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Han Shines in First Title Defense

She was patient, but aggressive and after 10 rounds of boxing, IBF Featherweight Champion Jennifer Han won by unanimous decision in her first title defense against Calista Silgado.

Han showed the poise and patience of a champion, waiting for her shots while working jabs and body combinations. Silgado’s punches were many, but few landed.

IBF Champion Jennifer Han with the punch on challenger Calista Silgado during title night at the ballpark
IBF Champion Jennifer Han with the punch on challenger Calista Silgado during title night at the ballpark

“From what I saw, she had great defense…she had great training, she came very well prepared, but I was able to execute Louie’s (Burke) game plan, so I’m the champion still,” Han said.

Han was originally set to fight Lilian Martinez who failed to show for her visa interview, forcing the slate of Silgado into the fight. That proved to be irrelevant as Han showed why she’s the champion winning every round.

She is building a legacy for herself as El Paso’s first world champion.

“I’m so proud to be from El Paso and to make everybody appreciate female fighters, to support the IBF Championship,” Han said. “El Paso is going to blow up with so much talent. I hope I’m paving the way so bigger and better things will come.”

Silgado looked frustrated for most of the fight as she chased punches, struggling to connect. Han’s first title defense came in front of 4,312 spectators who were all cheering on the homegrown talent.

“It was so loud…I was trying not to get very emotional because then I was going to lose focus on my gameplan,” Han said. “I felt everybody that was here, when I walked through I was like, don’t look at anybody…this place is beautiful, I’ve actually fought at a baseball park, I fought at Cohen Stadium and that was awesome, but it’s not Southwest University Park, this place is beautiful.”

Han is not certain of what’s to follow, but said after the fight she heard promoters say in two to three months

IBF Champion Jennifer Han with the punch on challenger Calista Silgado during title night at the ballpark
IBF Champion Jennifer Han with the punch on challenger Calista Silgado during title night at the ballpark

Southwest University Park would be once again the venue, something she would be open to doing.

The main event followed six other bouts including a win from El Paso’s Even Torres who dominated his opponent Miguel Llamas, knocking him down twice in the first down and eventually winning bye TKO after the fight was stopped by the referee in the second round.

Also from El Paso was Tim Meeks, who outlasted Robert Sanders in a four-round light heavyweight bout, winning by unanimous decision.

Two fighters making their professional debut were Saul Gomez from Juárez and Jorrel Sparenburg from Albuquerque. Gomez would out punch Sparenburg also victorious by unanimous decision.

Han hopes the event can be the first of many going forward in what she called a successful night.

“I believe that all the fighters that were on the card under me, I know bigger and better things are going to wait for them, so they need to keep training hard and keep putting on a good show,” Han said. “Hopefully I’ll get to fight with my brother (Abraham Han), because he’s hands down an amazing fighter, in my opinion the best in the Southwest.”

To see more photos from the Han’s Championship Night at Southwest University Park, click HERE.

To view photos from the other matches, click HERE.

About Daniel L. Ornelas

Sports Reporter Daniel Ornelas was born and raised in El Paso is an Avid hiker, food lover and fitness enthusiast. Daniel is a class of 2012 UTEP Alumni and was the Sports Editor of The Prospector (2012)FULL BIO

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