(FEB 22) Kina Malpartida won the
vacant WBA super-featherweight title stopping Maureen Shea in the
tenth round, Saturday night, at Madison Square Garden in New York
City. The stoppage, called by referee Eddie Cotton came with
twenty-five seconds remaining in the ten round bout. Malpartida
caught Shea with a straight right to the head, sending the Bronx
fighter, the favorite of the Garden crowd, sprawling face down on
the canvas. Shea gamely got to her feet at a six count, but after
carefully assessing the fighter, referee Cotton, correctly, called a
Shea, 128, gave up a pound and a half and four inches to Malpartida,
but it was the New York fighter who started fast, scoring a flash
knockdown in the first half minute of the bout, catching Malpartida
with a picture perfect left hook as the Peruvian born fighter was
backing away. Malpartida arose quickly and did not appear hurt.
However throughout the bout, Malpartida kept her right hand high
against her head guarding against another left hook. After a
defensive second round, Malpartida seemed to become more comfortable
and confident as the fight progressed, being most effective when she
kept the fight in the middle of the ring. Shea, aggressive through
the entire bout, pursued the taller fighter but paid a price as
Malpartida continually counter-punched effectively.
The tenth round was Malpartida's biggest round of the fight and
midway thru the stanza she seemed to score a knockdown, but it was
ruled a slip by the referee. She continued to press Shea, scoring
several big punches before the final right hand. Post fight sources
at ringside revealed that going into the tenth round Malpartida was
comfortably ahead on all three cards, 87-83 (2X) and 88-81.
It was Shea's first loss in fourteen decisions, while the new
champion improved to 9-3, scoring her second knockout of her career.