Argentina’s Carolina Raquel “The Turk” Duer won the World Boxing Organization bantamweight title for first time on Friday.
Duer defeated another Argentine boxer, Mayra Alejandra Gomez, by unanimous decision (96-94, 98-92, 96-94) in the July 26 bout, achieving her second world boxing title. The Jewish boxer raised her professional record to 15-3.
Duer, 35, was previously the World Boxing Organization’s super flyweight champion, a title which she defended six times.
Known by her nickname, “The Turk,” Duer is the daughter of Syrian immigrants to Argentina. She attended the capital’s Jaim Najman Bialik Primary School and spent more than a month in Israel in her younger years working on a kibbutz and touring the country. On weekends she went to the local Maccabi club and attended Jewish summer camp.
“The Turk” is one of Argentina’s national attractions in sports. The country’s National Public Television covered the fight live and broadcast it free to the country under a federal program designed to make satellite television more accessible, including in a high-definition version.
As an amateur Duer won 19 of 20 fights. In 2007, she turned professional. Three years later she won the World Boxing Organization’s super flyweight title by defeating Italian Lorena Pedazza by decision.
Duer is the eighth Argentine woman to hold a World Boxing Organization boxing championship and the first Jewish one. But she is hardly the country’s first Jewish fighter. As in the United States, decades ago Jews were leading figures in the Latin American boxing world. In 1940, Argentina’s Jaime Averboch won the welterweight title but died the same year without defending his belt. Recently retired Mariano Plotinsky, known as “The Demolisher,” who fought with a Star of David on his shorts, held the World Boxing Organization’s Intercontinental title but lost his bid for a heavyweight class world title in 2010.