When women started to attract attention, to dethrone prejudices, to jump into action, the World Boxing Association started to recognize them. Marcela “La Tigresa” Acuña was the first Argentine female boxer to wear the Super Bantamweight division black and gold belt when she triumphed unanimously over Anays Gutierrez Carrillo on August 12th, 2006.
Acuna has a history of courage. She was born and raised in the province of Formosa in the heart of a humble and hard-working family. Her mother had her take Spanish dance classes, since she was a child, until one day, Marcela left the rhythm of palms and heels to train in a Full Contact and Karate gym with her brother.
After becoming a champion in those disciplines, her trainer, Ramon, who later became her husband, decided to try boxing and in December 5th, 1997, she fought her first professional fight in front of the emblematic Christy Martin in the United States and then the following year she fought against Lucia Rijker. She lost in both fights. However, her performance left a great impression.
In 2001, female boxing was approved in Argentina and Marcela Acuña was the first to receive the license to start fighting in the country. Despite the obstacles she faced in her career and in her personal life, she has always kept her goal clear: “I was so focused on becoming a World Champion and being acknowledged that, no matter how much I felt hurt or overwhelmed in certain situations, I would dry up my tears, put on my makeup again and gather strength to go out and fight”.
At 43 she is still a World Champion. She has fought many great battles, the most recent being that revenge last year on Mexican soil against Jackie Nava. “Boxing is a great passion for me, something that marked my life. Maybe if it hadn’t been so hard for me, I wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much as I did. Many people ask me why I keep suffering with training, but for me this is being alive, I enjoy it very much”. With these words, she is making it clear that there’s still time for La Tigresa.
After winning the vacant WBA Super Bantamweight title, she successfully defended it against Paola Herrera, Maribel Santana, Yazmin Rivas and Danielle Bouchard. In 2008, she marked a milestone in her career by unifying her WBA and WBC Super Bantamweight titles in a memorable battle against Alejandra “Locomotora” Oliveras, in the mythical Luna Park Stadium. And later she defeated Mayra Gomez again to win the WBA Interim Featherweight title, achievements that were accompanied the recognition of oldest boxing organization in the world.