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McLeod-Wells Edges McMorrow in New York
by Bernie McCoy
February 10, 2011

     
   
   
   
   

(FEB 10) Keisher "Fire" McLeod-Wells returned to familiar surroundings, B B KIng Blues Club in Times Square, after nearly11 months without a bout and gained a close, hard fought unanimous decision over a very tough, very game Melissa McMorrow in a six round flyweight bout, on Lou DiBella's nine bout card, Wednesday night, before an early arriving, overflow crowd.

McMorrow, tipping the scales at 108, gave away four inches to the lean, long-limbed Brooklyn fighter, who answered the bell at 107. McMorrow was the aggressor from the first minute of the bout, employing a walk-in, straight ahead style that contrasted markedly with McLeod-Wells' stick and move tactics and gained McMorrow an edge in the first two rounds as McLeod-Wells had some difficulty locating her left jab, allowing the shorter fighter to work effectively inside.

In the third round McLeod-Wells began to find the range with her long left and her side/side movement permitted more time in the middle of the ring, an effective tactic against the ever aggressive McMorrow. Rounds four and five, both closely contested, saw McLeod-Wells maintain a very slight edge in each stanza, with her fluid movement and long range jabs and left hooks. McMorrow, continually in a low crouch, minimizing the target for the taller boxer, continued launching bell/bell left and right hooks at her opponent.

The final round, while similar in style to the previous five, proved critical to the decision, when referee, Arthur Mercante, one of the best arbiters in the sport, awarded a knockdown to McLeod-Wells when McMorrow, coming out of a clinch, seemed to touch the canvas with her knee, after an inclose exchange of punches. McMorrow closed the bout with furious attacks, attempting to overcome the knockdown.

The final scorecards reflected the razor thin closeness of the bout and the influence that the sixth round knockdown had on the decision. Two of the judges' cards read 57-56 for McLeod-Wells, while the third had a 58-55 tally for the winner. It was a tough loss for McMorrow and she probably deserves a return bout. McLeod-Wells improved her record to 4-1-0 (1 KO).  while the California fighter dropped to 4-2-3.

The bout was postponed from it's original date, last July, and it is to the credit of DiBella Entertainment that the promoter kept the match-up in mind and made it happen seven months later. Styles do make fights and in Keisher McLeod-Wells and Melissa McMorrow the sport of Women's boxing benefited from two talented fighters with contrasting styles and almost identical high levels of skill.

Bernie McCoy

 
     
     
   
 
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