In what will undoubtedly go down as the fight of the year, and perhaps one of the most memorable fights in the recent history of women’s boxing, Providence, R.I., super bantamweight Shelito Vincent earned her first world title, narrowly beating Jackie Trivilino, 95-95, 98-92, 96-94, to capture the vacant Universal Boxing Federation (UBF) championship.
As expected, both fighters came out swinging, exchanging lefts and rights through the first two rounds while fighting within striking distance of one another the entire fight.
Trivilino (9-9-1) got the better of the exchanges of the third, catching Vincent (13-0) with a hard left hook and a short, right uppercut, but Vincent answered the bell in the fourth, opening the round with a looping overhand right that caught Trivilino square in the jaw on her way in from the corner.
Neither fighting clinched or held. They just kept coming forward, and after a spirited fifth round, which in many ways was a replay of the first four action-packed rounds, Vincent started the sixth with another tremendous blow, a hard overhand right that brought the crowd to its feet.
Trivilino came out orthodox in the seventh, trying to work the body and coax Vincent into lowering her head to set up one of her trademark uppercuts, but Vincent found her second wind toward the end of the round and landed another lead right followed by a left to back up Trivilino for what seemed like the first time in the entire fight.
Fatigue began to somewhat set in late in the eighth round as Trivilino came out firing with a sense of urgency, landing a big right and another uppercut in the closing seconds in what was her best round of the night. Vincent actually tried to wrap her up at one point following a strong right hand, the first time either fighter got tangled up the entire night.
The ninth round was more of the same with nonstop flurries and both fighters leaning in close to work the body and try to land upstairs with vicious combinations. Vincent landed two of the cleanest shots of the round, an overhand right and a left hook, but Trivilino fought well off the ropes in the closing seconds while unloading one last flurry.
Trivilino carried the momentum into the 10th with a solid right uppercut to open the round before Vincent began storming back. She stunned Trivilino with a short right in the closing seconds and began backing up her opponent again and landing another hard right at the bell as the crowd rose to its feet to give both fighters a standing ovation.
The night started with a back-and-forth slugfest between New Haven, Conn., lightweight Oscar Bonilla (3-0-1) and Scott Sullivan (1-1) of New Bedford, Mass. Bonilla, fighting for the first time in more than two years, and Sullivan stood toe-to-toe for four hard rounds, exchanging blows in the center of the ring with Bonilla winning most of the exchanges. Bonilla earned the unanimous decision, 39-37, 40-36, 39-37, his first win since 2012, in an entertaining opening bout.
Warwick super middleweight Zack Christy (1-0-1), a former Air Force vet, and Sergio Cabrera (0-3-2) of Somerville, Mass., also slugged it out for four rounds with neither fighter gaining any real momentum over the course of the fight. The bout ended in a draw, 38-38, on all three scorecards, Cabrera’s second draw in the past eight days.
Facing a tall task – literally – against the 6-foot-3 Mike Rodriguez (0-2) of Springfield, Mass., rising prospect Ray Oliveira Jr. (2-0) of New Bedford, Mass., the son of the legendary “Sucra” Ray Oliveira Sr., won his second bout in as many tries by unanimous decision, 39-37, 39-37, 40-36.
A last-minute addition to the card, Brockton, Mass., heavyweight Julian Pollard (5-0, 5 KOs) won for the second time in eight days and kept his five-fight knockout streak alive, stopping Providence veteran Arthur Saribekian (23-6-1) at 2:41 of the opening round.
Pollard came out swinging and landed early, opening a nasty cut over Saribekian’s right eye within the first few minutes. Pollard eventually dropped Saribekian late in the round with an overhand right and Saribekian got to his feet, even convincing referee Joey Lupino to let him continue, but Saribekian’s corner quickly threw in the towel before he could sustain any additional damage.
Battling a southpaw for the first time in his young career, Worcester, Mass., middleweight Khiary Gray-Pitts (3-0) continued to make tremendous strides, outworking the 5-foot-11 Vincent Floyd (1-1-1) to earn a 40-36 unanimous decision on all three scorecards. As the aggressor for the entire bout, Gray-Pitts kept Floyd against the ropes for four rounds and neutralized the one edge Floyd had as a southpaw. The win was Gray-Pitts’ third of the year after making his professional debut in June.
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