Mariana “Barby” Juarez and Female Fight News Jan. 29, 2018

Female Fight News for week of Jan. 29, 2018 Mariana Juarez


By David A. Avila

By mere coincidence Mariana “Barby” Juarez was told by Ring Magazine today she was voted Female Fighter of the Year for 2018. It’s also her birthday today.

2017 was a year when female prizefighting blossomed to incredible heights after decades of doldrums. It’s worth repeating that several other female fighters performed incredible feats too such as Cecilia Braekhus, Amanda Serrano, Claressa Shields, Katie Taylor and Naoko Fujioka all recorded fantastic achievements.

But perhaps the most incredible accomplishment – aside from capturing the bantamweight world title last April – was Juarez attracting more than 400,000 fans to the Zocalo in Mexico City. That was miraculous.

While many major boxing promoters have argued for decades that female boxing does not sell a 118-pound woman boxer attracted near half a million people to watch her fight in the main event.

More than a few argued that the event was free and not remarkable. Believe me when I say you put any other boxer male or female and in that same locale and they would not attract that many people. Juarez can draw fans. Just imagine how much the concession stands made selling food and souvenirs.

Juarez was also voted Fighter of the Year by this site earlier this month.

Now 38, the Mexico City prizefighter said on social media she has three goals for this year: “continue to strengthen myself in the division rooster; conquer the champion of the super bantamweight division and continue perfecting my craft and be the rival that everyone is afraid to face.”

It looks like she will be fighting soon in February to defend the WBC bantamweight world title she won a year ago. Eventually a showdown against Jackie Nava in a super bantamweight title fight seems to be the goal this summer.

If not Nava, there are always others like Amanda Serrano who has already said many times she would accept a fight with the Mexican icon. But it seems Juarez would need to be compensated financially to the level she makes in Mexico for her to fight in the U.S. She is one of the best paid female boxers in the world today. It took her more than two decades to reach that level.

She is still looking for that big super fight and has more than paid her dues.

I met Juarez back in 2001 when she fought Jessica Treat at the Quiet Cannon in Montebello, Calif. It’s a small venue near the East L.A. border and when she appeared on the card she was an instant success.

Juarez then began training in South El Monte with master trainer Ben Lira who remains one of the boxing gurus for Southern California. It was under his guidance that she learned fundamentals and footwork from the ageless trainer.

Lira now works the corner of Gennady “Triple G” Golovkin alongside Abel Sanchez and can also be seen working with IBF cruiserweight world champion Murat Gassiev and others. He will be working the corner for Triple G when he fights Saul “Canelo” Alvarez on Cinco de Mayo for the rematch.

Time has passed quickly. It seems not long ago when Mariana and her sister Lourdes Juarez would train at the South El Monte Boxing Club with championship dreams. Mariana has won world titles in three weight divisions and Lourdes Juarez recently defeated Diana Fernandez for a regional title and is in line for a world title opportunity soon.

This could be Mariana’s final year as she has hinted.

But the year 2017 was indeed a magical year for the Mexico City woman known as “La Barby.”


Layla McCarter will not be fighting Cecilia Braekhus as hoped but will now be facing New Mexico’s Victoria Cisneros on March 3, at Sky Ute Casino in Ignacio, Colorado.

McCarter was ranked number one by the IBF but a deal could not be made so the Las Vegas-based fighter will now be fighting Cisneros the number three ranked welterweight in the U.S.

Cisneros is a tough fighter and has plenty of experience. They clashed once before in April 2006 with McCarter winning by unanimous decision.

It’s hard to believe McCarter is closing in on 60 pro bouts.

Salita Promotions

Elena Gradinar will be fighting former world champion Olivia Gerula on March 24, in Narva, Estonia it was announced today by Salita Promotions.

Gradinar, 27, will be fighting for the IBF Intercontinental featherweight title against Canada’s veteran Gerula who also signed to be co-promoted by Salita Promotions.

Salita Promotions has a roster of female prizefighters that include Claressa Shields, Christina Hammer, Franchon Crews and Elena Savelyeva.

We will have more on this upcoming fight.


Female Fight News


Evelyn Bermudez (6-0) was the winner by unanimous decision after six rounds versus Maria Cano (2-4) on Friday Jan. 26. The flyweight bout took place in Arroyo Seco, Santa Fe.



Elfi Philips (9-4-3) defeated Katarina Vistica (1-11) by knockout in the third round on Saturday Jan. 27. The super lightweight match was held in Rebecq.



Borislava Goranova (11-52-3) was the winner over Liliya Simova (0-1) by unanimous decision after four rounds on Saturday Jan. 27. The super welterweight fight took place in Sofia.



Sanna Turunen (4-0-1) beat Sanja Ostojic (1-3) by unanimous decision after eight rounds on Saturday Jan. 27. The middleweight clash was held in Vantaa.



Nahed Kharchi (2-0) knocked out Ainara Mota (2-4-1) in the second round of their fight on Saturday Jan. 27. The featherweight bout took place in Menton, Alpes-Maritime.



Nino Kopadze (1-0) knocked out Nino Dvali (0-1) in the second round of a super bantamweight fight on Sunday Jan.21. Also, Tamar Nazarashvili (3-0) knocked out Anuki Maisuradze (0-1) in the second round of a super bantamweight fight. Both took place in Tbilisi.



On Saturday Feb. 3, featherweights Sandra Atanassow (7-0-1) and Liliana Martinez (21-17) meet in a 10 round fight for the WBC International title at Leipzig.



On Tuesday Jan. 30, light flyweights Chaoz Minowa (4-0) and Superball Sithsaithong (0-1) meet in a six round fight at Tokyo.



Sandra Robles (20-2) won by knockout over Yesenia Martinez (17-17) in the fifth round on Saturday Jan. 27. The super flyweight clash took place in Tijuana which is Robles home base. Martinez fights out of Mexico City.

On Saturday Feb. 3, super flyweights Guadalupe Martinez (16-9) and Irma Garcia (18-2-1) meet in a 10 round fight for the WBC super flyweight world title at Atizapan de Zaragoza, Mexico City.


United Kingdom

Hannah Rankin (4-1) knocked out Klaudia Vigh (2-22-1) in the first round on Friday Jan. 26. The super welterweight clash took place in Glasgow, Scotland.



Monalisa Sibanda (5-7) won by unanimous decision after six rounds against Enelless Nkhwanthi (0-5-1) on Friday Jan. 26. The lightweight fight took place in Harare.


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