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McMorrow hopes for a fair shake on August 23


By John J. Raspanti

Six months ago, former WBO and WBIF flyweight champion “Mighty” Melissa McMorrow traveled to Puebla, Mexico to face Mariana Juarez. Before the bout, many questioned whether McMorrow (9-4-3, 1 KO) could win a decision in her opponents’ backyard.
The fight was close from the opening bell. McMorrow, the shorter boxer by five inches, applied the pressure. She bobbed and weaved and fired punches.
Juarez used her jab to control distance, but McMorrow’s aggressive style forced her to exchange.
McMorrow pushed forward, landing blows to the head and body. Her work on the inside bothered Juarez, who complained to the referee.
Juarez rallied in the middle of the match, but McMorrow appeared to sweep the last two rounds.

Not surprisingly all three judges scored the fight 96-94 for Juarez. This writer had McMorrow the winner by the same 96-94 score.


The decision angered McMorrow, but instead of feeling sorry for herself, she immediately went back to the gym. When a call came to return to Mexico to face Jessica Chavez August 23 for the vacant WBC international flyweight title, McMorrow, 33, didn’t hesitate.


“I’m still pissed about the last loss because I do not feel that Mariana deserved that decision,” said McMorrow in a press release announcing her fight with Chavez. “I will take that anger and use it to win this fight.”


McMorrow also lost a dubious decision to Arely Mucino in Guadalajara, Mexico in 2012.


Regardless of being skunked twice, McMorrow loves the local fans’ enthusiasm.


“The Mexican people are very beautiful and lively,” McMorrow said. “They appreciate my hard word and that motivates me to fight for them. I think they can see I give everything in every fight.


“I want to fight the best and there are many good fighters in Mexico.”


Chavez, 26, has won her last 10 bouts in succession. What does McMorrow feel she has do to win a fight in Mexico?


“I am always finessing my style and I work with changing up my stance a lot,” McMorrow said in an interview with Sue TL Fox of ”This allows me to have quick answers in a fight for how to respond to what the other person brings.


“Lately, I have also been working on giving more angles on the inside. I’m really excited about what this has done for my game.”


It’s been five years since McMorrow, who resides in San Jose, has boxed in Northern California.

“It is extremely difficult to find local fights,” McMorrow said. “Small promoters can’t afford the purse and the bigger promoters refuse to showcase women.”


Twenty-nine months ago, she traveled to Frankfurt, Germany, to face undefeated hometown hero Susi Kentikian. After 10 exciting rounds, McMorrow, a decided underdog going into the bout, was declared the split-decision victor.

The win highlighted a career of sacrifice and dedication.


McMorrow’s passion for the sweet science runs deep.


"When I got into boxing, I promised myself I would compete until it didn’t make me happy anymore,” McMorrow said. “So far, that hasn’t happened yet.


Perhaps this time, the decision will be in her favor.

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