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Acuna vs. Padilla - Part II (Part I)
By Ewan Whyte
Published on June 13, 2004
Fight took place on May 26, 2004

It had been announced then postponed more often than the Second Coming. Now it was here. (The fight, I mean. The other thing’s some time next week.)

Depending upon which report you read, there were three thousand, four thousand or five thousand plus people in attendance — pushing six as it turned out — which surprised a good many observers since it was a freezing night (a Wednesday to boot!), there was nothing else of note on the card and the fight was in any case being shown live on TV. What made it even more surprising in soccer mad Buenos Aires is that River (Plate), one of the two local football teams, were also playing that night and their match, too, was being shown live on TV. Acuña had been asked to revive what in the days when Tito Lectoure owned Luna Park had been a great tradition. The Wednesday bills were used then to promote young talent. “Those Wednesday evenings with Tito may be gone,” wrote Carlos Irusta, “but the spirit lives on — the attendance here proves it. In view of the response on Wednesday, we can see there being many more nights like this at the Luna.” The Director General of Luna Park, Esteban Livera, gave all the credit to Acuña: “People just love her! ‘The Tigress’ is a phenomenon.” Eduardo Bejuk of the sports daily Olé was of the same mind: “She packed 5,000 into the Luna on a Wednesday! It’s incredible the charisma she has.”

The men’s matches, apparently, weren’t up to much — there was even some booing — but there were boos and whistles of a different kind when Padilla appeared. Acuña believes this may have disturbed her opponent’s concentration — certainly that she was disconcerted.

Luis Blanco paints a different picture: “Beneath the now customary shower of silver paper, the protagonists in the main event made their way to the ring. The first to enter was the Colombian, who installed herself in the blue corner, just in front of where we were sitting — serious, with an absent expression; like someone just emerging from the depths of some profound contemplation, she moved in a slow dance across the canvas, as though in weary response to a habanera only she heard, her expression never changing.

“Next it was the turn of the Tigress, who padded resolutely up the steps beside us to an ecstatic reception in the ring, which she acknowledged by walking to each of four corners in turn with her arms in the air.

“During the anthems, the contrast between the demeanour of the two fighters was marked, with Acuña jumping up and down and Padilla continuing as before, eerily absent, as though she looked with unseeing eyes.”

Acuña’s trainer and husband had noticed it as well, and told Acuña that Padilla seemed nervous. She decided to attack on the bell in the hope of taking her opponent by surprise.

When the bell rang, Acuña fell on Padilla with a suddenness and a savagery that — whatever their reluctance to resort to the obvious metaphor — journalists could only liken to a tiger attack. Crossing the ring swiftly “as though the cage door had suddenly swung open” [Ole] “the Tigress surprised the challenger with a short right that exploded in her face when the fight was barely two seconds old.” [ESPN]. A ‘huge’ [Gac], ‘infernal’ [CD] ‘bombshell’ [Voz] of a right, ‘a mixture of a cross and a hook’ [IB] that according to most observers (and Acuña herself) caught Padilla directly on the chin, though one or two maintain it was the cheek. “Consistent with her previous attitude of looking but not looking, Padilla didn’t see (but certainly felt)  the punch that hit her.” [ABDR] What may have thrown Padilla is that it came without the customary escort; there was no jab, no range-finding left;  no hark, no herald, no harbinger. It came unannounced, the paradigm of a pre-emptive strike. “People who think they know about these things say you should never lead with the right,” wrote Luis Blanco of Al Borde del Ring. “I wonder what they’ll say now.”

There was no doubt in the minds of observers that that one punch, which ‘paralysed’ [PAB] and ‘staggered’ [ABDR] the Colombian, determined the outcome of the fight.”The Colombian was rocked by a right and never recovered from the impact [SY]” “She ate it. And that was that,” commented Bisbal. “It was like the punch with which Acuña nailed Quirico.” “From that moment onwards, the Colombian lost her line and defensive movements were her only recourse, but the barrage unleashed by the Formosan left her no chance of surviving the round” [ESPN]. “In an opening reminiscent of her triumph over Patricia Quirico in the Federación Argentina de Box” (KO in 15 seconds), Marcela Acuña made the power of her right hand pay.” [LNL]. Two seconds into the fight and already “Padilla’s challenge was derailed. With that one punch, Acuña stunned the challenger and was able to tear up whatever game plan the other had brought to the fight.” [UOL]

“Since the recipient neither fell nor made much of a fist of defending herself, Acuña threw the same punch again with much the same result.” [BB].“I realised that Daysi was really feeling the effects of that punch,” commented Acuña afterwards “and I went all out for the finish.”

“Now it turned into a hunt. The Argentinian pursued Padilla all round the ring harrying her relentlessly. Straight rights, jabs, hooks, crosses and all the other missiles in the Tigress’s armory impacted sickeningly upon the other woman’s anatomy. Under this hailstorm of blows, ‘The Demolition Expert’ could do nothing more than flail ineffectually.” [BB] “For the next 47 seconds, the Colombian, Daysi Padilla, stumbled round the ring on unsteady legs with her eyes popping out of her head, throwing punches of hopeless irrelevance as though through habit, while Marcela Acuña pursued her without pity, picking her off with powerful rights — every one of which hurt.” [LNL] Padilla tried a last throw of the dice, thrashing wildly like a drowning man, (‘even dazed she hit hard’ commented Acuña) ”but the Tigress shrugged off the blows, cuffing her with rights and lefts to steer her into a neutral corner.” [ABDR]

Padilla’s trainer was quoted variously as saying his charge had been ‘too inexperienced’ or else ‘too addled by the effects of the first punch’ to clinch or take a count, and “even though,” according to Crónica Digital, “she missed more times than she hit, Acuña was nonetheless handing out a fearful thrashing to the visitor”. Terra saw things differently: “Padilla tried desperately to defend herself but her fate seemed preordained. ‘The Tigress’ stepped up the pressure, firing off her varied weaponry with deadly precision.” Finally “a right similar to the opening punch of the fight opened Padilla up for three more rights and a left that took her to the verge of the knockout, with the referee now hovering attentively.”

Acuña was astonished that she didn’t go down. Contrary to what she had said the previous day, she knew now that Daysi Padilla was every bit as tough as the Colombians had been saying. But this time she found the finish: “A pair of thudding hooks to the body elicited a last ditch attempt at a clinch, which Acuña evaded, settling the argument with a right that brooked no response.” [ABDR] “As it exploded in the face of the challenger, she staggered and clutched at the ropes, all but out on her feet.” [Ter]. “Seeing the c.... girl’s one metre seventy frame teetering between the ropes, the referee, Raúl Ilvento, had no choice but to  stop the fight.” [Ter]

[… and it’s over. “The challenger clutched at the ropes, all but out on her feet”]

In that one frenetic assault, which La Nación Line compared to a burst of machine gun fire drawn out for 45 seconds, the Colombian had taken “at least seven perfect rights to the head and a few other good shots to the softer parts of her anatomy.”[Lit] To the Argentinian spectators, who had never doubted that the fight would end with one of the two women (but which?) being knocked out or requiring to be rescued from knock-out, this was the result they had hoped for and they gave their champion a standing ovation. “Exultant to the point that she would have liked to remain forever in the ring of the mythical stadium, Acuña celebrated her lightning triumph over the Colombian”. [CD]

The press, too, acclaimed Acuña’s “spectacular annihilation” of the challenger. “Today more than ever, Marcela Acuña did justice to her sobriquet” [LNL]. “The Tigress is consolidating her position at the highest level of international boxing,” [Gac]. “A champion through and through.” [Olé] ‘The Argentinian demonstrated all her authority and the potency of her fists” [SY]. “A devastating performance. The Formosan fought tooth and nail to defend her title, as we knew she would. She never gave her opponent a chance to settle, following her initial attack with rat-a-tat combinations that had the Colombian reeling.” [Cla] “The Formosan, showing determination worthy of a champion, destroyed  her opponent in barely 43 seconds” [Ova] “Whether the c... girl had a talent to match the 13-1 (13 KOs) record with which she was credited (categorically) in the introductions — both to the crowd in the stadium and to TV viewers nationwide — is something we’ll never know. Marcela hit her like a tornado and she had no time for anything – not even the most elementary evasive action” [Lit]. “The real ‘Demolition Expert’ here was Acuña” [Ova].

As for the ‘non-existent challenger’ as El Litoral cruelly called her, she was “an opponent whose record and abilities could not be verified – and who, if anything, was even more of an enigma after the fight than before it.” [LNL] Claudio Coronel took the same line on the Boxeo Boxing page: “The Colombian Daysi ‘the Demolition Expert’ Padilla (supposedly 14-2-0, 14 KOs; 53.850 kg) came to us as an unknown quantity and is destined to remain such”. The résumé on the Sports Ya page read almost like an epitaph: “She arrived with very strong credentials:  12 wins in 12 fights — all by way of knock-out — and Acuña wasted her in forty-three seconds.”

The only positive aspect of Padilla’s performance was her bravery,  for which she was praised by her opponent and warmly applauded by the crowd; but how, when even the most cursory examination of her opponent’s record should have told her what to expect, she could let herself get surprised like that remains a mystery. Was it stage fright? Did Acuña psych her? Or was it the reverse: was she so confident she just didn’t bother to do her homework?

Whatever the explanation, she paid dearly for her mistake. Indeed such was the severity of the beating she had endured that even several minutes after the announcement of the result, she was still shaking.

She left Luna Park in a wheelchair bound for Argerich hospital where she spent the night under observation. Acuña wanted to see her but was refused permission by the doctors. The next morning, when she phoned the hotel to see whether they had any news, she was told that the Colombians had left and were on their way to the airport. That was the first indication she had that the doctors had given Padilla the ‘all clear’.


“Mayo, el mes de la ‘Tigresa’” (“May is the month of the Tigress”) [CD]

“¡Padilla promete vencer a la Tigresa en el Luna!” (“Padilla vows to defeat the Tigress at Luna Park!”) by Kevin A. Bello [BB]

"Llevo el boxeo en la sangre" (“Boxing’s in my blood”) [EU]

“La Tigresa Acuña pronosticó un rápido nocaut” (“’The Tigress’ predicting a rapid knock-out”) [Ter]

“Acuña pelea en el Luna” (“Acuña to fight at Luna Park”) [DDC]

"La Tigresa Acuña arriesga su corona” (“The Tigress Acuña is risking her crown”) [LNL]

“Tigresa a la balanza” (“Tigress in the balance”) [DDC]

“Daysi Padilla se tiene fe” (“Daysi Padilla believes in herself”) [UOL]

“La Tigresa Acuña puso en dudas la potencia de Padilla” (“The Tigress pooh-poohs the power of Padilla”) [LAO]

‘"La Tigresa" defiende su corona ante la peligrosa Daysi Padilla’ (“The Tigress to defend her crown against the dangerous Daysi Padilla”) [LM]

“Son cosas de chicas” (“That’s girls for you”) [Olé]

“Tigresa Acuña: ‘me parece que Daysi Padilla no es tan 'fierro' como la pintan’” (“The Tigress Acuña: ‘I don’t think Daysi Padilla’s as tough as they’re all making out’) by Abel Gamarra [UOL]

“Tigresa con jaula abierta” (“Tigress with the cage door open”) [Olé]

 “Marcela Acuña ganó en apenas 46 segundos” (Marcela Acuña wins in barely 46 seconds) [Lit]

“¡La Tigresa demolió a Daysi Padilla!” (“The Tigress demolishes Daisy Padilla!”) [BOFN]

“’La “Tigresa’ Acuña demolió a Padilla en menos de un minuto y retuvo el título” (“’The Tigress’ Acuña crushes Padilla in less than a minute to retain the title”) [Tél]

“La "Tigresa" Acuña ganó sin transpirar” (“The ´Tigress´ Acuña wins without even breaking sweat”) [ESPN]

“Tigresa demoledora” (“Tigress devastating”) [LNL]

“Acuña tiene pólvora en los puños” (“Acuña has dynamite in her fists”) [Gac]

“Argentina Acuña acabó en segundos con colombiana Daisy Padilla” (“Argentina: Acuña despatches the Colombian Daysi Padilla in seconds”) [WBA]

“La Tigresa pegó primero y ganó” (“La Tigresa strikes first and wins”) [DDP]

“La primera mano definió la pelea” (“The first punch decides the fight”) [POL]

“La Tigresa mostró las garras” (“The Tigress shows her claws”) [Voz]

“La Tigresa retuvo con TKO - 43 segundos de ferocidad” (“The Tigress retains her title with a TKO – 43 seconds of ferocity”) [PAB]

“Una ráfaga que duró 47 segundos”  (“A salvo that lasted 47 seconds”) [LNL]

“Una verdadera ‘Tigresa’” (“A real ‘Tigress’”) [SY]

“Acuña, por demolición” (“Acuña, by demolition”) [CLA]

“Marcela Acuña ganó por knock out” (“Marcela Acuña wins by knock-out”) [IB]

“Para Acuña, lo bueno, si breve...” (“Short but sweet for Acuña…) [Cla]

“La “Tigresa admitió que el público del Luna puso nerviosa a su rival” (“The Tigress admits that the crowd at Luna Park disconcerted her opponent”) [IB]

“Para la ‘Tigresa’ fue un trámite” (“Just a formality for the Tigress”) [CD]

“La Tigresa Acuña retuvo el título” (“The Tigress Acuña retains her title”) [Ova]

“‘La Tigresa’ Acuña fue ovacionada en el Luna Park despues de su supersonico nocaut ante Daysi Padilla” by Abel Gamarra  (“’The Tigress’ Acuña receives an ovation in Luna Park after her supersonic knock-out of Daysi Padilla”) [UOL][Ter]

 “Trámite sencillo para ‘La Tigresa’ Acuña” (“A walk in the park for ‘the Tigress’ Acuña”) by Claudio Coronel [BB]

“La vimos y te la contamos” (“We saw it and we told you about it”) by Luis Blanco [ABDR]

“Daysi Padilla no pudo quitarle el título mundial a la argentina Acuña” (“Daisy Padilla fails to wrest the world title from the Argentinian Acuna”) [CC]

“Y encima… se viene otro Luna” (“What’s more… there’s another bill coming up at Luna Park”) by Carlos Irusta [ABDR]  


Al Borde del Ring




Boxeo org Fightnews




Crónica Digital




Diario de Cuyo


El Diario de Paran




El Argentino


El Universal


La Gaceta




Los Andes online


El Litoral


La Nación Line




Página Argentina de Boxeo,




Radio Sudamericana


Sports Ya


Terra Deportes






La Voz del Interior


WBA online



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