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Marlen Esparza Wins Majority Decision Over Gabriela Alaniz

Marlen Esparza Wins Majority Decision Over Gabriela Alaniz

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Marlen Esparza Wins Majority Decision Over Gabriela Alaniz

Photo credit: Golden Boy Promotions Twitter

Marlen Esparza Wins Majority Decision Over Gabriela Alaniz

There was title action on the undercard of Floyd Schofield-Haskell Rhodes as Marlen Esparza (14-1, 1 KO) unified the WBA, WBO, and WBC flyweight titles against Gabriela Alaniz (14-1, 6 KOs). The bout took place at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas, less than 350 km away from Esparza’s hometown of Houston. One judge had the bout 95-95 while the other two had it 99-91 and 97-93 for Esparza, giving her the majority decision.

Originally, the event was to be headlined by Vergil Ortiz Jr. and Eimantas Stanionis. Due to health issues experienced by Ortiz, the bout was cancelled the week of the event and replaced by Schofield-Rhodes. The card was promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and was broadcast live on DAZN.

Esparza vs. Alaniz recap

In the early rounds, Alaniz used her speed, range, and higher level of activity to control the fight. By the end of the third, Esparza began to find her range and dominated round four with a higher connection rate. A cut also became visible on her head. Alaniz began the fifth well but had to deal with a handful of hard shots that stopped her in her tracks. Despite Alaniz’s strong start, Esparza was able to finish the round strong.

One of the best rounds for Esparza came in the sixth as she was the more accurate of the two. She was much better defensively as she made Alaniz miss several times in round six. In the eighth, Esparza spent the majority of the round throwing one punch at a time as Alaniz was able to find a proper balance between volume and distance. Esparza found success with the left hook in the ninth, landing it repeatedly to the body while Alaniz focused most of her attack upstairs. Alaniz began and ended the final round strongly as her swarm of punches helped keep Esparza at bay.

Controversy arose during the announcement of the scorecards as many believed 99-91 for Esparza to be too wide. Some also believed that Alaniz did enough to earn the victory. In the end, however, Esparza had her had raised and now holds the WBC, WBA, and WBO titles.

‚ÄúShe was vibrant and had a lot of energy,‚ÄĚ Esparza said of Alaniz. ‚ÄúHer punch output was impressive. Her lack of experience showed. She had the grit to stay in there with me. However, there was a strategy in place and that‚Äôs what got us the win.‚ÄĚ

Undisputed later this year?

The IBF title is currently held by four time flyweight champion Arely Muci√Īo. She has previously fought on shows promoted by Golden Boy Promotions. Muci√Īo last fought against Leonela Yudica on the undercard of Joseph Diaz-William Zepeda on October 29 last year. An undisputed showdown between Muci√Īo and Esparza could be on the cards for later this year. Fight fans should not be surprised if an announcement for that clash is made in the coming months.

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Currently writing out of Toronto, Canada, Saadeq first became a boxing fan while living in Doha, Qatar. Looking to become more involved in the sport, he began writing about boxing and has had work published in outlets such as Seconds Out and Boxing Social. He looks forward to continue covering boxing on Big Fight Weekend.

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