Jackie Nava Puts On a Masterful Performance in Her Win Over Mariana Juarez
For years, Jackie “Princesa Azteca” Nava vs Mariana “La Barbie” Juarez was only a rumor many boxing fans talked about. It seemed like observers would never see it take place. But long last, one of the most talked-about fights in women’s boxing is a reality as they square off at the Tijuana Municipal Auditorium in Tijuana, Mexico.
Both ladies are multiple-time/multi-divisional world champions. In their country of Mexico, Nava and Juarez are modern-day idols and have reached legendary status in women’s boxing.
Nava is 41-years-old but still has plenty of spring in her step, evidenced by the fact that she hasn’t lost in ten years. A native of Tijuana, her boxing skills rivals any fighter in the sport, man or woman. If you want to understand what an all-around boxer looks like, check out some of her previous fights on YouTube.
Juarez’ resume is impressive in its own right. Also 41 years of age, the product of Mexico City has won world titles at 112, 115, and 118 pounds. Don’t let her nickname fool you. While she may have a pretty girl persona outside of the ropes, she’s all business and a warrior in the ring.
PUTTING ON A MASTERCLASS
Juarez’ (55-11-4, 19 KOs) best chance at victory is to apply pressure and make this a physical affair. That was motive early as she tried to close the distance behind the jab. But Nava (39-4-4, 16 KOs) is one of the most skilled women in the sport. She used her faster hands, ring generalship, and outstanding counter-punching skills to thwart the attack of “La Barbie”.
In the middle rounds, Nava was in her groove and able to do whatever she wanted. She not only controlled the action on the outside but also had her opponent fighting on the back foot. Whether it was doubling or tripling the jab, head and foot feints to set up punches. Whether it was five and six punch combinations to the head and body, Nava was putting on a beautiful display of boxing.
WOMEN’S BOXING VIRTUOSO
She had the packed Municipal Auditorium crowd on their feet. Jaurez kept coming forward but was helpless against the skill and boxing wizardry from “Princesa Azteca”. Everything she tried, Nava had all the answers.
By the late rounds, this was of a one-woman show from Nava than an actual competitive contest. The judges scored the fight in favor of Nava by clear-cut unanimous decision (100-90, 97-93, 99-91).
With the win, Nava earned the vacant WBC women’s diamond junior featherweight title. It’s not clear where she goes from here. Based on how she’s looked recently, there’s no doubt she can win another world title. A possible fight at some point in 2022 could be an all-Mexican showdown between Nava and current WBC junior featherweight champion Yamileth Mercardo.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.