Live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on November 2, 2019, we witnessed two warriors come out to settle a long-lived rivalry.
These pair of women came prepped for a war to break out in the middle of the ring. A rivalry that dates back to their amateur days, Marlen Esparza (7-1, 1 KO) expressed a strong dislike for Seniesa Estrada (18-0, 7 KOs), stating that Estrada attempted to use her name as a method to attain exclusivity and get promoters to sign her.
Estrada, who argued it was Esparza who avoided her and spoke negatively on her name, stated she had zero interest in a friendship with Esparza after the fight, and disclosed that Esparza is arrogant and not true champion material.
Scheduled for 10 rounds, Estrada and Esparza competed in three minute rounds for the WBA Interim Flyweight title–a difference from the usual two minute rounds that most women fight. Seniesa also went up four pounds to satisfy the Flyweight limit of 112 pounds.
Opening the fight with strong left hooks, Esparza’s body language suggested that she was comfortable in the ring. Both women aimed to acclimate to each other’s game plan.
Esparza began implementing her jab in third round, setting up the lead right nicely, only to have a persistent Estrada storm back in Round 4 by loading up on combinations and landing some crushing over hand lefts to the chin of Esparza.
Esparza, who seemed to be thrown off her game plan, tried her hand at a few ineffective uppercuts, causing Estrada to taunt her in the middle of the ring.
Pressure began getting the best of Esparza who was heavily bleeding from a cut caused by a headbutt in the fifth round.
By the seventh round, Esparza started to show signs of distress and fatigue, no longer bending her knees when she would punch.
Before the beginning of Round 10, referee Robert Byrd asked Esparza if she see past the blood streaming down her face, which she said she could not.
The fight was stopped due to the cut that was caused by the accidental headbutt in the fifth round.
Estrada won with scores of 90-81, 89-82 and 88-83. In the post-fight interview, Estrada was asked about settling her feud with Esparza.
“I had an amazing training camp and I felt great tonight,” said Estrada.”Headbutt or not, I still whooped her ass every round. I didn’t really target it too much. I felt great, I’m made for the late rounds. I can go 15 rounds, take it back old school.”
An unsatisfied Esparza expressed that Estrada was constantly headbutting her since the third round, making her dizzy. She stated that she did not agree with the wide margin decision and would like the opportunity to rematch Estrada.
“It was multiple head butts,” said Esparza. “A lot of times when we were clinching, and you saw me leaning in, it was because she rushed in with the head butt. A lot of times it was making me dizzy. There wasn’t anything I could do with her head, I really thought I was winning.”