Even now as the rise of female boxing is gaining ground on its male counterpart, as we see the rise of the likes of Katie Taylor and Clarissa Shields, we still hear of a dearth and not a depth in the female boxing scene. People talk not of the fantastic match ups but of the difficulties of getting great opponents for the rising stars. The go to refrain of commentators and pundits, and even the boxers themselves, is always that there is a lack of talent, that dearth of depth as you will.
So when it comes to anyone who would take the tag of a journey fighter, journeyman is suddenly out of kilter, it could be suggested that the fraternity (is it a maternity?) will struggle even more to find a fighter that has heart, gloves and a passport, will travel, attitude.
103 fights into her career, with a creditable 20 wins, Slovakian, Claudia Ferenczi is one such boxer.
Most of us, to be honest, are just getting out heads round female boxing though we can remember the feats of Jane Couch and perhaps even the career, though not very well, of Muhamad Ali’s daughter, Laila who also, like her dad, won world titles; though unlike her father, at more than one weight.
We also tend to think of the typical journeyman being a part time builder with kids to feed on a council estate who turns up at venues with the gear in the car. It does not translate well to an ideal of femininity. We struggle when we consider that this might legitimately be a career for a woman.
But here is Ferenczi, well travelled and well used in the ring to test the likes of former ABA finalist and England amateur Carly Skelly, Emma McCulloch and Lisa Whiteside in the UK. Big names have eluded Ferenczi in her career to date but in 2018 she took on Sarah Bormann for the IBF intercontinental and German flyweight titles, losing by stoppage in the 7th and just last year was in the ring against Alicia Holzken for the same IBF title, this time lasting the distance but losing on points.
Around those title opportunities she has popped up in a huge number of European countries including as far north as Finland and Sweden and as far south as Montenegro.
Her one fight outside of Europe was when she was also in India in 2016 taking on the Commonwealth Bronze medallist, Pinki Rani in India, on Rani’s professional debut. Ferenczi lost by points over 4 rounds.
It’s perhaps a long way from her debut in 2007 when she faced Elena Miftode, losing on points over 4 rounds but to have such a career that has seen her travel extensively over the world, perhaps allows us to see why she has that heart, that attitude and a passport filled with stamps. Opportunities to see the world, and she is only 27 years old, for the likes of domestic journeymen, are rare or simply unheard of. And whilst she has travelled extensively, sometime she has had the opportunity of seeing familiar faces as there are boxers on her career profile that appear more than once, suggesting that the idea of there not being enough quality out there to keep busy as a professional. Whilst this might be right, the twenty wins she has clocked up is NOT to be sniffed at.
It shows her heart, her determination and with only 4 occasions when she has been stopped – a formidable Slovakian tigress indeed, who is underestimated at your peril.