In front of a packed, excited hometown crowd in San Jose, Costa Rica, IBF 105 lb. titlist Yokasta Valle extended her title reign and added the WBO title with a dominant victory, winning every round on all three scorecards. With the victory over Vietnam’s Thi Thu Nhi Nguyen, Valle added the WBO strap in the division and made her sixth defense of the IBF belt.
Valle was better from the outset though Nguyen did her best. Nguyen flashed a good jab in spots and tried to get her right hand home but the skills gap was evident. Valle was first most of the night, working in combinations to the head and body, freezing a Nguyen who didn’t seem to know how to punch with her or stifle Valle’s offense.
Nguyen’s offense was a reactive and Valle started and finished exchanges with better speed and fluidity. It was, really, no contest. It doesn’t mean there aren’t contests to come if Valle wants to gather the rest of the gold in her division.
Futures: Valle has now 13 in a row since a loss to Tina Rupprecht for the interim WBC belt in 2018. Rupprecht has since been elevated to the full WBC belt and remains its standard bearer. The German is 3-0-1 since her win over Valle and inactive since July 2021. Could Valle’s experience since the first fight change the outcome in a return?
The other belt in class belongs to one of the elite talents in the game.
Undefeated WBA titlist Seniesa Estrada, also a titlist at Jr. flyweight, recently signed a deal with Top Rank. Valle beat Nguyen on a DAZN card. In women’s boxing, sides of the street matter a whole lot less than they do on the men’s side. Valle has expressed interest in Estrada in the past. She said after the Nguyen fight she wants whoever has the other belts. Estrada would be a hell of a whoever.
Contention at Cruiser?
A little off the radar this weekend, an exciting cruiserweight was in action in Florida.
Brandon Glanton made his name with fans last year in an absolute war with Efetobor Apochi. Saturday, he scored his third straight knockout since that decision victory, blasting out Mario Aguilar in just two rounds. The result was no surprise. Aguilar had been stopped four times before.
But in a cruiserweight division that has gone from red hot to sort of stuck in the mud after a pair of successful World Boxing Super Series tournaments, a fighter like Glanton is worth more interest.
Futures: Glanton is currently ranked by just one sanctioning body, the WBA, at eighth. Already thirty, he’ll need to make some moves to get a title shot but whether he can win a strap or not, he’s a fighter who can add some fire to the class. Lineal king Jai Opetaia, former king Mairis Briedis, and WBO titlist Lawrence Okolie probably represent the cream of the crop with a bit of a gap from there. WBA titlist Arsen Goulamirian hasn’t fought since 2019, seemingly forgotten by his own sanctioning body. Is there opportunity there? Time will tell but if he keeps knocking them over, Glanton should get some chances.
Claressa Shields saying she would go to welterweight to Jessica McCaskill? We’re in a fun era with fighters moving all over the scale to make money. Consider McCaskill is about to go down the scale as undisputed welterweight champion to face Jr. welterweight champion Chantelle Cameron. Shields has business on October 15th to take care of first before worrying about how to diet…Chritian Mbilli looks like the real deal at super middleweight. Between he and David Morrell, there is some serious young blood. If someone bet those two would be the best in class by the end of 2023, it might not be smart to bet against them.
Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, a member of the International Boxing Research Organization, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org