In a major upset, Catherine Phiri, Lusaka, Zambia, lifted the WBC World female bantamweight title from now former champion Yazmin Rivas, Torreon, Mexico, winning a seven-round technical decision when it was determined that Rivas couldn’t continue as a result of sustaining a cut over her right eye from an accidental clash of heads in the previous round.
Phiri, a professional since 2011, aggressively stood toe-to-toe with the champion getting the better of the action on two scorecards (59-55, 58-56) whereas a third judge called in even at (57-57).
With the victory, Phiri improves to (11-1, 5 KOs); Rivas drops to (34-9, 10 KOs) with the tough-luck loss.
Phiri previously held the WBC Silver female bantamweight title and the African Boxing Union female bantamweight strap. In May 2015, she lost a bid for the interim WBC World female bantamweight title losing a ten-round, majority-decision to Canadian Christina McMahon.
The 28-year-old Rivas, a veteran of 43 professional bouts, formerly held the WBC World super-flyweight title and the world bantamweight title twice (IBF, WBC). She should be considered a betting favorite to regain a bantamweight strap for the third time.
Photo Credit: Zanfer
Mark A. Jones