Heather Hardy Out-Boxes Vincent, Wins WBO Featherweight Belt

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By Keith Idec

NEW YORK – There shouldn’t be much debate about Heather Hardy’s second victory over Shelly Vincent.

Brooklyn’s Hardy out-boxed her aggressive rival, consistently found a home for her right uppercut and won a unanimous decision in their 10-round rematch Saturday night. Judges Glenn Feldman (97-93), Kevin Morgan (97-93) and Alan Rubinstein (99-91) scored Hardy a convincing victor over the game Vincent on the Daniel Jacobs-Sergiy Derevyanchenko undercard in The Theater at Madison Square Garden.

The 36-year-old Hardy improved to 22-0 and won the previously vacant WBO female featherweight title. The 39-year-old Vincent, of Providence, Rhode Island, slipped to 23-2.

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Hardy-Vincent was just the second women’s bout televised live on HBO since the premium cable network began broadcasting boxing in 1973.

Hardy won their entertaining first fight by majority decision, but that 10-rounder was considered closer than the scorecards indicated in August 2016 at Ford Amphitheater in Brooklyn. Two of the three judges scored Hardy a wide winner of that bout (99-91, 97-93), while another judge had it even (95-95).

Hardy remained in command for most of Saturday’s second bout between them.

Hardy continued to out-box Vincent in the 10th round. She landed a right-left combination with just over 40 seconds left in the final round.

Hardy’s right uppercut, an effective weapon in previous rounds, snapped back Vincent’s head with just under 50 seconds remaining in the ninth round.

Vincent was relentless in the eighth round, just as she had been in most of the bout. But she didn’t landed many clean punches as he moved forward and Hardy countered her twice with clean left hands late in the eighth.

Hardy’s right uppercut landed again with just under 50 seconds to go in the seventh round, when an accidental clash of heads opened another cut, this time over Hardy’s left eye. Hardy already was fighting through a smaller cut over her right eye.

Hardy added another right uppercut later in the seventh, when an accidental clash of heads opened another cut, this time over Hardy’s left eye.

Hardy cracked Vincent with a right uppercut in the sixth round. She also landed two hard left hands late in the sixth, but Vincent kept pressing forward.

Vincent tried bullying her way inside again early in the fifth round, but smothered herself. Hardy hit her to the body several times in the fifth.

They traded left hooks late in the fifth round.

Hardy connected with a straight right hand and a left hook with just over a minute to go in the fourth round.

Vincent continued applying pressure in the third round, when a cut opened over Hardy’s right eye. Hardy landed a hard right to the body in the third round and followed with a straight right hand to Vincent’s head several seconds later.

Hardy landed a solid right hand with just over a minute to go in the second round. Vincent’s left hook landed near the 30-second mark of the second round.

Vincent attacked Hardy as soon as the fight started, but Hardy fended off her aggressive opponent and landed several hard punches in the first round.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

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