Knockout boxer Mariana Juarez will defend her WBC world female bantamweight title for the tenth time this weekend. The Mexican has perhaps the most unusual name for a fighter: ‘Barbie’, after the famous blonde doll.
The Mexico City fighter will take on Argentine Carolina Raquel Duer, nicknamed ‘The Turk’, at Centro de Convenciones, Fresnillo, in her homeland on Saturday, and the champion is wary that the challenger will try to “blow her head” when the bell rings.
Juarez, the WBC champion of the world since April 2007, is one of Mexico’s recognizable boxers, which is no mean feat given Mexico has become synonymous with the sport and enjoys perhaps the richest boxing history of any country.
The 39-year-old, like most Mexican fighters, turned professional while still only a teenager, making her debut in 1998 aged just 18. She has since gone on to become a two-weight world champion, having previously captured the WBC flyweight title.
But her notoriety may also have something to do with her scorching good looks and smoking photoshoots.
Juarez is nicknamed ‘Barbie’, and while it may seem there are no parallels to be drawn between the famous blonde doll and a professional pugilist, Juarez does share some glamorous similarities.
The fighter is never afraid to bare her body for a photoshoot and show off her athletic figure when not taking shots in the ring, even after 66 pro fights spread over a staggering 21 years.
Now in her third decade as a professional fighter, she is still at the top of her game going into her tenth defence of the bantamweight title.
But she will contest her that against no pushover in Duer, herself a former world champion, the long-time WBO super flyweight belt holder before she moved up a division to capture the WBO bantam strap, a title she never lost in the ring.
Duer, seemingly defying the laws of nature by challenging for a world title at 41 years old, will provide more than a stern test, a fact Juarez is fully aware of and both have made no secret they will be looking for a KO on the night.
“I am aware that when you own this belt, anyone wants to blow your head,” Juarez said in an interview with Spanish-language publication Matutino Grafico.
“I worked very hard in the gym because I will defend my title with a three-time world champion. I don’t want the fight to go to the cards and there are doubts.”
“They say that you either renew or die and I changed, I will show why I am the champion, because in a fight of this type anyone makes mistakes and this is like a chess game, any false movement can cost very expensive.”
Duer, who has never been stopped in her professional career, going 19-5-1 since turning professional in 2007, confirmed Juarez’s comment and said she would also be looking to end the night early when she fights for the first time outside her native Argentina.
“The knockout is the most successful result of all and of course you prepare, but I do not know the result of the fight, it is the attractiveness of boxing, since we both have a great level,” she said.
The two fighters have a staggering combined age of 80 years old, one of the oldest for a world title fight in any combat sport, but that will surely have no impact on the action on Saturday night as the two Latin American warriors promise fireworks.