Following her loss to Delfine Persoon in Belgium for the IBF Lightweight title Australian boxer Erin McGowan will be moving down to her natural weight class, super featherweight.
In order to get a shot at a world title McGowan has had to give away a lot of weight in the past. Not just once but on a number of occasions. In October of 2010 she won the WBO Lightweight title which was at a division above her normal weight class. In September of 2011 she travelled to Argentina and challenged Monica Acosta for the WBC Light Welterweight title. Despite moving up two divisions McGowan fought a very tough fight and lost a very controversial decision to the local fighter. The decision was so controversial the WBC ordered a rematch. Due to McGowan’s management problems the rematch never materialised. In fact McGowan was left out of action for over a year.
McGowan eventually managed to terminate her contract with her former management team and following that she signed up with a new manager, the highly respected Butch Gottlieb from Las Vegas. Within a few weeks of signing up with Butch he got her a shot at the vacant IBF Lightweight title in Belgium. This fight again was outside her normal weight class but as we all know as a fighter you can never turn down an opportunity to fight for a world title. These opportunities do not come along too often so you just gotta grab every opportunity that comes along your way.
A number of things worked against McGowan going into this fight. Firstly, she was coming up against a legit, strong and fully developed lightweight in Delfine Persoon. Secondly, she was fighting Persoon in her backyard in Belgium. And thirdly, McGowan hadn’t been very active in the last two years prior to this fight. Between October 2010 and September 2012 she had only had two fights compared to Persoon’s twelve fights in the same period of time. In fact Delfine won eleven of those twelve fights whereas McGowan on the other hand only won one of her two fights. There is no doubt that McGowan was coming into this fight with a lot of ring rusty.
In a normal world it would have been ideal for her to have one or two tune-up bouts before going into a fight of this magnitude but as already mentioned above it was just an opportunity too good for any fighter to bypass. Despite losing on a 7th round TKO McGowan fought a tough fight and won herself some fans in Belgium. She is very disappointed and devastated by the loss but considering all the things above that worked against her going into this fight she should instead be very proud of herself. The truth is this girl is a warrior. A road warrior like former two-times world champion, Brian Mitchell, who would travel anywhere around the world to fight anyone. Not many fighters like fighting outside their own backyard as they fear becoming victims of hometown decisions.
The weight difference between the two fighters could be seen from the minute the bell rung. McGowan couldn’t push Persoon around like she would have liked to. In fact a few days leading into the fight McGowan was weighing as light as a featherweight. She had to eat and drink before the weigh-in so she didn’t come in too light on the official scales. McGowan who decided to have a little holiday after the fight before heading back to Australia had this to say immediately after the fight:
“I’m disappointed and devastated that I didn’t win the fight. I would like to apologise to my fans, friends and family but I can promise you I will be back bigger and stronger. I think I tried too hard to take the fight to Persoon. Having been a victim of a hometown decision in the past when I fought Monica Acosta in Argentina I knew I had to try to knock Persoon out to win the fight or get knocked out. Unfortunately I got stopped but that’s boxing for you. You win some and you lose some. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone including my team, promoters, sponsors, friends, family, fans, etc, for the continued love and support. I would also like to congratulate Delfine Persoon for winning the IBF title. She fought a great fight and God bless her. I’m gonna have a little holiday now and then I will sit down with my team and plan my future ahead from here.”
According to McGowan’s manager, Butch Gottlieb, after McGowan has taken a holiday they will sit down and plan her future together. But he also made it clear that she will definitely move down to super featherweight for any future bouts. He also wants her to spend more time in Las Vegas where she will continue to get proper sparring and training.
October 3, 2012