By: Sean Crose
The undisputed women’s super featherweight championship of the world was on the line Saturday night at Madison Square Garden’s Hulu theater as the 15-1 Elhem Mekhaled squared off against the 13-1 WBC, IBF, and WBO super featherweight titlist Alycia Baumgardner.
Baumgardner’s jab was effective in the first, though Mekhaled pursued effectively, keeping the defending champion on defense. The second saw Baumgardner fighting with intelligent fluidity, landing well, and slipping punches well, too. Mekhaled, however, was able to land well in the later portion of the two minute round.
Baumgardner rocked and dropped Mekhaled in the third. Mekhaled got up but was sent down again seconds later. Mekhaled got up once more and was somehow able to survive the chapter. Baumgardner, however, had undoubtedly had herself an incredible round. With that being said, Mekhaled had a better fourth. Both women traded well in the fifth. The action slowed down a bit in the sixth but Baumgardner appeared to get the better of it.
It looked like Mekhaled would go down again in the seventh, but she stayed on her feet and kept fighting. She also did well in the eighth, landing effectively against a tired Baumgardner. Mekhaled went on to have a very strong ninth. Still, Baumgardner had undoubtedly built up a considerable lead thanks to the numerous knockdowns earlier in the fight. The final round was a slugfest.
Baumgardner walked out of the ring with the undisputed super featherweight championship in her possession courtesy of a unanimous decision win.
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