Yokasta Valle always had the sense that her say would be brief at junior flyweight.

It turned out to be just long enough to become a three-division titlist, though she is no longer a unified champion at the weight.

The WBO announced that Valle has formally vacated her junior flyweight division, opting to return to strawweight where she also remains the unified IBF/WBO champ. Per Section 5(d) of the WBO Regulations, “No WBO Champion may hold WBO titles in more than one weight division. If a WBO Champion wins a WBO championship in a higher or lower division, the WBO Champion shall have ten (10) Days to determine which weight division the WBO champion will retain. The other weight division will be declared vacant.”

Costa Rica’s Valle (27-2, 9KOs) ended Argentina’s Evelin Bermudez IBF/WBO junior flyweight title reign after a ten-round, majority decision victory on November 26 at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California. The win was her fourth of a terrific 2022 campaign that saw Valle also unify at strawweight in September.

The win over Bermudez always came with a time limit in determining her next move. Valle always sensed that a return to strawweight was in the works, though she elected to use the entire ten-day limit to make her decision.

“I just want to be able to enjoy the belts I worked hard to win, before making my final decision,” Valle told BoxingScene.com as the deadline approached. “I already knew in my mind what I was going to do even before I received the [WBO letter], but I wanted to make certain that I wasn’t giving up a good opportunity at this weight before leaving it behind.”

Valle, who is co-promoted by MarvNation and Golden Boy Promotions—will likely relinquish her IBF junior flyweight title as well, though not until it is absolutely required.

The decision was expected, as a return to strawweight boasts her most lucrative option—a three-belt showdown with WBO titlist and pound-for-pound entrant Seniesa Estrada (23-0, 9KOs).

Valle has held the IBF belt at that weight since an August 2019 points win over Joana Pastrana on the road in Marbella, Spain. The win saw Valle capture a junior flyweight belt on her second try after previously holding the IBF belt in the female-exclusive 102-pound atomweight division.

Estrada is presently pursuing a title unification bout of her own. The 30-year-old from East Los Angeles—who signed with Top Rank after a bitter split with Golden Boy earlier this year—has called for a showdown with unbeaten WBC strawweight titlist Tina Ruppercht (11-0-1, 3KOs), who defeated Valle via ten-round decision in their June 2018 interim title fight before winning the full title one fight later.

Valle has since won fourteen in a row, including six overall defenses of her IBF strawweight title. The latest came on September 8, when she dethroned unbeaten WBO titlist Th Thu Nhi Nguyen in their unification bout in her San Jose hometown. Following Wednesday’s decision, it’s clear that the next step is to further unify and eventually vie for undisputed championship status at strawweight.

“Whether it’s Seniesa or Tina, I plan to fight whoever has the belts,” Valle told BoxingScene.com. “No matter which one, or even both, whoever has the [WBA and WBC] belts will have to come see me. We all have the same goals of becoming undisputed champion.

“Me and my team, we have all the patience in the world. Even if that fight isn’t next, we’ll be ready for whenever that day arrives.”

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox