Forum Affair

Female Stars Kenia Enriquez and Seniesa Estrada Added to Triple G fight card at Forum 

By David A. Avila

Two female bouts will accompany middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin when he returns to the boxing ring in April. It’s been a long time coming.

East L.A.’s Seniesa Estrada and Tijuana’s Kenia Enriquez a pair of talented junior flyweights will enter the prize ring in separate bouts on April 23, at the Forum in Inglewood. K-2 Promotions recently added them to the fight card.

Not since 2003 have two female boxers participated in a large mega fight in Los Angeles. Not coincidentally, it was K-2 Promotions that did it back then when Lennox Lewis battled Vitali Klitschko at Staples Center in one of the best heavyweight championship fights in history.

That night on June 21, 2003, Laila Ali stepped in against Valerie Mahfood in a scintillating female super middleweight bout in front of her father the legendary Muhammad Ali. Also, one of the greatest female fighters of all time Lucia Rijker dominated England’s Jane Couch in a super lightweight match.

K-2’s Tom Loeffler is doing it again.

“They bring a different element to a fight card,” said Loeffler about adding female bouts to a major fight event.

Estrada, a 23-year-old who is undefeated after five years as a pro, began as a boxer early before her teens and accumulated numerous amateur titles including the U.S. Nationals. This is her second time fighting at the Forum as a Golovkin companion piece.

But like so many American female boxers, its’ been a struggle finding room on any boxing show let alone a major fight card.

“It’s been truly frustrating,” said Estrada who has five fights in five years. “But I believe in myself and my talent.”

Last May, at the same venue the Forum, the petite Estrada decked the much larger Carly Batey who had agreed to fight at 112 pounds but arrived much heavier. A new contract was written that allowed Batey to fight at 117 pounds. Estrada was forced to add weight or the California State Athletic Commission would not allow the fight. She made it.

“I nearly knocked her out,” said Estrada who floored the much bigger Batey in the fifth round. “If it was a three-minute round I would have gotten a knockout.”

Estrada (5-0) will be facing Selene Lopez (3-4-3). Ironically, Lopez faced Kenia Enriquez before in a losing cause.

Tijuana’s Enriquez captured the WBO flyweight title but lost in her first defense in a titanic struggle last year. She dropped down to her natural fighting weight 108 pounds and has resumed dominating with her crackling punches in gaining two wins.

Enriquez (15-1, 7 Kos) is a fearless boxer-puncher who relishes the opportunity to fight on the big stage. She faces San Diego’s Amaris Quintana (9-2-2) a very crafty and fearless fighter in her own right. Both Enriquez and Quintana are familiar with each other.

“Amaris is a tough competitor so I have to be fully prepared to take her on,” said Enriquez, 22, who lives and trains in Tijuana. “It’s going to be a great fight.”

When Enriquez discovered she was included on the Golovkin fight card she was somewhat surprised because Seniesa Estrada was already on the event. Two female bouts on a major card is very rare.

“I think it shows a good sign in the direction female boxing is going. Two female bouts on such a huge card can only mean good things and it’s an honor I can take part in the two fights,” said Enriquez. “It’s another opportunity for a fighter from Tijuana to go to L.A. and show what we can do.”

The affable Enriquez recently attended a boxing card in L.A. and was impressed by its fans.

“I know the L.A. fight crowd is very knowledgeable and I hope they like my style,” she said. “San Diego accepted me as one of their own, now I hope L.A. does too.”

Maybe this marks the start of major promoters including women on their fight cards.