Fernandez Beats Balderas in Juarez, Mexico
By Felipe Leon
With a close unanimous decision full of action, local Diana “La Bonita” Fernandez (21-3, 4KO) kept her WBC Latino super flyweight title beating Debani “La Esquisita” Balderas (10-3-2, 2KO) of Monterrey, Mexico, over ten rounds Saturday night.
The fight took place in Fernandez’s hometown of Ciudad Juarez. Mexico, and was the co-main event on Mexican mega-channel Televisa.
Fernandez, 24, was coming back from the third loss of her career when she dropped a hard fought unanimous decision to WBC bantamweight champion Mariana “Barbie” Juarez last June in her hometown for second bid for a world title.
In her first opportunity for a world title crown, she lost to Debora Dionicius for the IBF 115-pound title in Argentina in the summer of 2017. She owns another loss against Mariana’s sister, Lourdes “Pequeña Lulu” Juarez.
The southpaw Balderas’ experience was not as extensive, with only 12 fights under her belt although she amassed a respectable amateur career in her home state of Nuevo Leon as well as nationally in Mexico.
In the first round the 22-year-old Balderas established her strategy for the fight trying to take advantage of her height and reach to keep Fernandez at bay. Fernandez looked a bit anxious looking to score wild power punches to the body of her opponent.
Fernandez had more success in the second as she was able close the distance but Balderas kept controlling the distance with her longer right jab. Fernandez kept looking for hooks to the body in hopes of slowing down her opponent later in the fight.
Balderas kept controlling the action from the mid-distance and from the center of the ring in the next couple of rounds. The Monterrey fighter had success going in with tight long combos and then getting out before Fernandez had an opportunity of counter punching.
Despite Balderas attempt of keeping her at a comfortable distance, Fernandez was able to get inside and score hard uppercuts to the body. Round by round Fernandez grew more aggressive focusing on only power punches as her main weapon. Fernandez hand speed proved to be better as Balderas kept trying with the jab to control the real estate but Fernandez began to counter punch with her quicker straight right hands.
To close the fourth round the fighters went toe-to-toe for the first time in the fight with Fernandez scoring the better punches of the exchange. Balderas was able to score a flush right hook to the chin of Fernandez to end the round but it wasn’t enough to score the points.
The second half of the fight followed a different pattern than the first. In every round from the sixth to the tenth, Fernandez came out of her corner looking to make the boxing match into a brawl going after Balderas.
Balderas at times would be game and give in but only for about 30 seconds and then she would go back to the middle of the ring and box.
Balderas was a bit more aggressive but couldn’t match Fernandez’s punch output. Fernandez kept looking for uppercuts when up close and scored more than she missed while still scoring with counter straight rights.
The Monterrey fighter seemed a bit anxious in the seventh as she knew she had to do more in Fernandez’s hometown to get decision. Balderas kept using the jab looking to score her straight left but Fernandez was there to meet her with left hooks to the body followed with a right uppercut.
The fight’s momentum turned towards Fernandez in the next couple of rounds succeeding with that counter right as well as an improved defense catching punches with her gloved fists while using her waist to slip the hooks from either first from Balderas.
By the ninth it was evident Fernandez was the more spent of the two as she began to hold more, but she was able to force her fight more and have Balderas exchange from a closer distance.
In the tenth Balderas became the stalker, as she knew she could only win by knockout and began to chase Fernandez around the ring. Fernandez scored a pair of hooks to the head of her opponent followed with a straight right that snapped Balderas head back.
The two women exchanged until the final bell.
At the end all three judges saw it for the defending regional champion with scores of 97-93 and 96-94 two times.
(Photo by Boxnoticias.com)