Diana “Bonita” Fernandez: “I Want To Be The New Face of Female Mexican Boxing”
By Felipe Leon
One of the newest faces at the Mexican national level Diana “Bonita” Fernandez (17-2, 4 KOs) makes her return on the biggest terrestrial television network in boxing-crazy Mexico this Saturday night from her hometown in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.
Although all of the female boxing world will be looking toward Detroit for the result between Claressa Shields against Hanna Gabriels on Showtime on Friday night, it is a guarantee more eyeballs will be on Fernandez as she defends her WBC Latino super flyweight title against Olga Julio (26-17-2, 19 KOs) of Colombia in a 10-rounder.
The 10-round fight between the 23-year-old Fernandez and the much more experienced Julio, 32, will be the semi-main event on primetime on the most watched boxing night south of the border.
“This is not an easy fight,” Fernandez said from her training camp in Mexico City. “My opponent has faced world champions and she has five world title fights. That advantage of hers we are going to counterattack with intelligence.”
The fight marks the second for Fernandez under the banner of Promociones del Pueblo, the promotional company with one of the deepest female boxing stables in the world. Along with Fernandez, the Ciudad Juarez based company also boasts the legendary Mariana “Barbie” Juarez, her younger sister Lourdes Juarez, Ibeth Zamora, Jessica “Kika” Chavez and Esmeralda “Joya” Moreno among its ranks along with a slew of others.
“I am giving 100% of myself,” Fernandez said in the final press conference before the fight. “I like to go to war. I don’t think of giving up my title in my first defense. I only want to exchange it for a world title. In front of my people nobody is going to beat me.”
Promociones del Pueblo are banking Fernandez is their newest star. Talented, skilled, beautiful and charismatic, Fernandez has all the tools to become just that
A pro since 2013 and with 19 fights in her pro record, Fernandez jumped in competition the summer of last year when she traveled to Argentina to challenge for the IBF 115-pound title against Debora Anahi Dionicius. The Mexican came up short but put up a valiant effort losing a unanimous decision.
She came back home only to lose her second fight in a row against the ultra-popular Lourdes “Pequeña Lulu” Juarez in a highly contested fight dropping a split decision to the soon-to-be title contender. Her performance was good enough for Promociones del Pueblo to offer her a contract.
She made good in her last fight in February stopping the veteran Noemi Bosques in eight, only the second woman to do it.
Now in Julio, Fernandez will have a stern test. Despite her record barely above .500 the southpaw Colombian owes a majority of her losses to world-class opposition.
“We are prepared to change our strategy in the middle of the fight if necessary,” Fernandez explained. “I have never faced a southpaw, not even as an amateur. I have been sparring lefties and haven’t encountered much difficulty.”
The only drawback for Julio is with Fernandez being a natural 115 pounder, Julio began her career back in ’06 at flyweight and she has fought as low as minimum weight.
Despite that, Julio has a vast advantage in experience dropping fights to Ana Maria Torres, Yesica “Tutti” Bopp, Daniela Bermudez, Arely Mucino, the aforementioned Debora Dionicius and Zulina Muñoz to name a few champions.
After dropping a unanimous decision to Muñoz in 2014, Julio stringed together eight wins and a draw before losing to Bopp in the summer of last year. It was her second loss to the Argentinean superstar.
Ever the world traveler, the fight against Fernandez this Saturday night will be her fifth in Mexico, but her 16th outside her native Colombia in her 45 professional fights.
Julio is not impressed with the homegrown Fernandez while mentioning she is at the best moment of her career. “I feel great for this fight and I am more than ready for Fernandez. She can’t make any mistakes or else I will take advantage and I wouldn’t be surprised if I knock her out.”
“She is going to get knocked out in her first defense,” the confident Julio said at the final press conference. “I said it yesterday at the open work out, I am saying it now and I will show it on Saturday night, I got ready in Panama and I am going to teach her a lesson. I hope she is ready to get a war.”
Fernandez will be fighting at home for her second time in a row and her 17th time in her career.
“The whole time in camp I have been thinking of my hometown fans,” Fernandez revealed. “It is them who I dedicate my hard work and dedication. I want them to be satisfied with my fight.”
With the win over Julio, Mexico’s Fernandez could be looking at another opportunity for a world title soon, but this time with the circumstances in her favor.