Yamileth Mercado Could Unify With Mayerlin Rivas After Chinwandire Defense
WBC super bantamweight champion Yamileth “Yeimi” Mercado (21-3, 5KO) successfully defended the title against Interim champion Kudakwashe “Take Money” Chinwandire (6-3-1, 4KO). The WBC champion could look toward unification with WBA champion Mayerlin Rivas next.
Yeimi was laser focused in this fight, showing off superior boxing skills against the less experienced Chinwandire. The WBC champion took control from the start of the bell by landing the straight right hand at will. Her defense, footwork, and counterpunching kept Take Money off balance until the final bell.
The judges’ scorecards were 100-90, 99-91, and 98-92 in favor of Mercado.
IS A UNIFICATION NEXT FOR THE CHAMPION?
Mercado is the longest reigning champion of the division, since winning the rematch against Fatuma Zarika in 2019. With the other champions tied up, a unification with Rivas is the most viable option. IBF champion Cherneka Johnson is unavailable after the sanctioning body ordered a fight with top contender Ellie Scotney in November 2022. WBO champion Debore Dionicius has been ordered to give former champion Segolene Lefebvre a chance to regain the title. Lefebvre never lost the belt in the ring but had to vacate the title after suffering an injury.
That leaves WBA champion Mayerlin Rivas, who won the vacant title after defeating Laura Ledezma in February 2020. The 35 year-old Venezuelan made headlines by signing with Matchroom Boxing in May 2022. In her last outing, she scored a third-round stoppage against Karina Fernandez in June 2022.
This would be an excellent match-up as both women fight at a high level and are very good counterpunchers. Mercado has good footwork and is a decent fighter off the backfoot. Rivas fights well behind the jab and has power in that right hand.
The super bantamweight division needs to start working toward undisputed, and this fight is a way to get things going.