Rachel Ball claimed the interim WBC super-bantamweight title with a wide unanimous points decision over Jorgelina Guanini at Wembley.
It had been a difficult week and for five rounds it was a tricky night for Ball, who struggled to land early on and protested to referee Bob Williams at one point, claiming the Argentinean had Vicks on her gloves
She dominated the second half of the fight, though, as she found her range, and claimed a landslide win on the scorecards, Victor Loughlin and John Latham scoring it 99-91, while Mark Lyson went 99-92.
“I’m just happy,” Ball said. “It has been a made week, but I am glad I kept myself together and dealt with it.”
It had been a long week for Guanini. She took the fight at ten days’ notice, which initially should have been for the vacant WBA bantamweight title, after Ebanie Bridges withdrew with a shoulder injury. But despite being the reigning IBF super-flyweight champion, but having not boxed in 18 months, she arrived in London well over the weight.
Twice she attempted to make the British Board of Control’s requirement for a check weight, even cutting her hair off, but having been six pounds over the limit on Wednesday she came in even higher on Thursday, meaning that Ball would not be allowed to box her if she made the bantamweight limit.
The WBC added their interim super-bantamweight title and while Guanini did not make that either, she was close enough to allow the contest to proceed, with the title only on the line for Ball.
Ball towered over the Argentinean and when she made her enormous reach advantage tell, she dominated. Too often, though, she missed on the way in, allowing Guanini to counter. If Ball had hoped Guanini was just here for the money after here weight disaster, she was to be disappointed. Guanini was moving well, getting inside and keeping Ball under pressure.
When Ball stood off and punched straight, there was very little Guanini could do. At times, though, Ball was will, missing with hooks and leaving herself open for and in range.
As the action wore on, though, Ball, started getting through and her stamina took over. In the last two rounds, she pressured Guanini around the ring. Guanini was in full retreat in the last, running away in the final seconds, much to Ball’s annoyance.
Ron Lewis is a senior writer for Boxing Scene. 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.