Mayerlin Rivas retained the World Boxing Association 122 lbs. absolute title in a draw against boxer Nazarena Romero in one of the most important fights of the KO Drugs held at the Buenos Aires Casino on its second day last Saturday.
This clash turned out to be a very interesting attraction for the passionate Argentinean public. Two very marked styles were put on display; while Romero was constantly advancing, shortening her distance to break the guard and connect with power, the champion kept moving with counter-punching posture, using the length of her arms to handle the jab to keep the challenger away and using the block to defend the offense. A clear game of chess.
With both strategies well marked, Romero was able to arrive with force despite taking some blows as a gift in her bid to cut back and arrive. But this paid off. So much so, that by the third round she managed to put the champion on her knees on the canvas with a deep cross to the chin. Mayerlin Rivas heard referee Jean-Robert Laine’s count with her fist holding her on the ground until she managed to get back up just before the third man in the ring completed his count.
Rivas got back to her feet and continued fighting, however, resisting the onslaught of a glory-hungry Nazarena Romero. Then, Romero also fell sitting down, but without receiving a count because the referee did not consider a power punch to be responsible for Romero’s fall, but rather a slip. So the contest went on…
A real war that brought the whole stadium to its feet. But unfortunately, an accidental clash of heads in a cross, made the fight had to be stopped: Nazarena got a pronounced cut over the left eye that led to the stoppage of the fight and a technical decision with judges’ scorecards of: 44-50, 48-46 and 47-47.
Thus, the judges decreed a draw that made the Venezuelan Mayerlin Rivas remain the world champion.