(JUN 16) Last night at the Orleans Hotel
and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, Belinda Laracuente, 137, won the
GBU light welterweight title by a 12-round unanimous decision
(115/113, 115/113, 116/112) over a tough and gritty Melissa Del
Although neither Del Valle or Laracuente ever anticipated
encountering each other in the ring, there they were standing face
to face listening to the referee’s instructions. An earlier
commitment to each other, not to fight each other, due to a bond of
friendship, set aside.
standoff between the two
The first several rounds appeared
awkward for both of them and they struggled to work through whatever
issues this had created for them. It was no surprise when natural
instinct took over and both women began to exchange meaningful
Del Valle, who had a change of opponent and a long layoff from
boxing to deal with, came in with determination, and a 'no excuses'
attitude. Though not happy with either, she gave Laracuente a tough
time. Even with a long layoff, Del Valle is strong and talented.
However, this night belonged to Belinda Laracuente.
Laracuente has long been a Champion in this sport, and last night
she was awarded the belt that goes with the name. The inspiring
trainer who makes Champions is now the re-inspired Champion herself.
The strength and courage she carried in her heart, she is now
wearing around her waist.