SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, U.S.A. – On Saturday night, October 13, 2012, women’s International Boxing Federation (IBF) Flyweight Champion, Ava “The Lady of Boxing” Knight (Chico, California, 9-1-3, 5 KOs) will face World Boxing Council (WBC) Flyweight Champion, Mariana “La Barbie” Juarez (Mexico City, Mexico, 35-5-3, 16 KOs), at the Palacio de Deporte, in Mexico City, Mexico. Knight-Juarez will be a 10-rd title bout for just the WBC Flyweight Title. Knight’s IBF Flyweight Title will not be on the line in this battle between two world champions.
Knight-Juarez will be featured as the main event on the Mexican television network, Televisa, as part of their weekly boxing series, “Sabados de Corona.” The boxing card is presented by Promociones del Pueblo, HG Boxing, Boxeo de Gala, and Grupo Modelo. In the co-main event, super featherweight Dante Jardon will face Miguel Roman.
On Saturday, September 29, 2012, at 2:00pm PT, Ava Knight will hold an open media workout at Champ Nation Boxing Gym, located at 2635 Magnolia Street, Oakland, California, 94608. The boxing community is also invited to attend the workout.
Team Knight’s trainer and manager, Ben Bautista, explained how the Knight-Juarez fight was made. He said, “The fight with Mariana Juarez was one we wanted badly. We constantly pushed for this fight, but we weren’t sure that she wanted to fight us. We went to the Juarez’s last fight in Ontario, California, against Shindo Go. After the fight, we approached her to try to set up the fight, and called her out. Then, we heard she had plans to vacate the WBC title and fight Jackie Nava. Later, our promoter said that he had something good to share with me. They were close to making the fight between Ava and Mariana.”
Knight discussed the challenges presented in this fight. She said, “Mariana is a smart and technical fighter and she is going to bring me a great fight. She will have the hometown crowd behind her, but they won’t be able to help her once she enters that ring. I know she is training hard and studying my tapes, but everyone has a game plan before they get into the ring. Once you get hit, everything changes. I may be considered an underdog in this fight, and that doesn’t bother me. I am fighting Mariana, in her country, and in her hometown. She is a true Mexican boxing icon, and beating her is the only way to prove to everyone that I am the best.”
Knight shared the significance of this match-up. “This fight is important for boxing because the world’s top pros in the flyweight division have agreed to fight each other. Mariana is ranked #1 on some rankings, and I also am ranked #1 on some rankings, so it is our time to show who is the best in the world. My goals for this fight are just to see where I stand, and to test how bad I want this. There is nothing like a great test to show you where you stand in your life, as far as with your dreams. To date, this will be the largest mountain that I have tried to climb, but I’m willing to do it, in order to reach the top.”
Knight discussed her training camp for the fight. “For this camp, I am training at a new gym, Champ Nation, located in Oakland, California. I’ve also had high-altitude conditioning training at Big Bear. Ben Bautista and I have been working very hard throughout camp, to make sure my conditioning is great going into this fight. I am very comfortable at my weight, and won’t need to dehydrate or suck down. That gives me a great advantage, because I’ll be staying strong and healthy for my fight.”
Bautista agreed with Knight and said, “Ava has been getting tremendous sparring work at Champ Nation. While Ava’s boxing skills are superior to Mariana’s, our main focus in camp is that she is in “boss” condition, especially with us having to fight in the high altitude of Mexico City. Mariana hasn’t been in a ring with a beast like Ava, and when she does, she will be in a world of trouble. Mariana takes too many shots and she will find out that she is not going to be able to handle what Ava is bringing to the ring.”
Knight mentioned some of her goals for this fight. She said, “I want to win this fight, but ultimately, my goal is to get as much exposure as possible for the fight and for women’s boxing, so that in time, we can set up some great fights in the United States. There are other great women fighters, not only myself, who will then be able to have opportunities on big stages. If our U.S. women’s pro champions are stepped up and are able to fight on a televised network in the U.S., I’m positive that the people will love it. It will bring the revenue that promoters are looking for.”
Coach Ben Bautista added, “I know that Ava is pound for pound the best, and she wants to show the world that she is the best. I told HG Promotions that we wanted to clear out this division and be the undisputed champion. We want to fight for titles, but also beat the best boxers out there.”
Knight said, “I always come to win, and no matter where I am, my game plan never changes. At the end of the day, people from all over the world will respect me for the way I fight and I want to keep it that way. She may have the hometown crowd, but I have trained hard for this fight, and my team is adequately prepared.”
Team Knight supported Andre Ward in his recent win against Chad Dawson, and was present among the live crowd in Oakland. They hope for a similar outcome against Juarez. Coach Bautista said, “We just witnessed our hometown champion, Andre Ward, rise to another level of greatness with his dominating victory over Chad Dawson. Ava Knight is ready to step up to the challenge and rise to another level of greatness in women’s boxing, just like Andre did in men’s boxing. Ava is an elite fighter, and is the best flyweight fighter in the division, period.”
Bautista continued, “Ava is God-gifted. She is blessed with speed, and tremendous power. On top of that, she wants to be the best, so she is committed to hard work, excellence, and making all the necessary sacrifices. She is in a better position now than she ever was before. She just needed proper guidance and instruction, as well as a promoter that realizes that they are working with the best boxer in the world. Team Knight is on the rise!”
Knight thanked those who have supported her in preparation for this fight. “I want to thank SFC Boxing Gym, Boxing for Health, friends, family, and my fans in Chico, the Bay Area, U.S., Poland, Mexico, and all over the world for all of their positivity and support. I’d like to thank the media for covering the women who are boxing at their best. Thank you to my chiropractor, John Fragoso, for making sure I’ll be 100% for the fight, Paul Fink of Chico Playtime for his continuous sponsorship, and Shane Mosley for his help and support during my training camp.”
On October 29, 2011, Ava Knight defeated the previously unbeaten IBF Flyweight Champion, Arely Mucino, with a second round knockout. Knight last fought on June 30, 2012, when she made her second IBF title defense in a UD win over Susana Vazquez in Torreon, Mexico. Now twenty-four years old, Knight makes her third IBF title defense on the October 13 fight card.
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