With more than 10.000 fanatical supporters cheering her on at the Estadio Ramón Tahuichi Aguilera in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, Jennifer Salinas turned in a clinical performance to defeat co-challenger Yolis Marrugo Franco for the vacant World Boxing Federation (WBF) Womens World Super Bantamweight title on Saturday night, November 16.
31-year-old Salinas, living in the USA and daughter of a Bolivian father and American mother, was fighting for the first time in her second home-country, and made sure not to disappoint her massive following. Columbian Marrugo was tough as teak, but Salinas never let her into the fight and produced one of her finest performances.
With Marrugo, a former world champion at Super Featherweight, trying to come forward, Salinas used her superior speed from the outside to outsmart the visitor, and after ten rounds of boxing there was no doubt that the local hero had secured a world championship for Bolivia.
Judges Sergio Sotelo and Roman Cruz scored the bout 99-90 in favor of Salinas, who improved her record to 15-3 (4), while Juan Edmondu Jacobo voted 99-91. Marrugo travels back to Columbia with a 15-9-3 (7) ledger.
WBF President Howard Goldberg supervised a fight which was shown live on TV all over South America, and at the conclusion of the bout the ring was invaded by countless journalists from television, radio and newspapers, trying to get interviews with the enormously popular Salinas.
On the same night at the Salle Cuiry in Gien, France, another local favorite captured a WBF title, as journeyman-turned-contender Michel Mothmora won the vacant International Middleweight title after a close fight with undefeated Czech champion Stepan Horvath.
In what was a very intense fight, Mothmora worked well with his jab while Horvath had most of his success with hooks and crosses. Most rounds were difficult to score, so it was no surprise when it was announced at the end that it would be a split decision.
Judge Dominique Schmit had Horvath winning 114-113, but he was overruled by Noel Monnet and Toni Tiberi who scored it for Mothmora: 116-112 and 116-113. Referee was Christope Hembert.
The new WBF International Middleweight Champion now spots a very deceiving record of 24-22 (8), having won nine of his last ten bouts, while Horvath falls to 11-1 (3).
Promoter was Michel Chagnoux and Ring Giennois.