Yokasta Valle Continues Her Title Reign: Overcomes Tough Anabel Ortiz in Costa Rica


By David A. Avila

A brutal battle saw current IBF and WBO champion Yokasta Valle defeat former champion Anabel Ortiz by unanimous decision in Costa Rica on Saturday.

It was not a walk in the park.

Costa Rica’s Valle (30-2, 9 KOs) had too much youth and speed over Mexico’s Ortiz (33-6, 4 KOs) who used every trick she knew to keep each round competitive at the Cartago arena. More than 5,000 fans loudly filled the venue.

Valle was fighting for the fourth time in less than a year and showed her agility and speed. But when she dived into repeated clinches, it allowed Ortiz to use her experience in holding one arm while hitting the body and head.

It was a scenario seen round after round and caused more damage than the actual blows.

Still, the ability of Valle to unleash rapid combinations was always at her disposal. Though she did not often take advantage of that weaponry, she still was able to connect with clean punches. Ortiz never had that advantage.

Mexico City’s Ortiz formerly held the WBA minimumweight title for 11 title defenses and was dominant in her era. But this new generation has added a new layer and time waits for no one. Not even former champions.

Ortiz scored heavily with body shots during the clinches, but neither the judges nor the DAZN punch stat people gave her credit for those blows. A final tally ridiculously stated Valle landed 79 total punches while Ortiz landed only 29. So much for punch stats.

The most danger faced by either fighter was the collision of heads during the clinches. Both Valle and Ortiz were butted by each other. After 10 rounds all three judges scored in favor of Valle 100-90, 99-91, 99-92.

“She was a very tough and dirty fighter,” said Valle.

The next question is when Valle and WBA and WBC minimumweight titlist Seniesa Estrada will tangle and where. Both fighters have said they want that fight to decide the true champion. The only question is where?

Valle and her team want to fight Estrada in Costa Rica, but will fans there pay enough to out-bid Las Vegas or Los Angeles?

Other Bouts

Maricela Cornejo (17-6, 7 KOs) returned to the prize ring this time as a welterweight and knocked down Cynthia Lozano (9-2, 7 Kos) twice for a knockout win in the first round. Right hands were the weapon of choice for Cornejo who last fought Claressa Shields earlier this year as a middleweight.

Santiago “Somer” Dominguez (26-0, 20 KOs) returned after a two-year absence and knocked out Nicaragua’s Nolberto Casco (7-2-1) in the second round of their welterweight clash.

Mexico’s Santiago was not worried about ring rust and immediately proved he was ready when he delivered a left hook and right uppercut that floored Casco in the first round. He survived the round.

In the second round Santiago jabbed to the body of Casco and then delivered a right uppercut from a distance that crumbled the Nicaraguan fighter. He could not get up and was counted out at 44 seconds of the second round.

Mexico’s Jose Alvarado (11-1, 7 KOs) knocked out Nicaragua’s Moises Garcia (11-11-1) in the third round of their super featherweight match. It was the second knockdown scored by Alvarado who trains in Los Angeles.

A crisp Alvarado left hook and right cross combination delivered Garcia across the ring and into the ropes for a knockdown. The referee wisely stopped the Mexican fighter from unloading another blow to the defenseless Garcia.

The Nicaraguan fighter lasted two more rounds but when Alvarado delivered a double left hook to the head and body, down he went for the count. The body shot gave Alvarado the win by knockout at 1:22 of the third round.

In a super flyweight contest Julio Miranda (10-0) remained undefeated despite tough opposition by Costa Rica’s Dennis Espinosa (9-7) Miranda hurt Espinosa early in the match but the Costa Rican found ways to hang on and use his experience to survive. After eight rounds all three judges scored it 78-74 for Miranda.