Beautiful Brawlers Pro Female Fight Card Postponed Due To Illness and Injury
By: Ron Scarfone
There is an old adage in boxing to “expect the unexpected” which refers to what happens inside the ring. However, this was true outside the ring as well for boxing promoter Blanca Gutierrez. Her inaugural female professional boxing event scheduled for December 3rd in Pacifica, California had to be deferred until a future date because of unforeseen circumstances. Gutierrez intended to have five fights for this women’s pro boxing card. Previously, Gutierrez promoted her very successful Beautiful Brawlers amateur female boxing tournaments which have attracted competitors from the United States and other countries. This pro boxing series by Gutierrez is intended to showcase the talent emerging from the Beautiful Brawlers amateur boxing tournaments as well as provide opportunities for established professionals.
Dalia Gomez and Temitope Pedro were scheduled to make their pro debuts in separate bouts on the pro boxing event. Both Gomez and Pedro competed in the Beautiful Brawlers amateur tournament. Claudia Gutierrez (no relation to promoter Blanca Gutierrez) was scheduled to fight Katonya Fisher on the pro boxing card in what would have been the best matchup of the event. Unfortunately, the fight was cancelled because Gutierrez was sick. Gutierrez is a legitimate featherweight contender with wins over current International Boxing Federation (IBF) featherweight champion Jennifer Han and former International Female Boxers Association (IFBA) featherweight champion Kelsey Jeffries. Fisher has a win against Jessica McCaskill who was recently signed by Warriors Boxing to a promotional contract. After the Gutierrez versus Fisher fight was cancelled, only four fights remained on the card.
Former world champions Melissa McMorrow and Martha Salazar were scheduled on the card in separate bouts, but the event had to be postponed due to injuries to other boxers. Both McMorrow and Salazar are among the best in their respective divisions despite losing recently in Mexico. Salazar made her first defense of the World Boxing Council (WBC) female heavyweight title against Alejandra Jimenez of Mexico, but lost due to a controversial majority decision. Salazar should have won the vast majority of the rounds based on her landing many more punches. Jimenez’s left eye was swollen and blackened from Salazar’s repetitive right hands. The judge from the United States scored it a 95-95 draw whereas the other two judges scored it in favor of Jimenez. One judge scored it 96-94 in favor of Jimenez. The most biased score was decided by the judge from Mexico who scored it 98-93 in favor of Jimenez.
Recently, WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman stated that there is no fraud or corruption in the scoring of fights. However, Sulaiman admitted that there could be incompetence occasionally. Sulaiman further stated several actions that he recommends should be taken in order to remedy incompetent judging. Sulaiman believes that judges “must always” come from neutral countries for both boxers. Apparently, the WBC does not practice what they preach because the WBC assigned a judge from Mexico in Salazar’s first defense of the WBC female heavyweight title. McMorrow lost in the WBC female flyweight tournament against Esmeralda Moreno of Mexico due to a controversial decision. The scores from McMorrow’s fight against Moreno were 100-90, 100-88, and 98-89 all in favor of Moreno by unanimous decision. In this fight, all three judges had to be either incompetent or biased. Two of the judges did not give a single round to McMorrow even though she was usually better than Moreno throughout the fight.
Promoter Blanca Gutierrez plans on scheduling at least six bouts for a future date of the Beautiful Brawlers pro female fight series. This will provide a cushion in case boxers have to pull out due to illness and/or injury. Athletic/state commissions typically require a minimum amount of rounds for a boxing event to be sanctioned by the commission. Therefore, scheduling more bouts provides a safety net in case boxers are not able to fight and then fights getting cancelled as a result. The boxers who were ready to fight in this event were obviously disappointed about its postponement, but look forward to the future. A few of them came to the Babyface Boxing Gym to train on what would have been the day of the event. The gym is owned by promoter Blanca Gutierrez who also owns Babyface Boxing Promotions.
Salazar expressed her feelings about the event being postponed. “I feel sad, angry, frustrated. This has happened to me before and it’s part of the sport. We can’t control things that happen to other people (such as) injuries or they get sick. You get frustrated in the beginning, but we can do it again some other time,” Salazar said. Salazar also stated her desire to become WBC female heavyweight champion again. “Hopefully, Alejandra (Jimenez) gives me a rematch and I can get that title back.” Salazar said that the media in Mexico were trying to portray her fight against Jimenez as a Mexico versus United States matchup and did not want to acknowledge that Salazar is originally from Mexico. “I was born over there (in Mexico) and I came over here (to the United States) when I was nine. They don’t accept me as Mexican over there (in Mexico),” Salazar said. There was also another reason why the media in Mexico were being less than truthful about Salazar’s nationality. The media in Mexico stated that Jimenez was the first female Mexican heavyweight to win a world title, but actually Salazar was the first because she was born in Mexico. “She’s not the first one. I already made that history. I’m the first Mexican,” Salazar said.