Farias squeezes past Esteche in non-title bout in Argentina
By Diego Morilla
It was a bad blood matchup from the very beginning, and the bad blood spilled all over the ring in the most anticipated matchup of the year in female Argentine boxing, in which Erica Farias (25-2-0, 10 KOs), squeaked by triple titleholder Ana Esteche by razor-thin margins in a non-title bout that will surely serve as the beginning of a trilogy – or more.
The defining moment of the fight would come in the very first round, when Farias dropped Esteche (13-5-3, 2 KO) with a right cross that landed flush as Esteche was walking towards her. The extra point provided by this clear and undeniable knockdown set the stage for what was a back-and-forth action through the entire bout. It took Esteche two rounds for her to shake off the effects of the knockdown, and then she went on the attack to grab most of the middle rounds. But Farias was just too determined and experienced for her, and she kept her cool as Esteche charged forward and ended up grabbing the last three rounds and dominating the bout down the stretch to cement a slim but clear victory by scores of 96.5-95, 96-93 and 97-95.
Fighting in the town of Concordia, Entre Rios, far away from the Buenos Aires suburbs in which they hold their respective grounds as local icons on both sides of the Panamerican highway (Farias in San Fernando, Esteche in San Martin), both fighters had a nasty weigh-in in which the tone was set for what was a grudge match ever since Farias lost her welterweight title bid to Cecilia Braekhus, which forced her to come back to 140 where Esteche had already collected her three major title belts (IBF, WBO, WBA) after defeating Celeste Peralta.
The fight became then just a matter of time, as the stage was set for a crosstown rivalry for all the marbles in the division at stake, but alas, they decided to leave their belts at home this time and keep that extra chunk of change in their pockets just in time for some extra holiday season cash. Not a bad idea at all, since the bout was just as intense as advertised and now the rematch looms even more attractive and potentially lucrative for both, especially with the titles in play.
Earlier on, former national team member and promising prospect Andrea “Cobrita” Sánchez (8-1-1, 2 KO) suffered an upset majority decision loss to María Laura Cano (2-3-0) in a flyweight bout.