Victoria Bustos beats Maria Capriolo to defend IBF lightweight title
By Diego Morilla
ROSARIO, Argentina – In a historic fight that marked the first time in Argentina history in which two fighters from Rosario fought for a world title, local hero Victoria “The Lioness” Bustos imposed her higher work rate and her ring mobility to defeat Maria Soledad “Pretty Girl” Capriolo in a fight for Bustos’ IBF featherweight title in the city’s historic Club Sportivo America on Friday, August 18th.
The 28-year old Bustos (18-4) worked hard behind her stiff jab and carried Capriolo (7-7-4) around the ring with her continuous motion, peppering her foe with unpredictable combinations but without causing any visible harm. It took Capriolo at least five rounds to land enough punches to start winning a few rounds, but Bustos’ answer was a renewed onslaught that lasted until the final two explosive rounds, in which the 35-year old Capriolo sensed an opportunity to finish the fight early that never materialized, but nevertheless finished strongly enough to impress the judges and the ringside press into giving her at least one more round.
In the end, the scorecards gave the victory to Bustos by unanimous decision, with Jorge Basile and Marcos Machuca scoring it 98-92 and Hector Miguel with 97-93 for what became Bustos’ 5th defense of the belt she earned back in 2013 with a unanimous decision against the current triple-titlist Ana Esteche, and which she defended against Roxana Laborde, Claudia Lopez and Kimberly Connor. Bustos became popular in 2012 as a barely one-year, seven-fight veteran when she bravely challenged the far more experienced Erica Farias in the latter’s home turf and gave a solid account of herself in spite of her lack of experience.
“I am truly grateful for the support of the people, for being able to retain my title in my fifth defense,” said Bustos after the bout. “I am never satisfied with my work because you can always do something else and push yourself even more, but thank God we still have the title in our hands and we are hoping to challenge new opponents and attempt to get fights in other divisions as well. We haven’t decided it yet, but this is something we’re pondering, and the desire is there.”
Bustos’ ventures in other divisions have proven unfruitful so far, with her only title bout in a higher division resulting in a one-sided beating by Erica Farias, this time in 2016 and with the IBF super lightweight belt on the line. But Bustos believes she has one more chance to spend in that endeavor and seems ready to go for it.
“We have to see what the future brings,” said Bustos. “We’re waiting for the next challenge and hoping to have big fights. Whenever you have two Argentine fighters facing each other, you have a great fight. We’ll see what happens, but I hope we can go to higher weight divisions and look for title opportunities there as well.”
In the same card, the rising Brenda Carabajal (12-3-1, 9 KO) stopped María “La Mala” Ruiz (5-11-1) after six one-sided rounds.
(Photo by Ramon Cairo/ OFR Promotions)