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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Rivera

Stephanie Han a throwback fighter, back in action Friday

By Andy Rivera

Photo by Herman Delgado

When you hear people talk about fighters now compared to the older generation, things have changed. Back in the day, fighters walked to the ring, didn’t worry about what they had to wear or music to play. It was a time where they just wanted to fight.

Now a days, it can be a circus, the over the top press conferences to promote a fight, padding records and worrying about things other than fighting. Stephanie Han is a throwback to the old days, just wanting to fight.

Han, 6-0, 2ko’s, the #7 ranked lightweight by the WBA will be back in action Friday against Wendellin Cruz in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Cruz is 6-11-1, her record is deceiving, 9 of her losses were to unbeaten fighters at the time when they battled Cruz.

Being the busiest fighter in the region, this will be Han’s 3rd fight in the last 6 months, Han is ready to make the leap each fight against tougher competition,the last two scheduled fights she had opponents 20-3 and 19-6 pull out.

“I just want to fight and get closer to my goal to being a world champion. I will fight anyone, in boxing it happens a lot where fighters pull out, it has been frustrating.” Said Han “It can be frustrating when fighters pull out and then I have to adjust to the opponent replacing the one I was preparing for.”

Han came back three years ago after taking time off to start her career and family, she was a former National open champion at the time of her halting her boxing career. She decided to comeback in 2021, when she was helping her sister Jennifer prepare for women’s top pound for pound fighter Katie Taylor. Trainer Louie Burke asked her if she would consider fighting since she looked good in sparring.

It was a slow start to her comeback back in 2021-22, Han was able to get two fights, she was a little frustrated not getting more, to the point mentioned in previous stories on Han, she and her team paid for her to get fights and opponents out their own pocket.

“It was getting to the point where I was wondering if we’d progress faster than I had hoped with fights falling through, now with being busy the sacrifice will be worth it.”

Not looking ahead Han, has another fight scheduled if all goes good in May, then a possible title shot this year.

“I don’t like to look ahead, if things go good then we have a lot of good things happening in the future. I know I have confidence in my skills and goals, its one fight at a time, but things are looking bright.”

The throwback fighter that people in the boxing community refer to in Han, as one media member and ring announcer told me at the recent Abraham Perez/Fernando Diaz card. “She doesn’t care who she fights, she is a warrior and will fight anyone. She doesn’t care about all the glamour surrounding the fight, she cares about her family, career and fighting.”

Again, when others worry about the glamour, Han mentioned to me she wants to let her team or family worry about that stuff.

“I just wanna go out and reach my goal, I know that in time everything is starting to materialize and all the sacrifices will pay off.”

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