Rising star Ellie Scotney moved her career record to 4-0 with a hotly discussed unanimous decision victory over former world champion Jorgelina Guanini (9-3-2, 1KO). Argentine fighter Guanini appeared visibly disappointed when the scorecards were announced, having started the fight strongly and also forced Scotney into having a point docked late in the fight for holding.
IN THE RED CORNER – ELLIE SCOTNEY (England: 3-0)
With only three fights to her name so far, Scotney had made a splash by starting her career with three straight decision victories over Bec Connolly, Mailys Gangloff and Eva Cantos. Ths contest was taking place at junior featherweight, but Scotney had already spoken of her ambition to challenge for a bantamweight world title in the near future.
IN THE BLUE CORNER – JORGELINA GUANINI (Argentina: 9-3-2, 1KO)
After a split decision draw on her professional debut, Guanini reeled off seven straight victories before dropping a split decision to then undefeated Davinia Perez. Guanini went on to win the IBF junior bantamweight title with a split decision victory over Debora Dionicius.
Guanini battled to a draw against Micaela Lujan in her first world title defense before moving up in weight and losing her last two fights against Rachel Ball and Jennifer Miranda.
A smiling and relaxed Guanini made her way to the ring fist bumping the crowd as South American music played, whereas a more focused and intense Scotney marched to ring with tightly wound battle braids in her hair to the strains of ‘I’m feeling good’ by Michael Buble. As referee Steve Gray gave his instructions Scotney stared down her opponent as the Argentine calmly looked down and both trainers shared a respectful handshake.
The fight started in tremendously entertaining fashion, with both fighters striding out to center-ring and swinging powerful blows back and forth before Scotney held on to force a separation from referee Gray for the first respite in the action. Guanini stepped in with a jab after the separation before the pair grappled in the ropes during a fierce start to the fight. Scotney showed good skills by ducking under a punch to land a one-two combination before circling out of harm’s way.
Guanini opened round two with a pair of heavy hooks while Scotney responded with a sharp one-two combination before skipping out of range. Three more heavy shots were soaked up by the guard of Scotney before the Argentine Guanini landed two blows to the body. Both fighters were allowed to work in close by referee Gray as Guanini threw short armed uppercuts, Scotney fought back and landed flush with two punches to the face before backing Guanini into a corner and releasing a barrage of punches.
Four straight right hands from an aggressive Guanini opened round three, but Scotney held her ground and landed two scoring blows of her own. The pair ended up in a grapple that saw Scotney receive a warning from referee Gray for pushing the head of her opponent through the ropes. Dressed in camouflage, the battling Guanini advanced once more while throwing punches before another clinch closed out the round.
Guanini ducked under a Scotney hook to open round four and landed a counter punch before closing the distance behind flurries of punches as a cut on the left eye of Scotney started to leak blood. Presented with a wound to target, Guanini threw a heavy hook aimed for the left eye that Scotney ducked underneath with the Argentine fighter remaining on the front foot throughout the period.
In the corner between rounds, the corner team of Scotney worked to stem the bleeding while trainer Shane McGuigan advised his fighter to move her head more consistently “before that big shot comes.”
Scotney closed the distance early in round five before being backed off by two fizzing blows from the Argentine. The English fighter still managed to land a straight right hand followed by a hook in what was already becoming the toughest challenge of Scotney’s career. Guanini landed a right hand before being tagged with a jab and two more counter shots in reply.
Guanini connected with a powerful right hand to open round six before backing Scotney onto the ropes and landing two more hooks. Scotney responded by skipping in and out of range, zipping straight punches through the guard of her Argentinian foe. Guanini strode forward behind heavy hooks and looked to maul Scotney, with the Londoner in contrast doing her best work when fighting at range. The constant pressure of Guanini likely saw the Argentine win what was one of many tight rounds on the scorecards.
Round seven started in familiar fashion with Guanini throwing a heavy punch and backing Scotney onto the ropes, the Argentine continued to walk forward only to receive sharp counter shots from the Londoner. Guanini would not take a backward step, but Scotney would not back down either and referee Gray paused the fight to warn both fighters for roughhouse tactics on the inside.
Heavy punches from Guanini started off round eight, but it was Scotney doing the cleaner work as the fight went on. The London-based fighter landed crisp combinations and circled the ring, providing a difficult target to hit. Guanini backed Scotney onto the ropes, but the English fighter tied up one arm of her opponent to stifle the attack before circling away from pressure.
The start of round nine was delayed when referee Gray instructed the corner of Scotney to wipe off excessive Vaseline applied to the left eye cut. Scotney appeared to be getting the measure of her opponent in round nine, again tying up one arm to smother the offense of Guanini when in the clinch. The Londoner circled left and right while consistently finding the target with sharp punches to keep her advancing opponent at bay.
After a good start to the fight from Guanini and a strong resurgence from Scotney, the fight headed into the 10th and final round with the result well and truly in the balance.
Both fighters touched gloves to commence round 10 before engaging in a toe-to-toe brawl that forced referee Gray to step in and pull apart four different clinches during the opening minute. In yet another close quarters tussle, Scotney was deducted a point by referee Gray for locking up the arm of Guanini in illegal fashion.
Looking to compensate for the lost point, Scotney went on the front foot only to be caught with a stiff right hand from Guanini before the pair nullified the offense of one another to drain the final seconds off the clock.
At the end of a very close fight, the pair hugged before returning to their corners in nervous anticipation of the scores being read out. The scorecards read 96-94, 96-94 and 95-94 in favor of Scotney who was awarded the victory via unanimous decision.
The victorious Scotney celebrated in relieved fashion while Guanini looked disappointed in what seemed a harsh decision on the visiting fighter, particularly given the late deducted point.
WHAT THEY SAID
Speaking after the fight, Scotney praised her opponent and acknowledged she was “made to earn” victory during a tight affair in which she had “got the job done.” Scotney was also full of praise for trainer Shane McGuigan and the impact he was having on her young career.
WHAT NEXT FOR THE WINNER
Scotney is intent on moving through the ranks quickly and that showed in her selection of a former world champion opponent for a 10-round bout in only her fourth career fight. While it is rare to have a 10-rounder so early in a career, the decision seemed to work in favor of Scotney who showed superior cardio and came on stronger in the later rounds.
With the stated intent of challenging for a world title at bantamweight, the winner of the upcoming IBF world bantamweight title bout between Maria Cecilia Roman and Ebanie Bridges could be in the crosshairs for London’s rising star.
WHAT NEXT FOR THE LOSER
While this is a third straight defeat for Guanini, she showed very well in this fight and has taken two quality opponents the distance in Scotney and Rachel Ball during that streak. If Guanini wants to keep challenging elite level fighters at junior featherweight, young Mexican Yamileth Mercado is a potential opponent who is coming off a world title defeat to Amanda Serrano.
Author’s Scorecard (round by round)
Picture By Mark Robinson Matchroom Boxing