Lucia Rijker claimed the flu and backed out. Hannah Fox had an "injury" and retreated. Now it actually appears as if tonight, Augusta's Denise Moraetes will finally get to fight for a women's boxing championship.
The opponent is Kathy Collins of Plainview, N.Y. The venue: the Adams Mark Hotel in Tulsa, Okla., as the bout headlines the Tulsa Charity Fight Night.
On the line: the International Boxing Association's junior welterweight title.
For the 5-foot-5, 140-pound Moraetes, 10-1 and fighting out of the Augusta Boxing Club, it seems the third time is the most charmed. Rijker and Fox both held junior welterweight titles for different organizations, and both backed out of contracted title defenses against Moraetes.
But in Collins, Moraetes has found an opponent that might be equal to her rugged, inside-the-hands style. Collins, at 13-1, is the only woman to hold belts sanctioned by the WIBF, the IFBA and the IWBF, three of the four women's professional boxing bodies.
The two have met once before, in the 1995 New York Golden Gloves. Moraetes won a decision and proceeded to claim that title.