Gloria Alvarado is the head coach of Yokasta Valle, but already knew Valle’s opponent this week, Seniesa Estrada, from the Los Angeles fight scene. 

Valle and Estrada fight for the undisputed strawweight title on March 29 at the Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona, live on ESPN+. Valle holds the IBF and WBO titles; Estrada the WBA and WBC titles. 

Valle (30-2, 9 KOs) and Estrada (25-0, 9 KOs) are the two best fighters in the lower weight classes and the outcome might crown the best women’s lower-weight class fighter ever. 

The undertone of ESPN’s co-main event surrounds a rift between the two camps. 

Alvarado recently spoke to BoxingScene, explaining her perspective on Estrada saying that the fight was personal due to a friendship they had before she trained Valle.

“To me, it is not personal, and if [Estrada] is taking it personal, if she is going to sell that type of story, sell the story right,” Alvarado told BoxingScene. “Yes, we were great friends, I trained with them. This is when she was young. People move on and they change gyms, and it was not like I was committed to them or gave them a pinky promise or stuff like that.

“I did speak with Joe [Estrada, Seniesa’s father]. He had called me and I called him back. He answered the phone and was like, ‘What are you doing?’ ‘Oh, I am just training at the gym, and he was like, ‘No, what are you doing?’ I was like, ‘What do you mean?’ ‘You are training the girl that is going to fight Seniesa?’ I said, ‘No I am not.’ ‘Yeah, we are fighting her.’ I said, ‘No, I would never do that to you, come on.’ He was like, ‘No, no, really. They are going to fight.’ 

“I said, ‘If it is like that I would step aside and I wouldn’t do that to you’. I am telling you we are not fighting [Seniesa] we are fighting some girl named Lorraine [Villalobos]. He was like, ‘Not this fight, but in the future.’ I was like ‘Oh come on, get out of here, man’.”

After that conversation, Alvarado said she didn’t hear from Seniesa or her father until Joe started sending her messages, which started the fall-out. 

“So I was like, ‘I have got nothing to say to you anymore’,” she said. “So it ended right there. It is not like I got a phone call on my birthday or when my mom passed away or for my grand opening; a Christmas card. I don’t consider that we were the best of friends; we were acquaintances.”

Alvarado has seen her rise in the sport run parallel with Valle’s and reflected on the first time she saw Valle fight on television and was impressed by the Costa Rican’s raw talent. 

“First off, all I saw [Valle] on TV, and [thought] that girl is amazing,” Alvarado explained. “Three or four months later, I get a phone call.”

Alvarado was asked if she wanted to train Valle. That was more than two years ago, and Alvarado is big on the family dynamic of their team. They all live together in what they refer to as ‘the camp house’. The team is Yokasta Valle, her sister Naomy Valle, Alan Garcia, Jose Alvarado, Carlos Rodriguez and, of course, her daughter Iyana Verduzco, better known as “Right Hook Roxy”.

Alvarado outlined why she believes Valle beats Estrada, and one factor is experience. 

“She is a five-time world champion, and she does hold two belts herself,” Alvarado added. “She is nothing less than Seniesa. She has great stamina. She has that dream that she does not want to let go. Even though she has two losses in her past, one being against [Naoko Fujioka] in her [13th pro fight] at a higher weight class in Japan, she went for it. She didn’t come out with the win. She just needed more experience. 

“The other one where she beat [Tina Rupprecht] and you know how that happens – hometown cooking. You are not going to get your hand raised even though you put on a hell of a fight.”

Alvarado has seen plenty of improvements from Valle, too.

“She has great foot movement, she is light on her feet now, but not too light,” Alvarado said. “She has great balance. She belongs on Dancing With The Stars. She is ready.”