Kenia Enriquez Wins in Tijuana and Brenda Flores Too on Female Doubleheader
TIJUANA, MEXICO-She made it look easy.
After a eight month hiatus away from the ring, former WBO flyweight world champion Kenia “La Gema” Enriquez (18-1, 8KO) scored a lopsided but entertaining unanimous decision over the tough Guadalupe “Maravilla” Martinez (4-7) over eight rounds in the semi-main event of a packed house Friday night at the Grand Hotel.
Tijuana’s Enriquez captured the vacant WBO world 112-pound title with a unanimous decision over the now WBC Silver champion Ana Arrazola back in the fall of 2015. In her first defense three months later the Tijuana fighter lost a hotly contested split decision to the experienced Melissa McMorrow. Since then and back in her natural weight class of 108 pounds, Enriquez has put together four straight wins over former world champion Katia Gutierrez, highly ranked Amaris Quintana and Brenda Ramos, and a keep-busy knockout win over the tough Lorena Arias.
In the build up to the fight, Enriquez recognized her opponent’s record wasn’t all that impressive so she sought out to win by knockout, something Martinez’s previous opponents such as Sonia Osorio, Karina Fernandez, Diana Fernandez and Brenda Flores had not achieved. At the official weigh-in on Thursday afternoon the odds were stacked against the hometown fighter when she came in under of the agreed limit of 108 pounds tipping the scale one pound less while her opponent of Mexico City came in a whopping seven pounds over at 114 ¾ pounds.
The size difference became evident from the opening bell as Enriquez wasted no time in scoring quick straight punches combinations flush to the head of Martinez but they hardly budged the Mexico City fighter.. Martinez was at times able to counter with a runaway left hook as Kenia would lower her right hand at the end of her attack.
Despite Martinez’s size advantage Enriquez never stopped looking for the knockout and scored quick combinations to the head and body punctuated with hard power shots to the head led by a crushing right hand. Martinez had her moments with a wide left hook that caught Enriquez to the chin but every time it landed, which was sporadic at best, Kenia would only smile at the reminder she was actually in a fight.
At the end all three judges saw it for Enriquez with scores of 80-72 two times and the third a bit generous for Martinez with a 79-73 still for Enriquez but actually giving the visiting fighter a round.
“I am ready for a world title shot, if I need to go to Mexico City to face Ibeth Zamora I will, or if I need to go to Argentina to face ‘Tutti” Bopp, I am ready,” a focused Enriquez said seconds after her fight. “I looked for the knockout but she was a tough girl plus she came in really heavy. After my inactivity I needed the rounds. I think I did well but I am my hardest critic and there are some things I need to work on but I want a title shot as soon as possible.”
Tijuana flyweight Brenda “Bonita” Flores (11-3-1, 2KO) was also featured on the card scoring a six round unanimous decision over the game Jessica Rangel (0-4) of Salamanca, Guanajuato, Mexico.
Flores’ last fight was in December, an eight round unanimous decision over Luz Rodriguez. That win is one of a four she has strung together after her last loss, a 10 round majority decision to Kareli Lopez back in January. That fight was for the vacant Mexican state title. Along with the four wins, Ramos also took some time off to give birth to her daughter.
The hometown fighter looked quicker and more polished than in previous fights as she switched trainer’s since her fight against Lopez and showed her wares with well-placed combinations including a hard left hook to the body. After warming up, Rangel gave it as good as she got it but Flores was in a groove and was able to withstand the storm to take the fights with scores of 59-53 twice and 60-54.
After the fight Flores mentioned her promoter, Guillermo Mayen, has promised her world title opportunity by the end of the year, but first, they will seek a rematch against the aforementioned world champion Katia Gutierrez.
(Photo by Eddie Rivas)