Lightweight Jessica Camara scored the biggest win of her career by scoring an upset eight round unanimous decision over former WBO Featherweight world champion Heather Hardy on Friday night at the Embassy Suites in Murfreesboro, TN. In what was the main event of a three bout all Women’s Boxing card, Hardy, who was coming off of an eighteen month layoff and fighting for the first time in the 135lb. Lightweight division, scored a flash knockdown of Camara in the first round in an exchange of hooks. Despite having an advantage because of scoring a knockdown, Hardy found it difficult to let her hands go consistently. This allowed Camara to gradually build momentum and by the midway point of the fight, the ebb and flow was in her favor. Camara’s effective aggression, timing, and combination punching became the story of the fight and was the ultimate determining factor in Camara scoring the unanimous decision victory. Official scores were: 79-73, 78-73, and 77-74 in favor of Camara. Jessica Camara advances to 8-2, with 0 Knockouts. Heather Hardy falls to 22-2, with 4 Knockouts.
Also on this card:
A battle between Welterweights who were making their respective professional debuts saw Kelsey Wickstrum score a hard-fought six round majority decision over Stevie Jane Coleman. In what was a fight fought in close from the outset that saw several shifts in momentum, it was Wickstrum, who was able to get the upper hand by a narrow margin with some good body shots and hooks throughout. Official scores were: 57-57 (Even), and 58-56 (On two scorecards) in favor of Wickstrum. Kelsey Wickstrum advances to 1-0, with 0 Knockouts. Stevie Jane Coleman falls to 0-1, with 0 Knockouts.
In the opening bout of the evening, Lightweight Melissa St Vil scored an eight round unanimous decision over former WBC Jr, Lightweight world champion Olivia Gerula. With both fighters coming off lengthy layoffs, St Vil used lateral movement and consistent combination punching to get the better of Gerula, who was competing in her first bout in over three years. The primary difference in this fight was the hand speed of St Vil, who seemed one step ahead of Gerula, who simply could not get on the inside and could not get her punches off first in exchanges. Official scores were: 80-72, and 78-74 (On two scorecards) in favor of Melissa St Vil. Melissa St Vil advances to 14-4-4, with 1 Knockout. Olivia Gerula falls to 18-19-2, with 3 Knockouts.
Although the story of this card was the fact that it was the second all women’s Boxing event to take place and be televised by a global platform in a span of two months following the Claressa Shields-Marie-Eve Dicarie Jr. Middleweight unification bout earlier this year that was streamed via digital pay-per-view on FITE TV, this card, which was promoted by Hall of Fame promoter Lou DiBella and broadcast globally via UFC Fight Pass, had what some might call an unexpected result in Jessica Camara scoring an upset victory over former world champion Heather Hardy.
Hardy, who lost her world championship in a unification bout against Amanda Serrano in September 2019, like many fighters throughout the entire sport has been impacted severely by the ongoing global COVID-19 epidemic, which was largely responsible for her lengthy inactivity going into this fight with Jessica Camara. Whether or not that inactivity was something that worked against her as this fight progressed is something that will probably be debated amongst Boxing fans. The idea of a rematch between the two is something that should be considered provided that the circumstances of the ongoing epidemic allow it and whether both fighters want a second encounter.
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