Argentina’s Daniela Bermudez Beats Mariana “Barbie” Juarez in Mexico City
Before a packed Arena Coliseo in the heart of Mexico City, Mexico, and televised by the biggest TV network in Mexico, Argentina’s Daniela “Bonita” Bermudez (21-3-2, 6KO) pulled an upset by closing the second half strong over the veteran Mariana “Barbie” Juarez (43-9-4, 17KO) of Mexico City and earning a unanimous decision with scores of 97-93 two times and a slightly closer 96-94 in the main event of the fight card presented by Promociones de Pueblo.
The 10-round bout was originally announced for the vacant WBC International bantamweight title but on fight night was changed to an eliminator for the world title held by Catherine Phiri of Zambia. The fight marked the first time the 36 year old Juarez fought in the 118-pound division.
Juarez had recently strung three consecutive wins with a draw since her last loss back in March of 2015 against Naoko Fujioka while Bermudez, in only her second fight outside of her native Santa Fe, Argentina, was coming off defending her WBO super flyweight title in her last fight against Marisa Johanna Portillo back in June of this year.
Early on the slightly shorter Juarez was the aggressor as she would dart in and score quick punches before Bermudez could catch her coming in. The blond-haired Bermudez quickly became evident as she stood nearly straight up throwing hard straight punches like a female Ivan Drago, the Russian fictional nemesis of Rocky Balboa in the fourth installment of the movie series.
Juarez continued to be the more fluid of the two in the first third of the fight, moving laterally while scoring with quick combinations as Bermudez followed her around the ring with no luck of trapping the Mexican fighter.
It was in the fourth round when Juarez began to slow down and gave Bermudez the chance to catch her against the ropes where the strong Argentinean scored with a series of three punch combinations, all to the face of Juarez, that began to mark up.
Juarez continued to use lateral movement as well as feints to confuse Bermudez, but with not much luck. In the sixth the South American scored with right hands, left hooks and a brutal right uppercut that stopped Juarez dead in her tracks and almost sent her down to the canvas. The Mexican showed her chin and her bravery as she continued to stand in front of Bermudez in hopes of countering the attack in between the hard straight punches coming her way.
It was all Bermudez in the second half of the fight as she was able to land more consistently as Juarez slowed down considerably and opted to stand in front of Bermudez. The Mexican displayed her advantage in experience as she was able to use angles to slip punches and then counter but her power was nearly non-existent at the higher weight class and did not bother the visibly stronger Bermudez.
In the tenth and final round, conscious that she was literally in the backyard of her much more popular opponent, Bermudez went for the finish, throwing and landing a barrage of punches in the opening seconds of the stanza forcing Juarez to hold. Juarez looked out of ideas as she continued to stand in front of Bermudez still throwing punches until the final bell but with none of them causing any damage.
Visibly emotional as the win was announced, Bermudez did not share if she was willing to actually challenge for the WBC bantamweight title she had now won the right to do so while Juarez, admitting defeat, stated Bermudez had better conditioning than she anticipated. She also shared she will continue in the division and would like a rematch since she thought the fight was closer than the scores reflected.