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Mikiah Kreps overcomes ‘mixed feelings’ to defeat USMC teammate Melissa Odessa Parker


Mikiah Kreps (left) lands a left hand on Melissa Odessa Parker – Photo by Damon Gonzalez

by Francisco Salazar | 

Mikiah Kreps could fight for a junior featherweight title belt sooner than later.

That is the plan after Kreps scored a unanimous decision victory over Melissa Odessa Parker Friday night at the Seneca Niagara Resort and Casino in her hometown of Niagara Falls, New York.

Odessa was a significant step-up in opposition for Kreps, considering she was a standout amateur and a noted contender at 122 pounds. Initially, co-manager and former WBO junior lightweight titleholder Jamel Herring wondered whether Odessa would overwhelm Kreps with her experience and skill-set, but Herring believed Kreps would come out victorious.

“(Mikiah) fought well,” Herring told The Ring on Saturday night. “I had mixed feelings on this one considering Melissa and I were both teammates under the United States Marine Corps Boxing team. Back then, (Melissa) won every major national title in the same year, so I knew how experienced and tough she was, but I remained confident in our fighter.

“Mikiah started off a bit slow, but once she found her rhythm,she started having fun in there, and got the biggest win of her career. Overall, I believe that type of performance puts her name out there more, and proves that she’s a top contender.”

Scores were 79-73, 78-74, and 77-75 for Kreps, who improved to 8-0, 3 knockouts.

Herring and Jerry Cazarez co-manage Kreps under the Fight to Fight Management banner.

The 27-year-old is in the top 10 rankings in all four major sanctioning bodies. When asked about future opponents, Herring sought out WBA junior featherweight titleholder Erika Cruz-Hernandez, who retained her world title Saturday night in Aguascalientes, Mexico after fighting to a split-decision draw against Nazarena Romero.

“We would like to make a fight against Erika Cruz,” said Herring.

Kreps, an outstanding amateur and 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials finalist, previously fought on November 7, defeating Isis Vargas Perez by unanimous decision. On May 21 of last year, which took place in Niagara Falls, Canada Kreps stopped Luz Martinez after the opening round.

Odessa, who is originally from Brooklyn, New York and now resides in Spring, Texas, falls to 6-3, 2 KOs. In her previous fight on September 15, Odessa lost by unanimous decision to Cruz-Hernandez.

The Kreps-Odessa fight was the co-main event on the All Star Boxing card that streamed live on ESPN Knockout throughout Latin America.

In the main event, welterweight Arnold Gonzalez of New York City remained unbeaten after winning by knockout after round five over Esneiker Correa. Gonzalez improved to 15-0, 7 KOs.

Correa, who is originally from Los Teques, Venezuela and now resides in Miami, Florida, falls to 15-5-1, 13 KOs.

Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached at [email protected]

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