Fierro vs Zamarripa Matchroom Boxing Tijuana Review

Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing held a show in Tijuana Mexico on Friday 15 September 2023. The event was headlined by Angel Fierro (21-1-2) vs Brayan Zamarripa for the WBO NABO Lightweight title.

Federico Pacheco Jr (4-0) extended his unbeaten record when he faced Carlos Cardenas (4-0) on the first televised fight of the night. Heavyweight Pacheco Jr dropped Cardenas twice in the third round with shots to the body before the referee waved the fight off.

Skye Nicolson (7-0) captured the WBC Interim World Featherweight championship from Sabrina Perez (18-1-1), although the ending was marred by tragedy. Nicolson, who recently recommitted to professional boxing having considered a return to the amateurs, debuted a more aggressive style during the fight. Nicolson’s speed and footwork remained the key as usual, but she was more confident planting her feet, and threw considerably more power shots than usual. Nicolson also ate a lot more shots from Perez than in her previous bouts.

With open scoring being used, and the scores relayed via a speaker ensured Skye Nicolson’s win was never really in doubt. During the 10th and final round, there was drama as an incident occurred in the Sabrina Perez corner. Perez’s trainer Diego Arua suffered a heart attack during the final stages of the fight, and sadly it was revealed Diego Arua passed away shortly after. Perez was distraught in the aftermath of the fight. Nicolson picked up the win by Unanimous Decision and was awarded the belt, but there was no party atmosphere or celebrations.

With Skye Nicolson now capturing the interim belt, a bout with the champion Amanda Serrano will beckon further down the line.

Christian Olivo (20-1-1) took on unbeaten prospect Kevin Crespo (12-0) in a tight 10 round affair, inflicting the first defeat on Crespo’s record. Olivo entered the fight as the B side, having lost against Luis Nunez last time out. Crespo took a huge step up in opposition, but was ultimately bested as the scorecards read 97-93 (x2), 97-94 in Olivo’s favour.

Erika Cruz (15-2) picked up a Unanimous Decision victory over Melissa Odessa (6-1) in another bloody affair. Cruz was badly cut by the right eye, with blood pouring down and sticking to her cheek. The cut to Cruz was Odessa’s chance of securing a victory, but Cruz but ultimately controlled the majority of the fight and picked up a wide points decision victory. Odessa was a game opponent making the rounds competitive, but ultimately didn’t win enough to really trouble Cruz. The live crowd seemed sparse with plenty of empty seats for the event, but the crowd really enjoyed this fight and gave their appreciation to both boxers.

The main-event saw Angel Fierro (21-1-2) vs Brayan Zamarripa (13-1) for the WBO NABO Lightweight title. Hometown fighter Fierro went into the bout with future world title expectations, whereas Zamarripa wasn’t widely known before the bout. Fierro’s dreams were almost shattered as he narrowly edged out his challenger by Split Decision, having struggled during the latter stages of the bout. Fierro controlled the early stages of the fight but Zamarripa grew as the bout continued and really troubled Fierro, with body shots slowing him down. The fight was extremely close going into the final round but Fierro managed to win the round and close the show. Fierro picked up a Split Decision 96-95, 96-94, 94-96 in his favour. It may have been Zamarripa’s day on another night, and some fans booed the decision to award Fierro the victory.

This was an average international Friday night card. The action in the ring was good throughout the night, but the card had a real lack of star power and brand name boxers. Outside of Skye Nicolson, there wasn’t a great deal for international viewers. The card also clashed with Top Rank’s card in the USA, topped by Lopez vs Rodriguez for the IBF Bantamweight crown, which on paper is indisputably a better watch. I think from a UK perspective, the show is comparable to a TNT Sports Friday Fight Night, with a bad card but decent action. And particularly for a Friday show, I think this delivered some decent action.


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