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Hallback Defeats Garside, Rodriguez Decisions Dunaway

LatestBy Jim Dower: In a fight card marred with controversial decisions, lightweight Chevelle Hallback (27-5-2, 11 KOs) defeated Jeannine Garside (7-1-1, 3 KOs) by a 10-round split decision to win the vacant IFBA International Female Boxing Association lightweight title on Friday night at the Isleta Casino & Resort, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The final judges’ scores were 96-94, 99-91 for Hallback and 94-96 for Garside. I personally had Garside winning the bout by seven rounds to three.

In another fight on the card, minimumweight Wendy Rodriguez (19-4, 3 KOs) defeated Hollie Dunaway (21-7, 10 KOs) by a 10-round split decision to win the vacant IFBA International Female Boxing Association minimumweight and vacant International Boxing Association Female minimumweight titles. The final judges’ scores were 96-94 and 98-92 for Rodriguez and 94-96 for Dunaway. I had Dunaway easily winning the fight by 8 rounds to 2.

In the lightweight title fight between Garside and Hallback, the action was controlled by Garside in the early rounds as she stayed mostly to the outside where she was able to throw combinations effectively. Though she wasn’t as powerful as Hallback, not even close, Garside was able to avoid getting hit by Hallback by using quick combinations on the inside and then moving back to the outside. Up until the 4th round, the fight had been largely one-sided with Garside, 30, keeping Hallback from landing much of anything due to her movement and distancing.

However, in the 4th round, Garside tried slugging with Hallback and paid the price by taking a lot of heavy shots particularly in the last 30 seconds of the round when Hallback was able to nail her with some big right hands to the head. In the 5th and 6th rounds, Garside went back to fighting mostly on the outside and once again found success with her jab, which she used to control the fight and keep the 36 year-old Hallback from landing her power punches.

The southpaw Garside continued to fight well in rounds seven through nine, hitting Hallback with constant left hands to the head and confusing her with movement. Other than one slip up in the last 20 seconds of the 7th round, when Garside once again tried to trade shots with Hallback and took some punishing right hands from her for all her efforts, the fight was pretty much as one-sided as it had been in the first three rounds of the fight.

In the 10th round, both fighters stood toe-to-toe for the entire round trading big shots. This favored the more powerful Hallback, who landed a number of heavy shots to the head. As I said earlier, I saw Garside easily winning the fight. It appeared that the many people in the audience agreed with my decision based on the huge chorus of boos that greeted the final decision.

In the minimumweight title bout between Wendy Rodriguez and Hollie Dunaway, this was an even more one-sided fight than the Hallback-Garside bout with Dunaway dominating the action, landing by far more shots and fighting well defensively from the outside. Dunaway, 23, keep the shorter Rodriguez on the outside for most of the fight, where she was able to nail her with long combinations without getting hit in return. Rodriguez, 29, continually pressed forward for the entire fight, but due to her limited reach she often was unable to make any contact with Dunaway.

Rounds one through four were completely one-sided, with Dunaway tagging Rodriguez repeatedly with fast combinations from the outside and moving away quickly when the short, squat Rodriguez would attempt to come inside. Rodriguez generally would come in forward, standing square, making her an inviting target for jabs and combinations from Dunaway. Only rarely did Rodriguez land any punches in these rounds. In rounds five though seven, Dunaway continued to pound away at Rodriguez, hitting her with fast one-two combinations and getting out of the way of her wide hooks.

Dunaway was making it look effortless, leaving no doubt in my mind and the mind of many boxing fans in the audience, who the better fighter was between the two of them. In rounds eight and ten, Rodriguez was finally able to do enough to win both the rounds. She was able to do this because Dunaway stopped moving for awhile in the rounds, long enough for Rodriguez to get inside and land some good combinations.

She looked good, hitting Dunaway with some hard hooks to the head during both rounds. As good as she looked in the rounds, it was still far too little to win the fight because she looked bad in all the other rounds and didn’t land anywhere close to enough shots to win any of them. The final decision was greeted by a lot of boos by the fans, which were probably in as much shock as I was with the final decision.


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