By Francisco Salazar
Mariana 'La Barbie' Juarez and Jackie Nava are in line to face one another later this year. They first had to face and defeat their opposition on Saturday night at the Arena de la Ciudad de Mexico in Mexico City.
Juarez outboxed Tekumi Nuki, winning a 10 round unanimous decision, while Nava dominated and forced Alys Sanchez to remain on her stool after the seventh round.
With the win, Juarez successfully defended her WBC Female bantamweight title for the fifth time.
The fight between Juarez and Nuki was a rematch from their clash of July of 2017, a fight that Juarez won by unanimous decision over 10 rounds.
In Saturday's clash, Juarez was again the sharper boxer, utilizing her quickness to connect with combinations and beating Nuki with her slower and wider punches to the head.
Juarez shook Nuki with a combination to the head midway through round eight, but Nuki was able to weather through. Sensing she was down, Nuki pressed forward in round nine, landing several right hands flush to the head of Juarez.
An accidental clash of heads in the opening moments of round 10 opened a cut along the right eye of Juarez. Per the rules of the WBC, a point was deducted from Nuki.
Scores were 98-91, 98-91, and 97-92 for Juarez, who resides in Mexico City and improves to 50-9-4, 18 KOs.
Junior featherweight contender Jackie Nava stopped Alys Sanchez after the seventh round.
Nava (34-4-3, 15 KOs) faced Sanchez in May of 2014, overcoming a knockdown in the opening round to batter and drop Sanchez four times, stopping her in round seven. On Saturday night, Nava overcame a slow start and a motivated Sanchez to outbox her opponent.
By round five, Nava's aggression and accuracy began to take their toll on Sanchez. A right hand early in round six hurt Sanchez and another right hand stunned Sanchez at the end of round seven. Sanchez was in pain at the start of round eight, prompting referee Erasio Perez to stop the fight.
Sanchez, who hails from Maracay, Venezuela, drops to 15-5-1, 4 KOs.
At the post-fight press conference, both Juarez and Nava announced they would fight one another later this year, with Oct. 27 as the penciled date.
Saturday night was a joint venture between Promociones del Pueblo, which promotes Juarez, and Zanfer Promotions, which promotes Nava. The fight card aired on two networks throughout Mexico, Azteca and Televisa.
Azteca airs Zanfer cards throughout Mexico, even in the U.S., while Televisa airs Promociones del Pueblo cards.
Former world junior flyweight title challenger Martin Tecuapetla won an eight round split decision over Dewayne Beamon (15-1-1, 11 KOs). One judge scored the bout 76-73 for Beamon, while the other two judges scored the bout 77-75 for Tecuapetla.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene.com since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing