Mexican Independence Day kicked off with a bang Friday night at the Auditorio Municipal Fausto Gutierrez Moreno in Tijuana, Mexico. Hometown hero Angel Fierro of Tijuana (22-1-2, 17 KOs) and Brayan Zamarippa of Ensenada (13-3, 4 KOs) delivered the war they promised with ten rounds of nonstop action. Fierro nearly got burned but escaped slightly singed with a majority decision over Zamarippa. Scores were 96-95 and 96-94 for Fierro and 96-94 for Zamarippa.
The audience began the fight cheering for Fierro and were rewarded as he gained the upper hand early. But they grew quiet as Zamarippa returned fire and wobbled Fierro in the middle rounds. A hard overhand right hit the target in the sixth, but Zamarippa couldn’t capitalize with a knockdown or stoppage. He rattled Fierro again in the seventh, and once again, it looked on the brink of disaster but held on and held up.
Fierro Fires Back, Saves The Scorecards
Once he recovered, Fierro had Zamarippa on shaky legs in the eighth and ninth rounds by wearing down Zamarippa to the body, then following with headshots. Zamarippa always found his footing somehow, bit down, and carried on.
Hearing the scores, the crowd booed the result. A disappointed Zamarippa turned and strode out of the arena with his trainer angrily arguing his fighter won.
“I think also people sometimes are never happy. They believe Zamarippa won that fight,” said Fierro. “I think we did enough to win that fight. I think we made people happy tonight.
Fierro said fighting in Mexico on the nation’s Independence Day weekend was important. “It showed also we’re ready for big things. It was delightful to fight in front of my people and put on a good show. Making them happy is the most important thing, and I’m glad I was able to do that.” Despite the booing, apparently.
The nature of the fight was no surprise to Fierro. “I thought it was going to be a war. We showed the difference, we got in there. We showed we’re ready for the really big fights. I think we’re completely ready for the opportunity now. We’ve been ready for a while,” said Fierro. Fierro has a minor WBO title. While unified lightweight champion Devin Haney has bigger fish to fry, WBO Global champion Raymond Muratalla of California would make a terrific regional opponent.
Erika Cruz Cruises in Bloody Good Win Over Parker
Popular Erika Cruz of Mexico City (16-2, 3 KOs) easily defeated Melissa Odessa Parker of Brooklyn, now fighting out of Texas (6-2, 2 KOs). The former unified, undisputed featherweight champion moved to super bantamweight after losing her titles to Amanda Serrano, and it was a successful debut for Cruz. Scorecards were 99-91 twice and 98-92.
Cruz battered Parker in a bloody outing after a headbutt in the eighth round created cuts for both fighters. But Cruz hardly noticed as it's almost the norm for her. Cruz wins a minor WBA title, and if she can continue to make 122 pounds, there is plenty of opportunity. We’d love a fight against fellow Mexico City native Mayeli Flores, who defeated veteran Mariana “Barbie” Juarez on the Munguia vs. Derevyanchenko undercard.
Devastating Tragedy Casts Shadow Over Skye Nicolson Win
Skye Nicolson of Australia (8-0) won the WBC interim World Featherweight title over Sabrina Perez of Buenos Aires, Argentina (18-2-1, 2 KOs). Nicolson won by unanimous decision, 99-91, 98-92, and 97-93. The veteran Perez made Nicolson step up and work hard. Nicolson becomes the mandatory challenger to full WBC champion Amanda Serrano.
The outcome was delayed as Perez’s husband and trainer, Diego Arua, collapsed at the end of the fight. He was immediately taken to Tijuana’s General Hospital, where he died. According to WBC president Mauricio Sulieman, the cause was a heart attack. Perez and Arua had been married for 18 years.
Also on the undercard, featherweight Christian Olivo (21-1-1, 7 KOs) and Kevin Crespo of Tijuana (12-1, 9 KOs) delivered an all-action classic, with Olivo scoring an upset and handing Crespo his first loss in his first ten-round fight. The pair traded action, and both appeared hurt at times but made it to the final bell. All three scores favored Oliv0, 97-93 twice and 96-94.
Heavyweight Federico Pacheco (5-0, 4 KOs), the 19-year-old younger brother of impressive super middleweight prospect Diego Pacheco, scored a third-round knockout with body shots dropping Carlos Cardenas of Guadalarja (4-1, 3 KOs). Mexican Independence Day wouldn’t be the same without two big Mexican heavyweights letting it go. Viva Mexico!
— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) September 16, 2023