By: Francisco Martinez
With so much being said about Ronda Rousey crossing over to boxing with the help of Golden Boy promotions, I think it’s safe to say both parties might have overlooked the “sweet science” for what it actually is, unforgiven. As undisputed, 2 time Ring Magazine “female fighter of the year” Holly Holm threw more then just a “monkey wrench” into those plans as the progression of Rousey vs. Holm unfolded it unveiled Holm’s superior boxing ability or, “striking” as they call it in MMA to Rousey’s actual technique instantly bringing the idea of such possibilities of Golden Boy promotions helping the woman’s boxing scene shake the grips of obscurity on hold. It’s common sense that Ronda Rousey would have sold tickets, filled arenas but more importantly make the woman’s division a beneficiary of her massive popularity bringing it to network giants like HBO.
With past greats like Laila Ali, Mia St. John & Christy Martin bringing attention to woman’s boxing in the past but failing to propel it towards the hierarchies of HBO, Showtime and P.P.V. (pay per view) like commodity & demand, woman’s boxing has failed to garner the attention of the casual fan. This, is where Maricela Cornejo comes into play. The ring savvy Cornejo finds herself preparing for a title shot at the vacant WBC middleweight title this April 16th at The Trust Arena in Auckland, New Zealand.
Lisa Lewis & Royal Rampage promotions bring the first ever WBC world title championship bout held on New Zealand soil, something that even the great David Tua couldn’t manage to produce. Royal Rampage puts together a stacked card with the likes of Michael Katisidis “The Great” (Interim WBO lightweight champion) and Mia St. John former woman’s world champion.
As for Maricela Cornejo who will be the key focus on this card for most fans in attendance do to being a highly regarded prospect who many believe can take woman’s boxing into the casual fans television sets, which is exactly what the woman’s division is in dire need of at this very moment.
BoxingInsider.com: “So, you’re fighting for the WBC woman’s middleweight title?”
Maricela Cornejo: “Yes, it’s a WBC world middleweight title shot against Kali Reis (4 time world title challenger) in New Zealand”
BoxingInsider.com: “In New Zealand? Is that your first time fighting over there? Are you looking forward to the experience of fighting in New Zealand?”
Maricela Cornejo: “Yes, it is my first time. It’s actually going to be on my birthday, April 16th. I’m really looking forward to it. I’m super excited. The promoter out there is doing a great job. It’s her (Lisa Lewis) first card out there and it’s making history. New Zealand has never had a huge woman’s card like this or a WBC world title fight”
BoxingInsider.com: “Your opponent is tough. She fought Christina Hammer (WBO middleweight champion) and dropped her, that’s no easy task. It shows she has power. What do you have to do, to avoid her power?”
(In a 10 round bout for Christina Hammer’s WBO middleweight title, a bout Hammer was in complete control of up until the 10th and final round where Reis landed a vicious right hook flooring Hammer in a last attempt to salvage her world title aspirations but to no avail. Hammer managed to rise from the canvas and earn a 10 round unanimous decision over Kali Reis)
Maricela Cornejo: “Me and my trainer, we have our game plan, which is to get prepared the way we know how an the rest will take care of itself. I’m confident it’s going to be a great fight. It’s title worthy so, I’m very happy about that. It’s actually two woman who deserve the title shot and can fight. It’s not a setup as in a good fighter vs. a bad fighter. It’s going to be a really good fight for the fans”
BoxingInsider.com: “Talking about woman’s boxing and woman (sports) in general, what’s your take on (Ronda) Rousey? Had she won (against Holly Holm) and crossed over to boxing & Golden Boy (promotions) promoting her do you think that would have benefit the woman’s boxing scene right now that it’s lacking the publics eye? It doesn’t have the exposure that men have…”
Maricela Cornejo: “I don’t think that would be promoting. It’s going to make money and at the end of the day that’s what matters, you know. It’s politics and it’s not right, it’s not fair. There’s many boxers out there who deserve a shot and aren’t getting one because promoters are afraid to take a risk. They have to build and package like Dana White (UFC owner) did with Rousey. He gave her that opportunity, he took a risk and he was successful.
I truly believe that if, some promoters would take that risk and build a woman that’s already a great fighter and package her she’s promotable. They just want something that’s already done, I mean you have minute rice. We’re living in a world where people want things instantly. Seriously, they aren’t willing to put in the work. You have to put in the work into somebody, there’s plenty of woman out there who deserve an opportunity but people already want her ready. Dana white got Ronda (Rousey) ready, packaged her and that’s why she’s so successful now but truly, for someone to just jump in and say she’s (Rousey) coming to boxing, let’s give her an opportunity that’s a slap in the face for all these world champions. It’s disgusting, it’s politics…”
The bright minded and articulate Maricela Cornejo looks to bring woman’s boxing into the “limelight” this April 16th in Auckland, New Zealand and plans on celebrating her birthday by having her hand raised and crowned the “new…” Woman’s WBC world champion.