As expected and now official, Jelena Mrdjenovich and Stephan Shaw will be the featured undercard fighters on the Dec. 17 edition of Ring City USA on NBC Sports Network, which has a very appealing main event between junior middleweight prospects Charles Conwell and Madiyar Ashkeyev.
Canada’s Mrdjenovich (40-10-2, 9 KO) will defend her WBA featherweight title against Paola Torres (12-4-1, 4 KO) of Mexico. The 31-year-old Torres isn’t really a top contender; she’s got losses to Heather Hardy and Cindy Serrano in her past, and has mostly otherwise been in with low-level opposition. Two fights ago in May 2019, she had a fight ruled a no-contest in Monterrey because it was ruled that her opponent, a debuting Naidelyn Cervantes, was not good enough to be there. BoxRec lists it as “NC due to Cervantes’ performance being too poor.”
Mrdjenovich, 38, has been around for years. She’s won world titles at 126, 130, and 135, settling in at 126 since 2015. She’ll be a big favorite here, but in all honesty she’s also faced fairly limited opposition for most of her career, and has had some struggles in recent years against the likes of Edith Soledad Matthysse (they split a pair of bouts in 2015 in Argentina and Canada) and Stephanie Ducastel (they went to a draw in France and Mrdjenovich beat her in Canada). Much of her career has been fought in Edmonton.
28-year-old St. Louis heavyweight Stephan Shaw (13-0, 10 KO) will also be on the card, taking on Ukraine’s Lyubomyr Pinchuk (12-1-1, 7 KO), who is now based in Pittsburgh. The 24-year-old Pinchuk is really a cruiserweight, but it’s a shot at TV, and he can’t pass that up. Shaw is about 6’4” and weighs around 250-255 or so generally. He beat Gregory Corbin via third round TKO in Dec. 2019 in his last bout.