Gen X Champs Mariana Juarez and Yesica Bopp versus Millennials
By David A. Avila
Unknown by many fans of female boxing, during the 1990s Mexico declared female prizefighting illegal for a number of years into the 21st century.
Today, Mexico now has become a super power in female prizefighting.
Mariana Juarez was one of the pioneers of Mexican female fighters who participated in underground club fights as a teen-ager. During the late 1990s and early 2000s the attractive brunette could be seen fighting in smoky clubs and makeshift rickety boxing rings throughout central Mexico. Boxing was illegal in Mexico but it didn’t stop her pursuing fights.
She crossed into the USA in 2001 with help from Marco Antonio Barrera and settled for a few years in Southern California where she was mentored by wizard trainer Ben Lira. He is the same coach who assisted Abel Sanchez in guiding Gennady Golovkin’s ascent to the top of the prizefighting world.
Juarez was a large part of the hammer that crashed the barrier prohibiting women’s pro boxing in Mexico. Female boxing has exploded in popularity largely through her efforts and other Gen X fighters like Ana Maria Torres and Jackie Nava. She’s a super star in Mexico and throughout Latin America.
Now, at 39, “La Barby” as she is known, defends against one of the millennials Diana “La Bonita” Fernandez (20-2, 4 KOs) on Saturday June 15, in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. This will be Juarez (52-9-4, 18 KOs) eighth defense of the WBC bantamweight world title since April 2016.
She has not slowed down.
“All of the fights are important. It’s another defense of my world championship and I am fighting the rival they put in front of me,” said Juarez. “I prepare the same for everyone they put in front of me to show I am the champion.”
The challenger is Fernandez a very popular fighter in Juarez, Mexico where the fight is being held. Words have been exchanged via social media with Fernandez, who is 24, and claims the champion is old.
Back in November 2017, Fernandez fought Lourdes “La Pequena” Juarez the younger sister of Mariana Juarez. That fight took place in Ciudad Juarez and Fernandez lost by split decision.
Fernandez, who lives and trains in Ciudad Juarez, claims she is a better fighter now and will defeat Mariana Juarez.
Juarez is not concerned about Fernandez or fighting in her hometown.
“I consider all of Mexico my house and thanks to God I have many followers in all parts of Mexico,” said Juarez about fighting Fernandez in her hometown. “Her style is ugly and the truth is she is a girl with a big heart and guts but she has a lot to learn.”
La Barby seeks one big mega fight before she retires. But on Saturday, it’s back to work.
“I’m going to manage the distance of the fight and do my style of boxing,” said Juarez, adding that the acidic words delivered by Fernandez have no effect. “No, this fight is not personal to me, I’m only going to go and defend what’s mine and I am ready.”
Time has sped by like a streak of light.
It seems like yesterday that the U.S. first got a glimpse of her when she fought Elena “Baby Doll” Reid in a torrid six round fight in Phoenix, Arizona almost exactly 16 years ago. That fight was televised by ESPN and ended in a majority draw. Since that day her popularity continues to grow and many consider her one of the top female fighters in the world pound for pound.
Juarez is one of two Generation X fighters defending a world title. The other is Argentina’s Yesica “La Tuti” Bopp (35-1, 16 KOs) who will be facing Mexico’s Gabriela Saavedra (5-2) and defending the WBA light flyweight world title for the 21st time since 2009.
In all of Latin America the Argentine pixie has been one of the most popular female boxers for more than 10 years.
Bopp, 35, spent years in the amateur boxing world before deciding to take a spin in the prizefighting world in 2008. After one year she grabbed the WBA light flyweight world title and has not let go.
Few can match Bopp’s speed and agility in a boxing ring. After 11 years as a pro she only has one loss and that came against Mexico’s Jessica Chavez in a fight that took place in Ecatepec, Mexico. It remains her only loss.
The WBA world title fight takes place in Buenos Aires.
Bopp wants to challenge one of the American light flyweights. It remains one of her primary goals.
On Saturday two Gen X world champions look to show the millennials how it’s done.
More Female Fight News
Abril Vidal (8-0) defeated Yamila Reynoso (11-8-3) by unanimous decision after 10 rounds on Saturday June 8. The South American super welterweight title fight took place at Neuquen.
Ana Guichapani (13-0-1) won by split decision over Tamara Nunez (6-10-4) after 10 rounds on Friday June 7. The South American super featherweight title fight took place at Quilmes, Buenos Aires.
Augustina Rojas (1-0) beat Catalina Alvarez (0-3) by majority decision after four rounds on Friday June 7. The bantamweight fight took place at Lomas de Zamora, Buenos Aires.
On Friday June 14, lightweights Estefania Alaniz (4-2-1) and Yanina Lescano (4-1) meet in a six round fight at Mendoza.
On Saturday June 15, light flyweights Yesica Bopp (35-1) and Gabriela Saavedra(5-2) meet in a 10 round fight for the WBA world title at Buenos Aires. Bopp, 35, hasn’t lost a fight in six years. Also, super flyweights Jorgelina Guanini (9-1-1) and Micaela Lujan (8-1) meet in a 10 round IBF world title fight.
On Saturday June 15, flyweights Ayelen Granadino (4-0-1) and Aixa Adema (3-2-2) meet in a four round bout at San Francisco Solano.
On Saturday June 15, lightweights Rachel Loder (3-0) and Rebekah Radley (0-0) meet in an eight round fight for the Australian title at Tweed Heads. Also, lightweights Demi McNamara (0-0)and Ratsadaporn Khiaosopa (0-13) meet in a four round bout.
Djemilla Gontaruk (15-5-2) was the winner by unanimous decision after six rounds versus Karina Kopinska (12-30-4) on Saturday June 8. The lightweight fight took place at Liege.
On Saturday June 15, featherweights Taynna Cardoso (3-0) and Jully Silva (0-0) meet in a four round bout at Brasilia. Also, bantamweights Caroline Antunes (1-2) and Maria Da Silva (0-0) meet in a four round contest.
Jessica Camara (6-1) beat Dalila Velazquez (5-2) by majority decision after six rounds on Saturday June 8. The super lightweight contest took place at Montreal.
On Saturday June 15, light flyweights Kim Clavel (8-0) and Nora Cardoza (14-6-2) meet in an eight round clash at Shawinigan, Quebec.
On Tuesday June 11, super flyweights Li Ping Shi (4-2) and Yuko Henzan (8-7-4) meet in a 10 round WBC regional title fight at Xi An.
On Saturday June 15, featherweights Sarah Mahfoud (8-0) and Olivia Gerula (18-18-2) meet in an eight round bout at Randers.
Sanae Jah (16-4-1) defeated Justine Lallemand (7-1) by decision after eight rounds on Saturday June 8. The flyweight fight was held at Sedan.
Laetitia Arzalier (14-1) was the winner by unanimous decision after 10 rounds versus Anne Sophia Da Costa (28-6) on Saturday June 8. The light flyweight title fight took place at Herault.
On Friday June 14, lightweights Estelle Mossely (4-0) and Lucy Wildheart (5-0) meet in a 10 round fight for the IBO world title at Cherbourg.
On Friday June 14, lightweights Aurelie Froment (1-0-1) and Ana Jankovic (0-5) meet in a four round bout at Herault.
On Saturday June 15, lightweights Anouar Amel (0-0) and Nora El Barkani (1-1) meet in a four round clash at Le Cannet. Also, super lightweights Justine Le Poultier (0-0) and Elsa Hemat (0-2) meet in a four round match.
Christina Linardatou (12-1) won by unanimous decision after 10 rounds versus Australia’s Deanha Hobbs (8-1) on Friday June 7. The WBO super lightweight world title fight took place at Athens. It was Linardatou’s first world title defense.
On Saturday June 15, bantamweights Mariana Juarez (52-9-4) and Diana Fernandez (20-2) meet in a 10 round fight for the WBC bantamweight world title at Juarez.
On Saturday June 15, heavyweights Ashley Campbell (1-2) and Dianne Beazley (0-1) meet in a four round clash in Auckland.
On Saturday June 15, flyweights Floryvic Montero (4-7) and Joan Ambalong (6-12-1) meet in six three-minute rounds at Las Pinas, Manila.
Ewelina Pekalska (4-0) defeated Nina Radovanovic (14-3) by decision after 10 rounds on Saturday June 8. The flyweight title fight took place at Buk.
On Sunday June 16, lightweights Yuliya Kutsenko (7-1-1) and Firuza Sharipova (10-1) meet in a 10 round title clash at Ekaterinburg.
On Sunday June 16, super featherweights Nomapondomisa Xotyeni (5-5-1) and Ntomboqala Tolashe (4-0) meet in a six round bout at Uitenhage, Eastern Cape.
Enerolisa De Leon (3-2-2) was the winner by majority decision after four rounds versus Naiara Olmedo (0-1) on Saturday June 8. The super bantamweight fight took place at Bilbao.
On Saturday June 15, super welterweights Hannah Rankin (6-3) and Sarah Curran (4-1-1) meet in a 10 round clash for the IBO world title at Paisley, Scotland.
Nicole Reinhart (1-0) knocked out Khadija Sanders (0-5) in the first round on Friday June 7. The super lightweight fight took place at Detroit.
On Thursday June 13, light flyweights Seniesa Estrada (16-0) and Gretchen Abaniel (18-10) meet in a 10 round WBC Silver title fight at Hollywood, California. DAZN will stream.
On Saturday June 15, super flyweights Adelaida Ruiz (7-0) and Myrka Aguayo (2-0) meet in a six round match at Pic Rivera, California. Also, light flyweights Lorraine Villalobos (2-2) and Daniella Saldanha (2-2) meet in a four round clash.
On Saturday June 15, super featherweights Mikaela Mayer (10-0) and Argentina’s Lizbeth Crespo (13-4) meet in a 10 round clash for the NABF title at Las Vegas, Nevada. ESPN will televise.