WBC female bantamweight champion Mariana ‘Barby’ Juarez retained her crown with a unanimous decision, defeating Diana ‘La Bonita’ Fernandez in a torrid ten round war that took place at the the iconic ‘X’ of the Plaza de la Mexicanidad in the Fair of Ciudad Juárez 2019.
With willpower crackling in the night air both ladies decided to swop a lot of blows early on. In the opening round Diana was the aggressor, surging forward. But she was parried and countered with jabs and double jabs by Mariana. A couple of choice words were exchanged, after the bell rang, and Mariana momentarily moved back towards her rival in nettled annoyance.
In round two a classic left jab snapped back Diana`s head, so she retaliated with a big straight right to the head, and then Mariana landed a big left hook to the side of the face. Diana started the third with a searing two fisted attack to be met with accurate left jabs, only to herself be caught with a cracking left hook to the head. So Mariana retaliated with two right hooks, and weathered another fearsome attack moments before the bell. More of the same intensity in round four. After the bell rang the two touch gloves in mutual and smarting respect.
In the fifth Mariana steadied herself and was landing more frequently with markedly greater accuracy, offsetting Diana`s non stop aggression. Two big rights from Mariana brought a slugfest response from Diana in round six. Diana connected with a hard right to the face of Mariana and a follow up left to the body.
By the eighth Mariana was advancing becoming the aggressor and Diana`s nose was bleeding. The onslaught continued in the ninth with Mariana launching a sustained attack. She sometimes took the risk of spreading her arms wide, inviting Diana to move forward and connect. In the final round, summoning everything she had left, Diana unleashed a terrific attack ending the final two minutes and the fight with a sweeping right uppercut.
Aged 39 and in phenomenal shape, the experience, savvy, plus clever defense and punching landing accuracy of the champion gilt edged the day against a youthful 24 year old challenger who never gave up.
The initial accounted scores were for Juarez with 39-37, 39-37 and 38-38, which caused Fernandez to adjust strategy, trying to apply more woe, but getting out boxed, more often as not. The final score of the Judges was 97-94, 96-95 and 96-94 in an historic night for Ciudad Juarez.
Both hugged and congratulated each other for a truly superb fight., which thrilled the large crowd.