LAS VEGAS (July 28, 2023) — Pound-for-pound queen Seniesa “Super Bad” Estrada (25-0, 9 KOs) defended her WBC/WBA minimumweight world titles via unanimous decision against Argentinian former world champion Leonela Yudica (19-2-3, 1 KO) Friday night at Pearl Concert Theater at Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. The 31-year-old pride of East Los Angeles, California, now sets her sights on becoming undisputed champion.
Estrada switched back and forth between orthodox and southpaw stances, landing quick combos on Yudica. Her offense, however, left her open to counters as she tried to cut the distance.
Yudica, who possessed a slight reach advantage, began to counter Estrada with left hooks and straight hands as the rounds progressed. Estrada, sensing the fight slipping away, intensified her attack in the later rounds and began landing more punches despite receiving several in return of an increasingly tit-for-tat affair.
Estrada retained her unified crown with three scores of 97-93.
Estrada said, “I knew coming into this fight that she was a boxer who would move away from me and not come forward much. I knew I had to show something different. In my last fight, I fought a good champion who came forward and was aggressive, and I easily outboxed her. In this fight, she’s a boxer and a mover, and I showed that I can fight any type of style because my style is very versatile.
“I definitely had to use my footwork. I had to use my feints and movements to make sure I was close enough to land punches and not get countered. I did get countered, of course. It’s a fight, so that’s going to happen. But I just continue to prove that I’m the best in the division.
“I want Yokasta Valle. I’m the best in this division. I want to prove it by beating her. She can just hand me those belts right now because when we fight it’s going to be bad for her.”
Yudica said, “I do not agree at all with the scorecards. I am convinced that nobody has hit her like I have hit her. If not, she can take off her hat and show how her face has been left.
I did a very good job. As I’ve said, nobody has hit her like I have hit her. I came here to fight a world champion. I knew who I was facing. I trained thoroughly. I planted my feet when I needed to. I exchanged when I needed to. It was a good fight, and I didn’t deserve this result.”
Cortes Stops Martinez
Andres Cortes (20-0, 11 KOs) got one step closer to a world title shot by defeating Xavier Martinez (18-2, 12 KOs) via seventh-round TKO to defend his US WBC silver junior lightweight belt.
Cortes opened the fight by landing bombs on the taller Martinez. However, Martinez was not deterred and used his reach to connect with straight shots in the third and fourth.
Martinez’s forward momentum, though, made it easy for Cortes to land his overhand right, which caused Martinez to swell below his left eye. By round seven, another right hand opened up a gash on the swollen area.
Veteran trainer Robert Garcia deemed the cut too severe for him to continue, and Martinez was not allowed to come out for the eighth round.
Cortes said, “I was feeling myself, and I started finding a groove. When that happens, the fight’s over. It was a good stoppage. His eye was messed up. He was having trouble seeing with the eye because he kept blinking.
“I want the winner of Emanuel Navarrete versus Oscar Valdez. I want any champion at 130. If not, I’m going to move up 135 and get all of those champions there.”
Lightweight: Philadelphia’s Nahir Albright (16-2, 7 KOs) scored an upset eight-round majority decision win against U.S. Olympian Karlos Balderas (14-2, 12 KOs). Balderas boxed calmly from a high guard and had success with his jab. However, his lack of punch output allowed Albright to win rounds as he threw and landed more consistently. Scores: 76-76 and 77-75 2x.
Junior Welterweight: Dominican Olympian Rohan Polanco (10-0, 6 KOs) overwhelmed Panamanian contender Cesar Francis (12-2, 7 KOs) en route to a fifth-round TKO. Polanco dropped Francis once with a left-right combo in the fourth and again with flurry in the fifth. Francis got back to his feet, but the referee deemed him unable to continue. Time of stoppage: 1:05.
Junior Lightweight: Emerging contenderAbraham Nova (23-1, 16 KOs) blasted out former world champion Jonathan Romero (35-2, 19 KOs) in three rounds. Nova landed a picture-perfect right uppercut that floored Romero in the second. In the following round, he connected with a fight-finishing overhand right. Time of stoppage: 2:47.
Junior Featherweight: Subaru Murata (5-0, 5 KOs) extended his knockout streak with a stoppage win against Juan Centeno (8-9-3, 1 KO). Murata sent Centeno to the canvas in the second round with a left uppercut. Centeno struggled to recover, and he bowed out following the conclusion of round three.
Light Heavyweight: Dante Benjamin Jr. (7-0-1, 5 KOs) and William Langston (8-3-1, 5 KOs) fought to a six-round majority draw. Benjamin boxed a cautious fight and was able to connect early, but Langston was able to land shots of his own in the final two rounds to even things up. Scores: 58-56 Langston and 57-57 2x.