Monday, May 4, 2015

Boxing World Champion: Christina McMahon

McMahon celebrates in Zambia PIC via Twitter Kevin Byrne
Ireland has a new World Champion in boxing - Christina McMahon defeated Catherine Piri in an exciting fight in Zambia at the weekend.

McMahon is one of those inspiring women who took on kickboxing, amateur boxing and now professional boxing and owned them all.  I first met her in 2010 when I was working on a radio documentary (listen below) called: "Why do we box?" I was probably exploring why I had retired as much as why other people fight but it made for an interesting experience to listen to people like McMahon without having to actually put my own tuppence worth in.

This fight brings her to 7-0 in her professional career. Oh, and she's 40 years of age. Just goes to show that if you keep training, stay focused that you can overcome the fabled 'slowdown' of age. One of the Zambian journalists ringside tweeted: 'Christina “Lightning” McMahon schooled Catherine Phiri. She was way too smart #experience"

PIC VIA WomenBoxing
Now this isn't the straightforward win that it might seem. (sighs about complexity of boxing rules). McMahon is ranked 10th in the bantamweight division by the WBC and Phiri is 2nd. The Irish woman took the 10-round fight at short notice and it was an Interim World Title bout.

This is a title offered when for some serious reason the World Champion cannot fight. It can only be fought between two highly-ranked fighters in that same division. That means McMahon is a World Champion as both titles are valid simultaneously.

The No 1 Ranked  World Champion holder must fight the holder of the Interim belt or forfeit the title.*

I know, I know. And they wonder why people are losing faith in boxing. So, now it's up to the WBC to offer McMahon a chance to fight the No 1 ranked boxer Mexican Yazmin Rivas. They did give out the Interim WC belt though so I'm guessing McMahon will take that and the title with a huge grin. 

So in this radio documentary you hear from McMahon, but also Australian MuayThai fighter Kelly Simon (now Burke, and retired) as well as European champion Willie 'Big Bang' Casey. among others. I asked them why they fight, and what is that draws them into such tough sports ?

*Updated May 7th to clarify what an Interim title is.


Unknown said...

Boxing has become the most popular game in the world. In fact, most of the people love to watch boxing match during their leisure time. Muay Thai in Connecticut also more popular.

real girl sport said...

@ Andrew - thanks for dropping by. Definitely on the up and up, although a lot of cynicism about boxing at the highest levels. It's v exciting to see MuayThai spreading out from its home in Asia as you say.