At one point Saturday night, it looked like Seniesa Estrada was playing with her opponent a little bit. Her hands moved all over the place -- even rolling them over each other in one sequence with a bit of flair -- but in some ways that is just Estrada's style.
It has worked throughout her career, led her to titles in two divisions. And on Saturday night in Fresno, California, it helped make Estrada a unified champion at strawweight. Estrada defeated Tina Rupprecht by unanimous decision -- 100-90 on all three cards -- to retain her WBA championship and claim Rupprecht's WBC title.
It was a dominant performance from Estrada, ESPN's No. 8 pound-for-pound fighter. She rarely let Rupprecht get comfortable and other than a couple of strong punches landed on Estrada's face in the first three rounds of the fight, it was a clinical performance from the 30-year-old from East Los Angeles.
Walking out in her traditional cape -- pink, this time -- and to Alicia Keys' "Girl on Fire," Estrada's usual high-paced output began from the start and continued throughout. She landed at least 20% of her punches in all but one round and over 30% of her power punches in seven of 10 rounds.
Estrada (24-0, 9 KO) focused a lot on the body -- 57% of her landed punches were body punches -- and her 67 body punches landed were more than the 63 punches Rupprecht landed throughout the entire fight.
She almost doubled up Rupprecht (12-1-1, 3 KO) in punches landed (118-63) despite throwing a somewhat similar number of total punches (473-414). Rupprecht landed 10 or more punches in a round just once -- the seventh round, when it was clear Estrada was in control and headed toward unifying the WBA and WBC belts.
The way Estrada moved her hands -- constant, and not just at Rupprecht, but in unconventional movement all over the place to keep the angle and levels of her punches unpredictable, was unique. It helped open up windows for her to land body shots and combinations on Rupprecht, who suffered the first loss of her career.
"By taking away her right hand," Estrada said in the postfight in-ring interview, "I took away her only weapon."
Estrada said she wanted to focus on the jab in the fight, in part because of Rupprecht's height at 4-foot-10, and she threw 178 jabs, landing 16 of them. She said she combined that with her power to put herself in the position to dominate the fight.
After the fight, Estrada made clear what she'd like next -- Yokasta Valle retained her IBF and WBO strawweight titles in a unanimous decision win over Jessica Basulto in Costa Rica on Saturday night as well. Rupprecht and Valle fought in 2018 -- with Rupprecht winning a unanimous decision in her native Germany.
"I want to tell the other champion at 105 pounds that I'm whooping you next," Estrada said in the ring after the fight. "You can get it next. I am the best in this division, and I know it. I want to prove it by being undisputed."
In the main event at junior welterweight, Jose Ramirez took a quiet crowd in Fresno and electrified it in the 11th round, turning a reasonably close fight into a stoppage win for the former WBC and WBO junior welterweight champion over Richard Commey.
Ramirez (28-1, 18 KO) landed an uppercut to Commey's chin and then a shot to his head to knock Commey down the first time in the 11th. Then, later in the round, a left hand to Commey's body sent Commey walking back and then to a knee -- giving Ramirez the knockout.
Ramirez landed 33.8% of his power punches against Commey. Ramirez landed 29.2% of his total punches (191-of-655), while Commey landed 21.9% (167-of-762). Commey was more effective with his jab (60 to 15), but Ramirez landed far more power punches (176 to 107).
"I wanted to make a statement," Ramirez said in the postfight in-ring interview, "and show that I was a strong guy in there."
The win in the WBC title eliminator could give Ramirez a path to trying to regain the titles he lost in a close unanimous decision to Josh Taylor in 2021. Ramirez hadn't fought much since. He beat Jose Pedraza by unanimous decision on March 4, 2022, and then was off for almost a year.
Ramirez came out throwing hard and often in the first round -- a high-output 80 punches thrown -- before settling into a rhythm. Commey (30-6-1, 27 KO) rebounded in the second half of the fight, making it competitive and appearing to have Ramirez in mild trouble at points.
Ramirez said in the postfight interview Commey picked things up in the middle of the fight and that it was hard coming back off the long layoff, but he eventually rebounded to be the effective fighter he'd been before fighting twice in two years.
Then came Round 11, where the former champion showed he should still be considered a contender now as well.
Commey has won just once in his past five fights with three losses and a draw. Those losses include the only two times he has been stopped in his career, by Teofimo Lopez in 2019 and then Saturday against Ramirez.