Sources: Esparza, Fundora to fight for title


Flyweight women’s unified champion Marlen Esparza and fellow champion Gabriela Fundora will meet for the undisputed flyweight championship on Jan. 6 in Las Vegas, a source told ESPN’s Michael Rothstein on Friday.

The fight will be on the undercard of Vergil Ortiz Jr.’s 154-pound debut against Fredrick Lawson, a show promoted by Golden Boy.

Esparza (14-1, 1 KO), of Houston, a bronze medalist for the U.S. at the 2012 Olympic Games and ESPN’s No. 1 ranked flyweight, won the WBC belt with a victory over Anabel Ortiz in December 2021. Esparza knocked down Ortiz twice en route to a unanimous decision win by scorecards of 100-88, 99-90 and 95-94.

Esparza added the WBA title four months later with a one-sided decision victory over Naoko Fujioka (100-90, 100-90 and 97-93), and after one successful defense against Eva Guzman in August 2022, Esparza unified the WBO belt in a tough fight against Gabriela Celeste Alaniz, whom she beat by majority decision (99-91, 97-93 and 95-95) this past July.

Fundora (12-0, 5 KOs), of Coachella, California, is the younger sister of former junior middleweight interim titlist Sebastian Fundora. Gabriela Fundora, ranked No. 2 by ESPN in the division, has been very active in 2023, fighting three times, including a fifth-round TKO victory over Arely Mucino in October to win the IBF title.

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