Mariana Juarez Triumphs Over Germany’s Alesia Graf by TKO
By David A. Avila
Mexico’s most decorated female world champion Mariana “Barby” Juarez continued an impressive year and won by knockout of Alesia Graf on Saturday evening.
It was Juarez’s second world title defense in a year.
In a battle of experienced veterans Juarez (47-9-4, 18 Kos) retained the WBC bantamweight world title by stoppage of Germany’s Graf (29-7) at Palenque Inforum in Irapuato, Mexico.
Many expected the title fight to go the distance especially with the amount of experience that Germany’s Graf possesses. The 37-year-old from Stuttgart is a former three division world champion who had never been stopped after 35 professional bouts. Not so on Saturday.
Juarez became the first to defeat Graf by stoppage when the German-based fighter could not continue after 24 seconds into the sixth round due to a leg injury. It gave the popular Mexican fighter the win by technical knockout.
From the onset of the fight Juarez proved the aggressor and kept a persistent attack that left no doubt who was winning the fight.
“I made an elegant fight strategy. I love to be fast but accurate. I like to be confusing a bit to the opponent with the change of guard to left-handed,” explained Juarez, 37, on Sunday by telephone. “Especially more so with rivals that have great technique such as Alesia. I work feints to open their guard and be able to hit.”
It was excellent strategy that built Juarez a solid lead over the German rival.
Ever since moving up to the 118-pound bantamweight division after fighting at 112 and 115 pounds Juarez has seemed to gain strength and snap in her punches with the added weight. Before gaining the bantamweight world title many felt she was in decline, but the movie star looking boxer has proven to be adding yet another chapter to her growing legend that began in the late 1990s.
Seven months ago Juarez became the first Mexican female to win three world titles in three weight divisions when she beat Catherine Phiri for the WBC bantamweight world title before a record-setting 400,000 fans at the Zocalo in Mexico City. It is believed to be the largest crowd to ever see a boxing match in person for a male or female boxer.
That win firmly established that not only could Juarez draw a large crowd but had the ability to fight the top female fighters in the world. She remains one of the most decorated female fighters in the world and one of the best pound for pound fighters.
Last July, against Japan’s Terumi Nuki she defeated the challenger by unanimous decision after 10 rounds in Zapopan, Mexico.
This fight was expected to be even more difficult because of the experience factor by Graf who has fought many of the best female fighters in the world.
“It was a good victory although I thought I would be given more by Alesia since she is a great fighter,” said Juarez.
It also closes a successful week for all three Juarez sisters.
Last weekend Patricia Juarez and Lourdes Juarez both claimed victories in different countries. Patricia Juarez defeated Brittany Cruz in the United States while Lourdes Juarez defeated Diana Laura Fernandez in a battle of Mexican contenders in Juarez, Mexico.
Mariana Juarez clinched the trifecta on Saturday and established the Juarez name as one of the most decorated in boxing history. World titles by the other Juarez sisters would truly cement their glory.
At this moment Mariana Juarez has established that she stands at the top of the mountain in terms of accomplishments in female prizefighting. Few others have the international recognition to rival the Mexico City star.