Even Rocky had five weeks, Arlene Blencowe had only five days to prepare for Thursday night’s world title bout in New Zealand. But she managed to go one better than the Italian Stallion, winning a unanimous decision and the WBF and WIBA light-welterweight world title belts.
In just her third professional fight following a distinguished amateur career, Blencowe stepped in after Australian champion Sarah Howett suffered wrist injury in the lead up to her shot? at ‘Diamond’ Daniella Smith.
Smith, trained by former New Zealand Warriors NRL hard-man Monty Betham had lost just three of 15 bouts going into the fight and was a firm favourite given Blencowe’s limited preparation.
Blencowe, who’d also never fought over the ten-round distance, planned to build into the fight which saw Smith take the advantage in the early rounds, though her punches lacked the power of her younger challenger who showed the benefits of intense mixed martial arts training in the lead up to the fight.
In a brutal ten rounds, judged by many as fight of the night, Blencowe wore her older opponent down with vicious body attacks, constantly followed by left uppercuts which kept the taller Smith on the back foot.
Though out on her feet at the end Blencowe left no doubt in the judges mind with a late flurry in the tenth round which left Smith very lucky to finish on her feet.
View a video of highlights here: http://bit.ly/1byQ1EE