Sunday February 5, 2023
BY KEITH IDEC
NEW YORK – Ramla Ali out-boxed an undefeated fighter Saturday night to move closer toward a 122-pound title shot.
The Somali contender scored a unanimous points victory against Australia’s Avril Mathie in their 10-round IBF junior featherweight elimination match at Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater. Judges Tom Carisone, Max De Luca and Kevin Morgan favored Ali’s work by the identical score of 99-91 on the Amanda Serrano-Erika Cruz undercard.
London’s Ali, a 2021 Olympian, improved to 8-0 (2 KOs). Sydney’s Mathie lost for the first time in 10 professional fights (8-1-1, 3 KOs).
Mathie threw a lot of punches in the eighth, ninth rounds and 10th rounds, but she had difficulty catching the elusive Ali with flush punches. Ali, meanwhile, was effective with her right hand on the inside in those rounds.
Ali countered Mathie with right hands several times during the seventh round.
Ali effectively went after Mathie’s body during the sixth round. She also landed two right hands just before the bell sounded to end the sixth round.
Ali nailed Mathie with a right hand that knocked her off balance with just over 20 seconds to go in the fifth round. Mathie was busy, but inaccurate during that round.
Mathie was aggressive in the opening minute of the fourth round, when she landed several right hands against Ali.
After a successful second round for Ali, Mathie landed an overhand right in an exchange early in the third round.
Ali knocked Mathie off balance with a left hook after the halfway point of the first round. She also landed a couple of right hands in the opening round.