Yokasta Valle ended last year as a two-division unified titlist and three-division title claimant.
The streaking WBO/IBF strawweight queen has come to grips with the reality that her 2023 campaign will not include the goal of becoming undisputed champion.
Whatever chance there was of a showdown versus longtime divisional rival Seniesa Estrada came to a screeching halt once the unbeaten WBC/WBA champ underwent surgery for her injured right hand earlier this month. Estrada suffered an aggravated ligament in her right index finger of her July 28 points win over Leonela Yudica in Las Vegas.
The post-fight interview included a guest appearance by Costa Rica’s Valle (28-2, 9KOs), who entered the ring to openly challenge Estrada. Those plans are obviously parked for the moment.
“I wish Seniesa Estrada a full recovery and that she comes back at full strength,” Valle told BoxingScene.com. “I don’t wish injury or pain to any fighter so I hope she can come back strong and defend her titles.
“That said, her status does not affect my current plans. Of course, I would love to be undisputed champion but my goal right now is to move forward with my career.”
Valle will do just that with her placement on this weekend’s DAZN show from Commerce Casino in Commerce, California. The red-hot, unified titlist will attempt her eighth overall IBF strawweight title defense and second with the WBA belt on the line as she faces former title challenger Maria Santizo (11-3, 6KOs). The bout serves in supporting capacity to the William Zepeda-Mercito Gesta lightweight bout atop a five-fight telecast.
It will mark the fourth fight in a 53-week span for the 31-year-old Valle. That active stretch included her unification win over then-unbeaten WBO strawweight titlist Thi Thu Nhi Nguyen last September in her San Jose, Costa Rica hometown and a ten-round decision over Evelin Bermudez to end the unbeaten WBO/IBF junior flyweight’s title reign and win at least one title in a third weight division.
Valle vacated the 108-pound belts almost immediately thereafter to focus on her unified strawweight title reign. She faced her third consecutive unbeaten opponent in a March 25 victory over Jessica Basulto Salazar on a BLK Prime show held at a beach resort in Guanacaste. The win was her fifteenth straight, with her current focus now on making it sweet sixteen and then moving on to the next assignment as soon as the boxing schedule will allow.
“Whatever Golden Boy has planned, we will be ready,” vowed Valle. “That is all that I can guarantee, that I will be ready for any challenge.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox