A history making night in British Women’s Boxing history where two British fighters faced off for a world championship for the first time saw undefeated unified WBC/IBO World Jr. Lightweight champion fight to a hard-fought ten round split decision draw with former 2012 British Olympian Natasha Jonas on Friday night at the headquarters of Matchroom Boxing in Brentwood, England. Most of the bout was fought in close and saw several fierce exchanges between the two fighters throughout. Although each fighter was able to hurt the other with solid hooks and combinations to the head throughout the fight, neither was able to stand out clearly from the other. The combination of the fight being fought at a high pace as well as the two minute round limits in which bouts in Women’s Boxing are fought under made this bout extremely difficult to score. The challenger Jonas was cut over the right eye in the second round as a result of an accidental clash of heads. This however, did not effect Jonas’ performance throughout the fight and the bout remained competitive from start to finish. Official scores were: 96-94 (Harper), 96-65 (Jonas), and 95-95 (Even) resulting in the split decision draw at the conclusion of the ten round world championship bout. Terri Harper advances to 10-0-1, with 5 Knockouts. Natasha Jonas advances to 9-1-1, with 7 Knockouts.
Also on this card:
In a battle for the Commonwealth Cruiserweight championship, Chris Billiam-Smith scored a second round knockout over a “Game”, but overmatched previously unbeaten Nathan Thorley to retain his title. Billiam-Smith immediately established he was the aggressor as he looked to push Thorley back from the opening bell. Billiam-Smith dropped Thorley with a series of short left hooks to the head while the fighters were in close in the closing seconds of round one. This would be followed by a second knockdown of a cornered Thorley in round two. Despite the knockdowns, Thorley continued to try and turn the momentum and caught Billiam-Smith with a right hand to the head, but it was a counter right hand to the head by Billiam-Smith that sent Thorley down for a third time. Although Thorley was able to get up as he had done following the two previous knockdowns, the fight was stopped at 2:05 of round two. Chris Billiam-Smith advances to 11-1, with 10 Knockouts. Nathan Thorley falls to 14-1, with 6 Knockouts.
Jr. Middleweight prospect Anthony Fowler scored a seventh round stoppage over a very “Game “ Adam Harper. Fowler appeared to be the stronger of the two from the outset consistently applying pressure on Harper and pushing him back. This was evident as Fowler’s harder punches gradually took a toll on Harper. Fowler was penalized a point in round two for a low blow. Despite the point deduction, Fowler remained in control. In round four Harper was dropped with a flush right hand to the jaw. The increasingly one-sided combat was halted in round seven when Harper was being battered against the ropes. Official time of the stoppage was 1:34 of round seven. Anthony Fowler advances to 13-1, with 10 Knockouts. Adam Harper falls to 9-2, with 0 Knockouts.
Undefeated Featherweight prospect Ivan Price scored a six round decision over veteran Jonny Phillips. For the duration of the bout, Price, known to his fans as “Hopey”, used his movement and timing to out box and out work Phillips to earn a convincing decision victory. Ivan Price advances to 3-0, with 1 Knockout. Jonny Phillips falls to 5-5, with 2 Knockouts.
The second card in Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn’s “Fight Camp” series being held at the Hearn family home has continued to provide a mix of prospects continuing their rise, to contenders trying to position themselves for an opportunity at a world championships, to now two main events in back to back weeks that not only might see rematches down the line, but also two fights that could be candidates for Fight of the year honors for what has been a very difficult 2020 for the world due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. With Eddie Hearn looking to continue his “Fight Camp” series as well as starting to resume Matchroom’s United States promotional branch with a card in Oklahoma next weekend, it will be interesting to see if the momentum as well as well-matched bouts can continue.
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