Seniesa “Superbad” Estrada (11-0): Boxing’s Next Superstar

c/o Willie Romero Photography

“When it’s all said and done and I retire, I just want to be known as a great fighter. Not just a great female fighter, but a great fighter in general. I don’t want to be categorized.”

Seniesa “Superbad” Estrada (11-0) is the next superstar in boxing – possibly in all sports.

Before becoming a professional boxer with a Unanimous Decision victory over Maria Ruiz in 2011, Estrada compiled a highly-distinguished amateur career:

  • Won the Silver Gloves from 2001-2005
  • Won the PAL Nationals from 2004-2007
  • Won the Ringside World Championships from 2004-2007
  • Won the 2006-2007 Junior Olympics Nationals
    • Presented with the Outstanding Fighter award as a member of Team USA
  • Became the #1-ranked female amateur boxer in the United States by winning the 2009 USA National Championships at sixteen years old
  • Represented Team USA in the 2009 World Continental Championships

After finishing her amateur career with an outstanding 97-4 record, Estrada set her sights on professional domination. After the aforementioned Ruiz victory, Estrada rattled off ten more consecutive victories, including an impressive TKO Victory over Blanca Raymundo in March 2014 and a KO victory over Rachel Sazoff in June 2017 – Estrada’s third fight of that year.

With a complete offensive and defensive arsenal, high in-ring intelligence, an indomitable work ethic and hunger to learn, Estrada should be a household name by now. An inspiring and positive role model living the life she dreamed about and worked for since eight years old, Estrada has the entire package of stardom. Unfortunately, the less-than-scrupulous nature and politics of boxing has created a devoid of promotion behind female fighters, who thus get stuck in a catch-22:

If promoters are hesitant to invest resources into women’s boxing due to a marginalized market, how can female boxers draw interest outside of their core supporters?

Athletes as talented and wholesome as Estrada should be promoted heavily, regardless of gender. The sad reality of economics belies the context of the issue: Seniesa Estrada is a highly-decorated, highly-skilled professional boxer – not a female boxer or anything else which signifies her gender before her talent. Regardless of obstructions, Estrada will continue winning and trailblazing – whether sparring with current UFC Featherweight Champion Cristiane Justino “Cyborg” Venâncio, making history as part of Golden Boy Promotions’ first female boxing event to take place at The Belasco Theater in Los Angeles, California or appearing on two Middleweight Champion Gennady “Triple G” Golovkin undercards as part of a push from Tom Loeffler and K2 Promotions.

After her most recent victory – a Unanimous Decision victory over veteran Anahi Torres in September 2017 (and before her rumored fourth fight of the year tentatively scheduled for December 2017) – Estrada took the time to talk about her in-ring intelligence, confidence and future goals.

c/o Willie Romero Photography

ON RING IQ

For example, the fight with Carly Batey was my fourth professional fight, I think? And that was out of my weight class; we fought at 114 and she’s naturally a Bantamweight, and my weight’s 108 pounds. I can fight at 105 pounds because it’s minimum weight; 105 and 108 are the weights I should be fighting at. When I first turned pro, my first four fights were at 112 pounds – then the Batey fight was 114 pounds. So I knew going in there she would be a much bigger opponent and I knew I would have to adjust to her style, for sure; adjust to her strength. Not strength for her power punches – just her strength because she’s a much bigger girl and fights at heavier weight classes.

The one thing I’m able to do – and this is why I think my style will be so hard to beat – is I’m able to fight on the inside, I can fight on the outside, I can go to the body, I can fight going sideways, I can fight fighting backwards. That’s the good thing about it: whether I fight opponents my size or opponents bigger than me, I’m just able to adjust and get the win in different ways.

c/o Willie Romero Photography

ON CONFIDENCE

It plays a big part (in success), because I’m one of those fighters who doesn’t get hit very often in sparring or even in a fight… but when I do get hit, it really just starts a fire in me. I feel embarrassed when I get hit; I just do not want to get hit. And not in a way where I lose control, but in a way where I want to show: “Alright, you’re going to hit me? Well, I’m going to hit you back four times.

I definitely like to show a lot of heart and passion when I fight; it just naturally comes out because I’ve been a fighter since I was eight years old.

I’m used to being in there, sparring a lot of boys growing up and sparring a lot of bigger opponents and heavier people. I’ve just always had to show a lot of heart when I fought. Sometimes I would fight on the inside and stay in there, sometimes I box – but as I’ve turned pro, the one thing my trainer has taught me is to be able to adjust to any style. I train to perfect what he teaches me and that makes my opponents have to adjust to me because I’m able to fight in different ways.

c/o Willie Romero Photography

ON FUTURE

Inside the ring: I just want to continue to stay active. There were times from around my pro debut until probably my seventh fight where I had eight-nine-month layoffs. And it was horrible. It sucked, because I wanted to be able to stay active, but it’s difficult to fight at my weight class; I can’t fight at 108 because most of the girls at that weight class won’t accept a fight with me, or it costs too much money to fly them in and pay them what they want. And a lot of promoters – they don’t want to do that, because they don’t want to spend the money like that. So it’s been difficult.

But this year, luckily I’ve been able to fight – September 9th was my third time fighting this year and I’m going to fight again before the year’s over, so it’ll be four times this year. I’m hoping to fight for my first title next year.

c/o Willie Romero Photography

ON TRAILBLAZING WOMEN’S BOXING

It’s difficult, because when I first started boxing at eight years old, there wasn’t many female fighters around; not as many female fighters to look up to. So my favorite fighters were “Sugar” Ray Leonard, Roy Jones, Jr. – I looked up to them. But looking up to a male fighter? It’s not the same as a having a female fighter to look up to. It makes me very proud that there’s more girls getting into boxing now; they’re saying that I’m an inspiration and they look up to me and I motivate them. Which is great, because I didn’t have that growing up.

I just want to continue to represent women’s boxing in a positive way; really transcend the sport and change it in ways that it hasn’t been changed. I want women to be treated just as men are in the sport. I know it’s not going to be possible for me to change the sport for every female fighter, because at the same time you need an entertaining style that fans want to see; you have to bring those crowds in order to be successful as a female fighter. But I’m trying my best to do what I can for the sport.

c/o Willie Romero Photography

When it’s all said and done and I retire, I just want to be known as a great fighter. Not just a great female fighter, but a great fighter in general. I don’t want to be categorized.


A sincere thank you to Willie Romero Photography for the terrific photography.


 

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