Why Do Champions Fear Mexico’s Kenia Enriquez?

Why Are Champions Afraid of Kenia Enriquez and More Female Fight News


(Photo by Al Applerose)

Story by David A. Avila

Mexico’s Kenia Enriquez defended the interim flyweight title successfully last weekend. No surprise.

But why won’t any world champions fight her?

Tijuana’s Enriquez (28-1, 11 Kos) with her pressure style won every round against Maria Salinas (27-10-6) on Saturday in Nuevo Leon, Mexico. It was the second time in seven years they met in the boxing ring.

Champions refuse to fight Enriquez. They look for ways to avoid meeting her in the boxing ring. All of them for the past 10 years.

“Years ago, it would really bother me but now I am older, more mature, and I understand they see me and they know who the best is,” said Enriquez. “They avoid me because I keep working, competing and getting better.”

Now 30, Enriquez won a world title 10 years ago with a strong win over fellow Mexican Ana Arrazola in San Diego. In her very next fight, three months later, she lost the WBO flyweight title to Melissa McMorrow by split decision. It was the last time she ever fought for a world title.

She then dropped down to light flyweight.

For six years she campaigned at 108 pounds and won the WBC interim light flyweight title. Not once did she receive a shot at the actual world titlist despite holding the interim title. Not once.

Two years ago, she moved back up to 112 pounds and now possesses the WBC interim flyweight title. But no actual world titleholder has even hinted they would face Enriquez in the boxing ring. The current WBC flyweight titlist is Marlen Esparza. They sparred eight years ago.

“In our sparring in 2016, the first couple of rounds I had trouble deciphering her style because of her speed. But once I did, my power and technique took over and then it became very easy.  I think in a pro fight between us it would be the same.  Ibeth Zamora sent her to the canvas and I think she knows I can finish that fight via KO and I say that because I am sure I can,” said Enriquez. “Esparza hasn’t looked that great against her most recent opponents and I think the holes in her style were even more visible.”

Another flyweight champion emerged recently in Gabriela Fundora. She is 21 and tall at 5’9” in height. She also has power as proven in her back-to-back wins over Arely Mucino and Christina Cruz.

“She (Fundora) is a very young fighter and strong. I liked her last fight despite her not being able to knock out a 40-year-old opponent.  It was clear boxing and having movement in the ring is not her strength and above all, she has a lot to learn, but understandable because she is so young,” said Enriquez of the IBF flyweight titlist Fundora.

Incidentally, when Fundora’s team sought an opponent, they were offered Enriquez but they declined and chose Cruz instead.

That was understandable.

It’s one of the oddities and weaknesses of pro boxing. On one hand, you can get a world title fight in your first pro fight a la Vasyl Lomachenko, with the right backing. Or you can wait 10 years or more like Enriquez for another opportunity.

She has no promoter. Despite years of excellence and being named on several pound-for-pound lists, including this publication, no major promoter has signed Enriquez.

Enriquez has always employed a fan friendly Mexican style of fighting. She doesn’t run around the ring flinging slaps and clinching if someone gets too close. She uses skill to fight her way out of trouble. The only loss on her record was against Women’s International Hall of Fame inductee Melissa McMorrow in 2014. Enriquez has not lost since.

Enriquez dreams of fighting in America or in Europe. She loves challenges.

She also loves the sport of boxing.

When Mexico’s Erika Cruz fought Mayerlin Rivas for the WBA super bantamweight title in Los Angeles last November, there was Enriquez eager to watch women perform on an internationally watched fight.

Always smiling and a stylish dresser, Enriquez now gets serious when asked about champions not willing to face her.

“We all get our moment. And their time will come and there will be nobody in the ring but them and me,” said Enriquez about champions avoiding her. “That is when they will pay for making me wait and the fans will enjoy a great fight.”


More Fight News


Veronica Ruiz (5-0) won by decision after six rounds versus Karen Dominguez (0-3-1) on Saturday Feb. 3. The light flyweight match was held in Galvez.

Eliana Orecchia (5-12-2) won by technical decision after four rounds versus Juliana Basualdo (11-5) on Friday Feb. 2. The super bantamweight match was held in Cordoba.

On Saturday Feb. 10, super featherweights Karen Carabajal (21-1) and Edith Matthysse (17-15-1) meet 10 rounds for the South American title at Cutral Co.

On Saturday Feb. 10, super lightweights Rocio Bastida (1-1) and Brenda Lorenzo (1-5) meet four rounds at Mar del Plata.



On Saturday Feb. 10, flyweights Bec Moss (1-2) and Sarah Higginson (4-4-1) meet six rounds at Adelaide.



Shamara Woods (3-0-1) knocked out Irina Caicedo (0-2) in the first round on Wednesday Jan. 31. The lightweight fight was held in Santa Marta.



Anissa Benyoub (6-3) beat Katherine Quintana (0-26-1) by decision after six rounds on Friday Feb. 2. The super lightweight fight took place at Tarbes.



Reika Kawaguchi (5-2-2) knocked out Wisuta Sririttidet (6-2) in the second round on Sunday Feb. 4. The atomweight fight was held in Kyoto. Also, Rii Kawaii (1-0) knocked out Kei Sugimoto (2-5-1) in the fourth round. Flyweight Nanae Yamaka (6-1) beat Hoju Maeda (4-1-2) in six rounds for the Japanese Atomweight title.



Kenia Enriquez (28-1) defeated Maria Salinas (26-10-6) by unanimous decision after 10 rounds on Saturday Feb. 3. The interim flyweight world title match was held in Nuevo Leon.



Tatiana Perez (2-0) beat Florencia Villarreal (1-3-1) by decision after six rounds on Saturday Feb. 3. The light flyweight match was held in Alalpardo.

On Saturday Feb. 10, light flyweights Keylin Maradiaga (6-0) and Federica Macri (1-0) meet five rounds at Madrid.



Rungnapha Kaewkrachang (18-19-1O knocked out Pornthip Khamthongphanow (0-1) in the third round on Monday Jan. 29. The super flyweight fight was held in Lam Luk Ka. Also, bantamweight Thanyarat Jaiklom (6-0) knocked out Akkaranee Kadsin (0-1) in the fourth round.


United Kingdom

Caroline Dubois (9-0) won by unanimous decision after 10 rounds versus Miranda Reyes (7-2-1) on Saturday Feb. 3. The lightweight bout took place at London, England. Also, featherweight Francesca Hennessy (3-0) beat Laura Belen (5-6-1) in six.

Nicola Hopewell (4-1) defeated Kata Pap (1-3) by decision after six rounds on Saturday Feb. 3. The super flyweight match took place at Bradford, England.

Sophie Rodgers (1-0) won by decision over Kira Carter (0-4-1) after four rounds on Saturday Feb. 3. The bantamweight fight took place at Middlesbrough, England.

On Friday Feb. 9, super bantamweights Stevi Levy (9-2) and Dorota Norek (7-3) meet 10 rounds for a regional title at Sheffield, England.

On Saturday Feb. 10, super featherweights Harli Whitwell (3-0) and Angelika Oles (2-9) meet six rounds in Brentwood, England. Also, featherweights Amy Andrew (5-0) and Vaida Masiokaite (8-21-5) meet six rounds.

On Saturday Feb. 10, super flyweights Shannon Ryan (6-0) and Emma Dolan (6-0) meet 10 rounds for the regional title at London, England. Also, flyweights Maisey Rose (5-0) and Jasmina Zapotoczna (6-0) meet eight rounds.

On Saturday Feb. 10, featherweights Ellie Hellewell (3-0) and Jamillette Vallejos (2-10-2) meet six rounds at Yorkshire.



Maricela Cornejo (18-6) beat Kandi Wyatt (11-6) by decision after eight rounds on Friday Feb. 2. The welterweight match was held in Orlando, Florida. Also, super flyweight Jasmine Artiga (12-0-1) knocked out Nancy Franco (19-19-2) in the first round.

On Saturday Feb. 10, super flyweights Stephanie Chavez (3-0) and Mayela Perez (19-27-4) meet six rounds at Long Beach, California.