This weekend’s challenge is nothing new to Marlen Esparza.

The idea of facing another titleholder in Texas, in fact, has defined the entire title reign for the lineal and unified flyweight champion. The third such occasion comes in the form of her three-belt unification bout versus Argentina’s Gabriela Alaniz (14-0, 6KOs), who puts her WBO belt at stake along with Esparza’s WBC and WBA titles.

“I’m really looking forward to getting this WBO belt,” Esparza said during Thursday’s final pre-fight press conference at The Tobin Center for Performing Arts in downtown San Antonio. “My goal is to become undisputed. This is what I need to do to get there.”

Esparza (13-1, 1KO) and Alaniz will meet for flyweight supremacy this Saturday on DAZN from AT&T Center in San Antonio. The 2012 Olympic Bronze medalist from Houston will fight for the fifth straight time in her home state, all with with at least one title on the line.

The first title win for Esparza came just more than two years ago in a ten-round decision over Ibeth Zamora in El Paso, Texas. Her first title defense came in this very venue, when she outpointed formal titleholder Anabel Ortiz in December 2021.

Esparza unified the WBC and WBA titles and also claimed the lineal championship with a win over legendary five-division titlist Naoko Fujioka last April 9 on the Ryan Garcia-Emmanuel Tagoe undercard at Alamodome in San Antonio. Both belts were at stake in her most recent bout, a ten-round, unanimous decision over Eva Guzman last August 6 at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth.

Alaniz will mark the first unbeaten titlist that Esparza will face, who is unbothered by any challenge posed by the visiting Argentine boxer.

“I understand I’m also facing a world champion,” acknowledged Esparza. “I’m taking this very seriously. We worked very hard to make sure we’ve done everything correctly. I’m just ready to get the job done.”

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox