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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Duer Defends Bantamweight Title

Carolina Duer defended her WBO bantamweight belt with a unanimous decision victory over Estrella Valverde at Polideportivo Municipal La Patriada in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Duer outboxed Valverde throughout the fight.

During the first two rounds, both Duer and Valverde both were content to counter, making for a slow fight. Valverde was rarely on the attack throughout. Duer found her rhythm in the third round and boxed in and out beautifully. She was taller than her opponent and her hands were faster.

Valverde's right hand was quite competent and she landed it against Duer's face numerous times. But her left hook was a wide slapping punch and she virtually never jabbed. She showed good upperbody movement and controlled the middle of the ring. But Duer simply was too swift of foot for Valverde.

In the third round, Duer was spun around after a clinch and her back was turned to Valverde. Valverde unleashed three punches to the back of Duer's head and lost a point for the effort. She immediately felt contrition and touched Duer's glove after the offense. In the eighth, Valverde lost a point for casting her head toward Duer as Estrella rushed in. In the tenth, Duer landed a right and then subtly pushed Valverde to the ground. Valverde vehemently argued against the knockdown call.

Duer, who switched southpaw on occasion with limited success, dictated the pace of the fight. In the ninth round, Valverde became frustrated that Duer took the round off and motioned for Duer to fight. But by the tenth, Valverde was tired and her punches seemed slow. Duer was clearly in better condition and coasted to the victory.

The judges' scores were 97-90, 99-88, and 96-91. Duer improves her record to 16-3-1 with 5 KOs. Valverde is now 7-4-1 with one KO.

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