|A few days ago boxing was hit with a tragedy after young Mexican boxer Jeanette Zacarías (now 2-4) died a few days after her fight with unbeaten Marie Pier Houle (CAN, now 4-0-1) in Montréal, Canada.|
Instead of setting the alarms to try and prevent another tragedy like this one, just this week the World Boxing Council is sanctioning two fights where female Mexican boxers will combat in two clear mismatches, labeled as ‘World Title’ fights.
Zacarías was not a world-calibre contender but a 2-3 record is not, on paper, a heavy mismatch against a 3-0-1 boxer. The problem is that Zacarías had virtually no Amateur career, and according to Yahoo!, she should have had a brain surgery after her KO loss against Cynthia Lozano (MEX, 8-0) last May.
Mexican newspaper Proceso says that Zacarías said that she was willing to die as long as she could fight. She paid for the ultimate price. Some sportspeople are comfortable with such decision. It was her choice. But there are people that know better, and understand that, at the very least, some times boxers at the very least need extra rest or surgery.
Tragedies cannot be fully prevented in combat sports or boxing overall. But there are fights that seem to be a recipe for disaster. We have a couple of examples this week.
First, on Friday Yulihan Luna (MEX, 21-3-1) will expose her World Boxing Council World Female Bantam Title in Gómez Palacio, Mexico, against Susy Kandy Sandoval (MEX, 10-18), who she beat via Split Decision in 2018.
Their record difference is dismal. The worst is that Susy is 41 year-old and has lost seven fights in a row. Seven. Of her last thirteen. Her last win was in 2015.
There is literally no way it can be justified that she is a world-class contender, let alone a deservedly World Championship contender, let alone against the boxer that last year beat Mariana Juárez (MEX), the best of all time in the weight.
One day later, in Ekaterinburg, Russia, tough, unbeaten Tatyana Zrazhevskaya (RUS, 11-0) will dispute the ‘interim’ version of the same title that will be fought for in Mexico one day prior. First of all. Luna is not injured and should be fighting Zrazhevskaya. There is no need for an interim.
Secondly, and a reason to worry, her rival is Jessica González (MEX), who has a record of 7-5-2 and has not won her last fights. Her last win came seven years ago and her last fight was three years ago.
The same criticisms apply: González is not a world-class contender, does not merit a World Title fight, and seems to be serving as cannon fodder.
Boxers should not be treated as cannon fodder. Especially not against World-class fighters. Especially not when you have just witnessed a tragedy that reminds you that heavy mismatches can result in horrible consequences. This is an unacceptable action by the World Boxing Council.