IBF CHAMPION AVA KNIGHT RETURNS TO THE RING ON JUNE 30 in Mexico

IBF CHAMPION AVA KNIGHT RETURNS TO THE RING ON JUNE 30
Knight will make her second IBF Flyweight Title defense in Mexico against Susana
Vazquez, live on Televisa.
TORREON, COAHUILA DE ZARAGOZA, MEXICO,
June 27 2012 – International Boxing Federation (IBF) Flyweight
Champion, Ava “The Lady of Boxing” Knight (Chico, California, 8-1-3, 5 KOs) will
defend her title on June 30, 2012, against Susana “Toluquita” Vazquez (Toluca,
Mexico, 8-6-1, 3 KOs) at the Auditorio Centenario, located in
Torreon, Coahuila de Zaragoza, Mexico. Knight’s 10-round, IBF title
defense will be featured on the Mexican television network,
Televisa, as part of their weekly boxing series, “Sabados de
Corona.” The fight card titled, “Noche de Guerreros (Night of Warriors),”
is presented by Promociones del Pueblo, HG Boxing, Kochul
Montiel Producciones, and Grupo Modelo. Mexican boxing stars Marco Antonio
Rubio, undefeated Roberto Ortiz, and Katia Gutierrez will also be featured on
the card (in separate bouts).
Ava Knight was born in Chico, California, to a Polish mother and an African-American father. A female
friend introduced her to the sport of boxing by regularly taking her to a local
gym and by the age of thirteen, Knight began her boxing training. Joe Rodriguez,
her first boxing coach, bestowed upon her the nickname, “The Lady of Boxing,”
because of her respectful and polite demeanor in the gym. Rodriguez, his son,
Louis, and Ava’s father, Eliot, helped train Knight for eight years, and are
credited with producing Ava’s strong boxing fundamentals.
Knight had a stellar amateur career, which included wins over the 110 lb. Golden Gloves Champion and
the National P.A.L. 114 lb. champion (twice) in 2006. She won the flyweight
silver medal at the 2006 National Amateur Championships and was also a two-time
San Francisco Golden Gloves titlist. Her amateur career record was an impressive
28-4.

Ava Knight gets ready for war

On August 30, 2007, at the age of nineteen, Knight made her professional boxing debut, with a unanimous
decision victory against Leonie Hall. Since then, Knight has defeated two
current world champions, Kaliesha West in 2008, and Arely Mucino in 2011. Her
only loss came in 2009, at the hands of another world champion, Ana Maria
Torres. During the fight with Torres, Knight was ailing from a back
injury and had food poisoning, but still managed to go the
distance.

Ava Knight

In 2010, Ava Knight moved to the SFC (Straight Forward Club) Boxing Gym in San Francisco,
California, under the guidance of her current boxing trainer and manager, Ben
Bautista. On October 29, 2011, with Bautista in her corner, she defeated the
previously unbeaten IBF Flyweight Champion, Arely Mucino, with a second round
knockout. Knight last fought on March 31, 2012, when she made her first
successful IBF Flyweight title defense against Thailand’s Hongfah Tor
Buamas. Knight dominated every round of the fight with Buamas, landed an
abundance of punishing blows, and eventually won by TKO in the tenth and final
round.
Now twenty-three years old, Knight makes her second IBF title defense on the June 30 fight card. Her
opponent, Susana Vazquez, has lost six times in her career, but five of those
losses were to four different world champions, Ana Maria Torres, Jackie Nava,
Mariana Juarez (twice), and Arely Mucino.
Team Knight is prepared to face a battle-tested Vazquez. Knight said, “Vazquez is a very tough
opponent. She has been in the ring with many great Mexican boxing stars; some
that I hope to fight someday. I am training hard to make our fight a short one,
but if that isn’t the case, I have been in the gym, grinding hard, to make sure
we go out with a unanimous decision. I never take anyone lightly, and plan on
giving the fans all they can handle.”
Coach Ben Bautista said, “Susana Vazquez is definitely a tough and worthy opponent. She has been in
there with the best and has been in close fights with them. Ava is prepared to
overcome Susana’s efforts in the ring.”
In preparation for this fight, Knight left her home in Chico and had a multi-week training camp in
the Bay Area. Knight said, “Training camp has been going great. My
coach, Ben Bautista, has been hard at work, sharpening my skills and making
adjustments for our opponent. I traveled to the many Bay Area Boxing Gyms in
order to get in the ring with the best boxers in the area. My father, Eliot
Knight, was a great help to me in camp and it’s great to keep him involved in my
career.”
Bautista added, “Training Camp has been on point. Ava has followed the script that I laid out
for her. She has been free from distractions and is mentally focused on
winning. We worked on many things in camp that centered on enhancing her skills
and elevating her mental capabilities. Ava is still a work in progress, but she
is striving to become a complete fighter.”
Team Knight is excited
to return to Mexico, where they have been well received by their passionate
boxing fans. Ava said, “I am very happy to be traveling back to
Mexico. I love the atmosphere and the excitement from the fans. I am glad that
Hector Garcia of HG Boxing is giving me the opportunity to showcase my talent on
television. This will give many countries across the world the
opportunity to see a great night for women’s boxing.” Bautista agreed and said,
“I love fighting in Mexico. HG Promotions always takes care of us and the
Mexican people have a whole lot of love for boxing. They have shown us that you
don’t have to be Mexican for them to love you. They will support a fighter who
is willing to bring it every time they enter the ring, and I think that is why
they love Ava. Her fan base in Mexico is growing at a fast rate.”
Team Knight hopes that the women’s boxing in America eventually catches up to the popularity it
receives in Mexico. Knight said, “It is a shame that the United States hasn’t
jumped on the wagon with televising female boxing, but I’m happy that other
countries are willing to pick up our slack. Other countries are being
entertained by displaying women that can fight and put on great shows. Women’s
boxing is taking a big step with finally being added to the Olympics this year,
and I am very happy that I am witnessing this day. A lot of women work very
hard, and give up a lot of opportunities to be involved in this sport. There
appears to be some steps being taken toward some type of equality and I am very
happy about that.”
Coach Bautista gave his opinion on the sport. “Women’s boxing is getting better, but still not close
to getting the same respect as men’s boxing. Hopefully, by making great matches
like the last Ava Knight vs. Kaliesha West world title fight, which was the best
female fight I ever witnessed, and by bringing similar fights to a major
television network, the situation will change. Also, by showcasing women’s
boxing in the Olympics, it will excite more fans and invite more females to
participate in the sport. With a growing fan base, perhaps more promoters will
be enticed to get involved with women’s boxers and give them more decent
wages.”
Knight is thankful for everyone that has supported her in preparation for this fight. Knight said, “I
have to thank Coach Ben, SFC Boxing Gym, Boxing for Health, all the media,
friends, family, and fans in Chico, the Bay Area, the U.S., Mexico, and all over
the world for all the support I have received. I would like to thank Muscle Milk
and Nike for their sponsorship. I am grateful to anyone that sent me a kind
message or helped me in any way.”
Tickets for
Ava’s fight on June 30 are available at the Auditorio
Centenario box office and on SuperBoletos. The Televisa broadcast will
begin at 7pm CT.
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