Friday, September 22, 2023  |



Seniesa Estrada remains focused on undisputed titles in three divisions after her win over Yudica

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JULY 28: Leonela Yudica (L) and Seniesa Estrada (R) exchange punches during their WBA and WBC minimumweight championship fight at Palms Casino Resort on July 28, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)
Fighters Network

LAS VEGAS – It was not Seniesa Estrada’s best performance against Leonela Yudica last Friday night, but it was enough to pull out a decision win.

Estrada dug deep to win a unanimous decision at the Palms Casino Resort, successfully defending her Ring magazine strawweight championship, along with her WBA and WBC world title belts.

“Going into the fight, I knew I was gonna be up against a fighter who weighed more than me, naturally bigger,” said Estrada to a group of reporters after the fight. “She’s a natural flyweight. Started off a little slow, then (I) picked up my game plan by listening to my corner. I’ve been having a problem with my finger, so I think I might’ve like fractured my finger early in the fight. It kind of stopped me from throwing my right hand as often as I wanted to.”

The 30-year-old Estrada (25-0, 9 knockouts), who resides in East Los Angeles, made adjustments midway through the fight against Yudica, the former IBF world flyweight titleholder. Estrada never underestimated Yudica, acknowledging her opponent’s skill-set and ability in the ring.

“She is a boxer. She moves. The times that she does try to come forward, she kind of jumps in with those wide punches. I kind of had to make an adjustment by staying close to her on the inside and staying down that way her wild shots go over my head. That’s one of the adjustments we made towards the middle, end of the fight.”

“You have to have good timing and you have to make sure that you don’t get caught on the way in or on the way out with certain shots. Which, of course, I did get hit with certain shots. My trainer kept reminding me to make those adjustments, make sure you stay low on the inside that way her shots go over my head.”

Estrada did admit she had to deal with an injury to a finger on right hand early in the fight. Estrada posted a photo to her Instagram account Saturday of her finger in a split.

“(The injury to my finger) happened many fights ago,” said Estrada, who is managed by Jerry Casarez and trained by Dean Campos. “It’s the kind of an injury that I deal with during training camp, here and there, but not as bad as tonight.

“It could just be a small fracture that just needs some rest. When I get back home, I’ll get an X-ray. I don’t think it’ll be that will keep me out of the ring for a long time.”

Despite the injury, Estrada believes she could have fought a better fight.

“I would give myself a D-,” said Estrada. “I’m always hard on myself. Sometimes you gotta fight through injuries. I tried to listen to my corner as much as possible without them knowing the pain that I was going through with my right hand.”

With the fight against Yudica (19-2-3, 1 KO) behind her, Estrada is one step closer to a clash against Yokasta Valle, with the winner becoming the four-belt champion at 105 pounds.

Both fighters have traded verbal jabs at each other on social media and through the press.

Valle was ringside during Estrada’s fight against Yudica. After Estrada was announced the winner, Valle came into the ring and was also interviewed by ESPN’s Bernardo Osuna.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JULY 28: Seniesa Estrada (L) and Yokasta Valle (R) exchange words after her victory at Palms Casino Resort on July 28, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

A fight between Estrada and Valle would sell well, but that depends on where the fight takes place, what network the fight airs on and who will be lead promoter. Estrada is promoted by Top Rank and Valle is co-promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and Marv Rodriguez.

Ironically, Estrada used to be promoted by Golden Boy before she signed a contract with Top Rank last year. Estrada just hopes her next fight is against Valle, but is not going to wait around for her and has different options moving forward.

“I feel like I’ve faced fighters in my career who are better than Yokasta Valle,” said Estrada. “She’s just very basic, slow feet, no footwork. It’s the fight I’ve been wanting. I just want the fight to happen already. Hopefully, her being here is a step forward to making the fight happen. (July 28) is the date that we offered her to fight for the undisputed title. They couldn’t make it happen, whether it was her or her team, Golden Boy Promotions. Whoever. I think Golden Boy Promotions knows what’s going to happen when I face Yokasta Valle. They know who the better fighter (is). There’s levels to this. I’m definitely on another level than Yokasta Valle. Whoever. They didn’t make it happen for this fight.

“I’m not going to Costa Rica (to fight Valle). She makes chump change in Costa Rica. If she wants to make good money, she can come here and fight me. The offer that we made to her in the first place was very good. I’m pretty confident that it can happen next. Hopefully, her being here wasn’t just her to show up. Hopefully, that was a step forward to making the fight happen next.”

As much as Estrada has her sights set on Valle, she does have options moving forward. Aside from becoming an undisputed champion at 105 pounds, Estrada is confident she can become undisputed champion in two other weight classes.

Estrada believes she can make that, including facing and beating an old nemesis in the process.

“Definitely. My goal is to be undisputed in three different weight divisions. I want to do it by starting off being undisputed at strawweight, going to junior flyweight and doing it there, and then going to flyweight. Hopefully doing the rematch with (Ring magazine flyweight champion) Marlen Esparza, if she has all the belts. That would be a great fight, a big fight for Women’s boxing. That’s my goal, being undisputed and No. 1.

“I’ll speak to Top Rank in a couple of weeks and see what they have planned, as far as the next date for me. Hopefully, with Yokasta, everything works out. Looks like it’s going smoothly with accepting the offer. If we can’t make that happen, (Top Rank knows) that I’m not want to wait around for her. I want to move on and go to junior flyweight and fight the winner of Kim Clavel and Evelin Bermudez (on October 7). Move up, become unified champion there, and, hopefully, when Yokasta is ready, move back down and fight her.”

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]