Kenia “La Gema” Enriquez Wins Second World Title

Kenia Enriquez Wins Second World Title and other results


By Felipe Leon


CIUDAD OBREGON, Mexico-Tijuana’s Kenia Enriquez captured her second world title, the interim WBC light flyweight strap, with a thunderous left hook to the liver that sent electric shocks through the game Maria Salinas in the third round.


The championship bout was the semi-main event on Saturday in Obregon, Mexico. In the featured fight hometown favorite Orlando Salido survived an early knockdown to stop late sub Aristides Perez in a lightweight scrap.


After a six-month hiatus due to a minor medical issue, the 23-year old Enriquez (19-1, 9 Kos) came full force in early March in her first fight of the year going six hard rounds with the tough Guadalupe Martinez Castillo.  Salinas (15-6-3, 5 Kos) arrived having never been knocked out.


Previously in her career Enriquez had captured the NABF light flyweight title via a seventh round TKO of the experienced Jolene Blackshear in 2014 only to later that same year grab the WBO 112 pound world title with a lopsided unanimous decision over Ana Arrazola.


Enriquez dropped the title to Melissa McMorrow in February of 2015 via a hotly contested split decision but since then she had strung together five consecutives wins including a technical decision over former world champ Katia Gutierrez and a 5th round knockout of former NABF champ Amaris Quintana last April on the Gennady Golovkin vs Dominic Wade card at the Forum in Los Angeles, CA.


The Texas southpaw Salinas, 28, was Enriquez’s most experienced opponent at the world stage.  Salinas has now challenged for five world titles through out her career including the WBC Silver light flyweight title against current champ Esmeralda Moreno in ’11, the WBA minimum weight versus Etsuko Tada a year later, the IBF light flyweight against Naoko Shibata in ’15 and again last year both times in Japan.


No room of study was needed for both these fighters, who came in under the weight limit at 107.5 pounds the day before at the official weigh in, as both displayed their best weapons from the opening bell.  Salinas of Saltillo, Mexico, made use of an over hand right that caught Enriquez flush on the chin with out much effect while the visibly stronger Tijuana fighter quickly opened up her attack with a punishing right hand.  Near the end of the first round after an accidental head-butt Salinas developed a hematoma on the left side of her forehead but no cut was produced.


Enriquez kept dissecting her opponent with the aforementioned right hand but in the second round began to add a hard uppercut to the body whenever given the chance.  Salinas followed her corner’s instructions to come forward and come often but was met still with quick, hard and precise combinations for her trouble.


The third continued much the same with Enriquez building up steam while Salinas began to slow down from the now constant body attack.  With just a few seconds to go in the stanza a quick, short left hook by Enriquez to the liver dropped Salinas straight down to one knee.  Salinas quickly got to her feet but when referee Christian Curiel asked her if she could continue, she smartly shook her head no giving Enriquez the KO win and the title at 1:57 of the third round.


“I was a bit surprised since nobody had ever knocked her out before,” Enriquez said seconds after having the green and gold belt fastened around her waist.  “She has faced some world class opponents and has survived them all.  This is a new beginning for me.  I said at the beginning of the year I wound win a world title this year or die trying.  This is the interim belt, I want the full-fledged one.  I need to wait for the winner of (Jessica) Chavez versus (Esmeralda) Moreno and see what Moreno wants to do next.”


If Moreno wins the WBC flyweight title later this year Enriquez will automatically be deemed the WBC light flyweight titleholder. If Moreno loses to Chavez then a match between Moreno and Enriquez will be held.



Urbina Scores Knockout


Mexican amateur standout Sulem Urbina (5-0, 1KO) of Phoenix, AZ, by way of Hermosillo, Mexico, kept her undefeated record intact by scoring a second round TKO over hometown fighter Carol Castro (6-9, 2KO) in the first round of a scheduled flyweight four.


Urbina was clearly the quicker of the two and did not hesitate to prove that under the hot Ciudad Obregon sun in the third fight of the card.  She was consistent with her attack as Castro could not find a way of stopping the quick punches of Urbina.    Near the end of the third stanza Urbina scored with a left hook that opened up a ghastly gash over the eye of Castro.  Castro made it to the end of the round but her corner opted not to let her continue.  Official time was 3:00 of the second.


Nery Platas Goes the Distance


Former WBC Youth light flyweight champion Jessica Nery Platas (20-1, 3KO) went the six round flyweight distance with forty-year old Delia “Japonesa” Lopez (10-5-2, 5KO) of Tlaxcala, Mexico, in the first swing bout of the night winning a wide margin unanimous decision.


Nery Platas of Mexico City and trained by the legendary Nacho Beristain boxed steadily as she used lateral movement and even a steadier jab to keep the much shorter Lopez off for the majority of the fight.  When Lopez was successful in trapping Nery Platas against the ropes and getting inside, she would work to the body with wide looping power punches but not enough to make any difference in the eyes of the judges or the crowd.


No scores were announced.


Esquivel Scores Win


Five-Time Mexican national amateur champion Melissa Esquivel (3-0, 2KO) looked solid in out-boxing Beatriz Arambure (0-2) of Mazatlan, Mexico, in a four round featherweight bout.


Los Mochis’ Esquivel seems to not have any trouble transitioning to a pro style as she looked aggressive but yet controlled in scoring good combinations against Arambure.  Arambure was game but just did not have enough of an arsenal to stop the constant attack from Esquivel who Zanfer is betting as one of their future female stars.  At the end of four workmen-like rounds a unanimous decision was announced for Esquivel.


Again, no official scores were announced.

(Photo courtesy of Zanfer Promotions)