The one lesson that has always resonated the most with Seniesa Estrada is to trust the process.
In an era where boxers are racing to the top, East Los Angeles’ Estrada endured a throwback approach toward her first major title. An established amateur career followed by proper development as a pro led to a dominant showing in her first major title fight. Estrada claimed the WBA strawweight title with a virtual shutout of Mexico’s Anabel Ortiz this past March live on DAZN from Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas.
“It definitely made this journey rewarding,” Estrada confessed to BoxingScene.com. “That opponent, that platform and happening with Golden Boy Promotions. It was everything I’ve ever imagined when I pictured fighting for my first world title.
“It definitely made it that much more special. I won my first world title against a legitimate champion. To beat the longest reigning champion out there for my first world title made it all worth it.”
Ortiz (31-4, 4KOs) hadn’t lost since 2012 and entered the ring as the reigning WBA titlist since 2013, attempting her 13th consecutive defense. Estrada (20-0, 8KOs) made it look effortless, scoring a 5th round knockdown en route to a lopsided win in a performance that had many experts trying to figure out where she belongs in a pound-for-pound sense.
The journey to that point left Estrada’s team filled with confidence that the night would end with her first major title. Golden Boy Promotions saw the potential upon signing her in 2018.
Estrada registered knockout wins in six of her previous seven bouts ahead of the title shot versus Ortiz. During that stretch, the lone fight to go to the scorecards came in a technical decision win over 2012 Olympic Bronze medalist and bitter rival Marlen Esparza, handily winning their Nov. 2019 clash.
The industry-wide viewpoint heading into the March 20 clash with Ortiz was that Estrada was already the uncrowned champion by that point. It’s a level of respect she would never enjoy had she opted for shortcuts early in her career.
“I was offered to fight for a world title when I was 4-0, 5-0, which made absolutely no sense at the time,” recalls Estrada. “I wasn’t with a promoter and was asking my trainer, ‘Should we just do it?’ He was like, ‘F--- no!’ He made the point, nobody would see me. I would’ve made like $2,000, no TV.
“The message was always to just be patient. The idea was just to keep winning. I kept winning, eventually got signed by Golden Boy. They got me to the interim flyweight title and now my first true world title while getting paid what I deserve and on a platform like DAZN. Of course, my trainer let me know, ‘I told you!’ I was just like, whatever. But it made it that much sweeter.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox