Boxing notes: Knight running out of foes

Boxing notes: Knight running out of foes
May 11, 2013, 10:45 am
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Both Ava Knight (left) and her challenger Linda Soto weighed in at 111.75 pounds for Saturday's title fight. (Pepe Rodriguez)

Believe it or not, Northern California houses all three of the female world titleholders in the flyweight division—Chico’s Ava Knight (WBC/IBF), San Francisco’s Melissa McMorrow (WBO), and Watsonville’s Carina Moreno (WBA).  

Unfortunately, because of politics and money, they’ll probably never fight each other and have resorted to defending their belts overseas because the women’s sport is mostly an afterthought in the United States right now.

“The U.S. isn't ready for the women to come back,” said Knight (NorCal No. 5; 11-1-3, 5 KOs), an electric boxer-puncher who takes on Linda Soto on Saturday.  “We will just continue to fight abroad until a name or someone with power and cares comes out of the bushes to support us.”

With McMorrow and Moreno choosing to campaign in Germany, Knight has run out of worthy challengers at 112 pounds and is pondering a move up to the 115-pound super flyweight limit after facing Soto (5-2, 3 KOs) in Toluca, Mexico.

“It may be temporary, but I guess I will go where the fights are at.  If the flyweights are unwilling to fight, I must move on,” said the 24-year-old Knight, who works with top Bay Area trainer Ben Bautista.

Knight, the highest-rated champion out of the three NorCal natives, signed with Mexican promoter Hector Garcia in 2011 and is seeking her sixth straight win in as many fights south of the border.  

In fact, all but one of those bouts came against a Mexican fighter, which has earned her the nickname “La Destructora de Mexicanas” (“The Mexicutioner”), reminiscent of the moniker Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao received during his run through the lower weight classes.  

Like Pacquiao, Knight has not embraced it with open arms, citing circumstance rather than intent behind her recent string of Mexican opposition.

“I hate to say that they have given me the name only because I've been fighting in Mexico and fighting Mexicans, but reality is, I work hard to beat everyone, not just them,” said Knight, who is of Polish and African-American descent.”

In the meantime, “The Lady of Boxing” will continue to ply her trade in a foreign country, and she’s not holding her breath for American boxing promoters to start pushing female fighters to the masses the way UFC president Dana White has successfully done with Ronda Rousey.

“Ronda has done a great job setting a great example for women in MMA and she has set new records for them,” Knight said.  “We women [boxers] had [Laila] Ali, [Christy] Martin and Mia [St. John].  They all made big cards and TV.  They retired and the rest of us women went back to struggling.  They left us for the dogs, and I feel we are on our own.”


San Francisco’s Karim Mayfield has taken a page out of Robert Guerrero’s playbook, beginning an all-out verbal assault on WBA/RING junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia in hopes of luring him into a title fight.

The 32-year-old Mayfield (17-0-1, 10 KOs), ranked fourth by the WBA, caused a commotion when he confronted Garcia in the Las Vegas MGM Grand media room following Floyd Mayweather’s win over Guerrero last Saturday.

Mayfield once sparred Garcia (26-0, 16 KOs) in his native Philadelphia and even made a rap video calling him out.  Though Garcia’s promoter, Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer, informed that his fighter would likely return in September against next Saturday’s Lamont Peterson-Lucas Matthysse winner, stranger things have happened.  

After all, the boxing world dismissed Guerrero when he first targeted Mayweather through the media.  Two years and $3 million later, the Gilroy native got the last laugh.


A trio of Region 11 amateurs is representing Team USA at the Victory Day tournament in Uman, Ukraine, this week, with the first two eliminated by Ukrainians in Thursday’s quarterfinals.  

In the 138-pound division, Napa SAL’s Brandon Trejo was stopped on cuts in the second round by Alexander Schet, while Westmoor High’s Suray Mahmutovic (415 BC, S.F.) was outpointed by fellow 178-pounder Richard Gomesh.

110-pounder Evan Sanchez (Fresno PAL), the lone Region 11 boxer remaining, fights on Saturday.


Ruben “Dracula” Villa, Isidro Ochoa, and other future stars compete at the Region 11 Junior Olympic Championships on Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Coyote Valley Casino in Redwood Valley.  

The tournament pits the Northern and Central California champs against each other, with the winners advancing to the National Junior Olympics from June 26-29 in Mobile, Ala.  

For the full list of bouts and unopposed champions, check out my blog at

Ryan Maquiñana is the Boxing Insider at Follow him on Twitter @RMaq28.

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