Marcela Acuña

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Marcela Eliana Acuña
Tigresa Acuña -presidenciagovar -3MAY07.jpg
Real name Marcela Eliana Acuña
Nickname(s) La Tigresa
Rated at Super Bantamweight[1]
Height 5 ft 4.5 in (163.8 cm)[1]
Nationality Argentina Argentina[1]
Born (1976-10-16) October 16, 1976 (age 40)
Formosa, Argentina
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 48
Wins 41
Wins by KO 18
Losses 6
Draws 1
No contests 0

Marcela Eliana Acuña (born October 16, 1976 in Formosa) is an Argentine female boxer, and part-time politician who is nicknamed La Tigresa. Her mother wished for Acuña to become a ballerina, but that was never Acuña's dream.

Acuña enjoyed boxing from a very early age. At the age of seven, she visited a boxing gym for the first time. Her first trainer, Ramon Chaparro, would many years later become her husband.

Marcela Acuña became an accomplished martial arts fighter before she decided to box for money. At the age of twelve, she had earned a black belt and she became South America's champion in her division by the age of fourteen. She made sixteen successful title defenses.

She had to retire from karate due to pregnancy. In 1995, she and Chaparro had their first son. After some time away from combat sports, Acuña decided that she would return, only this time, she would compete in boxing.

Like Rafael Lovera, Pete Rademacher, and a few others before her, Acuña got a world title try on her very first match. On December 5, 1997, she was matched against WBC women's world champion Christy Martin, in Pompano Beach, Florida, in an undercard that was headlined by Johnny Tapia's world championship defense against Puerto Rico's Andy Agosto and which was shown nationally across the United States. Acuña was dropped in round ten, but she rose and finished the bout on her feet. Despite losing a unanimous decision by scores of 100-90 and 99-90 (twice), Acuña's performance was hailed by many fans and critics alike, considering that this was her first professional boxing bout.

In a very unusual case, Acuña also got a world title try on her second fight. This time, she met Lucia Rijker on September 25, 1998, at Ledyard, Connecticut. This fight was contested for the Women's International Boxing Organization (WIBO) world Jr. Welterweight title. Acuña was knocked out in five rounds.

This would prove to be a critical point in Acuña's boxing career. Controversy spread around the women's boxing world because a woman with no previous boxing experience had been given two world title tries in a row, something that had never even happened in men's boxing. Many defended the choice of putting Acuña against world champions right away, based on her karate record of 17 wins, 1 loss and 1 draw (tie). But, on the other side, other fans and critics felt it was inappropriate and degrading to the sport that someone with no previous experience would be put in against fighters of the quality of Martin and Rijker right away.

The controversy, combined with the fact that she had lost her two fights up until then, convinced Acuña to retire. Apart from the disappointment she felt after those two losses and the controversy surrounding them, she had also given birth to her second son before the fight with Rijker, and she wanted to tend to her children.


Acuña returned to boxing in 2001, and she and her rival, Jamillia Lawrence of New Jersey, made Argentine boxing history when they participated in the first ever women's boxing fight to be sanctioned by the Argentine boxing commission. Acuña got her first win, with a four-round split decision over the American at Buenos Aires, on February 12 of that year.

On June 1, she obtained a six-round unanimous decision win over Luz Marina Sanabria Ledesma of Colombia, at Formosa.

Twenty eight days later, she got her first knockout win, when she defeated Uruguay's Andrea Pereyra in only two rounds.

On August 11, she returned to Buenos Aires, to defeat Yolanda Marrugo, dropping her twice, on her way to a six-round unanimous decision.

On September 21, she fought at Carlos Monzón's birthplace, Santa Fe, when she was rematched with Pereyra. Acuña knocked out Pereyra in five rounds, and Pereyra required hospitalization after this fight. Acuña was awarded the "La Opinion's 80th anniversary" trophy that night.

On October 12, she knocked out Ana Dos Santos in two rounds, for her last appearance of 2001.


Her first fight of 2002 was preceded by much media hype. She was challenged by famous fitness instructor Patricia Quirico, who herself was making her professional debut when she boxed Acuña.

If for nothing else, the fight was widely expected because Quirico was a well known personality with developed body strength, who helped fan interest for the fight develop when she began to threaten Acuña through the media. Although she was 40 years old already, she seemed to feel an authentic dislike towards Acuña, and fans across Argentina spoke about the fight on the weeks prior to the event. The fact Quirico had participated in twenty three exhibition matches, as well as in karate and baseball also helped fan interest grow.

They met on January 19, 2002, at Buenos Aires. Acuña scored one of the quickest knockouts in boxing history, when she landed a right to Quirico's chin right after the first bell rang, and followed it with a left that sent Quirico to the floor. Quirico was counted out and Acuña officially won the fight at fourteen seconds of round one. The win earned her the Argentine Featherweight title.

On March 1, she had to fight one of her closest friends, Carmen Montiel, to defend her Argentina title. Acuña outpointed Montiel over ten rounds. Next, she would have had her third world title try, on April 6 against Panama's Damaris Pinock Ortega, for the vacant WIBA title. The 2002 Argentine economic crisis, however, forced for the fight to be postponed.

On June 29, she and Montiel had a rematch, and Acuña again prevailed, by an eight-round unanimous decision.

Acuña then lost weight, going down all the way to the Super Bantamweight division to get her third try at becoming a world champion. In what was the first ever women's boxing world championship fight to be staged in Argentina, Acuña lost a split decision to champion Alicia Ashley.


Acuña then decided to take another two-year lay-off, but she had also decided to stay around the Super Bantamweight division's weight limit, because she wanted to fight in that division from there on. And when she returned for the second time, on February 21, 2003, she knocked out former Regina Halmich challenger Lourdes Gonzalez in two rounds to win the Argentine Super Bantamweight title.

On May 10, she fought in a place where boxing matches are rare: Tierra del Fuego, where she knocked out Ana Davila Ferreira in two rounds.

Then came a rematch with Ashley. On her fourth world title try, Acuña lost to Ashley for the second time, this time by a ten-round unanimous decision, on June 14.

On August 22, she and her friend Carmen Montiel met for the third time, and Acuña again beat Montiel on points, this time in six rounds. This victory set up the stage for Acuña's fifth world title try. It should be mentioned that few boxers who have tried for the world title four times without success have been given a fifth try in boxing history, so a fifth chance at becoming world champion could be considered a privilege in boxing.

On December 6, she and Panamanian Pinock Ortega finally got to meet, and Acuña became world champion when she knocked out Ortega in the sixth round for the vacant WIBA Super Bantamweight title.


On May 26, 2004, she made her first world championship defense, knocking out Daysi Padilla in the first round. Padilla, who had former world champion Ricardo Cardona at her corner, also required a short stay at a hospital.

On September 11, Acuña knocked out Ana Camilla Santos in the third round of a non-title bout.


On January 22, 2005, she knocked out Maria Elena Miranda in three rounds to win the WIBA's vacant world Featherweight title, at Formosa.

Marcela Acuña holds a record of 41 wins, 6 losses, and 1 draw, with 18 knockout wins.


She is fourth on the Peronist list running for city council in Tres de Febrero Partido.[2]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

  • 2013-2014 – WBO super bantamweight title (2 defenses)[1]
  • 2012 – WBC Silver super bantamweight title (1 defenses)[1]
  • 2012 – AOCA / Awakening Outstanding Contribution Award[3]
  • 2008-2010 - WBC super bantamweight title (4 defenses)[1]
  • 2006-2008 - WBA super bantamweight title (5 defenses)[1]
  • 2005 – WIBA featherweight title (1 defense)[1]
  • 2003 – WIBA super bantamweight title (1 defense)[1]
  • 2003 – Argentina (FAB) super bantamweight title[1]
  • 2002 – Argentina (FAB) featherweight title (1 defense)[1]

Professional boxing record[edit]

41 Wins (18 knockouts), 6 Losses (1 knockout), 1 Drawn[4]
Res. Record Opponent Type Round
Date Location Notes
Win 41–6-1 Mexico Estrella Valverde TKO 6 2014–03–28 Argentina Anfiteatro Municipal
Villa María, Córdoba, Argentina
For WBO female super bantamweight title
Win 40–6-1 Brazil Halanna Dos Santos UD 10 2013–10–25 Uruguay Club Salto Uruguayo
Salto, Uruguay
Won vacant WBO female super bantamweight title
Win 39–6-1 Puerto Rico Melissa Hernandez UD 10 2013–07–13 Argentina Club Defensores de Villa Luján
San Miguel de Tucumán, Argentina
Win 38–6-1 Argentina Edith Soledad Matthysse UD 10 2013–05–10 Argentina Auditorio Presidente Néstor Kirchner, Mercado Central
Tapiales, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Draw 37–6-1 Argentina Yesica Marcos SD 10 2013–01–25 Argentina Teatro Griego Juan Pablo II,
San Martín, Mendoza
For WBA and WBO
Super bantamweight titles.
Loss 37–6 Argentina Carolina Duer UD 10 2012–12–21 Argentina Club Universitario,
La Plata, Buenos Aires
Win 37–5 Argentina Betiana Viñas TD 9 (10) 2012–08–17 Argentina Club Caja Popular,
San Miguel, Tucumán
Retained WBC Silver
Super bantamweight title.
Win 36–5 Mexico María Elena Villalobos UD 10 2012–05–19 Argentina Salón de los Bomberos Voluntarios,
General Villegas, Buenos Aires
Won vacant WBC Silver
Super bantamweight title.
Win 35–5 Brazil Rosilette dos Santos TKO 10 (10)
2010–08–20 Argentina Estadio Polideportivo Cincuentenario,
Formosa, Formosa
Retained WBC
Super bantamweight title.
Win 34–5 Mexico María Elena Villalobos UD 10 2010–04–10 Argentina Ce. De. M. No. 2,
Caseros, Buenos Aires
Retained WBC
Super bantamweight title.
Win 33–5 Jamaica Alicia Ashley MD 10 2009–08–20 Argentina Luna Park, Buenos Aires Retained WBC
Super bantamweight title.
Win 32–5 Mexico Jackie Nava UD 10 2009–04–30 Argentina Luna Park, Buenos Aires Retained WBC
Super bantamweight title.
Win 31–5 Argentina Alejandra Oliveras UD 10 2008–12–04 Argentina Luna Park, Buenos Aires Retained WBA and won WBC
Super bantamweight titles.
Win 30–5 Colombia Paulina Cardona RTD 5 (8)
2008–10–10 Argentina Ce. De. M. No. 2,
Caseros, Buenos Aires
Win 29–5 Canada Danielle Bouchard UD 10 2008–07–03 Argentina Luna Park, Buenos Aires Retained WBA
Super bantamweight title.
Win 28–5 Colombia Anays Gutierrez Carrillo RTD 3 (10)
2008–05–15 Argentina Sociedad Española,
San Luis, San Luis
Win 27–5 Brazil Adriana Salles UD 8 2008–02–04 Uruguay Conrad Hotel & Casino,
Punta del Este, Maldonado
Win 26–5 Argentina Claudia Lopez UD 8 2007–10–27 Argentina Ce. De. M. No. 2,
Caseros, Buenos Aires
Win 25–5 Argentina María del Carmen Potenza TD 6 (10) 2007–06–29 Argentina Club Sportivo America,
Rosario, Santa Fe
Win 24–5 Mexico Yazmin Rivas UD 10 2007–04–20 Argentina Andes Talleres Sport Club,
Godoy Cruz, Mendoza
Retained WBA
Super bantamweight title.
Win 23–5 Argentina Maria del Carmen Potenza MD 10 2007–01–27 Uruguay Conrad Hotel & Casino,
Punta del Este, Maldonado
Win 22–5 Dominican Republic Maribel Santana RTD 2 (10)
2006–12–15 Argentina Ce. De. M. No. 2,
Caseros, Buenos Aires
Retained WBA
Super bantamweight title.
Win 21–5 Colombia Paola Herrera TKO 1 (10) 2006–10–14 Argentina Luna Park, Buenos Aires Retained WBA
Super bantamweight title.
Win 20–5 Colombia Anays Gutierrez Carrillo UD 10 2006–08–12 Argentina Ce. De. M. No. 2,
Caseros, Buenos Aires
Won vacant WBA
Super bantamweight title.
Loss 19–5 Australia Sharon Anyos UD 10 2005–10–22 Australia Gold Coast Convention Centre,
Broadbeach, Queensland
For vacant WBC Featherweight title.
Win 19–4 Colombia Yolis Franco UD 8 2005–06–24 Argentina Club Gimnasia y Esgrima,
Ituzaingó, Buenos Aires
Win 18–4 Colombia Nerys Rincon RTD 2 (10)
2005–05–14 Argentina Ce. De. M. No. 2,
Caseros, Buenos Aires
Retained WIBA
Featherweight title.
Win 17–4 Colombia Maria Miranda TKO 3 (10)
2005–01–22 Argentina Club Centenario,
Formosa, Formosa
Won vacant WIBA
Featherweight title.
Win 16–4 Brazil Miura Ferreira TKO 3 (4) 2004–09–11 Argentina Polideportivo Municipal Carlos Cerutti,
Córdoba, Córdoba
Win 15–4 Brazil Monica Sabino Barbosa TKO 4 (8) 2004–07–02 Argentina Club Caja Popular,
San Miguel, Tucumán
Win 14–4 Colombia Daysi Padilla TKO 1 (10)
2004–05–26 Argentina Luna Park, Buenos Aires Retained WIBA
Super bantamweight title.
Win 13–4 Panama Damaris Pinock Ortega TKO 6 (10)
2003–12–06 Argentina Luna Park, Buenos Aires Won vacant WIBA
Super bantamweight title.
Win 12–4 Panama María del Carmen Montiel UD 6 2003–08–22 Argentina Club Ciclista Juninense,
Junín, Buenos Aires
Loss 11–4 Jamaica Alicia Ashley UD 10 2003–06–14 Argentina Estadio República de Venezuela,
Bolívar, Buenos Aires
For vacant WIBF
Super bantamweight title.
Win 11–3 Brazil Miura Ferreira TKO 5 (6) 2003–05–10 Argentina Polideportivo Carlos Margalot,
Río Grande, Tierra del Fuego
Win 10–3 Argentina Lourdes Gonzalez TKO 2 (10) 2003–02–20 Argentina Estadio República de Venezuela,
Bolívar, Buenos Aires
Won vacant Argentine
Super bantamweight title.
Loss 9–3 Jamaica Alicia Ashley SD 10 2002–11–15 Argentina Orfeo Superdomo,
Córdoba, Córdoba
For vacant WIBF
Super bantamweight title.
Win 9–2 Argentina Maria del Carmen Montiel UD 8 2002–06–29 Argentina Río Gallegos, Santa Cruz
Win 8–2 Argentina Maria del Carmen Montiel UD 10 2002–03–01 Argentina Club Olimpia,
Paraná, Entre Ríos
Retained Argentine
Featherweight title.
Win 7–2 Argentina Patricia Quirico KO 1 (10)
2002–01–19 Argentina Estadio F. A. B., Buenos Aires Won vacant Argentine
Featherweight title.
Win 6–2 Brazil Ana dos Santos KO 2 (6)
2001–10–12 Argentina Estadio Centenario,
Formosa, Formosa
Win 5–2 Uruguay Andrea Pereira Maciel KO 5 (6)
2001–09–21 Argentina Club Sportivo Ben Hur,
Rafaela, Santa Fe
Win 4–2 Colombia Yolis Marrugo Franco UD 6 2001–08–11 Argentina Estadio Malvinas Argentinas,
Mendoza, Mendoza
Win 3–2 Uruguay Andrea Pereira Maciel TKO 2 (4)
2001–06–30 Argentina Club Rivadavia,
Necochea, Buenos Aires
Win 2–2 Colombia Luz Sarabia UD 6 2001–06–02 Argentina Estadio Centenario,
Formosa, Formosa
Win 1–2 United States Jamillia Lawrence SD 4 2001–04–28 Argentina Estadio F. A. B., Buenos Aires
Loss 0–2 Netherlands Lucia Rijker KO 5 (10)
1998–09–25 United States Foxwoods Resort Casino,
Ledyard, Connecticut
For vacant IBO
Light welterweight title.
Loss 0–1 United States Christy Martin UD 10 1997–12–05 United States Pompano Beach Amphitheater,
Pompano Beach, Florida

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Marcela Eliana Acuña Awakening Profile". Retrieved 2016-02-10. 
  2. ^ The Wall Street Journal
  3. ^ "Awakening Outstanding Contribution Award". Retrieved 2016-02-10. 
  4. ^ "Marcela Acuña Professional boxing record". 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Inaugural Champion
WBA Super bantamweight Champion
August 12, 2006 – January 20, 2010
Title next held by
Lisa Brown
Preceded by
Alejandra Oliveras
WBC Super bantamweight Champion
December 4, 2008 – 2010
Title next held by
Alicia Ashley