Sunday, March 26, 2023  |


Women’s Ratings Update: Yesica Bopp returns at 108, Tada yields to Nguyen at 105

Photo: Courtesy of Yesica Bopp via Juan Manuel Plana/@planafotografia

In our previous update, Mexico’s Maria Guadalupe Bautista took over the No. 5 spot at junior flyweight after Tania Enriquez’s inactivity for over a year.

In the end, it was a short-lived achievement for Bautista, who now loses her spot to make room for the return of a legend of the game.

“Yesica Bopp was sharp, active, and full of vigor, showing zero ring rust,” said boxing historian Malissa Smith, in her vote (which was unanimously shared by the panel) to bring back Argentina’s Bopp, one of the longest-reigning boxing titlists of all time in any gender, back into the fray. “A super fight with (WBO titlist) Seniesa (Estrada) would be high octane, pitting Bopp’s clean skillset with Seniesa’s unorthodox command of the ring.”

Bopp (37-2, 17 KOs) defeated Venezuela’s Johana Zúñiga (16-1, 9 KOs) in a dominant KO win on Friday, Oct. 22, to defend her “super” WBA title in well over two years. She had been declared “champion in recess” during her inactivity, and returned to face unheralded Juliana Basualdo back in September, losing by split decision over six rounds in one of the biggest upsets in women’s boxing history. Defeating the then-unbeaten Zúñiga, however, was more than enough for many panelists to welcome Bopp back into the 108-pounds rankings.

“It’s time to bring back Bopp,” agreed Lupi Gutierrez-Beagle. “This win gets us a little closer to the younger Seniesa vs the veteran Bopp,” while Mark Jones said that “with her stoppage victory, Yesica Bopp regenerates the idea of a super-bout between her and Seniesa Estrada.”

The Argentine members of the panel, who witnessed Bopp’s entire career, were in agreement, but not without some caveats.

“Bopp continues to be one of the best, and hopefully she will be given the opportunity to face the best fighters in the world,” said Yesica Palmetta, who also wrote Bopp’s biography ‘La novia del boxeo,” while Irene Deserti retorted that “clearly Zuñiga was not a great rival, but I think Bopp should make the list anyway. Hopefully, better challenges will come for the Argentine fighter.”

Three pounds below and halfway around the world, another fight created an opportunity for another change in the No. 5 position of our rankings, when Japan’s Etsuko Tada traveled to South Korea to risk and subsequently lose her WBO strawweight strap at the hands of Vietnam’s Thi Thu Nhi Nguyen on Saturday, Oct. 23.

As a consequence of this result, both fighters traded places, and Nguyen became The Ring’s new No. 5 ranked fighter at 105 pounds.

“I saw the fight, and I really liked Thi Thu Nhi Nguyen’s boxing skills,” said Palmetta. “Nguyen won with speed and knew how to solve Tada’s constant pressure.”

“I watched clips of the fight and thought she was competent. I’m hopeful that Tada gets a rematch against Nyuyen,” added Jones, while Japan’s Yuriko Miyata retorted that “although I saw Tada winning, I won’t say it was a robbery. I agree that Nyguen replacing Tada at the No. 5 spot.”

Smith provided some extra insight on the fight as well.

“Nguyen vs Tada provided non-stop action in their closely contested fight from bell to bell for the full fight.  Both fighters showed excellent skills, with Nguyen showing explosive power and Tada using beautiful body work. With the win, I think Nguyen’s performance more than earned the No. 5 spot along with the WBO title.”