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Olszewski, Fuentes Battle to Draw in Brooklyn
by Bernie McCoy
September 6, 2014
Photo: Facebook


(SEPT 6)  Christina Fuentes has traveled from Laredo, TX to New York twice this year. She came to fight; more accurately to box professionally, each time against better known, higher ranked, favored opponents.

Photo by Christy Cappillino/Heather Hardy vs. Mandy Fuentes

In February Fuentes stepped in against Heather Hardy, the current "hot" New York female fighter, in the main event of what was the curtain call for Roseland Ballroom as a boxing venue. Fuentes lost a razor thin decision. 

Photo by Uprising Promotions/Eileen Olszewski vs. Mandy Fuentes

On Friday night at the Brooklyn Masonic Temple, the Laredo fighter was matched with current IFBA flyweight titleholder, Eileen Olszewski, in a non-title bout, and after eight back/forth, bell/bell action rounds came away with a split draw against the talented Olszewski. In boxing, as with most sports, it's tough to win a "road" game and Fuentes is a prime case study of that premise. Either of the two decisions could have gone to either fighter, but Fuentes heads back to Laredo without a win but not without a tip of the cap from the usually hard-to-please New York fight fans.

The Olszewski/Fuentes bout was the main event on Ronson Frank's Uprising Promotions six bout professional card at the overheated Brooklyn Masonic Temple in Fort Greene section of the Borough of Churches. The program kicked off with four amateur bouts (one female) as appetizer for a sold out house of sweating fans packing both levels of the 107 year old stone structure which was overmatched by the early September heat and humidity, not being endowed with modern day cooling apparatus. But the fans were treated to a fast moving card, the highlights of which were a six round bout between local battlers Italy Martinez and Ian James and the capper on the evening, Olszewski and Fuentes.

Fuentes started fast taking the fight to the IFBA champ in the first two rounds and while Olszewski adjusted in the third stanza, Fuentes left hooks to the body and head gave her the edge after the first three rounds. Olszewski's adjustments, on offense and defense, led to her scoring effectively on the inside although Fuentes would meet each surge of offense with a rejoining reply of her own. Rounds four and five were very close and each fighter could probably claim one of the two rounds; which fighter and which round was probably a case of too close to call.

Olszewski, realizing she was behind on any reasonable scorecard, stepped up the pace in the last three rounds, getting off first with her jabs, bulling Fuentes into the corners and the ropes, but the game Texan stayed with the New Yorker and while the sixth and eighth rounds were clearly Olszewski, the seventh round was a close call. The bout ended with both fighters in the middle of the ring trying to squeeze whatever was left in their offensive arsenals in before the end. After the bell, both corners hoisted their fighters into the air in a celebratory salute of victory and there was a judge at ringside who agreed with each of the corners: Frank Lombardi scored it 78-74 Olszewski, Tom Schreck had it 77-75 Fuentes and Eric Marlinski called it even 76-76. Lombardi had six rounds for Olszewski, and two for Fuentes, while Marlinski called those two "even" rounds for Fuentes. Schreck had it 5-3 in rounds for Fuentes. It was that close and in the final analysis, the split draw seemed to me to be the right call.  Official Scorecard of Judges/PDF

Olszewski who came to the bout at 112.2 pounds has her record go to 9-5-3, while Fuentes, 113.4 is now 3-6-4. Eileen Olszewski, showing no sign of her 45 years, continues to look forward to what has already been a standout career in the flyweight/bantamweight ranks. Christina Fuentes returns to Laredo without the satisfaction of a win, but with an overload of plaudits from New York fight fans for her willingness to go where the tough fights are and as an affirmation that it's sometimes important to look beyond a fighter's W/L record.

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