NorCal Pound-for-Pound Top 10: Déjà vu for Moreno

NorCal Pound-for-Pound Top 10: Déjà vu for Moreno
July 5, 2013, 11:45 am
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Carina Moreno (right) will defend her WBA flyweight title Saturday against Susi Kentikian in Dortmund, Germany. (Rick Noble)

Last December, Carina Moreno brazenly marched into WBA flyweight titleholder Susi Kentikian’s home turf of Germany and brought the belt back to Northern California. 

The pride of Watsonville’s reward?  A return trip to Germany and a rematch on Saturday with Kentikian (30-2, 16 KOs), known as “The Queen Bee” for her ability to sting her foes with swift combinations.

“I've beaten her once.  I can do it again,” said Moreno, who ranks eighth in July’s NorCal Pound-for-Pound Top 10 poll.  “We didn't have a lot of choices.  Top women boxers have to go overseas to get fights.”

In most cases, the defending champion sets the terms.  But this is professional boxing, a sport devoid of a collective bargaining agreement or a czar-like league commissioner enforcing regulations with an iron fist. 

Well, there is the golden rule.  She who has the gold makes the rules.  Though NorCal currently houses the three best professional female flyweights in the world in uncrowned champion Ava Knight, WBO titlist Melissa McMorrow, and Moreno (23-5, 6 KOs), the demand for women’s boxing is still developing in the region.

As a result, Moreno’s most lucrative offer was the redux in Dortmund with Kentikian (whose other loss, incidentally enough, came to McMorrow).  A ten-year veteran of a profession where getting one’s head caved in is more of an inevitable occurrence than an occupational hazard, the 31-year-old Moreno is aware she can’t fight forever.  But while she has had to concede such advantages just to make a living, she hopes her efforts have blazed a path for the next generation of American female fighters.

“It's tough to go to another country.  They don't bring you in to win,” said Moreno, who has also won world titles at strawweight and junior flyweight.  “I've had some tough losses in the past.  For the young amateurs who follow me, it will be better for them in the future.”

Despite the usual concerns of traveling to the opponent’s territory—namely the possibility of impartial officiating—Moreno’s longtime trainer and manager Rick Noble is confident that history will repeat itself on Saturday.

“Carina outworked her and had a better jab in the first fight.  Susi had some big punches, but not enough to win,” Noble said.  “We are concerned about fighting in Germany, but Carina is 100 percent this time.  In the first fight, she had knee problems.  Now she’s moving much better. It will be toe-to-toe.”

Fight fans can catch Moreno-Kentikian online at ran.de’s “Boxen” page at 1:45 p.m. PT.

NOTES

Fresh off his impressive performance on HBO last Saturday, No. 6 Brandon Gonzales has closed within one point of fifth-ranked Ava Knight with the voters.  Moreno has taken sole possession of eighth, as Ana Julaton is now approaching one year of inactivity.

Here’s a look at the latest news surrounding the NorCal Pound-for-Pound top 10 for July.

NOTE: To be eligible for the NorCal P4P Poll, a fighter must officially call Northern California home, with Monterey considered the southernmost point of the region. 

1. Andre Ward, Oakland, super middleweight (26-0, 14 KOs)

LAST POLL: 1st
POINTS: 150 (14 first-place votes)
BIRTHDATE: 2/23/1984 (age 29)
TITLES HELD: WBA (world), RING (world)

PREVIOUS WORLD TITLES: WBC super middleweight
LAST FIGHT: Won by TKO10 over Chad Dawson for WBA/WBC/RING super middleweight titles (Sept. 8, 2012)
NEXT FIGHT: TBA

PROMOTER: Goossen Tutor/Antonio Leonard

THE LATEST: “S.O.G.” was unsuccessful in obtaining a split from longtime promoter Dan Goossen as the state commission upheld their existing contract.  Ward then left the door open for reconciliation and a September return as long as Goossen acknowledged the presence of manager James Prince and co-promoter Antonio Leonard in negotiations with HBO.

RELATED: [Ward comments on Goossen, denies Top Rank rumors]

 

2. Nonito Donaire, San Leandro, junior featherweight (31-2, 20 KOs)

LAST POLL: 2nd

POINTS: 132
BIRTHDATE: 11/16/1982 (age 30)
TITLES HELD: None

PREVIOUS WORLD TITLES: IBF flyweight, WBA interim jr. bantamweight, WBC/WBO bantamweight, IBF/WBO/RING jr. featherweight
LAST FIGHT: Lost by UD12 vs. Guillermo Rigondeaux for WBO/WBA/RING jr. featherweight titles (Apr. 13, 2013)
NEXT FIGHT: TBA

PROMOTER: Top Rank

THE LATEST: “The Filipino Flash” seems to be headed toward a rematch in late October or early November with either Guillermo Rigondeaux (12-0, 8 KOs), who outpointed him in New York three months ago, or Vic Darchinyan (39-5-1, 28 KOs), whom Donaire spectacularly knocked out in 2007.

 

3. Robert Guerrero, Gilroy, welterweight (31-2-1, 18 KOs)

LAST POLL: 3rd
POINTS: 123
BIRTHDAY: 3/27/1983 (age 30)
TITLES HELD:
None

PREVIOUS WORLD TITLES: IBF featherweight (twice), IBF jr. lightweight, WBA/WBO interim lightweight, WBC interim welterweight
LAST FIGHT: Lost by UD12 to Floyd Mayweather for WBC welterweight title (May 4, 2013)

NEXT FIGHT: TBA

PROMOTER: Golden Boy
THE LATEST: “The Ghost” has already taken to Twitter to call out “Dancing with the Stars” contestant Victor Ortiz (29-4-2, 22 KOs) for a fall fight.  His other option could be the July 27 winner between Jesus Soto-Karass (27-8-3, 17 KOs) and Andre Berto (28-2, 22 KOs), the latter of whom Guerrero defeated last year by decision.

 

4. Karim Mayfield, San Francisco, junior welterweight (17-0-1, 10 KOs)

LAST POLL: 4th

POINTS: 101
BIRTHDATE: 12/14/1980 (age 32)
TITLES HELD: NABO (regional)

PREVIOUS WORLD TITLES: None
LAST FIGHT: Won by UD10 over Mauricio Herrera for NABO jr. welterweight title (Oct. 27, 2012)

NEXT FIGHT: TBA
PROMOTER: Top Rank
THE LATEST: Fillmore’s “Hard Hitta” signed a multiyear deal with Top Rank and might see action on the Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.-Brian Vera undercard that will take place Sept. 7 at Staples Center.

 

5. Ava Knight, Chico, flyweight (11-1-3, 5 KOs)

LAST POLL: 5th
POINTS:
84
BIRTHDATE: 8/15/1988 (age 24)
TITLES HELD: WBC Silver (world)

PREVIOUS WORLD TITLES: WBC (world), IBF (world)
LAST FIGHT: Won by UD10 over Linda Soto (May 11, 2013)
NEXT FIGHT: TBA

PROMOTER: HG Boxing
THE LATEST: “The Lady of Boxing” tried her hand at a bodybuilding competition in June.  In a perfect world, she would move up to 115 pounds and get a second shot at Ana Maria Torres (28-3-3, 16 KOs), the reigning WBC junior bantamweight champion who defeated Knight early in her career.

 

6. Brandon Gonzales, Sacramento, super middleweight (17-0-1, 10 KOs)

LAST POLL: 6th
POINTS:
83
BIRTHDATE: 5/24/1984 (age 29)
TITLES HELD: None

PREVIOUS WORLD TITLES: None
LAST FIGHT: Draw-10 with Thomas Oosthuizen (June 29, 2013)
NEXT FIGHT: TBA
PROMOTER: Goossen Tutor/Antonio Leonard

THE LATEST: “Flawless” swept the first five rounds against Oosthuizen, but a late surge from the South African led the judges to controversially rule the fight a draw.  One thing’s for sure: Gonzales proved he can compete at a world-class level.

RELATED: [Gonzales handed dubious ‘draw’ with Oosthuizen]

 

7. Melissa McMorrow, San Francisco, flyweight (9-3-3, 1 KO)

LAST POLL: 7th
POINTS:
49
BIRTHDATE: 6/19/1981 (age 32)
TITLES HELD: WBO (world)

PREVIOUS WORLD TITLES: None

LAST FIGHT: Won by SD10 over Nadia Raoui for WBO flyweight title (Mar. 23, 2013)
NEXT FIGHT: TBA
PROMOTER: SES

THE LATEST: “Mighty” and her manager/trainer Eddie Croft have been vocal about their desire for a unification clash with Ava Knight, but would prefer that it take place in Germany due to their affiliation with promoter SES.

 

8. Carina Moreno, Watsonville, flyweight (23-5, 6 KOs)

LAST POLL: t-8th
POINTS:
27
BIRTHDATE: 10/9/1981 (age 31)
TITLES HELD: WBA (world)

PREVIOUS WORLD TITLES: WBC strawweight, WBC interim jr. flyweight
LAST FIGHT: Won by SD10 over Susi Kentikian for WBA flyweight title (Dec. 1, 2012)
NEXT FIGHT: July 6 vs. Susi Kentikian (30-2, 16 KOs) for WBA flyweight title
PROMOTER: Zeferino Entertainment

THE LATEST: “La Reina (The Queen)” aims to keep her belt but has to travel into enemy territory once again to do it (see above).

 

9. Ana Julaton, Daly City, junior featherweight (12-3-1, 2 KOs)

LAST POLL: t-8th
POINTS:
25
BIRTHDATE: 7/5/1980 (age 33)
TITLES HELD: None

PREVIOUS WORLD TITLES: WBO jr. featherweight (twice)
LAST FIGHT: Won by TKO1 over Abigail Ramos (Aug. 3, 2012)
NEXT FIGHT: TBA
PROMOTER: Orion Sports

THE LATEST: All quiet on the western front for “The Hurricane,” who is now approaching one year of inactivity.

 

10. Vicente Escobedo, Woodland, junior lightweight (26-4, 15 KOs)

LAST POLL: 10th
POINTS:
19
BIRTHDATE: 11/6/1981 (age 31)
TITLES HELD: None

PREVIOUS WORLD TITLES: None
LAST FIGHT: Lost by TKO6 to Edner Cherry (Feb. 16, 2013)
NEXT FIGHT: TBA

PROMOTER: Golden Boy
THE LATEST: While he waits for his next assignment, “Chente” has been enjoying some family time and is currently teaching a boxing class in Pasadena.

ALSO RECEIVED VOTES:

Alejandro Perez, North Salinas, junior lightweight (17-3-1, 11 KOs); 12 points

Manuel Avila, Fairfield, junior featherweight (11-0, 3 KOs); 7 points

Alan Sanchez, Fairfield, welterweight (12-2-1, 6 KOs); 7 points

Stan Martyniouk, Antelope, junior lightweight (12-1, 2 KOs); 4 points

Paul Mendez, middleweight, Salinas (12-2-1, 5 KOs); 1 point

Bruno Escalante, junior bantamweight, San Carlos (8-1-1, 4 KOs); 1 point

 

VOTERS:

Mario Cabrera, BeatTheCount.com; Truth Esguerra, Philippine News; Jerry Hoffman, ESPN Radio Central Coast; Erik Killin, Leave-It-In-The-Ring.com; Andrew Lapachet, Primer Round Magazine; Ryan Maquiñana, Comcast SportsNet Bay Area/BoxingScene.com; Ray Markarian, TheSweetScience.com; Kim Francesca Martinez, BoxingScene.com; John Raspanti, DoghouseBoxing.com; Champ Ross, BeatTheCount.com; Colin Seymour, San Francisco Chronicle/Examiner.com; Alexis Terrazas, San Francisco Examiner; Richie Tomassini, Comcast SportsNet Bay Area; Darren Velasco, FightDomain.net; Henry Wofford, Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.

 

CSNBayArea.com Boxing Insider Ryan Maquiñana is a voting member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and is on the Ring Magazine Ratings Panel. E-mail him at rmaquinana@gmail.com, check out his blog at www.norcalboxing.net, or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.