All of the major women’s strawweight titles will be at stake in separate bouts on March 25.
BoxingScene.com has confirmed that Yokasta Valle is set to make her seventh overall title defense and first as a unified titlist. The two-division and reigning IBF and WBO strawweight title claimant will next face unbeaten challenger Jessica Basulto on March 25 at Club & Hotel Condovac in Guanacaste, Costa Rica.
The bout will air live on subscription-based BLK Prime app as a non-premium event free to existing members. Non-members are required to sign up for either a monthly subscription ($3.99 per month) or the $39.99 annual pass in order to watch the show presented by MarvNation, who co-promotes Valle along with Golden Boy Promotions.
Fittingly, it comes on the same night when Estrada (23-0, 9KOs) puts her WBA strawweight title on the line versus WBC titlist Tina Rupprecht (12-0-1, 3KOs) on a March 25 ESPN card from Save Mart Arena in Fresno, California.
Valle (27-2, 9KOs) was long rumored to appear on the date but struggled to secure a relevant opponent. The 30-year-old Nicaragua-born boxer who now lives in San Jose, Costa Rica—where she has emerged as a major star—originally sought to make an IBF mandatory defense versus Germany’s Sarah Bormann (15-0, 7KOs), who was not available as she is scheduled to face unbeaten Yadira Bustillos in an interim WBC strawweight title fight on May 13 in Offenbach, Germany.
Former titleholder Anabel Ortiz was also considered for the fight before lead promoter MarvNation—headed by Marvin Rodriguez—secured the services of Basulto (11-0, 3KOs), an unbeaten 25-year-old contender from Merida, Mexico. The bout marks the first title challenge for Basulto and her third career appearance outside of Mexico—the other two occasions resulting in back-to-back knockout wins in Belize.
Valle has won 13 in a row since a ten-round points loss to Rupprecht in their June 2018 interim WBC strawweight title fight. Rupprecht was upgraded to full titlist and has made five successful defenses heading into her unification bout versus Estrada.
Meanwhile, Valle entered the title fray a year after her loss to the unbeaten German. Valle claimed the IBF belt with an August 2019 points win over Joanna Pastrana on the road in Marbella, Spain. Her sixth and most recent title defense saw Valle shut out unbeaten WBO titlist Thi Thu Nhi Nguyen over ten rounds in their unification bout last September 8 in her San Jose hometown.
Less than three months later, Valle became a three-division titleholder (having previously held the IBF atomweight title) and a two-division unified titlist. She did so in a successful move up in weight to dethrone IBF/WBO junior flyweight titlist Evelin Bermudez last November 26 in Carson, California. Valle’s reign lasted just eleven days, as she vacated the belts to return to strawweight.
Wins by Valle and Estrada on the same night in separate countries is expected to eventually lead to an undisputed championship showdown. There is little love lost between the two, and their respective teams are keen on finally securing what figures to be a lucrative two-way option.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox