Sandy Ryan will face Marie-Pier Houle on April 22 with the vacant WBO welterweight title up for grabs, meaning that Jessica McCaskill is officially no longer undisputed welterweight champion.
The fight will be part of the Rakhimov vs Cordina undercard in Cardiff.
Ryan (5-1, 2 KO) has really been fighting at 140 lbs, though enough of her bouts had catchweights north of that limit that I suppose you could count her as a welterweight contender, although none of her “north of 140” wins have been worth noting, either. So let’s not beat around the bush: She’s getting this order because she’s got the right connections.
The 29-year-old Ryan lost to Erica Farias by split decision in Mar. 2022, but to her credit she took an immediate rematch and won a decision over Farias last August. Most recently, Ryan beat Anahi Esther Sanchez on Nov. 26.
Houle (8-0-1, 2 KO) is a 32-year-old Canadian who has had eight of her nine pro fights in Quebec, plus a win in Mexico in Nov. 2020. Her most recent win came over Marisol Moreno on Jan. 13, part of the Clavel-Nery undercard in Laval, Quebec. It was a terrible decision in a fight you maybe didn’t watch, so here’s what we said in our recap:
Our first truly disgraceful scoring of 2023! Scores were 77-75, 79-73, and 80-72. The first card is badly pushing it. The latter two cards are absolutely disgusting, Moreno may as well not have bothered showing up, let alone bothered trying. Which she did, and she deserved the win in this fight. Pathetic home cooking. Shameful. Boxing being the way it is. ... Moreno picked up a clear early lead — you know, in the real world, not in boxing judge world — and Houle fought her heart out to get back into it as best she could. The eighth round was really fun, they both left it in the ring.
It was scoring that even the homer TV commentary dumped on — it was that bad. But as bad as the decision was, Houle didn’t score the fight and shouldn’t be blamed for it, and as we said then and will repeat now, she gave it a tremendous go and it was a good fight. So there’s that, anyway.