WBC Interim Champ Kenia Enriquez Defends vs Jessica Nery Plata
By David A. Avila
Female prizefighting has swept the country of Mexico in two separate waves with many gaining international recognition and fame.
Now it’s time for the third wave to hit.
Kenia “La Gema” Enriquez (19-1, 9 Kos) faces Jessica Nery Plata (21-1, 3 Kos) in a battle for the interim WBC light flyweight world title on Saturday Nov. 18 in Obregon, Sonora, Mexico. The clash will be televised on Azteca.
Both represent the third invasion of elite female prizefighters bred in Mexico and both have eye-catching boxing ability.
As a child Enriquez eagerly watched those female prizefighters from the early days. Before the 2000s female boxing was declared illegal in Mexico. It was basically an underground sport.
“My favorite fighters because of their style are Amanda Serrano, Cecilia Braekhus and Jackie Nava,” said Enriquez adding that she likes them equally.
Nava, like Enriquez, is a native of the thriving border town of Tijuana, Mexico. Now 37, and a Mexican senator for Baja California, the former super bantamweight world champion has a few fights left in her. She also was part of that first wave of Mexican females that captured the hearts of boxing fans.
The second wave of elite Mexican female prizefighters are led by former light flyweight champions Jessica Chavez, Esmeralda Moreno and Ibeth Silva Zamora. Now, all three participate in the heavier 112-pound flyweight division.
A third wave has developed and Enriquez leads the charge along with Nery Plata who together won a combined 40 fights while losing only two. That’s talent.
“I’ve been champion for six months. As soon as I won my title I went back to the gymnasium. It was said that I would fight with her (Nery) but for reasons that I was not told the fight was not given,” said Enriquez, 24. “Then, recently, they told me about other dates until this fight was finalized.”
Tijuana’s Enriquez, a slender brunette with good hand speed and outstanding power, recently grabbed the WBC interim light flyweight title by knockout against Maria Salinas. A left hook to the body ended their fight in the third round last May 27 in Obregon.
Nery Plata, 23, recently won the WBF flyweight title in her last fight by decision over Maria Magdalena just a month ago. It’s a match-up between a pair of extremely talented 108-pounders with advanced boxing ability.
“I’ve seen her fight almost all of her fights, she is a technical fighter who handles her distance very well and that will help my style since I am more aggressive and forceful,” says Enriquez. “So I’m expecting a high level fight between two good, world classified fighters and world champions.”
The battle for the WBC light flyweight crown will be contested on Saturday by this pair of emerging elite stars. Based on the history of this weight division in Mexico, expect both fighters to lead this third wave of talent for many more years.
One major difference is that Enriquez wants more than just dominance in her own country.
“Of course I would like to fight for the whole world, I would like fans to recognize the quality of boxing that Mexico has. I would like to go to Japan, Germany, Argentina,” said Enriquez who has fought many times in the USA. “The truth is I like to fight in other cities. I feel that I gain more followers and they get to know the quality of boxing we have in Tijuana.”
On Saturday it will be Tijuana’s Enriquez versus Mexico City’s Nery Plata in Obregon.