INGLEWOOD, CALIF.-Fans roared as former champion Kenia “La Gema” Enriquez stopped San Diego’s Amaris “Diamond Girl” Quintana at 16 seconds into the fifth round in a light flyweight clash that was furious while it lasted on Saturday.
Enriquez (16-1, 8 Kos), the former WBO flyweight champion from Tijuana, dropped down a weight division to 108 after testing the 112 pound waters of the flyweight division. So far she likes it very much and the sold out crowd loved her fight with the very tough Quintana (9-3-2).
Quintana was never shy about throwing punches and opened up the contest with several bombs. Enriquez was able to evade and counter and immediately caught the gritty San Diego fighter with a right hand that stunned her. Enriquez immediately followed up with a left hook that sent Quintana to the canvas. As she got up her legs were shaky but luckily the bell rang ending the first round.
It didn’t look good for Quintana in the second round but she managed to find her footing and continued to fire back against the sharp-shooting Enriquez. The action slowed down a bit and this allowed Quintana to gain her legs back.
“I was surprised she got up. I always knew she would not stop unless I stopped her,” said Enriquez, 22. “She’s strong and in condition and it was a big fight for her and me.”
The San Diego fighter had her best round in the third as she connected with a powerful overhand right. But Enriquez shook it off and unloaded several combinations including a stifling left hook and right cross combination that snapped Quintana’s head back violently. It was a surprise that she was able to still stand but she kept going. The San Diego fighter motioned several times for Enriquez to come forward.
“She’s like me. She likes to fight and she’s able to take punches,” Enriquez said.
Enriquez controlled the pace in the fourth round as Quintana tried to unload her combinations. The fighter from Mexico glided around the danger zone until Quintana finished her punching and unloaded some crisp rights. Both were able to connect but Enriquez was slightly more accurate. That was a significant difference in the fight as she continued to connect despite Quintana’s unwillingness to quit. At the end of the fourth round the referee Raul Caiz Jr. nearly stopped the fight but Quintana fired back as usual.
It didn’t take long for Enriquez to connect in the fifth round as she fired a three-punch combination to put Quintana on the floor with the referee immediately stopping the fight. Quintana protested the stoppage but the fight was stopped.
“I was thinking about a knockout since they announced the fight,” said Enriquez who knew Quintana before the fight was made. “She comes forward and lets go of punches. She likes to fight and I’m the same way.”
Mexico’s Enriquez figured it would be a do or die fight with Quintana. She admired the San Diego fighter’s conditioning that allowed her to keep marching forward.
Quintana was not disheartened by the loss to her cross-border rival.
“Yesterday I lost the battle but I haven’t lost the war,” Quintana said on Facebook. “I will get myself up, dust it off and come back harder.”
- Estrada vs S. Lopez
In the companion female fight Seniesa “Super Bad” Estrada collided with Mexicali’s Selene Lopez immediately as soon as the bell rang and both let go with punches.
Estrada connected often in the first round with combinations and seemed intent on winning by early knockout. But the taller Lopez was strong and by the end of the first round she made a strong stand to rally a bit.
“She was taller than I expected. She was listed as 5’2” but she was a lot taller than that,” said Estrada, adding that she had to make adjustments. “But I’m used to that. As an amateur I never knew who I was going to fight or whether they were tall or short.”
Lopez received good advice from her corner because she made adjustments that payed off quickly by waiting to counter the speedy Estrada instead of attacking. In the second round Lopez began landing punishing right counters to the face of the East L.A. prizefighter. A welt suddenly appeared. But Estrada still had her hand speed to help her catch up from Lopez’s scoring.
Throughout the six round light flyweight bout Estrada landed combination after combination. Meanwhile Lopez would counter or attack with the right cross or left hook. But few combinations were being fired let along landed by Lopez. In the end all three judges scored it 60-54 for Estrada, but every round was well contested by Lopez.
“I was hoping to dominate,” said Estrada, 23. “She’s tough. She could take the shots.”
(Photo by Al Applerose)