against his upcoming oppenent Billy Joe Saunders’ rather sexist remarks have gotten a lot of play here.

In the United States, the phenomenal success and incredible skill of Ronda Rousey (who fights on the UFC 190 PPV main event tonight) have firmly placed women’s MMA in the spotlight. Boxing stars such as Holly Holm are finding success crossing over into the the sport and in doing so are putting female boxers in the spotlight.

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While I have my theories as to why women’s boxing died on the vine vis-à-vis the media in the middle oughts (a piece for another day), women never stopped entering the ring—which has meant the sport has continued to improve by leaps and bounds.

The women of the ring circa 2015, are faster, stronger, better trained and perhaps even more motivated than their sisters who fought 19 years ago when Christy Martin graced the cover of Sports Illustrated.

Christy Martin, Boxing April 15, 1996 x50289 Credit: Brian Smith- freelance

Christy Martin, April 15, 1996, Photo Credit: Brian Smith

Is there a lot wrong with the sport?

Yes.

Inequity, lousy pay (if any), and a PROFOUND lack of respect.

Still, women box, and continue to claim their rightful place in the ring!

29
Jan
13

Jazzing with Melissa Hernandez…

Jazzing with Melissa Hernandez…

Melissa Hernandez v. Jelena Mrdjenovich, Credit:  Rob T Sports Photography/ Rob Trudeau

Melissa Hernandez v. Jelena Mrdjenovich, WBC Title Fight, Credit: Rob T Sports Photography/ Rob Trudeau

There is really no other way to describe WBC Female Featherweight Champion Melissa “HuracanShark” Hernandez in the ring than to say she is pure jazz.

Her fighting style is the essence of improvisation: bending the canon of what is possible in boxing with her left and deconstructing her opponents with each of her pounding rights.

The boxing maxim “kill the body and the head dies” is nothing more than a sophomoric adage as Hernandez dips and twirls her fists in a perfect prose of confusion and mind-numbing brilliance–so much so that watching her is the visual equivalent of the best mash-up that jazz could ever offer.

Supremely confident in her repertoire of boxing movements, she is pure poetry in motion: a swirling, stunning, harming, mugging, hilarious mixture of impossible postures, feints and straight-no-chaser jab, jab, jab, straight right, left hook to the body devastation.

Melissa Hernandez v. Jelena Mrdjenovich, WBC Title Fight, 9/14/2012 (highlights)

I had the opportunity to see her in action recently at Gleason’s Gym. She was sparring, working three rounds with one fighter before the next fighter would move on into the ring. I didn’t get a chance to speak with her so I never did find out why she was in town–but it didn’t really matter. She was so at home, so assured that the years she’s been in Miami seemed to peel away.

The “Huracan” at work, Credit: Mischa Merz

The thing about her as a fighter is she is comfortable in her own skin; so comfortable that she can take as many risks as she needs because there is never any hesitation. It’s as if her prowess in the ring is programmed into her DNA. That is how sure she is.

Sue TL Fox of WBAN had a recent interview with Hernandez worth checking out (link here). Hernandez is waiting for another chance to fight and has otherwise publicly challenged Argentina’s Alejandra Oliveras to put up or shut up when it comes to wanting a WBC title. Time will tell on that one, and meanwhile, Hernandez trains at the 5th Street Gym in Miami, while acting as a trainer to a group of young fighters. With any luck, we’ll get to see her in action soon.

Melissa Hernandez v. Jelena Mrdjenovich, 6/24/2011 (complete fight)

27
Jun
11

Friday night fights: Women’s Boxing Results!

Friday night fights: Women’s Boxing Results!

Truth be told, I’m still over the moon about the tremendous efforts shown by the top amateur women’s boxers at the 2011 Nationals in Colorado Springs!  Talk about a wow! There was, however, even more terrific fighting around the pro ranks.  Here’s a smattering of what happened in Friday night action:

Ana Julaton (r) and Angel Gladney, Photo: MPSportsimages

Ana “The Hurrican” Julaton (9-2-1, 1-KO) stepped up in weight to the 128lb weight class to defeat Angel “Non-Stop” Gladney (6-4-1, 5-KO’s) in a slug-fest on Friday night at the Dade County Auditorium on Friday night. The non-title bout proved Julaton’s punching power in the 8-round toe-to-toe match of skills and power.  Julaton’s promoter Allan Tremblay was quoted as saying “This is the best performance I’ve ever seen out of Ana! She did everything from superior body punching, opening up with the right hand, using the uppercut and of course her signature jab!”

Melissa McMorrow, 2009, Photo: Mario Cabera, Jr.

The New York State Women’s Flyweight Title went to Melissa McMorrow (5-2-3) in a split decision over Eileen Olsezwski (7-3-2).  The fight was the co-feature at the Cordon Bleu in Woodhaven, Queens on Friday night (6/24) with the judges scoring the bout 78-74 McMorrow, 78-74 Olsezwski and 79-93 McMorrow.   It should be noted that Olsewski, the women’s WIBA and GBU title holder retained her titles as the bout was not a santioned championship fight for those titles.  McMorrow lost her previous fight to Gleason’s own Keisher Mcleod-Wells in a squeaker.

Melissa "Huracan" Hernandez @ Gleason's Gym

At the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton, Canada, Gleason’s own Melissa “Huracan” Hernandez (15-2-3, 5-KO’s) was a last-minute opponant against boxer Jelena Mrdjenovich (24-8-1, 12 KO’s), but that didn’t stop her!  Hernandez took the fight with a split decision.

Mrdjenovich’s original oponnent was Bosnia’s Irma Balijagic Adler in what had been promoted as a WIBA featherweight title headliner on KO Boxing’s seven-bout No Turning Back card. Adler was scratched from the fight on Wednesday after she tested positive for hepatitis B.


07
Feb
11

Women’s Boxing Results plus a Daily News Golden Gloves Week Four reminder

Women’s boxing results plus a Daily News Golden Gloves week four reminder.

“Lethal” Lindsay Garbatt vs. Jelena Mrdjenovich

Philboxing.com is reporting that this weekend’s title rematch between Lindsay “Lethal” Garbatt (6-3-1) and challenger Jelena Mrdjenovich (26-6-1)  for the WIBA Super Featherweight championship took the fight of the night status and is the kind of match that *should* be on a PPV undercard.  Garbatt won the fight with a unanimous decision (95-95, 96-95 and 96-94).

Through ten rounds of hard boxing at the WCP Superbrawl held in Barrie, ON, Canada, both women reportedly boxed their hearts out.  Writer Rob Cruz compared the fight to the “female version of the Israel Vazquez vs. Rafael Marquez war in the ring.” Click here for the full story.

WBAN has an article and terrific photos of the fight here.

 

84th Annual Daily News 2011 Golden Gloves Week Four bout reminder!

2/7/2011 – Mount Vernon High School, 100 California Road, Mt. Vernon, NY 10552 (New date & time due to last week’s winter weather cancellation)

2/8/2011- Our Lady of Mount Carmel, 275 North 8th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211

2/9/2011 – WorldWide Boxing Club, 3134 Jerome Avenue, Bronx, NY 10468

2/10/2011 – Manhattanville Community Center, 530 West 133rd Street, New York, NY 10027

2/11/2011 – Tottenville High School, 100 Luten Avenue, Staten Island, NY 10312 (8:00 PM Start Time)

For more information and to check on any changes due to weather, please click here.




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