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Thursday, February 3, 2022

Cohen to Face Valenzuela on February 11

Dr. Stefi Cohen is scheduled to face Karla "Princesa" Valenzuela on February 11 at Miami Airport Convention Center in Miami, Florida, USA. Valenzuela is far more experienced than Cohen but sports a poor record.

Cohen (1-0-1, 1 KO) is coming off a nearly five-month layoff. "Doctor Dynamite" has had a couple of fight dates fall through recently. A world record-holding powerlifter, Cohen has weighed 123.5 and 125.3 pounds for her two pro fights. According to multiple sources, this bout is scheduled for the bantamweight division. Stefi said she is currently 124 pounds and according to videos shared on social media, appears to be in excellent fighting shape. It might be difficult for the 29 year old native of Venezuela to make the 118-pound limit short of cutting off an arm.

Valenzuela, a native of Durango, Mexico, is a 31-fight veteran. The 30 year old started her pro career back in 2013 and now has a record of 3-25-3 with one KO. Twenty-one of her fights have come against opponents with a winning record and she has fought some very talented competitors. She has 162 rounds of pro experience to Cohen's seven and a three inch height advantage.

Valenzuela is likely not entering the ring just to survive. La Princesa throws a lot of punches, particularly jabs. Her punch technique is mostly solid but inconsistent. At times she lunges with her jab and at other times she pushes her punches. Her biggest offensive weakness is a lack of hand-speed. She senses when the opponent is ready to punch and lets her hands go at the right time to counter, but her opponent typically lands before she does.

Despite her eight stoppage losses, Valenzuela is very tough. In a 2015 fight against Yamileth Mercado, Karla suffered a freak injury early in the the fight and lost by TKO. But most of her stoppage losses were like her 2019 defeat against Paulette Valenzuela. Paulette landed many flush shots throughout the fight before catching Karla with a chopping right in the fourth to score the KO. La Princesa's problem is not her chin or her toughness; it's her defense.

This bout is scheduled for four two-minute rounds, so stamina shouldn't be an issue. Cohen can show off her new boxing skills if she wishes, but she should be able to rough up Valenzuela if she goes that route. Valenzuela's meager knockout ratio isn't a fluke, so Cohen's biggest challenge in the fight is to make sure her work rate is sufficient. While a loss would be disastrous for her boxing career, a KO victory would be a great sign for Stefi's prospects in the sport. Most likely though: Cohen by decision.

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