Marlen Esparza took the fight she was required to honor to keep her unified championship reign intact.

The plan moving forward is to collect the rest of the flyweight hardware.

Houston’s Esparza retained her lineal/WBA/WBC/Ring Magazine flyweight crown following a ten-round, unanimous decision win over Venezuela’s Eva Guzman at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas. The fight satisfied her WBA mandatory title defense obligations, which cleared a path to resume her goal of becoming the undisputed champion.   

“The WBO [title] is what I’m going for, what I want next,” Esparza stated. “It’s something that I need to keep going for.”

The current WBO flyweight titlist is Argentina’s Gabriela Celeste Alaniz (13-0, 5KOs), who dethroned countrywoman Tamara Elisabet Demarco via seventh-round stoppage this past June 18 in Merlo, Argentina. There are talks of former titlist Arely Mucino (31-3-2, 11KOs) possibly next challenging for her old crown which she never lost in the ring, though it matters little to Esparza who she faces in her quest to fully unify the flyweight division.

It has been one of several goals that the now 34-year-old Texan set out to accomplish from the moment she first laced up a pair of gloves. Esparza has already collected a bronze medal in the 2012 London Olympics—the first time that women’s boxing was included in the quadrennial competition—and has unified two titles at flyweight in a span of ten months.

A ten-round win over Ibeth Zamora saw Esparza claim the WBC strap last June in El Paso, defending the crown in a points win over former titlist Anabel Ortiz in San Antonio last December. Esparza returned to Alamo City in April, outpointing legendary five-division titlist Naoko Fujioka to win the WBA title while also establishing divisional championship lineage.

Now in her sights are the remaining two major titles, both of which currently reside in Argentina. While Alaniz recently claimed the WBO belt, Leonela Paola Yudica (17-0-3, 0KOs) has held the IBF crown since December 2014—second only to WBA junior lightweight titlist Hyun Mi Choi as the longest uninterrupted current title reign in the sport.

Golden Boy Promotions is already prepared to contact Oswaldo Rivero of O.R. Promotions, Alaniz’s promoter, on Monday to begin the groundwork for a three-belt unification. It will fit in with Esparza’s plans of fighting at least three times in 2022, and with her intention to face nothing but championship level competition moving forward.

“It’s what I want, it’s going to happen,” vowed Esparza. “I need to bring home all the belts, keep it going that way until I retire.”

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox