Mrdjenovich vs. Amand Preview
By Robert Ecksel
On Saturday, October 8, at the Complexe des Maradas in Cergy-Pontoise, Val-d’Oise, France, WBA/WBC World female featherweight champion Jelena Mrdjenovich (36-10-1, 19 KOs), from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, defends her title against undefeated Gaëlle Amand (14-0, 1 KO), from Cergy-Pontoise, Val-d’Oise, France.
Mrdjenovic turned pro in 2003. She won the WBC World female super featherweight title in 2005. In her last fight, on March 11, 2016, Mrdjenovic defeated Edith Soledad Mathis by unanimous decision to claim the WBA World female featherweight title.
Amand had her pro debut in 2010, and while she is undefeated in her six-year career, she has not fought for a world title, nor fought anyone as skilled as Mrdjenovich.
“I feel very strong,” said Mrdjenovich. “We have taken a good workout plan. We know it is not easy to travel to France and win, but we have gone to other countries and won. I’ll get a great win.
“Going into my last fight, I was probably the healthiest I’ve been in three years. Going into this fight, already I feel like I have built upon (that win) and I feel healthier and stronger than I have in a long time.”
Mrdjenovich’s last fight, against Matthysse, was the first of two fights and it was a war.
“I’ve always had that power in my punches,” said Mrdjenovich, “but it’s the explosive power that I was missing, and I’ve been working on that.
“I was down before my last fight, and I can’t be up and down like that. Winning that last fight helped me get back mentally where I need to be.
“This fight is exciting for me. Undefeated fighters are always exciting for me, because they don’t know how to lose and they come to fight.”
Amand is undefeated, but she is taking a big step up in class.
“She hasn’t fought anyone of my caliber, or my power, but she certainly brings different challenges. I haven’t seen a lot of footage on her and we’ll have our work cut out—but I’m very confident heading into this fight.”
Mrdjenovich has fought in Argentina, Panama and Japan, but this will be her first fight in France.
“I love it. I live for it,” said Mrdjenovich. “You always go into someone else’s backyard as the underdog and whether I’m a world champion or not, I consider myself the underdog and I’m working with that approach as if I’m the underdog.
“I always look for the biggest challenge … the hardest challenge I can have in that moment and this is going to be a good fight for me.”