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Acuna TKOs Miranda to Win WIBA title
By Ewan Whyte
January 23, 2005







Club Centenario, Formosa (Argentina) - 01/22/05

Name Marcela Eliana Acuña María Andrea Miranda
Date of Birth

16 Oct 1976

4 Sep 1984

Place of Birth Formosa (Argentina)

Moñitos (Colombia)

Weight 56.4 kg 55.85 kg

WIBA Super Bantamweight Champion

WIBA Latin American Champion
Record 16-4-0 (10KO) Unverified
Trainer Ramón Chaparro el Dagobert o Periñan

(JAN 23) It was a clash of the jungle cats in the sweltering night of Formosa, Marcela ‘la Tigresa’ (the Jaguar) Acuña and María ‘la Pantera’ (the Panther) Miranda; it was a war between the queens of South American boxing, the WIBA World Super Bantamweight Champion (from the southern part of the continent) and the Latin American champion in the category above (from the extreme north); and it ended, as these things do, with one queen at the feet of the other, the dark-skinned warrior from Colombia in this case prostrate before the Argentinian, “… her eyes directed towards her corner, beseeching them to throw in the towel’.

This was after the second knockdown in the third round, and although her ego was palpably shattered — her ‘eyes were screaming for the towel’, la Mañana tells us — no towel was forthcoming, and for the fifth time, she had to brace herself for an assault that had begun “like a tsunami” and was ending “like a simoom”.

All credit to her for being there in the first place, and for standing up when she no longer believed.

She’d stopped believing, perhaps, long before 10:40. All week, Acuña had been working the youngster’s psyche with a mixture of menace and sly charm: “Take time off from training to enjoy the sights,” she told her on Thursday, in a mock display of civic pride (Formosa is Acuña’s home town). “Because when you climb into the ring on Saturday night, all you’re gonna see is me, and that’s one sight, I can assure you, you’re not going to enjoy.”

Acuña only knows one way to fight, which is to go straight for the jugular. “You’re going to see a tigress in action,” she told reporters at the press conference. “It’ll be all over by the fifth.”

The psych worked. When the opening bell sounded and the Tigress came at her, the Panther turned tail and ran.

Or perhaps this was the fight plan Miranda had been referring to at the press conference when she told reporters she “wasn’t the least bit afraid”: to keep out of range and work the jab. Height was her one advantage — they both have speed — but Acuña’s a past master at making tall girls buckle and fast girls slow to a crawl. She went after her “like a predator in search of her prey”, working the midriff with merciless efficiency every time she got in range. By the third round, winged and winded, the Colombian’s fragility was evident, and the Tigress finished her ‘with a flourish’.

She fell for the first time in her own corner. The referee gave her an eight count and waved the fight on. A sandstorm of punches and she fell again, this time at Acuña’s feet. No towel, although the youngster’s despair was obvious. Another flurry, and the referee stopped the contest as Miranda hit the canvas for the third time.

This, according to most sources, was the first time the Colombian had ever been defeated. The record they were claiming was 10-0-0 with 5 KOs, but some reports had it at 14-0-1, and two, even, at 13-3-0. Perhaps the defeats, if they happened at all, were at the hands of girls outside her weight category, in which case, I agree, they shouldn’t count, but this time it was a fair contest.


The war was won and lost elsewhere.

“She’s seen the videos,” said Acuña in Miranda’s hearing on Thursday. “She knows what she’s got coming.”

Miranda, a tall, shy twenty-year-old, who had told reporters she becomes a ‘wild animal’ when she climbs into the ring, replied quietly that it was ‘in God’s hands’.






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