At the Alamodome in San Antonio, history was made for women’s boxing as Houston’s Marlen Esparza (12-1, 1 KOs) defeated Tokyo’s Naoko Fujioka (19-3-1, 17 KOs) via unanimous decision and was crowned the WBC, WBA unified flyweight world champion.

The 10-round championship fight was full of edge-of-your seat action as both fighters came forward and delivered devastating punches. Esparza made sure to use her feet to avoid some of Fujioka’s attacks. Ultimately, the judges ruled in favor of Esparza with scores of 100-90, 100-90 and 97-93.

“I thought it was a really good performance considering how hard she brings it,” said Esparza.

“She’s a very seasoned fighter, she’s a world champion. I’m proud we did everything we practiced, me and my couch James Cooper. We really executed well and we expected it to go that way. You don’t know what a world champion can bring. We had to be patient and see what she had to bring to the table. It wasn’t tough because of the punches but more because she was smothering.

"I’m really just grateful I could have this experience not only for womens’ boxing but for my fans and really solidify the division. I really want the next two belts. ‘La Bonita’ from Argentina is the one I want, but I have to let my team decide what’s next. I’m happy for the future.” 

Also on the card, Azat Hovhannisyan (21-3, 17 KOs) of Los Angeles, CA, stopped Dagoberto Aguero (15-2, 10 KOs) of San Cristobal, Dominican Republic, in the second via TKO in a 10-round featherweight fight. Hovhannisyan stopped his opponent with heavy shots stopping him at the 1:11 marker of the second round.