Marlen Esparza’s already delayed dream of becoming undisputed flyweight champion has been met with another bump in the road. learned that a visa issue has forced Houston’s Esparza and Argentina’s Gabriela Alaniz to postpone their planned multi-belt unification bout. Alaniz does not yet have the necessary documentation in place to travel to the U.S. which has forced Golden Boy Promotions to drop the bout from a planned April 29 DAZN show from College Park Center on The University of Texas at Arlington campus in Arlington, Texas.

Esparza (13-1, 1KO) was due to defend her lineal, WBC and WBA flyweight title versus the unbeaten Alaniz (14-0, 6KOs), who holds the WBO flyweight belt. Boxing Scene has learned that the bout will likely take place in either June or July, with continued efforts to ensure that Alaniz’s travel visa is secured well in advance.

Meanwhile, it marks the second notable bout to drop from an April 29 show that continues to take shape. The event lost its headlining act when Vergil Ortiz (19-0, 19KOs)—a top contender from nearby Grand Prairie, Texas—was once diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis, thus forcing a delay of his mandatory title shot versus secondary WBA ‘Regular’ welterweight titlist Eimantas Stanionis.

Rising lightweight contender William Zepeda (27-0, 23KOs) will now anchor the card. His already scheduled bout versus Panama’s Jaime Arboleda was relocated from the April 22 Showtime Pay-Per-View undercard in Las Vegas to the April 29 show in the greater Dallas area, marking his sixth straight DAZN appearance.

Boxing Scene was informed that Stanionis-Ortiz will now take place in July, with the possibility of Esparza-Alaniz once again paired up to stick with the planned all-Texas theme.

Ortiz and Esparza are both promoted by Golden Boy.

Esparza is one of seven members of the 2012 U.S. Olympic team to win a major title in the pros. She was part of the first women’s boxing class to participate in the Olympics, and the first female boxer to medal when she claimed Bronze during 2012 London.

The six-year pro career that has followed has seen Esparza emerge as the top flyweight, all after giving birth to her son. She dethroned Ibeth Zamora for the WBC title in June 2021 and Japan’s five-division titlist Naoka Fujioka for the WBA title in their unification bout last April 9 in San Antonio, Texas. Esparza then won a ten-round decision over mandatory challenger Eva Guzman on August 6 to extend her current six-fight win streak since her lone career defeat, a technical decision to longtime bitter rival Seniesa Estrada in their November 2019 interim flyweight title fight.

Alaniz has spent her entire five-year pro career in her native Argentina.

The 26-year-old flyweight from the Merlo section of Buenos Aires—who is promoted by Georgina Rivero’s O.R. Promotions—claimed the WBO title in a seventh-round knockout of Tamara Demarco last June 18 in her hometown. Her first title defense saw Alaniz stop Venezuela’s Deborah Rengifo in the ninth round of their September 24 headliner in Buenos Aires’ Libertad for her third straight knockout victory.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox