While it was Anne Sophie Da Costa who came in as the reigning World Boxing Federation (WBF) Womens World Strawweight Champion, and the fight took place in her hometown of Reims, France, it was Mexican challenger Yesenia Martinez Castrejon who started their fight best by far on Saturday night, November 9.
Castrejon took the fight to Da Costa, who in the first few rounds looked besides herself and surprised by the aggressiveness and hard punching of the visitor. Da Costa tried hard to take control, and slowly started to find her rhythm in the fourth.
After six rounds it was anybody’s fight, but in round seven the champion really found her groove and started to pull away with more precision and a higher work rate. Da Costa was at that point fighting with more aggression and urgency than Castrejon, who was still dangerous, especially with her overhand right and body-punching.
Going into the last round it still looked as if the fight could go either way, as many rounds were close and hard to score. Da Costa finished best, but both boxers put on a magnificent performance and the crowd, which included WBF Womens World Super Welterweight Champion Anne Sophie Mathis, seemed unsure if their local favorite had managed to keep the world title in France.
Judge Jean Marcel Nartz scored the bout a 95-95 draw, but Vincent Dupas and Jacqui Valliant had it 97-93 for Da Costa, scoring two more of those close rounds for the reigning champion.
A jubilant Anne Sophie Da Costa (31) remained undefeated and improved her professional record to 16-0 (7), while the very game and determined Yesenia Martinez Castrejon falls to a deceiving 15-13 (9) after an admirable effort. At only 24 years of age, she should get a new opportunity at a world title in the future.