Marlen Esparza Defeats Guzman; Yudica Or Alaniz Next?

Marlen Esparza Is On The Verge Of Another Unification!

Collage of Marlen Esparza, Gabriela Alaniz and Leonela Yudica
Marlen Esparza | Gabriela Alaniz | Leonela Yudica

Marlen Esparza Serves Eva Guzman A Second Pro Loss by UD!

In her latest tour of duty, WBA and WBC flyweight champion Marlen Esparza (13-1, 1 KO’s) took on Venezuelan boxer Eva “La Ley” Guzman (19-2-1, 11 KO’s).

The match stood as the third title defense of her WBC title she claimed in a win over Ibeth Zamora Silva in June 2021. This is also the first defense of her WBA strap which Esparza just took from Naoko Fujioka in her very last duel on April 9. In fact, her career has been going very well after suffering her only pro defeat at the hands of amateur and professional rival WBA minimum champion Seniesa Estrada.

The bout was also a huge opportunity for Guzman, who went from never competing for a full world title to challenging for two. The bout also marked the first time that La Ley fought in the US. While on the surface it appeared that the deck was slightly stacked against her, she still had her heavy-hands and southpaw style to rely on. Out of her nineteen victories eleven of her foes succumbed to stoppage. This is in sharp contrast to Esparza’s lone professional stoppage win.

Although, Guzman has also shown her in-ring savvy, displayed in her June 2021 defeat of Isabel Milan to capture the interim WBA flyweight title.

ONE WAY ACTION           

The opening two periods were largely evenly matched as both women went straight at one another. They almost took turns shooting short bursts of combinations. Several shots landed for both but nothing that swayed the fight in any particular direction. Esparza would land a number of heavy right hands and a left hook in the closing moments of the second.

The pace slowed in the fourth but the intensity greatly increased. Esparza and Guzman were digging into each other’s guts like there was treasure to be found. In the fifth, La Ley and Esparza literally stood and traded shots for the first half of the round, then became more tactical during the second half. Toward the closing moments of the sixth, however, the champion began giving Guzman a bit of a thumping.

While Guzman was never completely outclassed, whenever they went into their dog fights, it was Esparza landing the visually appealing shots. This dynamic never changed throughout the match. Therefore it was only logical that Esparza was awarded the unanimous decision win with scores of 98-92 (twice) 99-91.

It will be interesting to see if Esparza chases further unification bouts with champions Leonela Yudica (IBF) and Gabriela Celeste Alaniz (WBO) going forward.

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By: Bakari Simpson

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