With the deck appearing to be stacked hopelessly against her, Melissa McMorrow (10-5-3, 1 KO) regained the WBO flyweight title by winning a split decision over a shocked Kenia Enriguez (13-1, 6 KOs) at the Centro De Convenciones in Baja California, Mexico last Saturday night.
McMorrow entered the contest not only facing an undefeated fighter in her hometown, but also being on the losing end of two dubious decisions in Mexico. McMorrow, the shorter boxer by a few inches, wasted little time by applying pressure in the opening stanza.
Enriquez jabbed and moved, but McMorrow stayed close, connecting with a solid left hook.
McMorrow forced the action in rounds two and three. She bobbed and weaved, winging hooks. Enriguez connected with a combination, but the determined McMorrow fired back.
Enriquez tried jabbing more, but as soon as McMorrow got inside, she went to work.
In round four, Enriguez moved side-to-side. McMorrow, 33, continued to throw punches.
The 21-year-old Enriguez caught McMorrow with a sharp left-right, but McMorrow’s left hand was very effective.
Enriguez had a good round five as McMorrow missed more punches than she landed.
Through five rounds, Enriguez appeared to have a slight edge. She looked confident as she gazed at McMorrow before round six commenced. She should have been wary. The former champion from San Francisco, CA, was about to kick her effort into a higher gear.
McMorrow brought the heat in rounds six, seven and eight. She pounded Enriguez on the inside. Her left landed. A right hand found pay dirt. Enriguez was finding it difficult to breath. She tried to jab and move away, but McMorrow continued to throw multiple punches.
Enriguez attempted to use the huge ring to her advantage in rounds nine and ten, but she couldn't escape McMorrow's barrage of punches.
The judges' scores were 97-93 and 98-92 for McMorrow, and 96-94 for Enriquez.
Maxboxing and Doghouseboxing had McMorrow winning the fight by a 96-94 tally.
“My keys to victory were constant pressure and to keep the fight at a close distance,” McMorrow told this writer via email a few days ago.
She accomplished both.
Trainer Eddie Croft never doubted his charge would pull out the victory.
“Melissa puts relentless pressure on everyone she fights,” said Croft. “We knew for certain that Melissa would win that type of fight.”
McMorrow is anxious to return to the ring soon.
Revenge is on her mind.
“I want a rematch with Arely Mucino.” said McMorrow. “And I want a fight with Ava Knight.”