22-year-old Caroline Dubois claimed the IBO world lightweight championship in only her eighth professional fight following a ferocious 10 round war with a tough, talented opponent in Mexico’s Magali Rodriguez.
Dubois dominated the scorecards to a unanimous decision victory (98-89, 97-90, 99-88) at the historic York Hall, Bethnal Green and live on Sky Sports Action and Sky Sports Main Event tonight.
Dubois started to grow into the rhythm of the fight in the third round, landing some heavy body which hurt Rodriguez, forcing her to defend her torso as well as her head and thereby inadvertently opening up more opportunities for Dubois to land in all areas.
This led to a knockdown in the 6th round, a devastating right hook to Rodriguez's jaw set up by a textbook one-two combination which allowed the hook to land perfectly.
A missile-like right hand left Rodriguez splayed out on the canvas on the edge of consciousness at the start of the 9th round, and Dubois was seconds away from a stoppage at multiple points across the round. But Rodriguez came back and fought hard across the rounds, firing off shots in bunches and landing some good shots.
Dubois was only eight years old when Rodriguez made her professional debut, with the gap in professional experience between the two being eye-watering. However, this gap between the pair’s resumés was totally reversed in reality, with Dubois growing into a world class fighter at the very top of the sport in the ring tonight.
Dubois said to Sky Sports after the fight: “She came out swinging. Even when I dropped her, she really wanted it and that was exactly what I needed. I think it was my career best performance in the ring, but there's so much more for me to give. I really wanted the knockout, as you can tell. I'm 22. What's going to happen when I'm 25, 26? I'm going to start knocking these girls spark out, I promise you."
Ben Shalom, BOXXER CEO and founder, said to Sky Sports after the fight: “What a performance from Caroline. How Rodriguez got up in the 9th round I will never know. Obviously the lightweight world titles have been held stagnant for a while now. Katie Taylor has been the star of women’s boxing, but Caroline Dubois is the new star of women’s boxing and I’m sure one of the big four sanctioning bodies will recognise that too.”
Full Undercard Results:
Viddal Riley Def. Nathan Quarless - UD (100-90, 100-90, 100-90)
Riley took his professional record to 10 victories without defeat and claimed the English Championship with his flawless victory over a fellow unbeaten prospect in Nathan Quarless.
Quarless was highly tipped to give Viddal problems in this fight but the new Champion more than rose to the occasion, producing a boxing masterclass with power to back it up to win every single round.
Viddal glided through the fight with a perfect rhythm and flow, picking his shots perfectly and choosing his moments of aggression and forward movement to make sure they bore results, never wasting his energy on shots that wouldn’t land well.
From English Championships would seemingly naturally follow British Championships, but whoever Viddal Riley chooses to fight next, it’s clear he’d give anyone in the division a very hard fight, and his star might never stop rising.
Viddal Riley said to Sky Sports after the fight: "I'm finally legitimate. I want to thank my whole team. I want to thank my whole team, especially my dad. It's something he said I could achieve and we're on our way so I'm very happy."
Ben Shalom, BOXXER CEO and founder, said to Sky Sports after the fight: “He’s moving really quickly so he’ll have his eyes on the winner of Chamberlain vs Lawal on October 21st. This the most improved fighter in our stable, the best mover in the division by a country mile.”
Igor Macedo Def. Jeamie TKV - TKO Rd 6 (1:11)
A horrific cut to the upper eye of Jeamie TKV ended this exciting heavyweight clash as tough Brazilian Igor Macedo was too much for undefeated heavyweight prospect Jeamie TKV and took victory.
The heavyweight pair went back and forth for five rounds with both men having periods of success and landing heavy shots on the other, with neither man taking a step back across the fight.
TKV will be devastated to lose his undefeated record, and that loss coming from a doctor's stoppage will add to the sting, but he got five and a half unquantifiably valuable rounds in that ring tonight, and will come back a much better, wiser fighter. Where both men go from here is uncertain, but the certainty of both of their hearts and toughness is beyond doubt.
Igor Macedo said to Sky Sports after the fight: "I'm very happy because I saw that my opponent is strong but five fights, three knockouts, that's disrespectful to me because I have 11 wins, 11 knockouts. But maybe I'll come back, maybe we'll have a rematch.”
Callum Simpson Def. Jose Macias - UD (100-89, 100-89, 100-89)
Rising star and former Central Area Champion Callum Simpson gave an intelligent measured performance against a pitbull-like opponent in Jose Macias, who came in as a late replacement for Simpson and fought with unquestionable ferocity and determination.
The change of opponent makes the clinical nature of Simpson’s win even more impressive, winning every single round on every single judge’s scorecard and taking a knockdown along the way. Simpson used his jab well through the fight and never overcommitted, not once finding himself in unnecessary danger.
Despite the flawless cards, Simpson was made to work in every round, and got a vital further 10 rounds of experience in the 14th fight of his undefeated professional career. Simpson is only 26 years old, but already looks set for huge domestic fights in the near future against the UK’s best and bravest at 168bs soon.
Callum Simpson said to Sky Sports after the fight: "Like I said, tonight you were going to see a much more measured, clinical performance. Nothing daft. There were a few times where I caught him with clean shots, but I didn't rush in, put my shots together, and tried to keep my range. Even when I dropped him, I didn't want to rush in."
Francesca Hennessy Def. Sonia Klos - TKO Rd 4 (3:00)
Daughter of famous promoter Mick and brother of young prospect Michael Jr, Francesca Hennessy stamped her mark as part of the boxing family with an impressive debut stoppage victory at only 18 years old.
Hennessy boxed smartly from the first bell, feinting and waiting for gaps to appear in her Sonia Klos's guard before firing off a few pinpoint shots to her opponent's jaw. After a particularly brutal assault in the 4th round, doctors ruled Klos could not continue into the 5th, giving Hennessy her debut victory.
Francesca Hennessy said to Sky Sports after the fight: “Thank you to everyone who came out to support me tonight. It means the world. I want anything next! I'm going to gain more experience. You've seen what I've got there, and I'm willing to go to the very top. I'm not in this to mess around."
Stephen McKenna Def. Darren Tetley - RTD Rd 6 (3:00)
It was the 13th stoppage victory in the flawless 14-fight professional career of one of the world’s most exciting prospects in Stephen McKenna to head-up the card, with the ruthless Irishman using his unrivalled cardio and workrate to push a highly experienced opponent in Darren Tetley to retire from the fight in his corner.
Tetley had moments of success, but McKenna always came back and threw an unrelenting swarm of punches that no-one could have stood up to on his way to a convincing victory that should set the 26-year-old up for big fights in future.
Stephen McKenna said to Sky Sports after the fight: "That was a great fight for me. I said I wanted to step up and that was a tough tough fight guy in there. He took good shots and gave them back so it was a great learning fight.”