Seniesa Estrada and Christine Fuentes Put a Charge to L.A. Crowd
DOWNTOWN L.A.-Undefeated Seniesa “Superbad” Estrada used her speed and defense to outwork Christine Fuentes but her small army of fans had a tense moment after she suffered a flash knockdown midway through the fight. But in the end, she cruised to victory on Friday.
The small venue was filled with many of Estrada’s (7-0, 1 KO) fans at the Belasco Theater located in downtown L.A. Fuentes (4-8-5) walked in the arena with barely a handful of supporters among the 1,200 fans. But all were entranced by the first female fight by Golden Boy Promotions in four years.
Estrada had an extensive amateur background including a national championship. Fuentes has experience against world class fighters, but had always lost. What happens when you mix the two?
The speedy East L.A. fighter used her unorthodox style to confuse Fuentes in the first two rounds. She snapped off three-punch combinations and scooted out of danger before Fuentes could react. In the last seconds of the first round the Texan landed a one-two that let the crowd know a battle might be coming.
Estrada was still in cruise control and landing some solid combinations. One left hook had the referee looking intently at Fuentes and forced him to warn her to fight back. She fired a one-two that connected with Estrada’s gloves. But as the action resumed Estrada began firing more than the three-punch combos from before. Instead, she exchanged freely with Fuentes who opened up with her own and caught Estrada flush with a right cross. Down went Estrada for the first time as a professional. But while she was down, Fuentes fired another blow and referee Raul Caiz Jr. deducted a point. It made no difference in the fight.
“I wasn’t hurt at all in the fight, not even when I tripped up,” said Estrada. “And like the true fighter I am–I got back up.”
After the round, Estrada opened up the fourth round with more quick combos and better defense. It proved to be the winning formula.
The East L.A. female fighter has always had good defense and speed. But seemed more intent on scoring a knockout. That proved to be her weakness in the fight but she closed that window for the rest of the fight by relying more on defense and three-punch combinations.
In rounds five and six Estrada took control except for the last seconds of the 5th when Fuentes caught her with a one-two combination.
“We both put in the work to be able to get on live television, and as female boxers, that’s no small feat,” said Estrada, 23.
Fuentes, though not victorious, was happy nonetheless.
“Honestly, despite the outcome, I came to show that women can perform in this sport, and even do it better. Estrada and I came out to make a statement, and I feel like we did that as the Belasco’s first female fight,” said Fuentes, 24. “When I knocked her down for a brief second, I knew that I was holding my own, and could possibly win. Although she was throwing more punches, I felt like I was hurting her more at some points. I’m confident I’ll be back in the ring because I am a strong, woman fighter.”
It was a good learning experience for Estrada. Four and five-punch combinations are a no no in the professional ranks.
“I came determined to win. Being in the sport since I was eight, I have the boxing skills to take on anyone,” said Estrada. “I am so thankful to Golden Boy for recognizing the value in us female fighters, and look forward to more fights like these.”
Photo by Al Applerose