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Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Stefi Cohen and Leanne Calderon Make Weight

Dr. Stefanie Cohen and her opponent, Leanne Calderon Smith, both made the bantamweight limit ahead of their four round affair tomorrow at the Fantasy Springs Resort in Indio, California, USA. The event will be broadcast on DAZN.

Cohen (2-1-1, one KO) weighed in at 116.6 pounds, the lightest of her career. This is actually the fourth time Stefi has made the bantamweight limit as a pro. She came in under the 118-pound limit in January, but that fight was called off when her opponent lost weight after the weigh-in creating a gap that CSAC deemed too wide. Cohen's heaviest weight was 125.3 pounds in September of 2021.

Stefi is now fighting out of the Churchill Boing Club in Santa Monica, California. Her new coach is Pedro Santiago Jr. Her old coach, Pedro Diaz, is a masterful teacher of the sweet science, but in retrospect, probably wasn't the best fit for Cohen. As a short and strong newcomer to the sport, a mauling, in-fighting style seems to best suit her physical attributes. She fought that way in her debut; the only time she earned a KO victory. Under Diaz, Cohen's boxing ability improved tremendously, but the results didn't correlate with her new skills.

Ahead of tomorrow's bout, Cohen sparred with undefeated prospect Bree Howling of Canada.  A 24 year old with lofty ambitions, Howling is getting ready for fight a next month. In 2021, she told Jamie Rebner of The Fight City, "I do plan to bring a world title to Canada. I don’t want my career to be easy. I don’t want a padded record." Like Howling, Cohen had no amateur boxing experience, but has not had an easy road as a professional.

Leanne Calderon Smith's 1-2-1 record is not impressive on paper, but she beat the only woman to beat Cohen. Calderon is in better shape than she has ever been as a pro boxer. She weighed in at 117.2 pounds, the lightest of her career. Her heaviest weight came in her last fight back in November when she was 121 pounds. This is the first time Calderon has made the bantamweight limit.

If tomorrow's fight is a boxing match, Calderon has a good shot, but if it's a brawl, bet on Cohen.

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