Taylor and Harper Dominate in Women’s Championship Tripleheader at Wembley; Ball Wins Vac. 122-Pound Interim WBC Title
Undisputed Lightweight champion Katie Taylor drops Miriam Gutierrez once on the way to a one-sided UD victory
Undefeated WBC Super Featherweight champion Terri Harper rebounds from draw to outclass Katharina Thanderz in sharp ninth round TKO victory
Rachel Ball wins interim WBC Super Bantamweight title against crafty late replacement Jorgelina Guanini
UNITED KINGDOM (November 14, 2020) — Undisputed Lightweight champion Katie Taylor brilliantly defeated her nemesis Delphine Persoon in their rematch at the end of August. Miriam Gutierrez, an undefeated 37-year old Spaniard, presented a far different challenge from the gritty Belgian, the question remained rather she could pose any real threat to one of women’s boxing’s best.
Taylor, a 34-year old from Bray, Ireland, stood to lose the most with any kind of slip up against a challenger venturing to London, England for her first fight out of Spain.
The levels were evident early. Taylor uncharacteristically forced Gutierrez (13-1, 5 KOs) almost back into her corner immediately and unloaded a lengthy flurry of punches. The Spaniard steadied herself and made it out of the first round.
Taylor (17-0, 6 KOs) attacked in spurts throughout Round 2. Gutierrez fought composed, but the speed difference was noticeable, as well as the number of punches with purpose.
Taylor’s theme of early fireworks continued into the start of Round 3. Gutierrez handled a flush big left hook that rocked her. Taylor slipped in a clean overhand right towards the end of her final big flurry. Gutierrez regrouped.
The champion switched up her approach in Round 4. Taylor threw 3-, 4- and 5-punch combinations before Gutierrez could blink – or return a punch. A crisp short right-left combination from Taylor, after slipping under a lazy Gutierrez jab, dropped the challenger at the bell.
Taylor fought with all of her arsenal on display in Round 5. Gutierrez persevered through the onslaught.
In Round 6 Taylor was inside Gutierrez’ chest again, as the Spaniard attempted to fight her way off of the ropes. The challenger struggled to land a punch. However, she did enough to make the ref retreat from calling the fight.
The champion barely threw a punch through the first half of the seventh frame. Gutierrez made contact, but nothing with any real conviction. Taylor attempted to counter the challenger over the round’s final minute.
Taylor’s lead was insurmountable, and the concern became to avoid any mistakes or foolish injury. Gutierrez enjoyed her best success in Round 9, as she finally resembled the form that allowed her to earn a shot at one of the best fighters in the world.
Gutierrez boxed her way through the 10th round with major outbursts from Taylor, who did enough to keep the Spaniard honest.
The scorecards were quickly tallied, and read aloud in favor of Taylor 100-89, 100-90, and 99-91.
“I thought it was a great overall performance,” Taylor told Matchroom afterwards. “I boxed well at long distance and close. I did a bit of everything in there tonight. I threw everything but the kitchen sink at her. I just couldn’t get her out of there. She’s tough as nails so credit to her. She hung in and she was there to fight until the very end. She’s obviously big and strong and that showed tonight.
“I thought it was important for me to stamp my authority right from the first round. She hadn’t fought outside of Spain and was out of the ring for a year. I thought it would be good to start fast. I thought I was going to get her out of there at one stage. She hung in there and she kept swinging shots. She was actually very dangerous when she was swinging shots. I had to be a bit more cautious later on in the fight. Overall it was a great performance.
“Obviously I would have loved to get a stoppage in there tonight. I haven’t got a stoppage in a long time. It is hard to hurt these girls, they’re very strong and durable. I did everything that I could to get the stoppage but she hung in and I have to be happy with a points win. I’m going home with all of the belts and I’m still the undisputed champion. I’m still unbeaten and this is a great end to the year.
“This was absolutely huge. I think every girl on the card tonight boxed brilliantly. Three fantastic fights. It’s just an amazing showcase. As I’ve said before, Eddie has given us this platform. Women’s boxing is on fire right now because of the platform he has given us. What an amazing few years of women’s boxing. That’s what it’s all about for myself, inspiring the next generation. Hopefully there was a few young girls watching through Facebook on the livestream. It’s all about inspiring the next generation and what an amazing platform to do it on.”
Terri Harper Stops Katharina Thanderz Late
Undefeated WBC Super Featherweight champion Terri Harper nearly lost for the first time to a determined Natasha Jonas back in early August. That scare worked against the chances of Interim WBC champion Katharina Thanderz from Norway.
Harper (11-0-1, 6 KOs) moved around the ring, often two steps of ahead of Thanderz, and thwarted any attack from the 32-year old with an educated jab. A solid right hand left the face of Thanderz (13-1, 2 KOs) reddening in Round 1.
Thanderz attempted to close the distance to at least score with the 24-year old champion. But the efforts were futile.
Harper was only in range when she wanted to be. And when she wanted to work. After the fight Harper stated that she hurt her right hand somewhere in the fourth. She relied on her legs and left jab to frustrate the Norwegian who now resides in Spain.
The two clashed heads in Round 9, and the action stopped momentarily. Shortly after the bout resumed Harper placed a left hook to Thanderz’ body. The challenger winced and pulled her guard in tightly. Harper keenly followed up on the reaction, and shortly after she moved in to capitalize on the moment referee Victor Loughlin stopped the fight at 1:12.
“I’m buzzing,” said Harper. “That’s my birthday and Christmas all in one. That’s made my year. Obviously having that tough fight with Tasha, there was doubts, and there was wrongs that I needed to put right. We came away and I’ve worked my butt off. I’ve just gone out there and breezed it.
“I hurt my hand in the fourth round, I couldn’t throw it, and when I did throw it it was painful. I stuck to my jab, kept long and just moved. I knew she got frustrated at one point. She stood in the middle of the ring. I didn’t want to look like I was running but there was nothing else that I could really do. I’m happy.
“I caught her with the head, that’s probably from me lunging in, accidental. I could see that her nose was troubling her. The sound of her breathing changed. She was getting distracted by the blood. I threw a nice left hook to the body, caught her and I heard her wince. She backed off and I just went for the kill and the ref jumped in.
“I got a few stoppage wins early on in my career so it’s nice to get another one. I’m going to say a big thank you to my S&C coach Danny Wilson, he’s given me the confidence that I can go through those gears and that I have got the strength. God knows what I’m going to be like after my next camp. I want to fight the best. I’m coming for you Mayer! Slowly but surely we’ll get there and I’ll be punching you in the face very soon.”
Rachel Ball Boxes Her Way To 122-Pound Interim WBC Title
Rachel Ball’s opponent for the vacant interim WBC Super Bantamweight title changed from Australia’s Ebanie Bridges to Argentine Jorgelina Guanini.
Ball (7-1) towered over Guanini (9-2-2, 1 KOs) as the two met center-ring after the first bell. But, Guanini craftily managed to get her way inside to score with her right hand in the first two rounds. Ball relied on her jab, and then looked to land her right hand as Guanini made her way inside.
Guanini opened the fourth round working from outside mixing in foot feints. Once Ball attacked Guanini welcomed the action with overhand punches from both hands. She found Ball’s head inside the taller fighter’s wingspan.
Ball controlled the first half of the fifth round. Guanini had her moments in the second minute.
Ball pressed forward again in Round 6. Guanini operated off the back foot, evading most of Ball’s shots when she did throw. The 28-year old Argentinian landed some counter shots as well. Ball erupted with a prolonged attack in the final minute.
Guanini continued fighting off her back foot to open Round 7. Ball pursued and let her hands go whenever Guanini set on the ropes long enough. Guanini’s overhand shots started to land off-target with the wrist area landing on the side of Ball’s head.
Ball maintained her pressure in Round 8. Guanini scored inside of Ball’s longer shots, or during Ball’s hooks.
Guanini’s footwork and ring IQ spoiled Ball’s attack in Round 9. Ball stalked Guanini and lowered her high guard when she was ready to attack. Guanini jarred Ball’s head back with some counter punches inside.
Ball’s attack never wavered throughout the fight. At times she struggled to extend her combinations and really punish her shorter opponent. Guanini, who failed to make weight to contend for the title, made Ball’s effectiveness choppy. The 5-foot 9-inch 29-year old from West Midlands never relented with her pursuit of her 5-foot 2-inch foe. But by the time the final bell ended the 10th round Ball screamed an expletive at Guanini that indicated she had been at wit’s end for several rounds.
Unfortunately, agitating Ball didn’t equate to defeating her, and the judges’ scorecards delivered the interim title to Ball with scores of 99-92 and 99-91 twice.
“I’m so grateful to Matchroom and BCB for continuing to support my journey,” said Ball. “I felt confident that it was mine. I was landing my shots pretty well. She was running around the ring and I feel like I used my distance a lot better.
“Everything happens for a reason and perhaps she was what I needed at this time. Fair play to her, it was a really good fight. I’m glad I used my assets a bit more in this fight. When I had the opportunity I did go forwards. I went to the body a bit more which I’m pleased about.
“Look how far Terri has gone and look how far Katie has gone. I’d love to be able to be as successful as them. That would be amazing. It’s all good experience. I hope we inspire some girls out there to try boxing and do something different.”
All photos by Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing