Yokasta Valle did her part to ensure that the two best strawweights in the world remained on course for a desired undisputed showdown.
The three-division titlist made her seventh overall strawweight defense and first as the unified IBF/WBO champ after a ten-round, unanimous decision win over Mexico’s Jessica Basulto. Scores were 100-90, 100-90 and 98-92 for Valle, who returned home for the well-earned victory Saturday evening at Club y Hotel Condovac La Costa, in Guanacaste, Costa Rica.
Saturday's win—which aired on BLK Prime—came barely an hour after Seniesa Estrada (24-0, 9KOs) won the WBC strawweight title and defended her WBA belt with a ten-round shutout of previously unbeaten Tina Rupprecht (12-1-1, 3KOs) in Fresno, California.
Basulto did not show any fear of fighting on the road and in her first major title fight. The visiting Mexican boxer did her best to force the action in the early rounds. Valle was too experienced and poised to get caught with anything wild, as her defense was on point throughout the ten-round affair.
Valle used superior head movement to slip Basulto’s left hook, often as she landed a right hand upstairs. The local hero repeatedly employed the tactic where she would connect, dip and reset as Basulto spent much of the fight following her around the ring.
Basutlo enjoyed a brief moment of success in round six when she landed a right hand. Valle shook off the blow and countered before she moved two steps back to reset her desired distance. Basulto hid behind a high guard which left her wide open for a digging body shot by Valle.
Both boxers connected to the body, with Basulto getting in her best punch of the fight in round seven. Valle went back to her right hand that worked so well throughout the fight and off which she could adjust her defense.
Basulto landed two left hooks in round eight. Valle rode out the brief exchange and slammed home a right hand upstairs that clearly got the attention of her challenger. Valle landed a right to the body followed by a one-two upstairs. The jab was also working for the defending champ, which set up a left hook and straight rights.
Valle constantly circled around Basulto in round nine, never allowing her challenger to throw more than one punch at a time. Basulto had to resort to defensive mode, which didn’t always work against Valle’s crisp combinations.
Basulto looked for a home run shot in the tenth and final round. The first-time title challenger was miserably trailing to that point but determined to slam home a game changing punch. The moment never came as Valle repeatedly beat her to the punch and landed the more telling blows to close out the fight and her latest title defense.
The loss was the first for Basulto, who fell to 11-1 (3KOs).
Meanwhile, Valle continued her impressive run.
The local star has now won 15 straight as she improved to 28-2 (9KOs). The win came four months after Valle claimed three-division title status following her ten-round victory over Evelin Bermudez to lift the IBF and WBO 108-pound titles last November 26 in Carson, California. She immediately vacated to focus on her strawweight title reign, where she has held the IBF belt since an August 2019 win over Joana Pastrana on the road in Spain.
Her last defeat came to Rupprecht in a June 2018 interim WBC strawweight title fight, shortly before Rupprecht was elevated to full champ. The unbeaten German boxer was specifically targeted by Estrada for her belt as well as her prior win over Valle, as means to send a message amidst their ongoing and fierce rivalry.
It is likely that the two will have plenty to say in the coming weeks and months on social media. With any luck, it will lead to a head-on collision to determine once and for all, true divisional supremacy.
Jose Ramirez was in championship mode despite the absence of a major title at stake.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox
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