Yokasta Valle overcame a slow start Saturday night and became a three-division world champion.
Costa Rica’s Valle pressed the action for most of her 10-round fight against Evelyn Bermudez and won a majority decision to take the IBF and WBO junior flyweight titles from the Argentinean veteran on the Jose Zepeda-Regis Prograis undercard at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California. Judges Adalaide Byrd (99-91) and Daniel Sandoval (97-93) both scored the bout for Valle, though Zachary Young scored their back-and-forth fight even, 95-95.
Costa Rica’s Valle (27-2, 9 KOs) also owns the IBF and WBO minimumweight championships. She previously held the IBF atomweight title, the 101-pound division for women. She became the first fighter to defeat Santa Fe’s Bermudez (17-1-1, 6 KOs).
Both boxers thought their fight was close and they fought accordingly throughout the 10th and final round. They traded punches for almost all two minutes of a 10th round that appeared difficult to score.
Bermudez connected with a right hand as Valle tried to hold her a few seconds before the ninth round concluded. Valle landed a right hand in an exchange barely 50 seconds into the ninth round.
Valle pressed the action again in the eighth round. Bermudez appeared tired by then, which enabled Valle to land right hands as she pressed forward.
Bermudez and Valle traded hard punches toward the end of the seventh round, but Valle tried to tie up the champion before the bell sounded. Valle knocked Bermudez backward with a right hand 50 seconds into the seventh round.
Bermudez’s right hand landed in an exchange with just over 50 seconds on the clock in the sixth round. A right hand by Bermudez knocked Valle off balance with 1:15 to go in the sixth round.
Bermudez, who tried to keep Valle at the end of her jab throughout the fifth round, drilled Valle with two right hands moments before the fifth round ended.
Bermudez drilled Valle with a right hand that stopped her from coming forward with just over 10 seconds to go in the fourth round. They traded hard shots that drew a loud reaction from the crowd as the fourth round wound down.
Valle gained some momentum in the third round by getting inside on the taller, longer Bermudez. Bermudez landed right hands again during a second round she clearly won.
The shorter Valle had difficulty getting inside on Bermudez during the opening round, when Bermudez consistently connected with left hooks and right hands. Bermudez landed several right hands in the opening minute of the first round.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.
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