pictures courtesy @pugshoot (Instagram)
s the misses and I were making our way from Luton after watching Razor Ali add another great win, taking him to 6-0, there was a real buzz in the car as we knew this was going to be a electrifying night for women's boxing: Nina Hughes versus Tysie Gallagher for the vacant Commonwealth Super Bantamweight Title.

By the time we got to the venue, it was filled with Gallagher's Luton army and, let me tell you, those Luton lasses can make some noise! With Nina Hughes being the home fighter, you wouldn’t have been able to tell with the echo of Tysie's name flooding the place. 

As both fighters made their ring walks, did their head to head and the ref separating them to start this class brawl, you couldn’t help but feel that we were about to witness one of the biggest women’s fights in Britain.

Hughes was straight on the front foot being the aggressor and Gallagher on the back foot, using her jab as expected. From the off Nina was looking for that big over hand right, which found home a couple of times but to Tysie's credit she took it well and answered back with a lovely straight right of her own, even when she was backed on to the ropes. The opening round was scrappy at times and was 50/50, but these close rounds 9/10 times tend go to the home fighter.

Nina continued to pile forward on the front foot in the second round and opened up with a lovely flurry of shots. I wanted to see Tysie get busier and half way through the round, both fighters were landing big shots. This fight was starting to catch fire. 

The third round started just like the first two, but at this point Nina’s tactics on the inside were starting to get a little dirty. She was hitting the back of the head, pushing her elbow in Tysie’s face and was making the fight rough and uncomfortable for the lady from Luton. Tysie was landing cleaner shots but I just felt she needed to be busier though. When she was letting her hands go she looked like the million dollar baby; but she was just letting Nina look too in control and aggressive on the front foot, something the judges eat up. As I said, Nina was the home fighter and coupled with above, I was worried.

The fourth round my prayers were answered as Tysie started to get more active and landed a sensational right hand, an absolutely beautiful shot. Nina took it well and continued to come forward, taking another great right hand from her opponent for her troubles. I'm sure the crowds roars of "We love you Tysie, we do!" would give anyone a boost.

Gallagher finally growing into the fight, finding her feet in the fifth. She dominated from the off, wanting claimed it for herself. Hughes continued to play her rough game, hitting the back of the head multiple times but she couldn’t dismantle the boxing beauty as Tysie stuck to her game plan, going on to take the win on this round without any doubt.

The sixth saw Tysie beautifully taking more control but Nina’s pursuit of malicious tricks to gain the upper hand continued. The evidence of Tysie's swift actions were showing- the Essex brunette's face was looking a bit of a mess and her eye was started to close. By this point though, due to her shady moves in the ring, I thought Nina should have had a point taken off or, at the very least, a warning from the ref. You could see the frustration in Tysie's corner as  head coach Tony Pill and second, Don Charles, jumped up in anger, asking the ref, “how many times now?!”.

The crowd could see what was going on and getting annoyed, too, with the foul play. You couldn’t miss it! One couldn’t help but think it was two on one as Tysie wasn't getting any favours or support from the supposedly unbiased Mr. Williams.

A continuation of Nina's naughty behavior in the seventh. Clearly concerned about being outskilled by Gallagher, she was very unprofessional and obviously willing to do anything, no matter how underhanded, to "win" the rounds. I can’t lie, even I jumped up and was shouting at the ref. Then, FINALLY! The ref warned Nina but considering how long it had been going on for, a word wasn’t good enough. She should have had a point deducted.

After a good few rounds from the Luton athlete, Nina had her best in a long time through the eighth. That’s not to say Tysie didn’t have her moments though, it was a really great 50/50 round and, living up to expectations, a amazing fight to watch.

As the ninth round was about to start, and being the away fighter, I thought Gallagher needed these last two rounds to make a big statement. With multiple big right hands she was comfortably taking it, but Hughes wouldn’t be denied and caught Tysie with a good right hand as she was backed into the ropes. Nina continued to hit Tysie on the back of the head, still had no points taken off and still no word from the ref. At this point, personally, I thought there was a real case for disqualification.
The final round was about to start, I looked to the right and saw Nina's swollen face and her eye practically closed now. Looking to the left and Tysie's face was covered in blood too! These women stole the show in the best woman’s fight I’ve seen live, even with the ploys from the home team. There was still one more round to go and, boy, it didn’t disappoint. Both fighters came to the middle of the ring and threw hands until the bitter end. Nina was more aggressive but Tysie's work was cleaner and sharp, leading to me thinking she took this round.

Both of these women should be incredibly proud as it was a sensational battle, and a fight that, I believe, will do a lot for women’s boxing. I called it a draw but then, having said that, I felt Nina should have been disqualified or had a point taken off. Had this happened, the win would be to Tysie. I felt the officiating from the ref was extremely poor and showed a favourite, giving no favours to my girl on the night.

The first scorecard came out as a draw 95-95, ok, it was going the way I thought. Then when you heard the other scorecards, and how wild it was at 97-93, 96-94 you just knew it wasn't going in favour of the away corner. Nina Hughes was crowned Commonwealth and IBO Champion, and fair play to her, she did what she had to do to win. It’s not her fault that the ref, Bob Williams, was letting her get away with murder. Everyone felt a way, and one couldn’t help but feel that Tysie was hard done by. A stolen victory.

Winner by majority decision - Nina Hughes: 95-95, 97-93, 96-94


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