Dubois scores three knockdowns to claim maiden world title

Caroline Dubois claimed the maiden world title of her young career with a competitive victory over Mexican Magali Rodriguez at the York Hall, London. Dubois (7-0), a former Olympian and one of boxing’s brightest prospects, faced a huge step in opposition calibre in the form of Rodriguez (22-6-4). The Mexican played her part in a competitive affair but, notably, a learning affair for 22-year-old Dubois alongside claiming the IBO world lightweight title. The opening round of the scheduled ten was a tame affair, with both fighters attempting to find their range with several jabs, respectively. Dubois was successfully targeting the body with her jab, while Rodriguez attempted to do the same. In the final seconds of the opening, a loss of balance saw Rodriguez land shots to the head of Dubois, but Dubois was unaffected. The second round saw Dubois find her range more effectively, landing shots with the backhand. Rodriguez would have success on her own with a long right hand down straight landing on the chin of Dubois. The third saw Dubois up the pace of the contest with differing attacks to her work. The speed of the round negated the efforts of Rodriguez, who had much less measurable success than the opening two frames. Rodriguez would land the shot of the round with a right hook as Dubois attempted to sink a jab to the midsection of Dubois. Rodriguez upped her work rate in an attempt to retake control of the contest, working into Dubois’s favour, who was able to land a long left hand on the sound of the closing bell. Round five was strong for the Mexican as Rodriguez continued her attempted assault on Dubois. Although no hurtful shots particularly landed, Rodriguez landed several combinations, with Dubois happy to soak up the punches and negate the attacks with her footwork. Dubois would score a knockdown following a three-punch combination in the final twenty seconds of round six. The round was a more controlled affair for Dubois, who established her distance and jab and landed a number of one-two combinations to head and body. Rodriguez, when felled by the combination, rose quickly to her feet. Seven saw a much more tame affair, with Dubois staying behind her jab and able to land on Rodriguez, who was eager to close the distance in an attempt to repeat her success in the earlier rounds. Eight was fought at a similar pace, with Dubois keeping her distance and discipline, with Rodriguez falling short and falling into the pocket, allowing Dubois to capitalise. The penultimate round of the scheduled ten saw Dubois score two further knockdowns. The first coming inside the opening ten seconds courtesy of a long left hook flooring the Mexican heavily. Rodriguez would rise to her feet before Dubois continued to target the body with an accumulation of shots, sending the Mexican to the canvas again. However, Dubois posed a frustrated figure due to Rodriguez spitting her gumshield to gain more time to recover alongside clinching and smothering the attacks of Dubois to see out the round. The final round saw both seeking to close the show with a stoppage, with both fighters landing and exchanging combinations with each other. Rodriguez did wobble Dubois courtesy of a right hook inside the final thirty seconds of the round, but it was too little too late for the Mexican. After ten rounds, the contest scored a unanimous decision on behalf of Dubois, with scorecards reading 98-89, 97-90, and 99-88.