Kenia Enriquez Ready to Battle Venezuelan KO Artist Norleidys Graterol
By David A. Avila
During the past three years Tijuana’s Kenia Enriquez has been one of the more avoided light flyweights in the world.
Only those looking to topple her ascent are willing to face her. Those holding world titles avoid her name like a curse on their village.
Enriquez (20-1, 9 KOs) returns to defend the WBC interim light flyweight world title against Venezuela’s equally dangerous Norleidys Graterol (7-0, 7 KOs) on Saturday Oct. 6, at the Gasmart Stadium in Tijuana, Mexico. ESPN 3 will stream the event at 8 p.m. PT. The co-main is Luis Nery vs Jason Canoy.
Graterol knocks out everyone she faces. So Far.
“She has power in the fists, and has some box-like quality. But I am sure that I have faced more difficult and experienced opponents like Yessica Nery Plata and Ana Arrazola,” said Enriquez.
She has a point.
Though only 24, the Tijuana prizefighter already captured a world title at the age of 21 when she defeated Ana Arrazola for the WBO flyweight world title in San Diego back in 2014. She then lost it to Melissa McMorrow by split decision in her next fight.
After her only loss, she immediately dropped back down in weight to the light flyweight division at 108 pounds.
“This is my natural weight division,” Enriquez said.
The light flyweights are one of the deepest divisions in boxing in terms of pure talent and numbers. But despite the abundance of skilled fighters, those among the top almost all ignore Enriquez’s presence. They will never mention her name. It’s like opening the door to Pandora’s Box.
Graterol has blasted out seven foes in seven fights. But all took place in her native country. Little is known about the Venezuelan knockout artist.
“I know very little, I’ve seen a few videos of her,” said Enriquez who was formerly promoted by an American-based company but that contract expired. “I’m trying to worry more about improving my mistakes, following the strategy of my coach Mario Mendoza who has a lot of experience to accompany the whole career of the best fighter in Mexico the legendary Jackie Nava.”
Enriquez has a boxer-puncher style that includes hand speed and power. She’s faced many of the top light flyweights including Jessica Nery Plata whose brother is the main event on the Saturday fight card.
The Tijuana fighter claims she will fight anybody for a world title no matter which country. Of course she would love to fight in the U.S. especially with the women prizefighters now getting their chance to be televised.
“It’s always been a dream of mine,” she says.
In Mexico, females are commonly shown on TV. This Saturday’s co-mains will be shown by ESPN3 and Enriquez recognizes the value of being seen by American audiences. She has performed five times in California. Once on a major card that featured Gennady “GGG” Golovkin in 2016.
“I’m really looking forward to the ring. I have a lot of desire to perform,” Enriquez said. “The fans will see me enjoy what I do and defend my title with all my soul.”
After Saturday she’s looking for even more challenges.
(Note: ESPN3 is an app that can be downloaded at a cost of $9.99 a month.)