Young talents, tough contenders, and one of the first-ever all-women’s boxing cards in history. The past weekend had a little bit for everyone in the realm of women’s boxing.
In the one fight that produced significant changes in our ratings, Argentina’s Micaela Lujan defeated Mexico’s Irma Garcia with a junior bantamweight belt on the line in the headliner of an all-female card in San Luis, Argentina.
It was a much narrower win than what the scorecards suggested, and there’s no shortage of observers who saw Garcia winning. But the win, coupled with former No. 3 Yessica “Kika” Chavez’s inactivity (more than one year) paved the way for Lujan to enter the Top 5.
The vote was almost unanimous, but it did find some reluctance.
“Lujan showed she was able to withstand the pressure from Garcia, if inelegantly,” said historian Malissa Smith, before admitting that “I agree that a win, is a win, is a win, and on that basis, she should enter the No. 5 spot.”
Lujan’s compatriots in the panel agreed, but only half-heartedly.
“Lujan is the youngest champion in Argentina and has talent,” said Argentine writer Yesica Palmetta. “However, it must be said that in her fight against former champion Irma Garcia, she had difficulty solving the fight against the veteran. But the truth is that Lujan beat a complicated Irma Garcia, who deserved to win much more than Lujan this time. At least the cards should have been a draw or a closer decision, at least.”
Irene Deserti, co-author of the women’s boxing history book “Abran Paso” along with Palmetta and editor of Rincon Rojo magazine, said that “Yesica explained perfectly what was seen in the ring. Fortunately, speaking with Micaela on sunday, she confessed to us that she was very aware that this victory did not belong to her, which allows us to think that she will be able to work based on her mistakes and mature as a champion. But, on paper, a victory is a victory and given the inactivity of Kika Chavez, it seems correct that Lujan enters the ratings.”
In other action, blue-chip prospect Ramla Ali made history by becoming the first woman to fight in a card in Saudi Arabia when she disposed of Crystal Garcia Nova in only a few seconds into her bout in the Usyk-Joshua II undercard. And although her performance was stellar as usual, the evident mismatch made it impossible for panelists to even suggest a promotion.
“What unfortunate matchmaking!,” exclaimed Smith, who went on to say that “Ramla Ali is a talented fighter who deserved a solid opponent who would make her work for her win over much of the eight rounds. What a disservice to her career as she really does need more rounds before contesting for a title. At this point she remains a great prospect, but isn’t ready for the rankings in that division.”
Columnist Mark Jones concurred by saying that “I agree with leaving Ramla Ali outside the rankings for now,” even though “she’s shown to be worthy of the Ring Magazine’s Prospect of the Year tag awarded to her last year.”
Diego M. Morilla writes for The Ring since 2013. He also wrote for HBO.com, ESPN.com and many other magazines, websites, newspapers and other outlets since 1993. He is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and an elector for the International Boxing Hall of Fame. He has won two first-place awards in the BWAA’s annual writing contest, and he is the moderator of The Ring’s Women’s Ratings Panel. He served as copy editor for the second era of The Ring en Español (2018-2020) and is currently a writer and editor for RingTV.com. Follow him on Twitter @MorillaBoxing