Marlen Esparza Wins Over Naoko Fujioka to Unify the WBA and WBC Titles!
On April 9 on the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, WBC flyweight champion Marlen Esparza (11-1, 1KO) and WBA champion Naoko Fujioka (19-3, 7KOs) waged battle over the course of their ten-round unification flyweight title bout.
Esparza got here into this struggle on a four-fight win streak. The one loss in her profession got here in 2019 towards multi-weight world champion Seniesa Estrada after she was badly lower, and the struggle was stopped in spherical 9, leading to a technical resolution loss. Throughout her win streak, she picked up the WBC flyweight title, defeating Ibeth Zamora Silva in June of 2021.
As for Fujioka, she is Japan’s first ever five-weight world champion. At 46 years previous, she proved that she continues to be very a lot able to producing at a excessive degree, evident by her efficiency towards Esparza. A champion at bantamweight, flyweight, tremendous flyweight, junior flyweight, and minimumweight, she solely has two losses and one attract her 13-year profession.
CHAMPIONSHIP EFFORT, BUT…
With two belts on the road, each girls got here out weapons blazing, making an attempt to determine a rhythm. That may result in a fast-paced, hard-fought first spherical with each girls buying and selling proper arms and left hooks. Protection was a non-factor. Nonetheless buying and selling wild photographs in spherical two, Esparza appeared to get the higher of Fujioka in most exchanges attributable to her higher timing and fundamentals.
Nonetheless throwing punches in bunches in spherical 4, each girls began taking place stairs to the physique. The spotlight of the spherical was an Esparza right-hand to the highest of the pinnacle of Fujioka that despatched her down, however as a substitute the referee dominated it a slip.
Within the latter portion of this championship tussle, momentum appeared to shift in favor of the Japanese champion. Whereas each girls had been lifeless drained, Fujioka appeared to carry out higher as she landed considerably higher physique punches that had Esparza respiration closely.
After ten action-packed rounds, the judges would ship one ridiculous scorecard. The scores had been 100-90 and 97-93 twice, all for Marlen Esparza. With the win, Esparza is now the unified 112-pound champion.
Studying Time: 2 minutes
By: Jerrell Fletcher