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Seniesa Estrada on the evolution of women’s boxing and finding challenges at lower weight classes

The 29 year old aims to unify belts across three divisions, and plans to take on Yokasta Valle next in 2022

Seniesa Estrada is looking to keep unifying and winning belts
Seniesa Estrada is looking to keep unifying and winning belts
Photo by Sye Williams/Golden Boy/Getty Images

Seniesa Estrada makes the most of her opportunities in the spotlight.

You may know her from her triumph in a “bloody grudge match” against Marlen Esparza. You may have seen viral video highlights of her record-setting KO in just seven seconds against Miranda Adkins, a controversial late replacement opponent. Or, you may have caught her contributions as part of the broadcast team for Jaime Munguia vs. Gabe Rosado on DAZN.

Estrada fights next on December 18th in San Antonio against Maria Micheo Santizo as the co-feature for Zurdo Ramirez vs. Yunieski Gonzalez. She spoke with Bad Left Hook in advance of that fight about staying active, finding challenges at the lower weight classes, and what she needs to accomplish before she’ll feel ready to retire.

BAD LEFT HOOK: Your fight on the 18th is going to be your third in just nine months. You’ve also had busy years with three or four fights before COVID slowed things down across the sport. Are you someone that makes it a point to stay busy, or are you just taking advantage of opportunities to fight when they present themselves?

SENIESA ESTRADA: No, I definitely always want to stay busy. After every fight I take a couple of weeks off, then I get back to the gym. Then I just stay in there whether it’s just doing light work, or just to work on things and become even better and stay ready.

I would like to fight four or five times a year, if I could!

How close do you have to keep to your fighting weight to stay so active? You don’t have a lot of room to move up and down and cut weight if you’re only three or four months between fights.

I don’t walk around heavy at all. Even when I do eat whatever I want, I don’t know! I just have a great metabolism. I’m never far away from my weight, so that’s good.

Vergil Ortiz Jr v Maurice Hooker Photo by Sye Williams/Golden Boy/Getty Images

Our editor has you in the top 10 of his women's pound-for-pound rankings. But, there’s only one other woman there currently within 20 pounds of the highest weight you’ve ever fought at as a professional. How do you showcase your talent given the options available at your size right now?

There’s so many talented fighters in my divisions of 105, 108, and 112. There just hasn’t been anyone like me to show the talent in those divisions. Now that I’m here, fighting on TV and signed with one of the biggest promoters in boxing, now is the time for people to see the talented fighters and the skills in these lower weight divisions.

I want to be number one pound-for-pound on the list. And that’s definitely one of my goals, to have people see and recognize my talent. Because, I believe I am the most skilled and talented female fighter.

Speaking of getting public attention, the two fights you’re probably best known for are the ones against Marlen Esparza and Miranda Adkins. You’ve given interviews about speaking with Adkins afterwards with a lot of respect and appreciation, and you very famously said after the Esparza fight that “I still don’t like her.” Those are pretty extreme examples of sportsmanship and rivalry, so how do you usually wind up with your opponents once the fight is over?

Oh, it’s always great sportsmanship. Always! I always have so much respect and great sportsmanship, it’s always been like that. Since I was a kid. But, I just don’t like Esparza. So, I’ll never have any respect towards her. [Laughs]

Canelo Alvarez and Sergey Kovalev fight in Las Vegas: undercard bouts at MGM Grand Garden Arena
Estrada vs. Esparza
Photo by Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty Images

You’re 5’2”, 29 years old, you’ve been a professional for over 10 years now. Is it safe to assume that you’re going to stay at or very close to your usual light flyweight for as long as you keep fighting? You aren’t going to jump up to welterweight or anything like that?

No. If I could fight over 112 pounds, I would. But, unfortunately, I’m just too small.

When you look around the divisions where you could reasonably fight, who do you see that could bring the best out of you? Who is out there that you respect and that you’d like to challenge yourself against?

I feel like it would be a challenging fight against any world champion at 105, 108, or 112. I’ve been saying that I want to fight the best, and the best are all the girls who have world titles at those weight divisions.

I will be having a unification fight with 105 pound IBF world champion Yokasta Valle as my first fight of 2022. So, I’m excited about that because I can start getting all the belts at 105. And like I said to another reporter who told me it doesn’t seem like anything impresses me [about myself], the one thing that does impress me about myself is that I’m taking these belts from champions. None of these belts are vacant belts.

Nothing against any of the other females, but I have to challenge a champion and beat them to take a belt every single fight if I want the IBF title, the WBO title, WBA title, WBC title. Because a champion holds them at every one of those divisions I want them at. And at the other weight divisions, there are a lot of vacant titles. But I’m not just fighting one fight, and becoming unified with one fight. That’s something I think should be talked about, how I’m taking these titles from champions every time.

Putting aside your potential opponents — Male or female, what other fighters do you really respect and tune in to watch?

As far as for females? I enjoy watching all the top females fight. Mikaela Mayer, Amanda Serrano, [Claressa] Shields. I love to tune in and support them, and see what they bring to the table.

As far as men? Tyson Fury is someone I really enjoy watching. He’s one of my current favorite fighters. I’m always excited to watch Tyson Fury fight.

You turned pro in 2011, so the start of the streaming era for boxing started almost right in the middle of your career. How have you seen your sport change since outlets like DAZN and ESPN+ started putting more of a focus on women fighters?

Oh yeah, it’s changed so much, it’s crazy to see. I always knew that women’s boxing would be where it is today. I just didn’t know when. And the time is now! It’s happening, it’s only going to continue to grow and get better and bigger.

To see how slowly the beginning of my pro career started, it’s insane to see the way things are going now. And it’s awesome to see how DAZN and ESPN, and now even Showtime with Amanda Serrano, how they’re all spotlighting women’s boxing so much. It’s amazing.

You’re still young enough that you could fight for a long time. What do you want to accomplish before you end your fighting career, and how do you see yourself achieving those goals?

My goals would be to have all the belts at three different divisions! 105, 108, 112 as well. I’ll be happy and ready to retire as soon as I accomplish that. I’m just taking it fight by fight and trying to get a new world title every time.

Anything else you want to say about your fight on December 18th?

Just to tune in! It’s going to be an exciting fight, and I’m excited to give the fans another good fight.