Argentinean Jewish boxer retains her world title for sixth time

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) — Argentina’s Carolina Raquel “The Turk” Duer defended her World Boxing Organization’s super flyweight champion title in an event held with the support of the Argentinean government.


Making the six defense of her title, the Argentinean Jewish boxer, 34, of Buenos Aires, defeated her fellow countryman Marisa Portillo by five points on Oct. 26 in a unanimous decision.

The match marks growing support for “The Turk” both from fans and the federal government. The fight was announced in newspapers ads paid for by the government with the “National Presidency” logo and the motto “Argentina, a country with good people” printed on it. The venue was a public park and included an exhibition about local technology and industries organized by the federal government, called “Tecnopolis.” The crowd surged to 4,000, a record in her career.

Duer, the first Jewish woman to hold a World Boxing Organization title, won by 97-92 and raised her professional record to 13-3.

“It was a very difficult fight. I dedicate this victory to Cristina (the Argentinean president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner) and to the memory of Nestor Kirchner because tomorrow is the second anniversary of his death; I think that the government is continuing his way very well,” she said on National Public TV after the fight. National Public Television covered the fight live, and broadcast it free to the entire country under a federal program designed to make satellite television more accessible.

The president of the National System of Radio and TV, Tristan Bauer, said his agency will continue to support Duer.

Known as “The Turk,” Duer is the daughter of Syrian immigrants to Argentina. She attended the capital’s Jaim Najman Bialik Primary School, celebrated her bat mitzvah at a Conservative synagogue, and spent more than a month in Israel working on a kibbutz and touring the country. On weekends she went to the local Maccabi club and attended Jewish summer camp.

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