Saturday night at the Municipal Sports Centre No. 2 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, WBA World featherweight champion Edith Soledad Matthysse (14-7-1), from Trelew, Chubut, Argentina, decisioned WBC World featherweight champion Jelena Mrdjenovich (35-10-1), from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, after 10 rounds of action to unify the WBA and WBC titles.
It was Matthysse’s first defense of her WBA crown. Mrdjenovich is more experienced than Matthysse, more seasoned, looked larger and has more power. She was also riding a seven-fight win streak, including a win over tough-as-nails Melissa Hernandez.
But Matthysse, fighting out of the red corner in green camouflage trunks, can box and box beautifully. Watching her perform is a reminder of why the sport is called boxing. It’s no accident that it’s not called knockout.
Mrdjenovich, fighting out of the blue corner in violet trunks with black trim, had her moments, especially in the first half of the fight. Her heavy hands were something about which Matthysse was aware and for the most part managed to avoid. But as the fight progressed, Matthysse’s superior skills, her ring IQ, her sixth sense of ring geography took control of the fight as she took control of Mrdjenovich and had her opponent swinging at air.
The decision was unanimous. Judge Samuel Conde Lopez (Puerto Rico) had it 96-94, Gustavo Padilla (Panama) saw it 98-92, and Stanley Christodoulou (South Africa) scored it 97-93, all in favor of Matthysse.
The crowd in Argentina gave her a standing ovation at the final bell.
Both the ovation and victory were well deserved.
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.