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Belinda Laracuente
vs.
Christy Martin

3 March 2000

Fight reviews from
the Women's Boxing Page
open Forum

Introduction

On March 3, 2000 at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada, Christy Martin (140 lbs) of Orlando Florida won a controversial majority eight-round decision over Belinda Laracuente (140 lbs) of Puerto Rico.

Some in the crowd booed the decision as judges Carol Castellano and Patricia Jarman-Manning had it 77-75 for Martin, and judge Dave Moretti had it 76-76.

Martin moved to 39-2-2 in a fight in which she was generally the aggressor but was often beaten to the punch as Laracuente landed telling blows to Martin's head while backing up. When Martin tried to punch in flurries she had trouble finding the range, while Laracuente showed textbook skills at getting in, doing damage, then getting out quickly. Martin admitted after the fight that Laracuente was "probably the best skilled boxer, mover and runner I have seen". Laracuente, who is now 17-4-1, said she was "totally sure" she won the fight, adding "I beat up the old lady".

My mail at the Women's Boxing Page was heavily for Belinda, while Christy's hometown sportswriter George Diaz (who recently wrote that women's boxing is "a pathetic waste of our time") attributes some of her problems in this fight to a swollen right foot from the fracas with Lucia Rijker earlier in the week. (Assistant trainer Jeff Bailey accidentally stepped on Martin`s foot, according to Diaz.) Martin received $100,000 while Laracuente was paid $15,000 for the fight.

Here's what Women's Boxing Page visitors said about this fight and the decision ...

Ryan Wissow (pro boxer)

Belinda Laracuente got ripped off tonight. I like Christy Martin a lot, and I'm not gonna say anything bad about her. She went out there and fought the best she could. It was very predictable that Belinda got ripped off, because now they can heavily promote the Christy Martin - Lucia Rijker fight, which I look forward to seeing, because that should be an exciting fight and a good clash of styles. But the bottom line is that Christy did not win the fight tonight. If they scored it a draw, I wouldn't have had too much of a problem with it, although I felt Belinda deserved the win. But with a draw they could've still gone ahead with the Martin-Rijker fight, and it wouldn't have given Belinda an "L" that she didn't deserve. You knew that Christy wasn't gonna lose a decision in Vegas, that's why I could've lived with the fight scored a draw, although Belinda dominated the fight, and the people at home saw for themselves what transpired in the ring. Laracuente did not lose tonight. I feel bad for her, but she expected something like this to happen with the judges (and rightfully so). To hell with the judges. The whole world was watching. They know.

Rick Kulis (promoter - Event Sports)

Once again the judges in Nevada saw a payday and not a fight. This was the worst decision in women's boxing. Martin never hit her. Rijker in attendance and the judges absent as planned. Boxing in general got screwed again tonight. And Rijker is Martin's post interview BS. Belinda represented women's boxing well, she beat the hell out Martin and that's the truth.

Las Vegas is a money town and once they see a pay day in the works they usually come down on the side of cow with the milk. Tonight that cow was Martin, since they know Rijker is ready and both are willing. Laracuente means nothing to the Las Vegas crowd and so goodbye Belinda, don't let the door hit you in the ass as you board the plane. What Nevada keeps forgetting is that these robberies (Barrera the last victim) are caught on tape (videotape) in thousands of homes. To Showtime's credit Albert, Pacheco et al. called it what it was ... a highjacking (as if we couldn't see it with our own eyes). At least Belinda showed the audience what women's boxing is all about and that the business has passed Martin (and I would bet Rijker, too) by.

Madison Mari

When I bought the fight I and everyone at my house watching were going to cheer for Martin (yeah, I like Martin - anyone want to argue about that too? LOL). I had never seen Belinda fight and only knew her name because of this web site.

But Belinda came out there and wowed everyone at my house! Belinda ducked 99% of Martin's punches and then would come up and nail Martin with combos! It was so exciting. Believe me when I tell you Belinda moved like Muhammad Ali! She was such a beautiful fighter. Belinda won every round convincingly plus they aired Martin in the corner asking her trainer "Have I won any rounds yet?" Even Martin knew she wasn't winning!!!!!!

So yeah, it did shock me when they announced Martin the winner! I still like Martin but she did lose.

As a side note: how interesting that America Presents/Rijker and DKP/Martin met this weekend to negotiate the Rijker/Martin bout. A better fight would be Rijker vs Belinda.

Hey Belinda you were great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Pebbles

Hell yeah, that was a highway robbery! Belinda is clearly the better fighter and have great skills...Don King is always rigging sh*t!!!!

Cyn

Belinda showed us what a real champ is made of. I just wonder where the judges were at during it. You could tell that Mr. King was in Christy's corner.

ZIGzaged

Christy Martin misses by a mile! (click for larger version)After all the hype, between Martin and Rijker, all Christy had to do was stay on her feet, until the end of the fight to win. I saw this one coming. Heck this ain't the first time. Didn't Laura Serrano get robbed too? It makes you wonder how Sumya Anani ever got a decision over Mrs. Martin. I guess it proves the old adage, it's not how good you are, its who you know ...

One good thing may come out of the fight ... Christy's marketability isn't what it was before the fight. Now she and Rijker are moving toward a showdown. Speaking for myself, I'd rather see Laracuente fight Rijker, instead of Martin, that would be a much more competitive fight. In other words, Don King gave Christy the ball, and she dropped it ......

ZRS Boxing (trainer)

Does anyone have a problem with King owning Christy and Belinda?? Seems weird to me....

Mike Lockhart

Maybe Martin needs to get in shape before she fights again. She is a sore loser. Her butt was kicked last night.....

Mimi

They robbed Belinda Laracuente in Las Vegas. Of course they gave it to Christy because she's the money in the ring and Don King is involved. This is why no one will ever take women's boxing seriously! Something has to change. Christy never threw a straight jab, her other punches didn't have anything behind them. It was sad.

Walter Llamas

I couldn't believe what happened last night when the judges gave the fight to that old woman. It seems that you can't have a fair and decent decision if Don King is behind the business. I personally know Belinda since she was 14 years old, and she is a determined person and everything she does is done from the heart. I know that she won that fight, Martin's head looked like a punching bag. Belinda really gave a boxing lesson to the Martin. Belinda you know that you are number one!!

Lori Steinhorst (trainer)

Does anyone know how much Don King paid to buy Christy Martin that fight?

Dan Cucich

A better question: How much did all these gullible fans pay for Mr. King's PPV, and just what did they expect anyway? The same folks will also buy Martin vs Rijker. And while I have no idea how it will be choreographed, I can predict now that those who buy it will be on this board afterward grumbling ... and inexplicably, hankering for the rematch, anticipating something great ... like Charlie Brown kicking the football that always gets jerked away at the last moment. Surely, we should all have known that Martin wouldn't lose a bout that would take the anticipation and enthusiasm (dollars) from the impending Rijker match.

That's the problem with big money. Contrary to the accepted dogma of this board, it won't help women's boxing. The sport is already developing into a two tiered system, with the Blackshears/Sidoroffs on the lower level, and the famous daughters, etc, getting enormous (by female boxing standards) purses fighting Ashtabula Girls, etc. .. or each other. eventually.

Buy your PPV's from the folks who gave us Blackshear vs Sidoroff.

Deborah Nichols (pro boxer)

Deborah NicholsI agree Belinda got robbed. It is something women boxing does not deserve. We got off to such a wonderful start and things like this and Mia hurt our accomplishments. The one who put it in the headlines in a positive way, just took a lot away. The point I would like to stress is, at least Christy stole in the ring. Mia is stealing from me out of the ring. See the connection?

Mary Ann Owen (photojournalist, took this weigh-in picture!)

Martin and Laracuente at weigh-in (click for larger version)I was at the fight. Laracuente is a polished fighter. She outboxed Martin and turned her around slipping punches and counter punching beautifully. She fought a smart fight, not standing in front of Martin. Martin was throwing her bombs and getting frustrated because Laracuente slipped them and tagged Martin right in the chops! Martin is a tough gal but not the best in her weight class. Most of her past opponents did not have the ring experience or much lighter than Martin. I believe Laracuente should have won the fight.

At least the fight was exciting (not a mismatch) and the fans were cheering, it was a good display of boxing and maybe the promoters will put more of the females on their cards. I don't think we saw the last of Belinda " Brown Sugar" Laracuente, she is a good role model for female boxing and I applaud her, she is one heck of a fighter. She is a classy young lady. I would like to see a rematch.

D. Crawford

I watched the boxing match between Christy and Belinda, and I believe that the judges got paid off. The judges knew that Belinda won that fight and they should be honest. Belinda put a beating on Christy and the judges knew it along with Don King. They all should be horsewhipped for making a call like that. Is Christy hurting for money or what? Give recognition where it's due.

Tom De Napoli

The fight looked choreographed, almost like Christy and Belinda sparred prior to the fight. Also, it seemed determined from the outset ... even the ring announcers (Bobby Czyz is the only one worth listening to) were down on Christy from the beginning.

A couple of points that nobody has spoke about:

  1. It is very very hard to be judged the winner when you run. A fact of judging: the chasing fighter is favored, either out of ring generalship or he/she can be considered effectively aggressive simply because the other fighter looks scared as hell.
  2. Christy whacked Belinda's body and did it often. Body shots hurt today and hurt worse tomorrow. Belinda complained of being out of breath ... was it from running or getting her sides blasted ... or both?
  3. Christy can still make a fight ... and she comes to bang and that makes a very watchable bout ... even against a runner. She needs to learn how to cut the ring ... straight lines don't work against a track star.
  4. The rematch was set up beforehand.
  5. Belinda made a name for herself, but runners are not fighters that I pay to watch.
To the DK haters ... he did a crime and served his time ... and since, has had many a run in with many a boxer. Mike Tyson's forensic accountant was amazed at what DK billed to MT. But I have Bridgett Riley's word that Don did everything for her that he said he would. This might have changed and may shake out differently but when a fighter says they are treated respectfully and according to their agreement, well to me that says a lot more than cheap King bashers who want to punish Don over and over again.

This is not a defense of DK but more of a question of fairness. It's obvious that many people here apply their hate of DK to Christy Martin in the ring or out.

Anyway ... I thought Martin vs. Laracuente was very hard to score as a "live" event. Watch the body shots on tape playback ... they count and they are very effective and they don't show up after the fight when every idiot announcer is talking about the lumps around the eyes. I do want to see Rijker vs. Martin and it will set the high water payday mark for women fighters. And that will be good ... no matter where the dough comes from.

By the way, DK puts on a far better show than Arum.

Rudy Hackl (boxing coach)

I was not impressed with this fight. Why is Laracuente complaining when she was the challenger but was on the run most of the time? I would think a challenger should be aggressive and show the desire to win the fight. Both girls looked rather chubby. Laracuente was gasping for air. Was she not informed that she was being paid for an eight rounder? I guess not. But I like your Women's Boxing Page.

Madison Mari (again, to coach Rudy)

"Coach"? Are you kidding me? Have you not heard of the strategy "stick and move?????" One of the greatest boxers of all time used that as his strategy - does Muhammad Ali ring a bell?? Belinda looked like the female version of Ali! Yes, Martin looked chubby, but Laracuente? Surely you jest!

Rudy Hackl (to Madison)

Do you honestly believe that I have never heard from stick and move? I saw too much moving and too little sticking in this particular fight. But it is a coach's duty to advise his fighter of the right balance for sticking and moving. Would Belinda's corner have told her better, there would have been no reason for the judges to give the fight to Christy.

Tom De Napoli (again, also to coach Rudy)

Coach Rudy! You are right! You can't win a fight by running away. And Belinda is no Ali ... the Great One moved, jabbed, dug in and let loose. But Belinda did the only she could do to stay awake. And she was far more tired than Christy at the end of the fight. And nobody ... but nobody ... counted the body shots. To me you can make this a draw as easily as a win for either fighter. Oscar learned his lesson ... you don't win fights running away from your opponent especially when his name is Trinidad ... D. Reid learned the same lesson this weekend.

Madison Mari (to Tom De Napoli)

Are you telling me that you did not see Martin's black eye or the cut underneath it? She put on sunglasses after the fight but anyone could see them before that.

Here's a proven medical fact for you - because women give birth, the stomach area for a woman is different then men, we're made to withstand a lot more punishment then men. This is something I'm sure a lot of men trainers don't understand as I'll bet few have even taken any sort of human anatomy, physiology, or kinesiology class. Look it up - it's Physiology 101. So while "body shots" might be great for a man, they're not so significant on a woman.

Enrique Heredero

I saw the Martin-Laracuente fight and I didn't see it as a robbery at all. In fact, I had Martin winning 77-74. The fight was much closer than the Showtime team advertised. I clearly remember Martin landing only to have the commentators ignore them. I don't blame the commentators because they call them like they see them, but I just didn't agree with them at all.

Laracuente landed the more impressive, artistic looking shots but I thought she landed them too far in between. Martin was busier and she landed her own fair share of shots. Granted, the shots weren't as "artistic" looking as those Lauracuente landed, but they were short, inside shots to the body and sometimes to the head.

This fight reminded me of another close, controversial fight: Larry Holmes-Maurice Harris. A lot of people seem to think Harris won, but I think Holmes was busier and eked out the decision. Same thing with Martin-Laracuente.

I think Martin was busier and through sheer activity and effective inside fighting, took the decision from Lauracuente.

Laracuente is a talented fighter and I think she would've won had she put a little bit more time into fighting than moving away from Martin. Laracuente clearly showed potential and I think she has a bright future in Women's boxing. Laracuente is also from Miami (like me), so I had a hometown comraderie for Laracuente when she got into the ring, but I have to be honest: I thought Martin did enough to win a close fight.

Maria Garcia

Not only because Belinda is my cousin, but because I think she is a great fighter and a great role model as a fighter. She did win this fight and I really do think that they should go at it a couple more times. Just to determine that Belinda is the best.

SL

The winner should always be based one fighter's effect on the other. Belinda used 'effective' movement and was able to land cleaner punches that had more 'effect' on Christy. Christy was aggressive ... but it wasn't really 'effective' aggression. Christy's aggression was more effective in getting her face pummeled more than anything else. Defense should also be considered in the judging when it's done 'effectively'. The primary objective in boxing is to hit 'effectively' and not get hit...Belinda gave Christy a boxing lesson.

Christy should get in shape and then maybe she could last a few rounds with Lucia or Fredia. She keeps talking about Lucia looking like a guy ... but it's actually called being in shape like an elite athlete should be. When Lucia's not in fighting/training gear and fixed up ... she makes Christy look like she should be sittin' in a trailer park, drinkin' beer, and eatin' Twinkies!

To check out more fight reports, complete up-to-date boxing records, with huge digital photos you can go to the WBAN Records Member Site

 

Original page: March 7, 2000
Photos by Mary Ann Owen and Sandy Goldberg
Page last updated:
Wednesday, June 9, 2004

 
     
     
     
     
 

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