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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Duer Retains Title

Carolina Duer retained her bantamweight belt with a unanimous decision victory over the tough Ana Lozano at Club Atletico Lanus in Buenos Aires, Argentina. After a rocky start, Duer landed more power punches at the end of her combinations.

The first round was as slow as Duer's entrance music (Diego Torres's Color Esperanza), but Lozano, a Venezuelan knockout artist, hit Duer with two hard counter rights in the round. By the end of the second round, it appeared as if Duer's reign as champion might be over. Lozano's straighter punches connected inside Duer's wild attempts. Duer boxed from the outside, but seemed unsure of herself. She was reluctant to use her normal strategy of rushing in and attacking.

In the third round, both women were willing to exchange, but neither could land much of anything. That was a positive development for Duer, because it halted Lozano's momentum. The fight then turned in the fourth. Duer used her customary bull rush with accompanying flying fists. Duer is always willing to throw two or three wasted punches to set up a big shot. She won the fourth through seventh rounds by doing just that. Her overhand right and left hooks came over the top of Lozano's straight, but gradually slowing, punches.

Carolina, who Ryan Bivins rates in the top 20 pound for pound, also used a combination where she threw a couple of body shots in order to lower Lozano's guard so that she could then punish her with a subsequent power punch. It was a combination that worked several times.

Duer often stormed in, threw combos, and gracefully exited before Lozano could mount an effective response. Duer's turn around was a testament to her championship determination and conditioning. Lozano, however, was no pushover. She boasted her best round of the fight in the eighth. Lozano continuously landed straight rights and left hooks. However, she didn't throw in combinations, so Duer was able to survive the assault without much damage inflicted.

The ninth was a solid comeback round for the champion. Duer has a habit, however, of coasting to the finish line in tenth rounds; Lozano's punching technique started to unravel by the end of the fight though, dispelling any chance of a late knockout. Duer briefly switched to the southpaw stance in virtually every round yet didn't find any success in doing so.

The judges saw the fight 98-92, 97-93 (twice) for the hometown fighter. Duer moves her record to 17-3-1 with five KOs, while Lozano falls to 8-2 with six KOs. The fight was held on the twentieth anniversary of the bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, nine miles from the site of the tragedy.

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