IBF World Featherweight Champion Jennifer Han made her return to the ring vs Jeri Sitzes at the El Paso County Coliseum in front of a crowd of 2,000 Saturday night.
After almost a two year break from the ring, Han looked to return stronger and quicker than before. At the same time, Sitzes was unable to land shots on the champion throughout the match.
While Sitzes was the aggressor for most of the fight as she continued to move in on Han, she was greeted with a series of jabs and hooks from Han.
Han’s endurance was a non issue, as she utilized the entire ring throughout the fight and mastered up a series of combinations that kept Sitzes at bay. Han showed more power in her punches, which stopped Sitzes’ forward attack.
The contrast in styles was evident, as Sitzes was unable to land most of her punches, while Han was able to evade most of her combination attempts. Sitzes was able to withstand Hans best combinations of the night able to take the match to the full eight rounds.
All three judges scored the bout 80-72 in unanimous decision with Jennifer Han getting the Victory. Han’s record moves to 18-3-1 and Jeri Sitzes falls to 15-11-1
As for what’s next, Han shares that she has her sights set on defending her championship and winning more titles to add to the collection. We will have to wait and see who will be next for El Paso’s Sweetheart.
In the undercard bouts:
Mario Gonzalez defeats vs Sean Hamilton
Joey Saenz defeats Eduardo Simmons
Dwayne Bonds defeats Carlos Villava
Ayanna Vasquez defeats Susana Uribe
Josue Garcia defeats Miguel Gallegos
Gallery by Ruben R. Ramirez & Johnny Yturales – El Paso Herald Post
World Champion and El Paso’s Sweetheart Jennifer Han announced a return to the ring during a news conference Thursday afternoon.
Han’s return to boxing will be on February 15th, 2020 at the El Paso County Coliseum. The IBF Champion will fight her next fight in a 131-135 Jr., lightweight division fight, against an unnamed opponent. Golden Eagle Promotions will be promoting the fight.
Our very own Ruben R. Ramirez was there and we bring you his view of the news conference via this gallery.
El Pasoans had to wait well past midnight to see their hometown champion Jennifer Han defend her IBF Featherweight Championship; and after 10 rounds, Han would win by unanimous decision in her third title defense.
Han would retain the title regardless of the outcome inside the ring due to her opponent, Olivia Gerula, not making weight–but that didn’t change Han’s strategy.
“It was very frustrating, because I was worried that this wouldn’t count as a title defense, but I had nothing to worry about, because I did my work, I did what I had to do and made weight,” Han said. “This was a successful defense for me. It is what it is.”
The 33-year old Han, headlining her sixth consecutive bout in El Paso, improved her record to 16-3-1, with one knock out.
“I’m so blessed and i’m so excited about what’s coming next,” Han said. “It’s hard work, but June, July–sometime very soon, big things, big things and hopefully here in El Paso.”
Gerula, 36, would get knocked down in the fifth round, something she preferred to call a slip.
“It was a slip, I’m sorry. A hundred percent, she caught me moving and it just caught me at the right angle–down I went,” Gerula said. “Power is not her thing, she was definitely slick, couldn’t keep her trapped anywhere to hit her. She was very elusive, good fighter.”
After knowing she hadn’t made weight, Gerula had hopes of winning the match to later get a rematch for Han’s featherweight championship. Han added that she knew they had a tough opponent, but also an opponent that was less skilled saying, “Not better than I am.”
“We already knew that she was strong and that she was going to come with those big over hands,” Han said. “She fought exactly how her style is so (trainer) Louie (Burke) gave me the best boxing strategy–movement and try and connect with those good, short jabs.”
The Canadian Gerula, said after the fight that she had never missed weight in 20 years of boxing adding that her scale was giving her lighter weight than the official weigh-in number, missing the mark by just over a pound.
After the fight Han said event coordinator, Lester Bedford, is looking to schedule a bigger promotion for her hoping it will be televised.
While boxing has been a male-dominated sport for centuries, it has been yet another fight for Han to become a top commodity in the sport.
The card featured six bouts, with Han’s listed as last in line. Three of the previous five fights were televised by Univision Deportes, all male fighters, showcasing 34 rounds of boxing as they all went the distance. All but one bout was decided unanimously.
The main event for Univision featured a lightweight bout between Peru’s Jonathan Maicelo (25-2, 12 KOs) and Mexico’s Jose Felix, now 35-2-1, in what turned into an upset as Maicelo knocked down Felix five time en route to a unanimous decision victory.
Despite not having her bout televised, Han was pleased with the turnout at the Don Haskins Center of approximately 3,000.
“It’s special, did you see the crowd today? It was awesome. El Paso came out to support,” Han said. “I hope that I made them proud tonight.”
Gallery by Andres Acosta, Chief Photographer El Paso Herald-Post