Lourdes “Pequeña Lulu” Juarez Captures First World Title with Decision Over Martinez
By Felipe Leon
As promised earlier this week, Mexican Lourdes “Pequeña Lulu” Juarez (31-2, 4KO) brought happiness back to her family with an impressive unanimous decision for the WBC super flyweight world title over veteran Guadalupe “Lupita” Martinez (20-10, 6KO) on Saturday.
Juarez (31-2, 4 KOs) moved up a weight division to challenge Martinez (20-10,6 KOs) who had made numerous title defenses until meeting the younger sister of Mariana “Barbei” Juarez in Mexico City. It was the featured main event on Mexican network Televisa.
In late October Lourdes’ older sister, the legendary Mariana “Barbie” Juarez, lost her WBC 118-pound title against Yulihan Luna. In her pre-fight statements leading up to her first opportunity for a world title, Lourdes, 33, promised her family would close the year with a world champion still in the family.
It was thought Juarez would at one point challenge the current WBC flyweight champion Ibeth “Roca” Zamora since for years she has been ranked at #1 at 112 pounds. Evidently Juarez got tired of waiting and decided to go up three pounds north and challenge the tough 28-year-old Martinez.
Martinez of Tlalnepantla, Mexico, captured the title by defeating the long-reigning Zulina “Loba” Muñoz in May of 2017. This past Saturday night marked Martinez’s fifth defense of the green and gold title.
Juarez had other plans.
With her sister a few steps away from her corner, Mexico City’s Juarez came out with three jabs at the opening bell. She stunned Martinez with her quickness of feet and even faster hands as she peppered the world champion with jabs followed with straight right hands as she quickly positioned out of harm’s way. Martinez’s surprise was evident as the bell tolled the end of the first.
Martinez’s game plan was clear, make it into a street fight. Juarez wasn’t making it easy as she darted in and out early in the fight scoring easily from the outside. When Martinez was able to trap Juarez against the ropes and forced her to exchange, the champion scored the harder and more impressive punches but it wasn’t enough to win the early rounds.
Juarez found success in catching Martinez as she came in headfirst in a hurricane of punches. By the fifth Juarez began to slow down and the experienced Martinez took advantage trapping her opponent against the ropes and forcing her to exchange.
Martinez began to put her punches together to the body and head and began to make headway in the fight while Juarez forgot her jab and decided to join the street fight Martinez was proposing.
It wasn’t a good idea for a few rounds.
Juarez walked right into Martinez’s plan as she stood right in front of the champion and decided to go tit-for-tat with power punches. Martinez scored the harder and more often ones turning the tide of the fight by the end of the sixth stanza.
Early in the seventh, Martinez developed a hematoma outside her right eye but it did not affect her attack. Juarez found her jab again and began to box from the outside as effectively as the early rounds. Juarez again began to successfully catch Martinez as she came in. After the scores were announced at the end of the eighth, as it is customary in WBC world title fights, Martinez gave her last push in the ninth throwing caution to the wind and attacking disregarding any notion of defense.
Juarez controlled the fight in the tenth and final round the same way she did the first, by boxing at a distance and using her feet to keep her away from a now exhausted Martinez.
As both fighters waited for the official result, the body language said it all with Juarez smiling with her team while Martinez put her head in her hands. Official scores were 97-93 two times and 96-93, all for Juarez. ThePrizeFighters.com scored it 97-93 for Juarez.
(Photo by TUDN)