Ava Knight Speaks on Politics in Women’s Boxing, Marlen Ezparza, and Her Future

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    Recently, I was able to sit down with the #1 Flyweight in women’s boxing, Ava Knight. She was able to give me some insights on the sport of women’s boxing, some of the politics behind it, and who she would like to face in the future. Ava’s record currently stands as 11-1-3 with 5 KOs, with her only loss coming at Bantamweight in 2009 to Ana Maria Torres. She currently holds the WBC Diamond Flyweight title and the WBC Silver flyweight title.

    Ava Knight started boxing when she was 13 and I wanted to know what inspired her to go into the sport and who did she watch as a kid. Knight responded, “I really don’t know. When I 1st went to a gym, I wasn’t into it, just something that started doing all of a sudden. I tried it and I got into it. Since I wasn’t big into boxing when I 1st started, I did some homework when I got into the sport. I went back to look at some guys. I’m a big fan of Tommy Hearns and Marvin Hagler. For today, I like Andre Ward and Paul Williams. I’ve met Ward, but I didn’t talk to him, just a handshake, but now that I’m in the bay area, I’ll make sure he’ll know me.”

    I then wanted some insight on how the promotion companies work in female boxing, for example, who is her promoter and if it was similar to how Golden Boy and Top Rank reign at top of Men’s boxing. Knight stated, “There is politics wherever you go and Golden Boy has been doing more in Mexico now, so there’s more conflict, but I just keep fighting. I’m promoted by Hector Garcia through HG Promotions in Mexico. It’s a pretty well-known promotional group there, they probably have the most women fighters. I have a couple more years with my promotional company, I’m really happy with them and they’ve been good to me.”

    Next, I asked if she felt that as a female boxer, if she was treated differently in a mostly male sport or did she think she got her proper respect as 1 of the best ones. Knight stated, “I’m starting to get my respect more. The more women’s boxing is pushed, the better for me. Some think women shouldn’t fight, but I try to ignore them. The fans love me in Mexico and they know who I am, when I go to Cali, not as much.”

    I then asked her about if she was able to watch the Timothy Bradley vs. Ruslan Provodnikov fight from this past weekend and if she has ever had to fight with a concussion like Bradley did. “Yea, I saw it. It was a great fight. I think Bradley showed a lot of heart. I had it as a draw. If the Russian got his knockdown, it would have been different. I’ve never been hit hard enough to know I got a concussion. I’ve never been in with a heavy hitter, usually I’m the big puncher in my fights so I haven’t felt that type of power in the ring yet, but in sparring I’ve been hit by guys and I know how it feels”, said Knight.

    To get more into her personal life, I wanted to know what she likes to do in her free time. With all the time that she spends in training, plus fighting every 3-4 months, what does she do when not training for a fight? Knight said, “I do body building and figuring contests, I think it will help me in the long wrong. I also love to cook and try new weird things. Other than that, I just sit here with my dogs, nothing much else.”

    We then moved on to a slight war of words that has gone on between Ava and amateur female boxer Marlen Esparza. Marlen has said that Knight was using Esparza’s name to try to build her up, Knight had a different take. “I don’t want to get into in too much, we had some words when she came to California and I refused to spar, that was it. After a while, she said I was scared to spar, but when you’re at this level, it didn’t bother me. It was just her throwing my name out there and if she’s not turning pro for 4 years, then it’s much of nothing. However, I support her career and hope she makes to Olympics cause no matter what, she’s a female and i want her to do well,” stated Knight.

    Ava Knight said she rather continue to dominate her current division, rather than move back up to Bantamweight, so I asked what was next for her and if there was a possibility of it being in the US since she hasn’t fought here since 2011, with all her fights since being in Mexico. “I’m working on a fight in May right now. It was supposed to be in April, but it was delayed because I have a broken knuckle. It was broken 2-3 fights ago, but I didn’t realize it till now. My next fight will probably not be in the states. The sport is just bigger in Mexico. Female boxers are more known there. As far as my next opponent, I honestly don’t usually find out my opponent until 3 weeks before,” said Knight.

    When asked who would she like to fight next, Knight said, “There’s a few that are top 10 that I would like the fight. The #2 and #3 in my division are right here in California, Carina Moreno and Melissa McMorrow. All of us are flyweight champions and I just want to fight the best.” I then asked if she was in negotiation to fight either of them, she said, “Not in negotiations with either right now. We all have called each other’s name out and all want to fight each other, but we need someone to pick the fight up and have someone put it together, that’s the biggest challenge for us.”

    Knight final message was to her growing number of fans, “Thank you to all the people who follow women’s boxing and continue to support us.”

     

    Ava knight can be reach at her twitter, which is @Ava_Knight or on her Facebook, which is OfficialAvaKnight.com.