Updated: Nov 14
By J R Knox
UPDATE: Due to Guanini not making the bantamweight weight limit, Rachel Ball v Jorgelina Guanini will be for the WBC World Interim Super-Bantamweight title. Additionally, Ukashir Farooq has been added to the card and will face Angel Aviles for the WBC Continental Bantamweight title.
Fans are in for a historic night where the women of the sport take center ring with three world title fights taking place on November 14, 2020. This card is historic as this is the first-ever Matchroom Boxing card that has three women’s world title fights. This is a rare site with any promoter on any major platform this day and age with one of the last known cards of this type on a major platform happening on February 11, 2000 on ESPN2. That card also had three title fights and included the talented Ann Wolfe at the beginning stage of her career. While this is Matchroom’s first card with three women’s world title fights, it is likely this is the first-ever women’s three-title card that includes the four major sanctioning bodies of the WBA, WBC, IBF, and WBO. In 2000, the title fights were for the International Female Boxing Association (IFBA) that had been formed just three years prior.
The undisputed Queen will hold court as WBA, WBC, IBF, and WBO World Lightweight champion, Bray, Ireland’s Katie Taylor 16-0, 6 KOs, headlines against Madrid, Spain’s Miriam Gutierrez 13-0, 5 KOs. The chief support will be for the WBC and IBO World Super-Featherweight Championship and has the 24-year-old champion and budding star Terri Harper 10-0-1, 5 KOs facing a sturdy contender in Katharina Thanderz 13-0, 2 KOs. The third title fight will be for the vacant WBA World Bantamweight Title as Aldridge, West Midlands, UK’s Rachel Ball 6-1, 0 KOs battles Buenos Aires, Argentina’s Jorgelina Guanini 9-1-2, 1 KO.
Making history is nothing new for Katie Taylor and neither is a short break from the ring. In her last nine fights Taylor has only taken more than 90 days between fights once. That one time was after a grueling affair against Delfine Persoon on June 1, 2019. Even after the first Persoon fight Taylor returned to the ring after 153 days and moved up to super-lightweight to challenge the WBO Super Lightweight Champion Christina Linardatou. A challenge she won by unanimous decision. Now after another gritty fight with Persoon, she returns after only 83 days.
While fans will rightfully continue to enjoy Taylor’s career, questions will begin to be raised like, “how much does Taylor have left in the tank?” Taylor’s amateur career lasted 10 years, beginning in 2006 and while Taylor is a warrior, wear and tear evades no one in the sport of boxing. Will November 14 be the night the cumulative effect of her many ring battles start to show on the now 34-year-old Irish superstar? Miriam Gutierrez will be the professor testing any questions surrounding Taylor to see if the activity is continuing to keep the ring rust off or could the Katie Taylor machine begin to slow down.
Miriam “La Reina” Gutierrez, 37, will be facing an uphill battle when she enters the ring against Taylor. Her battle will be small when put in perspective with what she has been through in life. She was a victim of domestic violence by the father of her first daughter, Zaira and Miriam noted in the interview conducted by the WBA that it was a struggle to not blame herself even while being the victim.
Gutierrez was able to battle back with inspiration coming from Zaira and her trainer, Joe Garcia stating, “When I went back to the gym, Joe wouldn’t let me talk, he only told me that he would take care of my girl and that I should only dedicate myself to training and not talk about my problems. That helped me a lot to move forward.” Miriam, an enjoyer of sweet treats, is now hoping her toughness in the ring will lead to her celebrating a sweet victory on November 14th.
Terri Harper of Denaby, Yorkshire, UK can be seen in the gym, on the treadmill, running sprints, or enjoying time with her family on Instagram. Most times you will see glimpses of her grafting as she prepares for her next challenge. It has been a quick climb for Harper in the professional ranks. She fought for and won her first world title after seven fights when she became IBO champ. She solidified her spot among the super featherweight elite with a win over then WBC world champion Eva Wahlstrom in February 2020.
Coming off an incredibly competitive bout with Natasha Jonas, that ended as a split-draw, Harper looks to continue her improvement and ascension as one of boxing’s young stars. "I learnt a lot after my last fight in many ways and I do want that rematch with Tasha down the line and also unifications, but I have a proven and deserving mandatory challenger to contend with first before we even look at those options. This is a proper fight and one I’m not overlooking.” (DAZN) She will have the opportunity to apply the lessons learned against a skilled Jonas when she takes on Katharina Thanderz.
Katharina Thanderz, 32, doesn’t know what it feels like to lose as a professional. Thanderz has faced trials in the ring including a grind out victory over Rachel Ball who is another title hopeful on this card. Her resilience showed in the Ball fight as she overcame a broken hand in the fourth round to come out with the majority decision. Thanderz is tested and welcomes the challenge against the gifted champion and it should make for an entertaining bout.
Rachel Ball, 29, is embracing her opportunity for a world title after her points victory over Shannon Courtenay at Matchroom Fight Camp that elevated her standing in the sport. The former three-time kickboxing champion brings a long jab and a fierce competitive spirit to the ring. Boxing is still not a full-time job for Ball. She is a care worker in her day job, but like many fighters, she makes the sacrifices necessary by finding time to make it to the gym and prepare. This is her first chance at a world title, with hopes she can capture the title on a historic night for women’s boxing. Her opponent was meant to be the entertaining and artistic Ebanie “Blonde Bomber” Bridges, but a shoulder injury caused Bridges to pull herself from the bout. In steps, Jorgelina Guanini.
Jorgelina Guanini, 28, is championship grade. While Ball has the measurable advantages in this matchup, all the championship pedigree lies with Guanini. The reigning IBF Super-Flyweight champion is going for a world title in her second weight class. Her last two fights at bantamweight were both close decisions that could have gone either way. Her last was a majority decision victory against Julieta Andrea Ines Cardozo, 11-2 at the time. The second was a split-decision loss to Davinia Perez, 5-0 at the time. It remains uncertain if bantamweight is the best weight class for Guanini. What is certain is she has a chance to set things right at bantamweight on November 14 with a victory over Ball.
Also on the card is a Super Middleweight bout between John Docherty 9-0, 7 KOs and Jack Cullen 18-2-1, 9 KOs. The other known bout is a light-heavy contest that pits Thomas Whittaker Hart 4-0, 2 KOs against Jermaine Springer 7-1, 1 KO.
This night will have a bit of everything: a living legend; a promising star; a show-me-your-level fight between Ball and Guanini; and two prospects looking to show their worth. This card is a credit to boxing and the work these women and men put into the sport. Fans of boxing will need to support these shows for them to continue. Let’s sit back and enjoy the performances these talented fighters will put on.
TV: DAZN (USA) and Sky Sports (UK)