Friday night at Inselparkhalle in Wilhelmsburg, Hamburg, Germany, Susi “Killer Queen” Kentikian (35-2, 17 KOs), from Hamburg, Germany, by way of Yerevan, Armenia, decisioned Susana Cruz Perez (17-7, 8 KOs), from Tlalnepantla, Mexico, by scores of 97-94, 97-93 and 98-93 to retain her WBA World female flyweight title.
Fighting out of the red corner, Kentikian showed some ring rust after 11 months of inactivity due to issues with her former promoter. An accidental headbutt early in round two drew first blood from above her right eye. Despite the ministrations of her cutman between rounds, the blood was a distraction.
“That was a headbutt,” said Kentikian. “That’s what happens.”
Perez, fighting out of the blue corner, was tougher than the champion expected. Her willingness to take two punches, or three or four punches, to land one of her own forced Kentikian to dig deep. Perez may lack Susi’s superb footwork and combination punching, but she has heart and a rock-solid chin.
“She was tough,” said Kentikian. “I did not think that she would constantly march forward. She is a warrior.”
The “Killer Queen” definitely won the fight, wearing down her opponent as the rounds progressed, but it might have been closer than the scores suggested.
“That was literally a battle,” she said. “I honestly did not expect this.”
Regina Halmich, the legendary flyweight who retired in 2007 with a record of 54-1-1, was handling color commentary for German TV. She expressed her admiration for Susi going out on her own and creating Kentikian Promotions, but felt it might have been a disruption, putting on a nine-fight card, in addition to training for a championship fight.
“I felt how excited Susi was,” said Halmich. “That she has not her old form was clear to see. She had to carry a huge burden and is on the right track. ”
To some extent Susi agrees.
“I had to look after everything myself,” she said. “My mind was not free for boxing. Under these conditions, I am satisfied with the result. But the preparation was not as it should have been. Next time I’ll do it much better. I want no more long pauses. That is not good for me. I’m just happy that I won the fight. It was a battle, because my opponent was much tougher than I had expected. Luckily I could fight until the end.”
This article was penned by the author who is not related to the WBA and the statements, expressions or opinions referenced herein are that of the author alone and not the WBA.