By Jake Donovan
Juan Francisco Estrada defends his pair of alphabet flyweight titles versus former lineal junior flyweight king Giovani Segura in Mexico City this weekend in a bout that guarantees action for however long it may last. Veteran referee Raul Caiz Jr. has been tabbed to keep things in order for the scheduled 12-round title fight, which airs on beIN Sports Español in the United States.
The three judges for the bout will be Alejandro Lopez Cid (Mexico), Levi Martinez (United States) and Rafael Carabaño (Venezuela).
Estrada (26-2, 19KOs) makes the third defense of the title belts he acquired in a split decision win over Brian Viloria in April ’13. Martinez was one of the judges for the bout in Macau, scoring in favor of Viloria while the other two judges—and most observers–had Estrada winning by a comfortable margin.
The 24-year old from Mexico is coming off of a 10 th round knockout win over Richie Menaprum this past April, his first fight in his home country since Aug. ’12. His first shot at a title resulted in one of the best fights of 2012, going to war with then-108 lb. champ Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez in dropping a competitive but clear decision.
By the time Estrada enters the ring on Saturday, Gonzalez will have already fought for the lineal flyweight crown, due to face reigning champ Akira Yaegashi this Friday in Japan.
Estrada’s win over Viloria is the only time Martinez has ever worked any of his bouts. None of the other appointed officials have previously been assigned to a fight involving Estrada, though Caiz Jr. and Lopez have previously worked with Segura.
Caiz Jr. was a judge for a few of Segura’s earlier fights when he was still a rising prospect fighting out of California. The second-generation referee has become a fixture in the California fight circuit, but also carries international experience into this weekend’s flyweight clash. His most recently assigned title fight came in his handling of Nicholas Walters’ savage 5 th round beatdown of former flyweight and super flyweight champ Vic Darchinyan this past May.
Lopez was one of the three ringside judges when Segura (32-3-1, 28KOs) scored a dramatic 12 th round stoppage of Hernan ‘Tyson’ Marquez last November in Hermosillo, Mexico—ironically, Estrada’s hometown. The win is part of a current three-fight win streak that includes a 10 th round stoppage of Felipe Salguero in his most recent fight this past April.
Segura enjoyed a reign of more than two years as a junior flyweight titlist, including a stay as lineal champ beginning with his Aug. ‘10 knockout win over previously unbeaten Ivan Calderon on the road in Puerto Rico. Their April ’11 rematch proved one-sided, with Segura stopping the diminutive boxing master in three rounds.
The rematch with Calderon was Segura’s last official piece of business at junior flyweight, moving up to flyweight soon thereafter. The bid initially proved unsuccessful, suffering an 8 th round knockout against Viloria in Dec. ’11, before disappearing for more than a year. He has since won four of his las five, with the lone loss coming to Edgar Sosa in a May ’13 title eliminator.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene.com, as well as the Records Keeper for the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and a member of Boxing Writers Association of America . Twitter: @JakeNDaBox