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Four intriguing weight classes to look forward to in 2018
December 19, 2017
Photo Credit: Sue Fox
     
   
   

A key date in securing the long-term future for Women's boxing, as a competitive sport came on the 14th August 2009. That day was so significant because it was announced by the International Olympic Committee’s Executive Board whom had approved the inclusion of women’s boxing for the Games in London for the 2012 Olympics. Since that milestone was agreed, the sport has gone from strength to strength at all levels.

The female version of pugilism has had various guises over the years in attempts to equal its male equivalent. The United States of America has been the major hotbed of the professional side of the sport, but the balance is changing as fast as the sport's growth.


Photo Credit:  Katie Taylor/Facebook

South America and specific parts of Europe – namely United Kingdom – has shown a vast increase of interest within Women's boxing, both from a participation and spectator perspective. It is less than 20 years since Female boxers were able to hold a professional licence to box in Great Britain, but with the successful Olympic performances of GB star Nicola Adams and Ireland's Katie Taylor in recent years, the sport has rapidly gained new notoriety and interest.


Photo Credit:  Nicola Adams/Facebook

2018 promises to be an exciting and intriguing year for the sport, and here we will look at three weight classes that will hopefully provide some excellent bouts in the months ahead.

Super Welterweight

The Super welterweight category is for female boxers who weigh no more than 154lbs or 69.9kg as its metric equivalent. Costa Rican fighter, Hanna Gabriels currently holds the World Boxing Association (WBA) and World Boxing Organisation (WBO) belts. The 34-year-old is unbeaten in her last five bouts, with her last defeat back in February 2013 against the outsider Oxandia Castillo of the Dominican Republic. Gabriels avenged that defeat in her most recent fight by gaining a unanimous points decision over Castillo to improve her impressive record to 18 wins – 11 stoppages - from 20 fights, with one defeat and one drawn contest.

International Boxing Federation (IBF) champion Chris Namus won the vacant super-welterweight belt back in August with a points victory over Argentinian, Yamila Esther Reynoso. Namus has since had one successful defence her Uruguayan compatriot, Katia Alvarino. Namus took on the brave challenge to face Norwegian female boxing legend, Cecilia Braekhus at welterweight back in February 2016, but was – like 31 others – defeated. Namus may look to secure a unification bout with Gabriels in 2018, to determine the leading lady of this exciting category.

Lightweight

For fighters who can maintain their weight under 135lbs (61.2kg). The future of the Lightweight division is likely to evolve around two main protagonists. Firstly, Belgian boxing star, Define Persoon is widely regarded as one of the pound-for-pound best female fighters on the planet. The 32-year-old has tasted just one defeat in her 40-professional fight career, and currently holds the World Boxing Council Lightweight (WBC) belt.

Rising star, Ireland's Katie Taylor is ultimately on a collision course to take on Persoon, perhaps in 2018. After winning Olympic gold back in 2016, Taylor decided to turn professional – and has not looked back since. The Irish star won the WBA Lightweight title in only her seventh professional contest, as the 31-year-old outpointed Anahi Esther Sanchez in October. Taylor wasted little time in returning to the ring to face American, Jessica MaCaskill recently, with Taylor continuing her impressive rise up the Lightweight ranks. Surely the bout between these two stars will happen, and what a contest it may prove to be!

Super Flyweight

This category is for boxers under the 115lbs (52.2kg) limit. The Super Flyweight division is littered with South American stars, with Mexican, Guadalupe Martínez Guzmán being one of the most prominent fighters in the division. Guzmán holds the WBC title, but is without a perfect record. The 25-year-old has 16 wins and nine defeats from her 25 bouts, but has suffered just one defeat in her last 10 contests.

Her upturn in form could offer a rematch with IBF champion, Débora Anahí Dionicius of Argentina. Dionicius is unbeaten in her 26-fight career so far, and already has Guzmán as one of her victims back in 2013. Despite having only two previous professional contests, British fighter, Nicola Adams could gate crash the Super Flyweight scene in 2018. At 35 years of age, time is against Adams, but the double Olympic champion has the talent to usurp the best fighters in this weight division. 

 
     
     
   
 
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