Undefeated Undisputed Women’s World Lightweight champion Katie Taylor successfully moved up in weight to dethrone WBO Jr. Welterweight world champion Christina Linardatou on Saturday night at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England. Taylor used effective lateral movement, angles, and combination punching to frustrate Linardatou over ten rounds. Although Linardatou was the aggressor from the opening bell and did connect occasionally with looping hooks to the head of Taylor, she was unable to nullify her movement to be able to have consistent success as Taylor was able to time Linardatou and pick her opportunities to attack allowing her to earn a convincing unanimous decision victory to become a two-division world champion. Official scores were 96-94, and 97-93 (on two scorecards) in favor of Taylor. Katie Taylor advances to 15-0, with 6 Knockouts. Christina Linardatou falls to 12-2, with 6 Knockouts.
Also on this card:
Former Lightweight world champion Anthony Crolla in the final fight of his career scored a workmanlike ten round majority decision over Frank Urquiaga. Despite Crolla controlling the combat for the majority of what at times resembled a sparring session, one official judge scored the fight even 95-95, while the two other official judges scored 98-92, and 97-93 in Crolla’s favor allowing the former WBA Lightweight world champion to end his career with a victory. Anthony Crolla advances to 35-7-3, with 13 Knockouts. Frank Urquiaga falls to 13-2-1, with 1 Knockout.
In a bout for the Commonwealth Middleweight championship undefeated champion Felix Cash scored a hard-fought eighth round stoppage of Jack Cullen. Cash almost ended the fight as quickly as it began dropping Cullen with a flush right hand to the head in round one. Cullen however, came to fight and fought back with grit and determination. For several rounds the two fighters engaged in several toe to toe exchanges where Cullen held his own and got the better of some of those duels. Cash dropped Cullen with a left hook to the body in round seven, but as he had done before, Cullen attempted to come back strong, but in round eight a left hook to the head by Cash set off a barrage of punches that a “Game “ and fatigued Cullen could not fend off forcing a referee’s stoppage. Official time of the stoppage was 1:14 of round eight. Felix Cash advances to 12-0, with 8 Knockouts. Jack Cullen falls to 17-2, with 8 Knockouts.
In a battle for the Women’s IBO Jr. Lightweight world championship undefeated champion Terri Harper scored a ten round unanimous decision over Viviane Obenauf. Harper, who coincidentally turned twenty-three years old tonight, dominated the action from the opening bell dictating the combat with her jab and landing several flush hooks to the head and body throughout the fight. Despite being tactically out gunned and appearing at times to be on the verge of being stopped, Obenauf was very “Game” and never stopped trying to make it a fight against the champion. Official scores were:99-91, 98-92, and 97-93 all in favor of Harper. Terri Harper advances to 9-0, with 5 Knockouts. Viviane Obenauf falls to 14-6, with 7 Knockouts.
Rising Heavyweight prospect Martin Bakolie scored an impressive second round stoppage of Rodney Hernandez. A left hook to the body of Hernandez sent him in retreat with his hands down. Bakolie eventually dropped his opponent with a left hook and the bout was waved off. Official time of the stoppage was 2:50 of round two. Martin Bakolie advances to 15-1, with 12 Knockouts.Rodney Hernandez falls to 13-9-2, with 4 Knockouts. It was Bakolie’s second consecutive knockout win in two weeks after stopping former world title challenger Kevin Johnson on October 19th.
Undefeated Jr. Featherweight Qais Ashfaq remained unbeaten with a seven round technical decision over Joe Ham after the fight was stopped due to an accidental clash of heads. Qais Ashfaq advances to 8-0, with 3 Knockouts. Joe Ham falls to 16-2, with 6 Knockouts.
Featherweight Gamal Yafai scored a third round stoppage of Lee Clayton. Gamal Yafai advances to 17-1, with 10 Knockouts. Lee Clayton falls to 10-4, with 2 Knockouts.
Undefeated Jr.Welterweight Nathan Ferrell remained unbeaten with a four round decision over Ivica Gogosevic. Nathan Ferrell advances to 3-0, with 0 Knockouts. Ivica Gogosevic falls to 12-29-2, with 5 Knockouts.
Also in the Jr. Welterweight division, undefeated Dalton Smith improved to 4-0 in his career with a third round stoppage of Michael Carrero. Dalton Smith advances to 4-0, with 3 Knockouts. Michael Carrero falls to 13-55-6, with 6 Knockouts.
Jr. Featherweight Ivan Price successfully made his professional debut by scoring a four round decision over Joel Sanchez. Ivan Price advances to 1-0, with 1 Knockout. Joel Sanchez falls to 4-10-1, with 2 Knockouts.
While this card was billed as a double main event featuring Katie Taylor and Anthony Crolla, the thing this observer takes away from it beyond the conclusion of a fine career for Anthony Crolla is the card also represented another in a series of crucial steps forward for Women’s Boxing as it was the first card in my memory where two world championship fights in Women’s Boxing took place on the same card and also the first to be seen on television in the United States and globally thanks to digital subscription sports streaming network DAZN. What it might represent for women in the sport going forward beyond increased and valuable television exposure is the potential for the purses for female fighters to increase to far more lucrative levels than at any time in Women’s Boxing history. A crucial step in the right direction for all women who compete in the sport.
“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”
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