By: Hans Themistode
It was a clean sweep as Cecilia Braekhus (35-0, 8 KOs) and Claressa Shields (8-0, 2 KOs) both retained their titles with relative ease tonight.
For Claressa it was a dominant showing against the current Super Middleweight champion Fenke Hermans (9-2, 3 KOs). Fenke showed tremendous heart in finishing the bout upright but it was a clear victory for Claressa.
From the very beginning there was absolutely no feel out rounds for the reigning unified Middleweight champion. She came out of the gates fast looking to inflict damage on her opponent. Every round looked exactly the same as Claressa made her opponent miss while landing monstrous shots of own. It was the kind of performance from Claressa that showed exactly why she is a super star with only eight pro bouts.
For as dominant as Claressa was she takes a back seat to the current pound-for-pound queen and unified Welterweight champion Cecilia Braekhus.
The aforementioned Braekhus put on an absolute clinic. Her opponent Aleksandra Magdziak-Lopes (18-5-3, 1 KO) kept fighting until the end but just didn’t have the skill necessary to dethrone the champion.
To demonstrate just how dominate Braekhus was tonight she only lost one total round according to one judge.
Yes one. That is not a miss print.
The two female headliners absolutely showed out tonight but let’s not forget about Juan Francisco Estrada (38-3, 26 KOs) who made a statement of his own tonight by stopping the tough Victor Mendez (28-4-2, 20 KOs). For Mendez it was the first stoppage loss in his career. The reason this is significant is because Mendez has shared the ring with several great fighters, most notably former WBC champion Luis Nery.
Estrada punished Mendez all fight long until he was forced to throw in the towel. Estrada has been itching for a rematch with current champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai. With a performance like he had tonight there is no doubt he will be getting his wish very soon.
All of the fights were entertaining tonight. Those who were supposed to win did so and in dominant fashion. As much as I would love to continue to heap praise on these fighters, the attention should be placed on something much more important at the moment. Let’s acknowledge HBO here.
The network has officially left the world of boxing after 45 plus years of coverage. Of course the sport of boxing will go on but something will forever seem as though it’s missing. Some of the very best to lace them up both past and present have graced that platform. From Marvin Hagler and Roberto Duran to current great fighters in Canelo Alvarez and Dmitry Bivol. It is a sad day in boxing but as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end.
Farewell HBO, you will be missed.