Seniesa Estrada and Marlen Esparza didn’t settle their grudge tonight, but they did get to punch each other for a while, and Esparza left with both a loss and a brutal gash on her forehead caused by a clash of heads in the fifth round.
Our live coverage for Canelo vs Kovalev continues here!
Esparza (7-1, 1 KO) took the L on wide scores of 88-83, 89-82, and 90-81, with the fight stopped and sent to the cards after the ninth round, because Esparza said she could no longer see through the blood that was pouring down into her eyes for several rounds.
By the time the fight was stopped, you could really clearly see Esparza’s skull between rounds — this was a deep, nasty cut, and she did her best to fight through it, but it was asking a whole lot of anyone.
Esparza fought as long as she could, but this cut proved to be too much. #CaneloKovalev pic.twitter.com/VGF5G3NbQH— DAZN USA (@DAZN_USA) November 3, 2019
At the time of the stoppage, Bad Left Hook had the fight 88-83 on two separate scorecards, both for Estrada, so we pretty much agreed with the judges’ decision. Esparza, however, did not.
“I didn’t think I was losing that many rounds at all,” Esparza said. “I continued fighting but I couldn’t see. I thought it was a poor decision.”
Asked if she wanted a rematch, she said yes. “Without that headbutt, it would’ve been a completely different story,” she said.
Estrada, meanwhile, did not see any reason to run it back with her rival
“No, I clearly won every round, headbutt or not,” she said. “This isn’t even my weight class. I came up to fight her.”
Estrada seemed to land the bigger and more consistent shots throughout the fight; though Esparza is clearly a naturally bigger fighter, she also has never been known for power, and Estrada’s punches seemed a little sharper overall.
That’s not to say Esparza did no good work, as this was a pretty entertaining fight and was so even before the blood came into play. A rematch, frankly, would probably be about as big a fight as either of them are going to get, at least in terms of public interest, but Estrada may understandably want to fight for a world title first, then maybe revisit it later.
Estrada also said that there will remain issues between the two of them.
“The beef is not settled,” she said. “I still don’t like her.”