During the past decade, we have seen how women’s boxing has been stuck in the mud. Female fighters have a lot of trouble being recognized, the payment gap between men and women is ridiculously big in boxing–more than in other sports–with even female MMA fighters are receiving more money and mainstream recognition.
The reason why women’s boxing has been in the shadows, it’s not due to the lack of talent. In the last decade, we have seen two of the best women’s boxers of all time in Serrano and Shields, and it seems as though promoters don’t want to bother to try and make them bigger stars.
However, 2021 and 2022 can be a renaissance for women’s boxing, because there is a lot of talent across all weight classes. Furthermore, there are numerous women with a lot of star power–including Seniesa Estrada, Katie Taylor, Cecilia Brækhus, Jessica McCaskill, Christina Hammer, Yokasta Valle, Amanda Serrano and Claressa Sheilds.
Hopefully, promoters can put good fights on between these top female fighters, and promoters also need to make sure that they promote the event properly, so they can attract more eyes to women’s boxing.
Last week, Round By Round Boxing had the pleasure of catching up with one of the current top female fighters in Yokasta Valle (22-2, 9 KOs). Valle is the IBF Strawweight champion. We talked about her accomplishments, her future goals, the state of women’s boxing and why she is calling out Seniesa “Super Bad” Estrada.
The People’s Champ
Yokasta Valle was born in Matagalpa, Nicaragua, but she has lived all her life in San Jose, Costa Rica. She’s the second-born child and has four more sisters.
I asked Valle what got her into boxing, and why she decided to take it as a career. She told me that her father and grandfather were big boxing fans, and they pushed her to train boxing.
“It was because of my dad and grandfather, they’re Nicaraguan, and they’re big boxing fans” said Valle. “I remember how they got excited watching Alexis Arguello’s fights, and they always asked me if I liked boxing, and I used to always answer no. But, after I tried it out for a couple of weeks, I liked it, and after my first amateur fight I fell in love with it.”
After her first amateur fight, Valle was determined to take boxing seriously.
“It was very hard at the beginning, but that motivated me to train harder,” said Valle. “Boxing is a very difficult sport and is even harder for women.”
For Yokasta Valle, her team is fundamental, and she considers them her second family.
“Mario Vega and Marco Delgado have been with me unconditionally; they were the first to believe in me,” said Valle. “They’re always there to support me in good and bad times; more than a team they’re my second family.”
The IBF world champion also gave us her opinion on the current state of women’s boxing and how the two minute round affects female boxers.
“The two minute rounds don’t allow us to show our skills completely, two minute rounds are too short,” said Valle. “We don’t have time to study the opponent. We do the same preparation of a male boxer, but we don’t get to fully show it.”
She also answered back to the female boxers who don’t want the three minutes round.
“There are some female boxers that are against the idea of having three minutes rounds because they said that the pay will be the same,” said Valle. “But I believe that to raise the pay for female boxers, we have to show first that we can do what the male boxers do.”
Valle believes that promoters need to do a better job promoting women’s boxing as well.
“They need to allow us to headline big events at big arenas,” said Valle. “Women’s boxing fights are really good, we just need more exposure, so more people can know about us. Women’s boxing have a lot of talent right now, we have great fighters, and if we make the right fights women’s boxing should grow; we just need to be seen by more people.”
After her last fight, Yokasta Valle showed interest in fighting Seniesa Estrada, who is undefeated and promoted by Golden Boy Promotions. fdfd
“My dream is to unify the titles, that’s what I want, I’m willing to fight any champion,” said Valle. “Seniesa caught my attention particularly because of a post that she made on Instagram where she said that no one wants to fight her. She proceeded to say that champions who aren’t willing to fight the best should be stripped. I didn’t like her comment, and I wanted to let her know that I’m here, and I’m willing to fight her.”
Valle wants to fight Estrada bad, and she’s willing to go anywhere to fight her–including Estrada’s own backyard.
“I’m willing to fight anywhere,” said Valle. “I let her know that I’m willing to go to her backyard in LA.”
While Valle has Estrada on her radar, she still respects her and believes that she is a great champion.
“Seniesa is a great champion, she has my respect,” said Valle. “But I’m here to fight the best.”
Given the fact that we’ve seen other female boxer’s try their hand at MMA, I asked Valle for her opinion on it and if she would ever consider fighting in MMA.
“I think is unfortunate that they have to fight in MMA to get more money; they both are great boxers,” said Valle. They should be able to get the money and the recognition that they deserve in boxing without having to go to another sport. I would never do it (MMA). I like boxing, it’s my passion, and I’m planning on staying a boxer.”
If Valle gets her wish of unifying the titles, she’ll have plenty of top competition in boxing.
“I want to unify all the titles, I want them all, especially the ring magazine belt,” said Valle. “I’m willing to fight anywhere, I will take risks to achieve my dreams.”
Yokasta Valle is a great boxer and an even better ambassador for women’s boxing; not only for her achievements inside the ring. but also outside the ring.