AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas - 2012 U.S. Olympic Bronze medal winner and current WBC flyweight world champion Marlen Esparza (11-1, 1 KOs) defended her world title, for the first time, in her home state against the seasoned former two-time world champion, Anabel "Avispa" Ortiz (31-5, 4 KOs) of Mexico City, Mexico. ‘
“My performance was good considering I just came back after contracting Covid-19,” said Esparza.
“I wanted to see what it would feel like to come back and I can say that there is some fatigue. We knew she was a counter puncher so we were prepared for it, but I can feel a little of the fatigue. Now that is all over and I know what it feels to come back, I want all the belts. I want Naoko Fujioka from Japan and just unify this division.”
Avispa’ proved to be a difficult fight for Esparza, as the 13-time world title defender brought with her experience and technical ability.
Esparza, however, was not intimidated, as she went after Ortiz and did not back down after Ortiz’ attacks. After an exciting fight, between to veteran warriors, the score cards ruled in favor of Esparza with scores of 100-88, 95-94, 99-90 to win the fight via unanimous decision.
“I think I delivered a great fight, simply the referee did not favor me,” said Ortiz. “He counted two slips that were obviously not knockdowns, she pushed me. I am very unhappy because they put someone in the ring who does not know how to do his job, especially when this is a world title fight. It is a disservice to the sport. They took the victory away from me.”