Another Look at Yokasta Valle and Busy Week

Yokasta Valle, Welterweights and More Fight News


(Photo by Al Applerose)

By David A. Avila

Yokasta Valle led a strong week of women’s boxing that saw her defend two minimumweight world titles. A hundred miles away two other title fights took place in Tijuana.

All were available to watch worldwide.

Currently, only three promoters have more than two female prizefighters under contract and busy. One is based in England, another in New York and the third is in California. All three promoters show their fight cards via streaming.

Costa Rica’s Valle was gunning for a showdown with Seniesa “Super Bad” Estrada and it was hoped they could finally compete for undisputed status. But the momentum weakened as it was revealed that Estrada needed to undergo surgery for her right hand.

“I’m sorry for her injury and I hope she recovers,” said Valle. “I’m patient.”

A spokesperson for Top Rank said Estrada hopefully will return early next year.

Last Saturday, Valle defended the IBF and WBO minimumweight world titles against Maria Santizo at Commerce Casino in Commerce, Calif. If Valle was preoccupied with thoughts of Estrada, Santizo cracked her with a jolting right in the very first round to remind her that every fighter is dangerous.

The fight was on.

If you had watched Valle fight years ago, her style was very different. She danced around the ring firing punches and holding was her main form of defense. Now, every time she performs another layer of skill can be seen.

Speed and athleticism have always been her strongest suits.

Valle has spent the past year and a half living in Los Angeles and training under Gloria Alvarado, otherwise known as “Coach G”. The transformation of Valle has been remarkable and comprehensive.

“I really learned to like Mexican food,” said Valle about living in Los Angeles.

For the past 30 years the greater Los Angeles area, or Southern California, has become the center of the boxing universe. More than 100 boxing gyms are scattered in the area and sparring against many of the best fighters in the world is very easy to obtain.

Because of the close vicinity of Mexico, fighters from that area often cross over on a regular basis. Tijuana is about 130 miles from Los Angeles.

Valle benefits from the abundance of sparring and recently made the Wild Card Boxing gym her headquarters. The owner, Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach, has a slew of sparring possibilities at his fingertips.

“Freddie has been very helpful in getting sparring for Yoka,” said Mario Vega the manager of Valle.

During her fight with Guatemala’s Santizo, it was evident that Valle was working on sitting in the pocket with her guns cocked and ready. Every time Santizo attacked, Valle returned fire with powerful combinations. For every punch Santizo fired Valle returned with three or more. Few jabs were fired by the Costa Rican fighter in this fight.

“I knew she was going to bring everything,” said Valle of Santizo. “She was training in Los Angeles to get incredible sparring and I knew she was well prepared for our fight.”

After 10 rounds Valle defeated Santizo by decision.


Tijuana fights

Last Friday, former featherweight world titlist Erika “Dinamita” Cruz dropped down to super bantamweight and battled against Melissa Odessa in a fierce 10 round bloodbath.

If you are familiar with Cruz, she has an awkward style of defense and comes up with her head like a Billy goat. It often results in head butts and cuts in almost every one of her fights including a loss to Amanda Serrano for the undisputed featherweight world championship.

Cruz always tries to get in the last blow during exchanges and over 10 rounds out-landed Odessa. But not by much. It was a tremendous fight and resulted in Cruz winning by unanimous decision 99-91 twice and 98-92. Each round was contentious.

In a featherweight match, Australia’s Skye Nicholson won by unanimous decision over Argentina’s Sabrina Perez but the victory was marred by the sight of Perez’s trainer/husband Diego Urrua collapsing during the match. He was hospitalized during the fight and later passed away. Our condolences to the Urrua family.


Welterweight World Title Match

Jessica McCaskill (12-3) defends her IBO, WBA, WBC world titles against WBO titlist Sandy Ryan (6-1) on Saturday Sept. 23, at Orlando, Florida. DAZN will stream the Matchroom Boxing card.

McCaskill, who lives in Chicago, Illinois, has to be one of the least known champions with more than one belt. Social media just isn’t enough to build a true boxing following outside of Chicago. Other than that, McCaskill’s team are looking to defend the titles she won from Cecilia Braekhus on Saturday.

Ryan trained in Las Vegas for this fight and aside from a height and reach advantage has the potential to give anyone trouble.

It should be an interesting clash.


Boxing Hall of Fame

The most important function of the year for women’s boxing is the International Women’s Boxing Hall of Fame banquet and ceremony. This year it’s a two-day event beginning on Friday Oct. 6 at Orleans Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas and ending with the ceremonial introduction of the honorees on Saturday Oct. 7.

Las Vegas city mayor Carolyn Goodman declared Saturday October 7 “Women’s Boxing Day.”

Those being inducted are Kaliesha West, Yvonne Trevino, Jill Diamond, Melissa McMorrow, Sonya Lamonakis, Laura Ramsey, Melissa Del Valle, Leah Meddinger, Kim Messner, Dallas Molloy, Bruce Silverglade, Jennifer Alcorn representing 2023.

Sindy Amador, Rhonda Luna, Esther Schouton, Maria Jesus Rosa, Suzy Taylor, Daniela Smith, Lou DiBella, Judy Kulis, and many others will be honored. To purchase tickets go to:


Female Matchmaker

Erin Toughill has been signed by Roy Engelbrecht Events to as official matchmaker for the long running promotion company based in California.

She may be the first female assigned as matchmaker in California.

“I am honored that Roy Englebrecht has asked me to join his company as Vice President of Fighter Relations & Matchmaking,” said Toughill. “As a former fighter, I am extremely passionate about boxing and MMA as well as the welfare of the combatants.”

Toughill’s most recent boxing match was against former middleweight world champion Hannah Rankin four years ago in Flint, Michigan. She also competed in MMA until 2011.


More Fight News


On Saturday Sept. 23, featherweights Daniela Bermudez (31-4-3) and Lucrecia Manzur (9-3) meet 10 rounds for the Argentine title at Villa Maria. Also, lightweights Maria Ferreyra (6-0-1) and Maria Capriolo (7-14-4) meet eight rounds; and flyweights Veronica Ruiz (2-0) and Sandra Villarruel (1-3-2) meet four rounds.



Mariah Turner (2-0) knocked out Flora Kilasa (0-2) in the third round on Saturday Sept. 16. The featherweight match was held in Bowen Hills.



Michaela Kotaskova (4-0-2) knocked out Hasna Tukic (12-11) in the first round on Saturday Sept. 16. The welterweight fight took place at Vienna.



On Saturday Sept. 23, minimumweights Sanjida Jannat (0-0) and Shamima Jannat (0-0) meet four rounds at Dhaka.



Francia Bravo (27-6-2) knocked out Paola Herrera (14-8-2) in the second round on Tuesday Sept. 12. The super lightweight contest took place at Santa Marta. Also, welterweight Katerin Tobon (1-2-1) knocked out Karen Fernandez (0-1) in the first round; and heavyweight Minellis Blanco (2-0) knocked out Doraina Rodriguez (0-1) in the first round.



Jessica Bellusci (4-0) knocked out Eva Magno (0-2) in the fourth round on Sunday Sept. 17. The featherweight bout took place at Cantu.

On Saturday Sept. 23, flyweights Federica Macri (0-0) and Lara Joly (0-0) meet four rounds at Valle d’Aosta.



Nodoka Furukawa (3-0) beat Peeyalux Sanpokang (1-1) by decision after four rounds on Sunday Sept. 17. The super bantamweight contest was held at Kitakyushu.



Erika Cruz (16-2) defeated Melissa Odessa Parker (6-2) by unanimous decision after 10 rounds on Friday Sept. 15. The super bantamweight title match was held in Tijuana. Also, featherweight Skye Nicholson (8-0) defeated Sabrina Perez (18-2-1) by unanimous decision.

On Friday Sept. 22, flyweights Marlen Martinez (1-0) and Karla Ramos (0-3) meet four rounds at Puebla.

On Saturday Sept. 23, minimumweights Augustina Vazquez (2-0) and Neftali Nava (0-2-1) meet eight rounds at Tecate.



On Sunday Sept. 24, cruiserweights Celina Agwu (2-0) and Bolatito Oluwole (7-0) meet eight rounds at Lagos.



Cristina Navarro (3-1) defeated Vittoria Parigi (3-1) by decision after six rounds on Sunday Sept. 17. The minimumweight fight took place at Zaragoza.

Natalia Francesca (5-2) won by unanimous decision after four rounds versus Cristina Ganganese (0-1) on Saturday Sept. 16. The featherweight bout was held at Badia del Valles.



Anais Kistler (3-2) knocked out Nikola Izova (2-2-2) in the third round on Thursday Sept. 14. The welterweight bout took place at Carouge.

On Saturday Sept. 23, light flyweights Keylin Maradiaga (4-0) and Daisy Preston (0-9-1) meet five rounds at Madrid.


United Kingdom

Roni Dean (2-0) defeated Karina Szmalenburg (14-57-4) by decision after six rounds on Saturday Sept. 16. The super featherweight fight was held in London. Also, featherweight Amy Greatorex (1-4) defeated Sangeeta Bird (3-5) by decision.

Zoe Hunte (2-2) won by decision after six rounds against Kerry Orton (0-2) on Saturday Sept. 16. The lightweight match was held at London, England.

Jordan Barker (7-2) beat Bojana Libiszewska (7-55) by decision after six rounds on Saturday Sept. 16. The super lightweight contest was held in Liverpool, England. Also, welterweight Olivia Hussey (1-0) beat Marija Zivkovic (1-17-1).

Bree Burbeary (4-0) defeated Sarah Worsfold (1-1) by decision after six rounds on Saturday Sept. 16. The welterweight match was held at Telford, England. Also, bantamweight Sylwia Doligala (3-1-1) defeated Tanya Ledger (0-1).

Kirsty Hill (5-1) won by unanimous decision after 10 rounds versus Vicky Wilkinson (5-2-1) on Friday Sept. 15. The British super featherweight title match was held at Wolverhampton.

On Saturday Sept. 23, featherweights Gemma Ruegg (7-8) and Inna Statkevych (4-5-1) meet six rounds at Bournemouth, England. Also, super middleweights Amy Cooper (0-0-1) and Ester Konecna (3-23-2) meet six rounds.



Yokasta Valle (29-2) won by unanimous decision over Maria Santizo (11-4) on Saturday Sept. 16. The IBF, WBO minimumweight world titles fight took place at Commerce, California.

Jaclyne McTamney (1-0) beat Brittany Dukes (0-5-1) by knockout in the fourth round on Friday Sept. 15. The featherweight fight took place in Philadelphia, Penn.

Ravven Brown (1-0) knocked out Kavarcia Polk (0-2) in the first round on Friday Sept. 15. The super featherweight match was held in San Antonio, Texas.

On Saturday Sept. 23, welterweights Jessica McCaskill (12-3) and Sandy Ryan (6-1) meet 10 rounds for the IBO, WBA, WBO, WBC titles at Orlando, Florida; Also, featherweights Jasmine Artiga (10-0-1) and Haley Pasion (2-4) meet six rounds.

On Saturday Sept. 23, minimumweights Yadira Bustillos (7-1) and Katherine Lindenmuth (5-1) meet eight rounds at Long Beach, California.