Argentina’s Daniela “La Bonita” Bermudez Fights Mexico’s Mariana “Barbie” Juarez on Aug. 27
By Felipe Leon
As it was announced some months ago, veteran Mexican fighter Mariana “Barbie” Juarez (43-8-4, 17KO) is on a quest for a third world title in as many divisions at the end of this month, Saturday, August 27th, when she faces Daniela “La Bonita” Bermudez (20-3-2, 6KO) of Argentina in a scheduled ten rounder.
Juarez will be contesting for the vacant WBC International female bantamweight title with the winner ranked in the top 10 in the division. Now a tradition, the contest will be presented by Promociones del Pueblo and broadcast live in Mexico by Televisa as the main event at the legendary Arena Coliseo in Mexico City, home of Juarez.
Bermudez is currently considered one of the best female fighters out of Argentina who has a rich history in the sport. Bermudez, along with WBC 140-pound champion Erica Farias, WBO super lightweight champion Fernanda Alegre, WBA 140-pound champion Ana Laura Esteche and IBF super flyweight champion Debora Dionicius, are the current world champions who fight out of the South American country.
Trained by her father, the 27-year-old Bermudez went pro in 2010 and has fought from light flyweight to super bantamweight in 25 professional fights, the majority in her native Argentina. Her fight against Juarez will be the second time she travels outside of her country. Her first outing was back in November of last year when she went over the Pacific Ocean to defend her WBO 115-pound title in the land of the rising sun, Japan. She is currently the WBO super flyweight and has held the bantamweight world title as well. Her 115-pound will not be in play in Mexico City. Impressively, she has fought in 13 world titles out of 25 total fights.
She owns wins over world-class fighters such as countrywoman Soledad Matthysse, Judith Rodriguez, Linda Lecca and Tomomi Takano of Japan, who she defeated via knockout in the fourth to defend the super flyweight title which she captured in January of 2014 with a TKO in the eighth over Lecca.
Two of her three losses have been to Yesica “Tutti” Bopp, both challenges for junior flyweight titles, first in 2011 and the second in in April of 2014. Her other loss was to the aforementioned Matthysse but she was able to avenge it in her next fight.
Bermudez is in a four-fight win streak with wins over Vanesa Taborda via majority decision, the aforementioned Takano, a unanimous decision over Paola Benavidez and in her last fight back in June, a unanimous decision over Marisa Portillo. In all those fights, except the Benavidez one, she defended her WBO super flyweight title.
“The days and minutes every day are less for me to travel to my next challenge,” Bermudez recently stated. “I am not going to let anybody or anything to stop me from achieving my dream. I will be the first Argentinean champion to defeat the queen of Mexican boxing.”
She did not exaggerate when she described the 36-year-old Juarez as the queen. There is no denying despite Juarez might not be the best Mexican female fighter who has ever strapped on gloves, she is arguably the most popular. In a career that began in ’98 Juarez has made all the right moves, from launching an ultra-popular calendar series, posing for nude for Playboy and now debuting as an actress on the biggest Mexican television network, she might just be more popular outside the ring than inside of it.
For Juarez, August 27th will not be the first time she goes up the bantamweight division. Back in 2002 she dropped a unanimous decision against the legendary Ana Maria Torres for the Mexican 118-pound title while five years later she lost a hotly contested split decision to Monica Lovato for the IBA title in the same division. She also fought Elena “Baby Doll” Reid to a draw back in 2003. Since then she has captured world titles at flyweight and super flyweight and will look the result for her latest excursion at bantamweight fares better than the previous two.
“I have worked for two and half years at super flyweight looking for a world title opportunity,” Juarez explaining her jump to bantamweight. “I have been faithful to the WBC and I promised Mr. Mauricio Sulaiman that I will be a world champion again before I retire.”
Mariana is 3-1 in her last four fights, with wins over Vanesa Taborda, Noemi Bosques and Tamao Ozawa and a draw against Taborda in their rematch.
If Juarez were to conquer the world title at bantamweight, with the current WBC champion Catherine Phiri of Zambia, it will make her the first Mexican female fighter to win world titles in three divisions. Phiri will be defending her title the same night in her native country against South African Gabisile Tshabalala.