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Clay Moyle Talks About His Obsession with Boxing Books (with Tips for Collectors)

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How many boxing books does one really need to own? I don’t know, but I’m sure that I blew by whatever that number is a long time ago. I’m just as sure, that I know a number of fellows who’d probably answer that one can never really have too many boxing books. You see, there are an awful lot of oddballs among serious collectors, but that’s a topic for another article.

Not long after going to a boxing gym for a year in my early 30’s, I got the idea to try and acquire a biography about every world heavyweight champion since the time of John L. Sullivan. That was the spark that lit a fire that quickly raged out of control.

How so? Well, to begin with, during that initial pursuit, I began to come across other boxing books that I thought might be interesting, so I opted to purchase many of those as well. One thing led to another, and it wasn’t all that long before my new objective somehow became to add every boxing book ever written in the English language to my personal collection.

Now that’s obviously a never-ending quest as there are seemingly many that are next to impossible to find, and of course new boxing books are being written all the time. In hindsight, I’ve often thought it would have been much more sensible to target a smaller niche for myself. For example, maybe just a specific era, only non-fiction, anything saner.

I probably purchased around 300 books during the first year of my new sickness. It was about that time, that I made the acquaintance of a serious boxing book collector in Denmark named Niels Thorsen. Niels had a collection of 1,500 boxing titles at the time. I remember wondering how on earth one individual could amass a collection of that many boxing books.

But yet, here I am 30+ years later, with a personal collection of over 4,600 boxing-related books, and an understanding of how it can come about.

To begin with, I think one has to have a few loose screws and a tendency to become completely obsessed with accomplishing a goal once they’ve set their mind to it. Anybody who knows me well, would probably suggest that I fit that description pretty well.

It also takes an awful lot of time, effort and persistence to build a collection this large. When I reflect upon my own journey, I can recall a great number of things that I did along the way that I believe were key to my efforts to build a collection this large, including each of the following:

Visiting Used Bookstores
As long as I can remember, I’ve loved visiting used bookstores. There’s just something about searching bookshelves for treasure, the thrill of coming across a book of interest, holding it in your hands and getting the opportunity to flip through the pages.

This is a primary way that serious book collectors built their collections in the past.  Those whose professions required them to travel, had the additional benefit of being able to take advantage of the opportunity to visit bookstores in those cities and I’ve met a number of parties who did that for years. Leaving a business card behind when you leave with your interests written on the back can sometimes prove fruitful as well.

I’ve frequented used bookstores for years, and continue to do, though I no longer expect to find as many desired books that way for reasons that will become apparent shortly.

Writing or Phoning Bookstores
In addition to visiting bookstores in other cities while traveling, I often used to phone those I couldn’t get to personally, while killing time in an airport or during spare time in my hotel room. This proved beneficial on many occasions, and sometimes provided me with some useful leads.

I know others who regularly wrote to bookstores to inquire about available books in their field of interest.

The Internet
The arrival of the internet created opportunities for serious collectors that just didn’t exist previously. Once the internet arrived, and a proliferation of websites began to crop up, it didn’t take me long to learn of a site named AbeBooks. AbeBooks is derived from their original name “Advanced Book Exchange.” They were founded in 1995 and launched their website in 1996 when their listings only included the inventory of four bookstores.

That changed very quickly as booksellers all over the world learned that they could make their inventory of books available to customers worldwide on-line. Today, the site is described as an e-commerce global online marketplace that specializes in rare and out-of-print books and they became a subsidiary of Amazon in 2008.

With the advent of used book sites like AbeBooks, many longtime used bookstores began disappearing. Sellers realized they could reach a much, much wider audience selling their books exclusively on-line, and there was no need to bear the expense of a traditional brick and mortar store presence when there were much cheaper ways to store their inventories.

Sites like AbeBooks are both an incredible resource and a curse for the serious collector. They’re an unbelievable resource from the standpoint that one can now so easily search the inventories of bookstores all over the world. And a curse, because it’s become so much easier to find treasure to spend your money on.

I don’t believe it’s an exaggeration to say that there was a time when I routinely searched the AbeBooks site for new inventory listings as many as 30-40 times per day.

Personal Website
I don’t remember when I began selling boxing books as well, but at some point, I pretty quickly realized that I could partially help fund my book purchasing addiction with the profits realized from buying and reselling duplicate boxing books. As I became more knowledgeable concerning the values of specific titles, I began routinely coming across a number that I knew I could quickly flip for a profit.

Acquiring duplicate books, as well as other boxing memorabilia, ultimately led to the creation of my own website (www.prizefightingbooks.com) from which I list and sell my own inventory of duplicate boxing books and other boxing memorabilia that I have available.

Or course, that inventory has also become much larger than originally planned and there are now over 2,500 boxing books listed for sale on the site as well as many magazines, programs, autographs, artwork, etc.

An unexpected benefit of creating the website is that it led to many parties contacting me with specific books, or entire collections, of boxing books that they wished to sell.

Purchasing Collections
Purchasing another party’s collection can be a pricey proposition. But it’s a quick way to acquire a large number of books to add to and upgrade your collection. It can also prove to be a relatively inexpensive way to build your collection if you can resell the duplicates, especially if a number of those duplicate books are rare and/or scarce titles. The fact that purchasing a collection often results in acquiring a number of common titles as well is one reason I have so many copies of specific titles on my website.

Many times, the purchase of a collection has enabled me to add many rare titles at a very reasonable price as a result of profits that I was able to realize from the sale of the duplicate titles. Of course, you’re liable to end up with a lot of unsold duplicates as well.

The purchase of collections, and a willingness to take on the work of reselling the duplicates, has been one key to my success in building a collection of this size.

Auction Sites
I acquired a number of books on eBay over the years. Some for very good prices, others pretty steep depending upon the rarity. While I didn’t usually find it the most economical way to purchase books I desired, I also occasionally purchased a few from sites like the Leland and Heritage Auction sites. There are many others that one can search.

Simply Making Folks Aware of Your Interests and Plain Old Good Luck
Sometimes simply making individuals aware of your interests can really pay off. Roughly eight years ago, I came across a used book store listing of a $25 signed softcover book by The Ring magazine founder and longtime editor Nat Fleischer and purchased it for resale. When I paid for the book, I added a comment to let the seller know that I’d be interested to learn of anything else he might acquire of that nature. Well, in this particular case that paid off more than I could have possibly imagined.

The seller replied and let me know they’d just acquired a large number of books, manuscripts and personal files that had belonged to Nat Fleischer. They had been kept in storage for decades by the decedents of Fleischer’s son-in-law Nat Loubet and he hadn’t had a chance to inventory it all yet. In fact, the book that I’d purchased from him was the first thing he’d listed.

I immediately let him know that I was interested in the possibility of purchasing what he’d acquired and eagerly awaited a list of offerings and prices.

As it turned out, there was an awful lot more treasure than I expected. But when the seller provided an asking price for the entire lot, I couldn’t say “Yes” fast enough.

So, I fired off a check and within a couple weeks a number of large boxes arrived in the mail. It took weeks for me to properly inventory everything but I loved every minute of it.

The purchase included many boxing books that were written by Fleischer, many of which he’d inscribed to his son-in-law as being the first off the press.

But my biggest thrill was when I discovered that what I’d purchased included a number of complete unpublished manuscripts by Fleischer. For example, where was a large 268,000 words bound four-volume works titled ‘The History of Prizefighting in Literature.’ I later discovered this monster was never published because it was considered too large by the various publishing house’s he shared it with at the time. In fact, the collection included a letter from one publisher turning it down for that specific reason.

Self-publishing a work wasn’t really the option then that it is today, so despite the fact that Nat wrote and published so many boxing books, this particular title and a number of other manuscripts of his were never published.

There were two other huge unpublished works titled ‘The History of Prizefighting in New York’ and ‘The History of Prizefighting in Chicago.’

There were also many other exciting unpublished works written about fighters such as Tom Sharkey, Dan Donnelly, and others, as well as original manuscripts for many of his published boxing books, typewritten pieces that had been used in The Ring, and of course a lot of personal correspondence between he and various parties.

Ultimately, I kept the books, and sold a good chunk of it, including personal files, correspondence and some of the unpublished manuscripts to a university that I knew would take good care of it.

At the time, the bookseller told me that he hadn’t acquired everything in the collection, but he’d acquired everything they were willing to part with at that time. So, I held out hope that he’d one day purchase more and I’d hear from him again.

Sure enough, he eventually phoned me again and let me know that he’d purchased three more large boxes and asked if I’d be interested in those as well.

We quickly agreed upon a price and I received more unpublished manuscripts, scrapbooks, letters, and photos.

It was only later, that I came across an August 1962 Sports Illustrated article about Fleischer and read about the unpublished manuscripts that were sitting in his safe in his Madison Square Garden office at that time, and realized that it had all somehow found their way into my own home a half century later!

So, you just never know what might come about from taking the extra step to make people aware of your collecting interests and what you might be willing to purchase.

Treasured Books
Sometimes I’m asked which of my books I value the most. While I have many rare old titles from the 18th and 19th centuries that are worth more money, the books that I personally treasure the most are those that are signed or inscribed to other parties of note. Many of those are among my personal favorites. A dozen of them would include the following:

  • ‘The Roosevelt That I Know. And Recollections of the Most Famous American Fighting Man’ by American Middleweight Champion, Mike Donovan. 1909. This book is a terrific read as it contains insights concerning many of the greats that Donovan knew including the likes of John L. Sullivan, Theodore Roosevelt, Jack Dempsey and many others. For many years, I assumed it was issued without a dust jacket, but one day I discovered it with a very good dust jacket. It’s still the only time I’ve come across it with a jacket. Furthermore, it’s inscribed by Donovan in 1909 to his friend William Pinkerton.
  • ‘The Golden People’ by Paul Gallico. 1965. Profiles of numerous legends of sport. This one has a signed bookplate of Bing Crosby and is also signed to him by both Jack Dempsey and Gene Tunney.
  • ‘Champions Off Guard’ by William O. Inglis. 1932. Terrific read with a beautiful dust jacket. The author not only personally knew many of the early legendary world heavyweight champions such as John L., Jim Corbett, Bob Fitzsimmons, Jack Dempsey, and Gene Tunney, and provides interesting insights about them, but he sparred with a number of them and details those experiences. One of my favorite reads, my copy is also inscribed to the famous early promoter James W. Coffroth.
  • ‘Battling Nelson. Lightweight Champion of The World’ by Battling Nelson. 1909. The autobiography of the great champion. This one is also inscribed “With best wishes from one champion to another. To James J. Jeffries, Heavyweight champion, From Battling Nelson, Lightweight champion Los Angles, Cal. July 12, 1909.”
  • ‘My Life and Battles’ by James J. Jeffries. 1910. Fairly scarce title, this one is inscribed by the famous sportswriter cartoonist Bob Edgren on July 4, 1910, the date of the Johnson-Jeffries title fight.
  • ‘The Tumult and The Shouting’ by Grantland Rice. 1954. Signed by Gene Tunney, Jack Dempsey, Doc Blanchard, Gene Sarazan, Toots Shor, Johnny Weismuller and others.
  • ‘Relief to Royalty. The Story of James J. Braddock’ by Lud. 1936. Inscribed by Braddock to promoter Mike Jacobs.
  • ‘Two Fisted Jeff’ (James J. Jeffries) by Hugh Fullerton. 1929. Signed by Jeffries
  • ‘Physical Culture and Self Defence’ by Bob Fitzsimmons. 1901. Inscribed by Fitzsimmons.
  • ‘Jack Johnson the Man with Boxing Instructions and Health Hints’ 1932. Signed by Johnson
  • ‘The Prize Ring’ by Bohun Lynch. 1925. Long inscription from former light heavyweight champion Tommy Loughran.
  • ‘God, Gloves and Glory. An Autobiography’ 1956 by Henry Armstrong. This book by the first man to simultaneously hold three world titles isn’t particularly scarce. But what makes this one unique is the long inscription “To the Greatest, Ray Robinson.”

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Boxing Odds and Ends: The Heavyweight Merry-Go-Round

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There were few surprises when co-promoters Eddie Hearn and Frank Warren and their benefactor HE Turki Alalshikh held a press conference in London this past Monday to unveil the undercard for the Beterbiev-Bivol show at Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on June 1. Most of the match-ups had already been leaked.

For die-hard boxing fans, Beterbiev-Bivol is such an enticing fight that it really doesn’t need an attractive undercard. Two undefeated light heavyweights will meet with all four relevant belts on the line in a contest where the oddsmakers straddled the fence. It’s a genuine “pick-‘em” fight based on the only barometer that matters, the prevailing odds.

But Beterbiev-Bivol has been noosed to a splendid undercard, a striking contrast to Saturday’s Haney-Garcia $69.99 (U.S.) pay-per-view in Brooklyn, an event where the undercard, in the words of pseudonymous boxing writer Chris Williams, is an absolute dumpster fire.

The two heavyweight fights that will bleed into Beterbiev-Bivol, Hrgovic vs. Dubois and Wilder vs. Zhang, would have been stand-alone main events before the incursion of Saudi money.

Hrgovic-Dubois

Filip Hrgovic (17-0, 13 KOs) and Daniel Dubois (20-2, 19 KOs) fought on the same card in Riyadh this past December. Hrgovic, the Croatian, was fed a softie in the form of Australia’s Mark De Mori who he dismissed in the opening round. Dubois, a Londoner, rebounded from his loss to Oleksandr Usyk with a 10th-round stoppage of corpulent Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller.

There’s an outside chance that Hrgovic vs. Dubois may be sanctioned by the IBF for the world heavyweight title.

The May 18 showdown between Oleksandr Usyk and Tyson Fury has a rematch clause. The IBF is next in line in the rotation system for a unified heavyweight champion and the organization has made it plain that the winner of Usyk-Fury must fulfill his IBF mandatory before an intervening bout.

The best guess is that the Usyk-Fury winner will relinquish the IBF belt. If so, Hrgovic and Dubois may fight for the vacant title although a more likely scenario is that the organization will keep the title vacant so that the winner can fight Anthony Joshua.

Wilder-Zhang

The match between Deontay Wilder (43-3-1, 42 KOs) and Zhilei Zhang (26-2-1, 21 KOs) is a true crossroads fight as both Wilder, 38, and Zhang, who turns 41 in May, are nearing the end of the road and the loser (unless it’s a close and entertaining fight) will be relegated to the rank of a has-been. In fact, Wilder has hinted that this may be his final rodeo.

Both are coming off a loss to Joseph Parker.

Wilder last fought on the card that included Hrgovic and Dubois and was roundly out-pointed by a man he was expected to beat. It’s a quick turnaround for Zhang who opposed Parker on March 8 and lost a majority decision.

Other Fights

Either of two other fights may steal the show on the June 1 event.

Raymond Ford (15-0-1, 8 KOs) meets Nick Ball (19-0-1, 11 KOs) in a 12-round featherweight contest. New Jersey’s Ford will be defending the WBA world title he won with a come-from-behind, 12th-round stoppage of Otabek Kholmatov in an early contender for Fight of the Year. Liverpool’s “Wrecking” Ball, a relentless five-foot-two sparkplug, had to settle for a draw in his title fight with Rey Vargas despite winning the late rounds and scoring two knockdowns.

Hamzah Sheeraz (19-0, 15 KOs) meets fellow unbeaten Austin “Ammo” Williams (16-0, 11 KOs) in a 12-round middleweight match. East London’s Sheeraz, the son of a former professional cricket player, is unknown in the U.S. although he trained for his recent fights at the Ten Goose Boxing Gym in California. Riding a skein of 13 straight knockouts, he has a date with WBO title-holder Janibek Alimkhanuly if he can get over this hurdle.

The Forgotten Heavyweight

“Unbeaten for seven years, the man nobody wants to fight,” intoned ring announcer Michael Buffer by way of introduction. Buffer was referencing Michael Hunter who stood across the ring from his opponent Artem Suslenkov.

This scene played out this past Saturday in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. It was Hunter’s second fight in three weeks. On March 23, he scored a fifth-round stoppage of a 46-year-old meatball at a show in Zapopan, Mexico.

The second-generation “Bounty Hunter,” whose only defeat prior to last weekend came in a 12-rounder with Oleksandr Usyk, has been spinning his wheels since TKOing the otherwise undefeated Martin Bakole on the road in London in 2018. Two fights against hapless opponents on low-budget cards in Mexico and a couple of one-round bouts for the Las Vegas Hustle, an entry in the fledgling and largely invisible Professional Combat League, are the sum total of his activity, aside from sparring, in the last two-and-a-half years.

Hunter’s chances of getting another big-money fight took a tumble in Tashkent where he lost a unanimous decision in a dull affair to the unexceptional Suslenkov who was appearing in his first 10-round fight. The scores of the judges were not announced.

You won’t find this fight listed on boxrec. As Jake Donovan notes, the popular website will not recognize a fight conducted under the auspices of a rogue commission. (Another fight you won’t find on boxrec for the same reason is Nico Ali Walsh’s 6-round split decision over the 9-2-1 Frenchman, Noel Lafargue, in the African nation of Guinea on Dec. 16, 2023. You can find it on YouTube, but according to boxrec, boxing’s official record-keeper, it never happened.)

Anderson-Merhy Redux

The only thing missing from this past Saturday’s match in Corpus Christi, Texas, between Jared Anderson and Ryad Merhy was the ghost of Robert Valsberg.

Valsberg, aka Roger Vaisburg, was the French referee who disqualified Ingemar Johansson for not trying in his match with LA’s Ed Sanders in the finals of the heavyweight competition at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics. Valsberg tossed Johansson out of the ring after two rounds and Johansson was denied the silver medal. The Swede redeemed himself after turning pro, needless to say, when he demolished Floyd Patterson in the first of their three meetings.

Merhy was credited with throwing only 144 punches, landing 34, over the course of the 10 rounds. Those dismal figures yet struck many onlookers as too high. (This reporter has always insisted that the widely-quoted CompuBox numbers should be considered approximations.)

Whatever the true number, it was a disgraceful performance by Merhy who actually showed himself to have very fast hands on the few occasions when he did throw a punch. With apologies to Delfine Persoon, a spunky lightweight, U.S. boxing promoters should think twice before inviting another Belgian boxer to our shores.

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Anderson Cruises by Vapid Merhy and Ajagba edges Vianello in Texas

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Jared Anderson returned to the ring tonight on a Top Rank card in Corpus Christi, Texas. Touted as the next big thing in the heavyweight division, Anderson (17-0, 15 KOs) hardly broke a sweat while cruising past Ryad Merhy in a bout with very little action, much to the disgruntlement of the crowd which started booing as early as the second round. The fault was all Merhy as he was reluctant to let his hands go. Somehow, he won a round on the scorecard of judge David Sutherland who likely fell asleep for a round for which he could be forgiven.

Merhy, born in the Ivory Coast but a resident of Brussels, Belgium, was 32-2 (26 KOs) heading in after fighting most of his career as a cruiserweight. He gave up six inches in height to Anderson who was content to peck away when it became obvious to him that little would be coming back his way.

Anderson may face a more daunting adversary on Monday when he has a court date in Romulus, Michigan, to answer charges related to an incident in February where he drove his Dodge Challenger at a high rate speed, baiting the police into a merry chase. (Weirdly, Anderson entered the ring tonight wearing the sort of helmet that one associates with a race car driver.)

Co-Feature

In the co-feature, a battle between six-foot-six former Olympians, Italy’s Guido Vianello started and finished strong, but Efe Ajagba had the best of it in the middle rounds and prevailed on a split decision. Two of the judges favored Ajagba by 96-94 scores with the dissenter favoring the Italian from Rome by the same margin.

Vianello had the best round of the fight. He staggered Ajagba with a combination in round two. At the end of the round, a befuddled Ajagba returned to the wrong corner and it appeared that an upset was brewing. But the Nigerian, who trains in Las Vegas under Kay Koroma, got back into the fight with a more varied offensive attack and better head movement. In winning, he improved his ledger to 20-1 (14). Vianello, who sparred extensively with Daniel Dubois in London in preparation for this fight, declined to 12-2-1 in what was likely his final outing under the Top Rank banner.

Other Bouts of Note

In the opening bout on the main ESPN platform, 35-year-old super featherweight Robson Conceicao, a gold medalist for Brazil in the 2016 Rio Olympics, stepped down in class after fighting Emanuel Navarrete tooth-and-nail to a draw in his previous bout and scored a seventh-round stoppage of Jose Ivan Guardado who was a cooked goose after slumping to the canvas after taking a wicked shot to the liver. Guardado made it to his feet, but the end was imminent and the referee waived it off at the 2:27 mark.

Conceicao improved to 18-1 (9 KOs). It was the U.S. debut for Guardado (15-2-1), a boxer from Ensenada, Mexico who had done most of his fighting up the road in Tijuana.

Ruben Villa, the pride of Salinas, California, improved to 22-1 (7) and moved one step closer to a match with WBC featherweight champion Rey Vargas with a unanimous 10-round decision over Tijuana’s Cristian Cruz (22-7-1). The judges had it 97-93 and 98-92 twice.

Cruz, the son of former IBF world featherweight title-holder Cristobal Cruz, was better than his record. He entered the bout on a 21-1-1 run after losing five of his first seven pro fights.

Cleveland southpaw Abdullah Mason, who turned 20 earlier this month, continued his fast ascent up the lightweight ladder with a fourth-round stoppage of Ronal Ron.

Mason (13-0, 11 KOs) put Ron on the canvas in the opening round with a short left hook. He scored a second knockdown with a shot to the liver. A flurry of punches, a diverse array, forced the stoppage at the 1:02 mark of round four. A 25-year-old SoCal-based Venezuelan, the spunky but out-gunned Ron declined to 14-6.

Charly Suarez, a 35-year-old former Olympian from the Philippines, ranked #5 at junior lightweight by the IBF, advanced to 17-0 (9) with a unanimous 8-round decision over SoCal’s Louie Coria (5-7).

This was a tactical fight. In the final round, Coria, subbing for 19-0 Henry Lebron, caught the Filipino off-balance and knocked him into the ropes which held him up. It was scored a knockdown, but came too little, too late for Coria who lost by scores of 76-75 and 77-74 twice.

Suarez, whose signature win was a 12th-round stoppage of the previously undefeated Aussie Paul Fleming in Sydney, may be headed to a rematch with Robson Conceicao. They fought as amateurs in 2016 in Kazakhstan and Suarez lost a narrow 6-round decision.

Photo credit: Mikey Willams / Top Rank via Getty Images

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Ellie Scotney and Rhiannon Dixon Win World Title Fights in Manchester

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England’s Ellie Scotney started slowly against the long reach of France’s Segolene Lefebvre but used rough tactics and a full-steam ahead approach to unify the super bantamweight division by unanimous decision on Saturday.

“There’s a lot more I didn’t show,” said an excited Scotney (pictured on the left).

IBF titlist Scotney (9-0) added the WBO title by nullifying Lefebvre’s (18-1) reach and dominating the inside with a two-fisted attack in front of an excited crowd in Manchester, England.

For the first two rounds Lefebvre used her long reach and smooth fluid attack to keep Scotney at the end of her punches. Then the fight turned when the British fighter bulled her way inside with body shots and forced the French fighter into the ropes.

Aggressiveness by Scotney turned the fight in her favor. But Lefebvre remained active and countered with overhand rights throughout the match.

Body shots by Scotney continued to pummel the French champion’s abdomen but she remained steadfast in her counter-attacks. Combinations landed for Lefebvre and a counter overhand right scored to keep her in the contest in the fifth round.

Scotney increased the intensity of her attack in the sixth and seventh rounds. In perhaps her best round Scotney was almost perfect in scoring while not getting hit with anything from the French fighter.

Maybe the success of the previous round caused Scotney to pause. It allowed Lefebvre to rally behind some solid shots in a slow round and gave the French fighter an opening. Maybe.

The British fighter opened up more savagely after taking two Lefevbre rights to open the ninth. Scotney attacked with bruising more emphatic blows despite getting hit. Though both fired blows Scotney’s were more powerful.

Both champions opened-up the 10th and final round with punches flying. Once again Scotney’s blows had more power behind them though the French fighter scored too, and though her face looked less bruised than Scotney’s the pure force of Scotney’s attacks was more impressive.

All three judges saw Scotney the winner 97-93, 96-94 and a ridiculous 99-91. The London-based fighter now has the IBF and WBO super bantamweight titles.

Promoter Eddie Hearn said a possible showdown with WBC titlist Erika Cruz looms large possibly in the summer.

“Great performance. Great punch output,” said Hearn of Scotney’s performance.

Dixon Wins WBO Title

British southpaw Rhiannon Dixon (10-0) out-fought Argentina’s Karen Carabajal (22-2) over 10 rounds and won a very competitive unanimous decision to win the vacant WBO lightweight title. It was one of the titles vacated by Katie Taylor who is now the undisputed super lightweight world champion.

An aggressive Dixon dominated the first three rounds including a knockdown in the third round with a perfect left-hand counter that dropped Carabajal. The Argentine got up and rallied in the round.

Carabajal, whose only loss was against Katie Taylor, slowly began figuring out Dixon’s attacks and each round got more competitive. The Argentine fighter used counter rights to find a hole in Dixon’s defense to probably win the round in the sixth.

The final three rounds saw both fighters engage evenly with Carabajal scoring on counters and Dixon attacking the body successfully.

After 10 rounds all three judges saw it in Dixon’s favor 98-91, 97-92, 96-93 who now wields the WBO lightweight world title.

“It’s difficult to find words,” said Dixon after winning the title.

Hometown Fighter Wins

Manchester’s Zelfa Barrett (31-2, 17 KOs) battled back and forth with Jordan Gill (28-3-1, 9 KO-s) and finally ended the super featherweight fight with two knockdowns via lefts to the body in the 10th round of a scheduled 12-round match for a regional title.

The smooth moving Barrett found the busier Gill more complex than expected and for the first nine rounds was fighting a 50/50 fight against the fellow British fighter from the small town of Chatteris north of London.

In the 10th round after multiple shots on the body of Gill, a left hook to the ribs collapsed the Chatteris fighter to the floor. He willed himself up and soon after was floored again but this time by a left to the solar plexus. Again he continued but was belted around until the referee stopped the onslaught by Barrett at 2:44 of the 10th.

“A tough, tough fighter,” said Barrett about Gill. “I had to work hard.”

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