SAN DIEGO, Calif., June 10, 2019 – The day will come when boxing media don’t make a big deal over a main event featuring female professional boxers. But the day isn’t here yet.
At least opportunities have finally arrived, allowing Seniesa “Super Bad” Estrada to get her shot. Estrada (16-0, 6 KOs) of Los Angeles will defend her WBC Silver Light Flyweight title against Gretchen Abaniel (18-10, 6 KOs) in the main event of “Thursday Night Fights.” The ten-round bout takes place at the Avalon Hollywood, and will be streamed live via Facebook Watch via the Golden Boy Fight Night Page starting at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT, and will air on several regional sports networks.
It can’t come fast enough for the 26 year old veteran in the ring who turned professional eight years ago. “2011, time flies so quickly – when I’m reminded, it’s kind of crazy to see,” said Estrada. “From 2019 to 2011, there was so much struggle and so many times I thought to myself I should quit boxing. The whole transition inside the ring was easy – but the outside stuff was very difficult … through those years there was so much struggle.
“I’m just glad I’ve been around for the parts when it was dead and when I had to struggle, and now I’m getting the recognition I deserve. There were so many times I wanted to give up. But my dad and trainer said you weren’t blessed with this talent for no reason. They were right, and I’m glad I did,” said Estrada.
FOMO helping fuel boxing’s acceptance of women pros
Estrada credits the willingness of mixed martial arts promoters to feature women, and exposure through the Olympic Games for women’s boxing to a wider audience. Perhaps also a little bit of FOMO? “In other sports as well, golf, tennis, women are kicking butt. Of course no other sport wants to get left behind, they want to follow the movement,” said Estrada.
“It’s amazing to be the main event, and getting the exposure on different networks. It’s just great, it’s something – I’ve always imagined it as a kid, as an amateur boxer. I’d turn pro and be in the main event. When I turned professional and it wasn’t really like that I was discouraged. Now that women’s boxing has come up – it’s here now and I’m happy. I’ll put on a great fight for the fans and gain new fans, hope they are impressed.
“Women can draw an audience, especially having platforms like DAZN to fight on, having women fight there is a big deal. Having the platforms is great, giving exposure,” said Estrada.
Estrada is riding a four-fight stoppage streak, three by knockout and the fourth when her opponent quit in the corner. It’s the kind of power display that will help build the fan base, and Estrada knows it.
“I definitely want to entertain the fans and I never want to be boring. I can easily win using my jab and defense, but I would rather put the pressure and put on an exciting fight. People spend their hard working money coming to see a fight, and I appreciate that,” said Estrada.
“I’ve always had the punching power. I just feel like no one was ever able to see it,” said Estrada. “Before signing with Golden Boy, I was fighting girls in heavier weight classes. At 108 (pounds, the light flyweight limit), I walk around at 114 pounds, eating pizza. I was fighting girls at 115 and 118 (pounds) – and we step in the ring they weigh130 and I still weigh 112. Before Golden Boy, I had to take any opportunity. I had to stay active. But now with Golden Boy, I can stay active and stay at my natural weight class and show the punching power I’ve always had.”
Respect comes with three minute rounds
Estrada believes women professional boxers would score more stoppage wins and gain more respect if they regularly fought the same three-minute rounds as male professional boxers.
“I hate that we fight two minutes, I don’t understand it,” said Estrada. “It makes no sense. In MMA, they fight five minutes rounds and they’re getting kicked in the head and choked. It makes no sense.
“I think there are so many women out there who would love to have three minutes rounds. It makes a huge difference. When I first started I was fighting four two-minute rounds. There were a few fights I had the girls out on their feet, the bell rings and damn!”
Estrada would also like to see women’s championship bout last 12 rounds just as for the men.
“Straight out, the one thing will make people watch women’s boxing is women with serious boxing skills and entertaining to watch. That’s the only thing that will get them to watch, Of course nobody wants to sit there and watch a boring fight,” added Estrada.
Four fight stoppage streak on the line for Estrada Thursday
There’s little doubt of this on Thursday night. Estrada is hovering just under the top ten in her division, and a show stoppage win could get her the title fight she so badly wants.
“I know my opponent has 30 fights, so she has a lot of experience. She’s fought current and former world champions, she’s not afraid to go in, challenge, and put up a fight. I’m preparing to go in there as if I’m fighting someone without 10 losses. They were to pretty good fighters,” said Estrada.
With the recent upset win of fellow Los Angeles based pro Andy Ruiz Jr., the potential for an upset is on every boxer’s mind right now.
“I’m going in as if she’s a current world champion, training a hard as I would for anyone else. Hoping for a knockout. Going into every fight, my trainer finds something dangerous about every fighter. We prepare for a certain punch she’ll be throwing that I have to stay away from. We have a really good game plan,” said Estrada.
Estrada traveled a long road to get to Thursday’s fight, but with her championship goals now in sight, she says she wouldn’t change a thing.
“There was so much struggle and hard times, I wouldn’t change it for anything. It made me the person and fighter I am now. I would just tell myself to be patient. Patience was the one thing I didn’t have and didn’t understand. Patience and understanding.
“Understanding that everything happens with God’s timing, it’s not always when I want something to happen or when I want something to work out … that’s the biggest lesson – understanding that everything is not always in my timing. Keep believing in myself no matter what.”
Watch Estrada vs Abaniel Thursday on Facebook Watch
Estrada vs. Abaniel is a ten round main event of the June 13 “Thursday Night Fights” series featuring four bouts at the Avalon Hollywood including fan favorite Azat Hovhannisyan vs. Glenn Porras, undefeated Golden Boy prospect David Mijares, and the stateside debut of undefeated Puerto Rican bantamweight Carlos Caraballo, who has 11 knockouts in his first 11 fight. The card will be streamed live via Facebook Watch via the Golden Boy Fight Night Page starting at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is a veteran boxing observer covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
Please credit “Gayle Falkenthal for Communities Digital News” when quoting from or linking to this story.
Copyright © 2019 by Falcon Valley Group