By Ryan Burton
MANDALAY BAY, Las Vegas, NV - On Saturday former two-time champion Ava Knight (14-2-4) will return to the ring after a nearly two-year hiatus. She had a scheduled six round fight on tap for the Danny Garcia-Brandon Rios undercard, but the bout was postponed.
The 29-year-old Northern California native looks forward to fighting for the first time under the Mayweather Promotions' banner. She believes that with the backing of Floyd Mayweather and his team, many doors will open for her.
"It feels great. I am finally getting that respect. I have been in this gym for a while but I had taken some time off and they were like we need this girl and I need them. I think we are going to do some great things this year," said Knight.
Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe agreed with her statement, "There are some outstanding women fighters out there in boxing and it is time to showcase their talent and their skills. We are very excited about the recent signing of Ava. She is a tremendous fighter, a two-time world champion. It is very exciting to have her on our team."
As of this writing, Knight's next opponent hadn't been disclosed but it is expected to be somewhat of a tune up after her extended absence. With the addition of women's boxing to the past two Olympic games, Knight feels that women fighters such as herself who didn't have the opportunity to compete in the Olympics are being overlooked.
"We are going to get back in the ring and show all these little prospects who are coming up and think that they have a lot that girls like me still have it. We didn't go to the Olympics and get that respect but we are still going to go to the top - I am not even 30-year-old - and that is what I am going to do," Knight stated.
Knight does have one specific target on her hit list and that is 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Marlen Esparza (4-0). Knight said that Esparza had previously called her out and bragged that she would stop her despite her limited professional experience.
"You know Marlen Esparza from Golden Boy has been talking sh*t for a long time. I am here. She said she was going to knock me out in her second pro fight. She is fighting girls that probably didn't even box until last month. Tell her that I am waiting. Step up and come here with the big dog," Knight told BoxingScene.com.
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