Sandy Tsagouris defends on August 19

This past March, Sandy Tsagouris notched one of the most important victories in Canadian boxing history. This weekend, she has to follow that up.

Tsagouris will make the first defense of her WIBA super featherweight title against Simone Da Silva Duarte at the Powerade Centre in Brampton, Ontario. The fight will serve as the co-feature to the Samuel Vargas-Ali Funeka WBA-NABA welterweight title fight.

The fight will mark Tsagouris’ return to the same building where she became the first Toronto-born fighter to win a world title in the Toronto region, when she defeated Carla Torres in an exciting but dominant performance. The scene of Tsagouris celebrating with her daughter Celina after years of chasing a world title is not one those in attendance will soon forget.

It’s no accident, nor any kind of gift that the 36-year old gets to defend her title on home soil though. Over her 13 year professional career, she has proven to be one of the most popular and most exciting fighters in the province of Ontario.

“I can win a fight and not put on a good show and not be happy with myself. People pay good money. I’ve sold tickets, they’re expensive. So I want them to get their money’s worth,” Tsagouris has said.

In Da Silva Duarte, she’ll find a willing dance partner. The Brazilian veteran is one of the sport’s true road warriors—and hard luck stories. Duarte has contested for a world title seven times in her career, and come up short each time. None of those fights were ever on home soil, always requiring her to travel as far as the Dominican Republic and Canada to get her opportunity.

Like Tsagouris, Duarte likes to fight on the inside, and has developed a reputation for wars, like her thrilling six round brawl with Yazmin Rivas back in 2015.

If Tsagouris can emerge victorious on Saturday, she sits just one weight division North of perhaps the most lucrative fight in women’s boxing right now, against Irish superstar Katie Taylor, a fight Tsagouris’ camp has admitted they have their eyes on down the road.

But before she can get there, Lil’ Tyson first has to make history again.


On August 19, Samuel Vargas steps up in one of the biggest fights of his career, as he battles Ali Funeka in the main event of Lee Baxter Promotions’ second event at the Brampton Powerade Centre.

Without a doubt, Vargas-Funeka is one of the highest level bouts to be staged in Toronto in several years.

Vargas is riding the momentum of a dominant win over Armando Robles at LBP’s first Powerade Centre event, as well as a homecoming win in Colombia over former world title challenger Marco Antonio Avendano. With a victory over a three-time world title challenger, the Colombian-born Canadian would find himself right back in the bigger picture.

Tickets are on sale and are available for as little as $40. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster.

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