Argentinian lightweight Erica
Anabella "La Pantera" Farias was born on July 13 1984 in
Virreyes, Buenos Aires. She is one of seven children
of Luis Farias and the late Silvia Beatriz Carrasco.
She began boxing
training to help her lose weight as a gymnast,
then found herself attracted to the sport for its own sake. "I
felt the adrenaline running, I forgot everything inside and I felt so
free, that right there I told my dad Luis (but) my mother wanted
nothing to do with boxing." Farias had once
to study law but she took odd jobs to pay
boxing lessons and eventually began to compete as an amateur. "My mom did not know but my dad
was with me. Luckily I never went back home with my face
scarred", Farias told El
made her competitive debut as an amateur on December 10, 2005 against
Carolina Lopez. She went on to compete in the Pan American
championships in Buenos Aires in July 2006, where she defeated Paula
Santos of Brazil 25-14 in the 60-kg semifinal then won the
gold medal with a 22-12 decision over Carrie Barry of the United
She then fought in the 60-kg
division of the AIBA world championships in New Delhi, India in
November, 2006. She defeated Young Mi-An of Korea by RSCO-2
in her preliminary bout, Niluka Karunaratne of Sri Lanka by RSCO-2 in
the quarter-final, and Mitchel Martinez of the Philippines by 18-13 in
the semifinal but lost to Katie Taylor
of Ireland by a 31-14 margin in the tournament final. "I lost but I realized that I could
compete ... and I had to.", says Farias.
Farias's overall record as an
amateur boxer (where she was usually listed as "Anabella
Farias") was 18-2.
debut on July 25, 2009 at Estadio F.A.B. (Federación
Argentina de Box) in
Buenos Aires, weighing in at 131¾ lbs. She won a clear
unanimous (40-35,40-35,40-36) decision over the hard-charging but less
skilled Betiana Patricia Viñas (137½ lbs) of Nequeun,
Argentina. Viñas was knocked down and took a standing
eight count near the end of the first round (see photo) but she
gamely hung on to test the speedier Farias
in the later rounds.
Viñas fell to 1-1 as a pro boxer with the loss. [Video]
On August 15, 2009 at Estadio
F.A.B. in Buenos Aires, Erica (131½ lbs) TKO'd Marcela
Fernanda Mamani (135¼
lbs) of Salta, Argentina at 1:59 in the first round of scheduled
four-rounder after Mamani had taken a standing eight count.
Mamani fell to 2-1 (1 KO) with the loss.
On September 12, 2009 at Club
Municipal in Nogoya, Entre Rios, Argentina, Erica (129¾ lbs)
won a six-round unanimous decision over Paula Andrea Morales (129¾ lbs)
of Isidro Casanova, Buenos Aires, who fell to 1-3 with the loss.
On September 26, 2009 at
Estadio F.A.B. in Buenos Aires, Erica (133½ lbs) won an eight-round
unanimous (80-73,80-73,80-73½) decision over Maria Elena Maderna
(5′7½", 133¼ lbs) of Las Flores, Buenos Aires who fell to 4-6-2 (0
On October 11, 2009 at Estadio
F.A.B. in Buenos Aires, Erica (130½ lbs) won a six-round unanimous
(60-54½,60-53½,60-53) decision over Maria Eugenia Quiroga (130¾ lbs) of
Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina who fell to 2-3-1 (0 KO's).
On October 31, 2009
at Club Social y Deportivo in Beccar, Buenos Aires,
Erica (140¾ lbs) knocked out Silvia Beatriz Lescano (144¾ lbs) of
Curitiba, Brazil at 1:04 in the first round of a scheduled
eight-rounder, dropping Lescano's record to 7-5 (5 KO's).
On November 28, 2009 at Club
Atletico Echagüe in Parana, Entre Rios, Argentina, Erica (129¼
lbs) won the vacant South American Junior Lightweight title when she
TKO'd Vannessa Guimaraes (5′ 0½″,127¾
lbs) of Curitiba, Brazil at 1:43 in the first round of a scheduled
ten-rounder. Guimaraes fell to 7-2 (7 KO's) with the loss.
The furious fight pace that Farias kept
up during her ascent to the South American championship slowed as
she prepared for her first world title bout, a match for the
interim Lightweight title with experienced
veteran Darys Esther Pardo of Barranquilla, Colombia. On May
8, 2011 at Polideportivo
Troncos del Talar in El Talar de Pacheco, Buenos
Aires, Erica (134 lbs) controlled the action with her ring
movement and hand speed before she knocked
the Pardo (133½ lbs) out in the eighth round,
dropping the scrappy Colombian's record to 22-8-3 (17 KO's).
Farias's mother died from
complications of diabetes on July 10, 2010 and the loss redoubled her
determination to fight.
On September 17, 2010 at
Ce.De.C Nº 1 in San Fernando, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Erica
(132¾ lbs) defended the WBC interim Lightweight belt with a TKO of
Nicole Woods (134¾
lbs) of Stone Mountain, Georgia, USA at 1:40 in the second round of a
scheduled ten-rounder. Woods, who had been knocked down and
took an eight count early in
the second round, took a barrage of punches before the
stoppage and fell to 11-7-1 (3 KO's) with the loss. Farias has said
she was paid for the fight "in electrical appliances" for her home.
On February 25, 2011 at Estadio
Pedro Estremador in San Carlos de Bariloche, Rio Negro,
Erica (135 lbs) won her second defense of the WBC interim Lightweight
title when game but overmatched 17-year-old Jessica
Villafranca (133½ lbs) of Nicolas Romero, México retired
from the fight at the end of the sixth round. Villafranca, who
was knocked down
early in the first round. fell to 11-2-0 (6 KO's) with the loss.
August 6, 2011 at Estadio Socios Fundadores in Comodoro Rivadavia,
Chubut, Argentina, Erica (134 lbs) won the
WBC Lightweight title with
a technical decision over Ann
Marie Saccurato (134½ lbs) of New York City.
The scheduled ten-rounder was halted by a cut to Saccurato's
scalp caused by an accidental clash of heads.
Farias fought conservatively but used her movement and hand speed to
build a clear
79-71,78-73,78-72 lead on the judges' scorecards in the eight completed
rounds. Saccurato fell to 15-6-2 (6 KO's).
December 16, 2011 at the Arena Maipú Casino Resort in Maipú,
Mendoza, Argentina, Erica (132¼ lbs) won a hard fought ten-round
unanimous (96-94,97-93, 97-93) decision over Melissa
Hernandez (132½ lbs)
of Puerto Rico defending the WBC Lightweight title. Farias
initially had trouble finding the range to land clean
on Hernandez, who moved well and landed many good shots of her own.
As the fight progressed Farias used her jab
more effectively to set up accurate shots with her right but Hernandez
kept it close and worked well at close quarters. Farias
eventually had the better of the action which was
entertaining outside the clinches and appeared to WBAN to be
closer than the final scorecards. Hernandez fell to 16-3-3
(6 KO's). [Video]
On February 25, 2012 at
Estadio Ingeniero Huergo in Comodoro Rivadavia, Chubut,
Argentina, Erica (135 lbs) won by a sixth-round TKO over Liliana
Palmera of Colombia (135 lbs) defending the WBC Lightweight title.
Palmera fell to 18-8-3 (12 KO's) with the loss.
On June 16, 2012 at Estadio
F.A.B. in Buenos
Aires, Argentina, Erica Farias won by a first round TKO over Irma
Adler defending the WBC Lightweight title. Adler was knocked
down in the first round then when
Farias kept the pressure on, the ref stopped the fight. Farias improved
to 14-0 (8 KO's) while Balijagic-Adler fell to 12-2
On November 17, 2012 at Parque Náutico in
San Fernando, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Erica (134 lbs) won a ten-round
unanimous (99-91,97-93,98-94) decision over undefeated Victoria Bustos
lbs) of Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina defending the WBC Lightweight
title. Bustos dropped to 6-1 (0 KO's) with the loss.
On March 9, 2013 at the Asociación de
Fomento in San Bernardo, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Erica (133¾ lbs)
knocked out Liliana Palmera of Monteria, Colombia in the third
round of a scheduled ten defending the WBC Lightweight title.
Palmera fell to 21-10-3 (15 KO's).
On June 15, 2013 at the Centro Recreativo
Pasteleros Luis Guillon, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Erica (134¼ lbs)
won a very clear (100-89x3) ten-round unanimous decision over Chika
Mizutani (133¾ lbs) of Tokyo, Japan defending the WBC Lightweight
title. Mizutani fell to 14-4 (7 KO's).
On October 4, 2013 at Club Sportivo America
in Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina, Erica (134½ lbs) outclassed Mary McGee (134½ lbs) of Gary, Indiana, USA for
a ten-round unanimous (98-91,98-90,100-90) decision defending the WBC
Lightweight title. McGee fell to 21-3 (11 KO's) with the loss.
On March 1 2014 at Estadio F.A.B. in Buenos
Erica Farias won a ten-round unanimous decision over Maria Eugenia
Gran Bourg, Buenos Aires, defending her WBC Lightweight title. Lopez
fell to 8-8-2 (0 KO's)
with the loss while Farias advanced to a perfect 19-0 (9 KO's).
still lives simply in a
small house and does not have the intense media exposure in
Argentina of Yesica Bopp or Marcela Acuna,
with whom she has cordial relationships. She has said she
does not get along with junior welterweight champion Monica Acosta, who
stood her up for a fight as an amateur, and she would now like to fight
Acosta as a professional.