Kellie Harrington is the new AIBA Women’s World Boxing lightweight champion after beating Thailand’s Sudaporn Seesondee on a split verdict, in the final.
Harrington has made history becoming the first Irish boxer to medal in two different weight classes. In 2016, the Dubliner won silver at light-welterweight and has now added to her collection with gold at lightweight – an Olympic weight category.
The nine-time Irish elite champion has exhibited incredible balance, movement, precision and counter-striking throughout the tournament. Harrington has displayed her brilliance for all to see on the world stage and once again demonstrated her vast range of skills in the final against Thailand’s Sudaporn Seesondee.
As to be expected, the opening exchanges in the first round were cagey with both fighters reluctant to be caught cold. Harrington possessed the height and reach advantage and settled the quicker of the two boxers.
With her natural speed, accuracy and coordination, Harrington landed the cleaner shots while dictating the distance between herself and her opponent. The Dubliner’s magnificent head and lateral movement made it difficult for the Thai boxer to land any blows.
With the 28-year-old narrowly edging the first round, Harrington once again showed her boxing IQ as she managed the fight, establishing a comfortable range between herself and Seesondee.
Despite the Thai’s best efforts to close the space and trap Harrington, it wasn’t effective as the Irish-woman was lethal on the back-foot throwing quick counter-punches. Harrington was landing quick and snappy hooks to the body which kept the scoring in her favour.
It was hard work for both fighters in a tight contest. Harrington was narrowly edging her counterpart with better accuracy and well-timed shots. Sessondee was however extremely competitive and gave Harrington food for thought with her constant pressing forward.
The final round was pivotal as any mistake could have veered the fight to either boxer. After a quick-flurry of shots thrown by Sessondee in the early part of the round, Harrington took charge of the situation.
Once again her fine boxing skills on the outside came to the fore as she finished the round strong with a fine combination of jabs and hooks.
The final was the closest fight Harrington has had all tournament after winning three fights previously on unanimous decisions and one on a split decision.
Harrington narrowly edged victory on the judges’ scorecards which brought first brought shock and then emotional celebrations from Harrington and the whole Irish team in India. The judges scored the fight 28-29×3 in favour of the St. Mary’s boxing star.
It seems as it is a case of history repeating itself as the last time Ireland won a World Championship gold at lightweight was also in New, Delhi India, as Katie Taylor brought home victory in 2006.
…and the NEW World Champion!🥇 Never in doubt. What a show Kellie Harrington has put on in New Delhi these past 10 days… and, this year. An 8th national title in February. European bronze in June. World GOLD in November. Phenomenal to watch this woman at work.
#WWCHs2018 🥊 pic.twitter.com/QJUY02sM5N
— Elaine Buckley (@ElaineBucko) November 24, 2018