Monday, December 05, 2022  |


Women’s Ratings update: Seniesa Estrada jumps to No. 1 at junior flyweight


The number of Japanese fighters risking their belts outside their native land is quite low, historically speaking. So it is not an everyday occurrence to have not just one but two of them making the trek to the US to put their belts and their reputations on the line in a high-profile card against two top contenders.

That is what happened in the two biggest female bouts this past week, in which the dual US-Japan challenge ended in one victory apiece – and provided some of the best boxing action of the week, regardless of gender.

In the one fight that was televised by DAZN (the other one was available via YouTube and Facebook earlier on), strawweight titlist Seniesa Estrada moved up in weight to face The Ring’s No. 2 junior flyweight Tenkai Tsunami for another title.

After 10 rounds in which Estrada displayed top-notch boxing skills and poise against an opponent that honored her nick/surname in every combination, Estrada had managed to capture the attention of the boxing mainstream once again – and grabbed a new title in a new division in the process.

This performance earned Estrada enough votes to be now ranked No. 1 at both 105 and 108 pounds, an unusual occurrence.

She remains a threat in both divisions and has expressed that her move up in weight was prompted by the unwillingness of other titlists to unify other 105-pound crowns with her. The panel’s enthusiasm for her performance was palpable.

“Seniesa is hands down the P4P princess at 108,” said Lupi Gutierrez-Beagle, of Beautiful Brawlers. “She is taking down legitimate champions and all eyes are on her. She’s No. 1 in my book.”

“(Estrada) managed to execute her fight plan despite Tsunami’s pressure and insistence,” said Boxeo con Lipstick’s Wildalys Figueroa. “Estrada’s blows were much more explosive, a very effective counterattack with a good defense display. And she is managing to captivate audiences both for her peculiar fighting style and personality,” she said. Rincon Rojo magazine editor Irene Deserti said that,“Seniesa shines stronger and stronger in her presentations.”

Super impressive, not close to SuperBad, being rated No. 1 at 105 AND 108.

Mark Jones went even further. “Estrada, in lifting the junior flyweight title from Tsunami, demonstrated that she can handle constant pressure from championship-level fighters,” he said. “She’s the best overall fighter at or below 112 pounds.” Boxing historian Malissa Smith said, “Estrada provided fight fans with an exciting bout and proved more than able to figure out Tenkai Tsunami’s boxing style with a substantial win.”

Even though the vote on this was unanimous, a case made by a few voices for “Super Bad” to move even higher in the pound-for-pound rankings failed to gather enough support – and the same happened with a motion to bring multiple titlist Naoko Fujioka (who survived a tough outing against Sulem Urbina earlier in the card to bring back her flyweight title belt to Japan) into the mythical pound-for-pound rankings.

“Naoko deserves to be No. 10 at pound-for-pound,” argued Japan’s Yuriko Miyata to open the debate, and like-minded responses poured in from other corners of the planet. Deserti concurred, and Michael Montero did too, pointing that Fujioka, “won several titles now in multiple weight classes.” But their arguments were not shared by other panelists, although the respect for the veteran champ was on full display.

“She began to box professionally at the age of 33,” pointed out Argentina’s Yesica Palmetta about the 45-year old Fujioka, “and she still presents a great performance in the ring. But I do not believe that this triumph is worthy of consideration for inclusion in the P4P rankings.”

Jones concurred, indicating that, “Fujioka is well into the post-prime portion of her career. She drew with Tsunami in her most recent outing before the closely-contested victory over Urbina. A current pound-for-pound ranked fighter should’ve defeated a fighter of Urbina’s standing in a more dominant fashion. Both Esparza and Fujioka have defeated Urbina over the recent months, and I thought Esparza was more dominant.”

Elsewhere in the world, Evelin Bermudez (sister of multiple titleholder Daniela) successfully defended her junior flyweight belt in Argentina against Tamara Demarco, but in spite of the quality of her performance she was unable to get enough votes to earn a promotion.