Former two-weight world champion Erica Farias rolled back the years as she ended the unbeaten record of Sandy Ryan with a split decision on the Wood-Conlan card in Nottingham.
Farias, the 37-year-old former WBC lightweight and super-lightweight champion from Argentina, proved too busy and wily for her highly-touted younger opponent, as she repeatedly beat her to the punch and outworked her, while Ryan waited too long at times.
It was a close fight, with Ryan doing best when switching to the body. But she neglected her jab and tended to leave herself open when attacking.
Even a former world champion is no guarantee of quality in women’s boxing, but there was no denying the calibre of Farias, who had won 14 world title bouts as well as taken Jessica McCaskill, the undisputed world welterweight champion, to a majority decision in 2019 before moving down to super-featherweight to go the distance with Mikaela Mayer in her last fight last June.
And it was Farias who made the early running, beating Ryan to the punch as the Derby fighter waited too long to throw and was too static.
Midway through the third, Ryan decided to stand and trade but was wide open to what was coming back.
Ryan had a better fourth, but in the fifth Farias completely outworked her as Ryan seemed stuck in a low gear. In the sixth round, though, Ryan went to the body with more resolution, as she landed a series of left hooks downstairs.
The seventh was close, as Ryan did well early on before Farias fired back and Ryan finished the round with a bloodied nose.
The eighth and ninth were close again, as the pair stood toe-to-toe, Ryan often leading off before Farias took over.
Ryan started the last round well, but after Farias landed a one-two in response, referee Kevin Parker deducted a point from the visitor for using her head. It looked harsh.
But from then on it was Farias who finished strong, as she winged in punches with both hands.
One judge, Michael Alexander, scored it 97-93 for Ryan, while Steve Gray and Bob Williams went for Farias, by 97-94 and 95-94 respectively.
It took as long for Thomas Whittaker-Hart to be announced in the ring as it did for the Liverpool light-heavyweight to take care of Ben Thomas, who was dropped by a left hook to the body, referee Chris Dean counting him out after 43 seconds of the first round.
Whittaker-Hart, a former ABA champion, moved to 6-0.
Dublin heavyweight Thomas Carty moved to 3-0 as he stopped Poland’s Michal Boloz in the fifth of six rounds.
Southpaw Carty did well with the jab and established control early. While Boloz did have some success when getting Carty to stand and trade, he was getting ragged by the third round and getting increasingly busted up.
By the fifth round, with Boloz’s left eye shutting fast, referee Kevin Parker took him for inspection by the doctor. The first time he allowed it to continue, the second time Parker stopped it at 2:27.
Bantamweight Nico Leivars, who won a stack of titles as an amateur made a successful professional debut as he beat Jose Hernandez, a Spain-based Nicaraguan, on points over four.
Leivars was positive, throwing shots in combinations and dropped Hernandez with a clipping right with eight seconds left of the final round before collecting a 40-35 decision from referee Dean.
Ron Lewis is a senior writer for BoxingScene. He was Boxing Correspondent for The Times, where he worked from 2001-2019 - covering four Olympic Games and numerous world title fights across the globe. He has written about boxing for a wide variety of publications worldwide since the 1980s.