An anticipated fight-of-the-year candidate quickly turned into a one-sided affair as Juan Francisco Estrada battered ex-champion Giovani Segura for an 11th round TKO in Mexico City on Saturday.
This was the third defense of Estrada’s WBA and WBO flyweight titles. Estrada immediately took the fight to Segura (32-4-1, 28KO) and forced the usually all-action Segura to back up and go on the defensive. Segura managed to land some hooks in return, but most of his punches were either slipped by Estrada (27-2, 20KO) or outright missed wildly. Even in the first round the difference in technique and composure was evident.
Estrada continuously found the target with his straight right hands and left hooks. Segura’s face began to noticeably swell by round 4. It became clear Segura’s only chance of winning the fight was to land a haymaker on Estrada. The possibility of this diminished with each passing round as his swelling worsened and he looked weakened from Estrada’s methodical attack.
Segura plodded forward every round to try to land a fight-changing punch, but Estrada stayed disciplined and ended the bout midway through round 11 when a left hook sent Segura to the ropes and Estrada followed up with a series of right hands, prompting the referee to halt the bout.
With this victory, a potential rematch with undefeated and newly crowned RING flyweight titlist Roman Gonzalez is the most appealing fight that can be made at this weight. Gonzalez defeated Estrada by a competitive unanimous decision in 2012 so it’s a given Gonzalez would be favored, but Estrada’s shown grit in coming back from that loss to defeat Brian Viloria for the WBA and WBO flyweight titles and then defending those titles successfully.
Segura has always been a crowd-pleaser and a favorite of mine, but fighters with his all-action style don’t usually have long careers. At 32 years old, he may be seeing the twilight of his time at the elite level. There’s no shame in losing to a fighter like Estrada, but given his brutal fights against the likes of Hernan Marquez, Brian Viloria, and Estrada his next move should be to take a rest from the sport and fight a B-level opponent in his next bout to gauge how much wear and tear he has.