Thursday, July 18, 2019

Gabriels Retains Jr. Middleweight World Championship With Decision Over Vidal In Costa Rica

Women’s WBA Jr. Middleweight world champion Hanna Gabriels scored a hard-fought ten round unanimous decision over previously undefeated WBA number two rated contender Abril Vidal on Wednesday night at the Gimnasio Nacional in San Jose, Costa Rica. In what was her fourth title defense in front of her home country, Gabriels used effective lateral movement to keep her unbeaten challenger from being able to get into a consistent rhythm. Gabriels’ jab and combination punching were the story of the fight, but it remained competitive from start to finish. Vidal was able to have more than occasional moments throughout catching the championship with flush overhand rights. This was particularly noticeable any time Gabriels elected to drop her hands. Despite what would be viewed as a cardinal mistake by most Boxing purists, Gabriels was able to take the best of what Vidal had to dish out and outwork the challenger to earn the unanimous decision victory. Official scores were 96-94, and 97-93 (On two scorecards) all in favor of Gabriels. Hanna Gabriels advances to 20-2-1, with 11 Knockouts. Abril Vidal falls to 8-1, with 3 Knockouts.

Also on this card, In a bout for the vacant WBA Fedecentro Jr. Lightweight championship, rising prospect O’Shaquie Foster scored a devastating one punch knockout of Jesus Bravo. Foster dictated the fight with his jab and lateral movement. It became ugly at times due to Bravo’s frustration including an incident at the end of round five where he threw a back elbow at Foster. Foster ended the night for Bravo in round eight with a sudden and flush counter right hook to the jaw that sent Bravo down and out on the canvas. Official time of the knockout was 2:59 of round eight. O’Shaquie Foster advances to 16-2, with 11 Knockouts. Jesus Bravo falls to 19-2-1, with 17 Knockouts.

Also in the Jr. Middleweight division, undefeated prospect Abram Martinez scored a six round unanimous decision over Jorge Mendez. Martinez forced the action and consistently out landed Mendez over six rounds to get the decision victory. Official scores were 59-55, 60-54, and 58-56 all for Abram Martinez. Abram Martinez advances to 7-0, with 5 Knockouts. Jorge Mendez falls to 4-5-1, with 3 Knockouts.

In a Heavyweight bout, undefeated Heavyweight prospect Trey Lippe Morrison scored a sixth round stoppage of Pedro Martinez. Morrison, the son of former Heavyweight world champion Tommy Morrison halted the fight with a right uppercut to the body. Although Martinez did not go down, the referee did not like his reacand chose to stop the fight. Official time of the stoppage was:50 of round six. Trey Lippe Morrison advances to 16-0, with 16 Knockouts. Pedro Martinez falls to 10-2, with 4 Knockouts.

This card, which was broadcast as an international edition of DiBella Entertainment’s popular Broadway Boxing series, which primarily stages cards on the east coast of the United States, represented not only the growth of the series under promoter Lou DiBella, but also represents another important step in the right direction for Women’s Boxing.

While it will be interesting to see what Trey Lippe Morrison, Abram Martinez, and O’Shaquie Foster do next in their respective careers, the main story of the evening should be a world champion defending her title in a fight that should help continue the growth of Women’s Boxing.

As this observer has said often over the years, while Women’s Boxing has been around for decades, female fighters have only begun to receive the recognition that they deserve, which as yours truly has also often said is long overdue. With Women’s Boxing growing, more weight classes being represented for women, and with the sport’s respective governing bodies sanctioning more Women’s world championship fights than ever before, the future remains a bright one for Women’s Boxing.

In terms of what the future could be for Hanna Gabriels, it is not out of the realm of possibility to think that a possible rematch with current Undisputed Women’s Middleweight world champion Claressa Shields could be a potential option. Although Gabriels came out on the short end of a ten round decision when she fought Shields in June of last year, she made an excellent account of herself and one might argue was the first fighter to provide a significant test for Shields.

No matter what route Hanna Gabriels chooses to take next, she has established herself as one of the top fighters in the sport currently. It is also not difficult to envision that when all is said and done that we will be talking about fighters like Hanna Gabriels, Claressa Shields, Christina Hammer, and Cecilia Braekhus in the same way Boxing fans and experts talk about fighters from the past like Christy Martin, Lucia Rijker, Layla Ali, Ann Wolfe, Holly Holm and others. All world champions who elevated Women’s Boxing to new heights during their careers. I for one, am looking forward to seeing what happens next for the growing sport of Women’s Boxing.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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