By Joseph G. Phillips
After promising a great fight for her hometown fans in Indiana earlier in the week, Gary’s first boxing champion, “Merciless” Mary McGee delivered on her promise with a 9th round TKO over Australia’s Deanha “The Silencer” Hobbs, on Saturday, February 8, at the Hammond Civic Center in Hammond, Indiana.
McGee was recently crowned the new IBF Women’s Super Lightweight Champion of the World in December. She successfully defended her first title against Australia’s Deanha “(the) Silencer” Hobbs (8-1, 5 KOs) on Saturday night.
“It was extremely important (that I won in front of my home town fans),” said McGee after the fight. “She was going to take a prize possession of mine that I strived for, for over 20 years.”
Despite a valiant effort by Hobbs over the first six rounds of the fight, the IBF Super Lightweight Champion McGee used the seventh, eighth, and ninth rounds to officially put her opponent away for good.
Hobbs, with a record of 8-2 and 5 knockouts, would aggressively set the tone early in the fight by attacking McGee with her aggressive style which landed very few punches, due to McGee’s ability to duck and dodge shots during the match.
Early attacks by Hobbs would only provoke McGee by the second round, as the champion countered with several blows to the head and body, to slow down her opponent’s up-tempo style.
In addition to delivering several blows to the head and body of her opponent, McGee continued to pick apart Hobbs by landing an early knockdown leading up to the ninth round.
During the ninth round, McGee would put the fight away for good, as she would punish the international sensation with merciless shots to the face and several combinations that led to Hobbs’ corner stopping the fight. The fight was stopped with 1:55 remaining in the ninth round.
Prior to the fight, McGee held a press conference and said she had “One Dream, One Passion, and One Mission, to be the greatest.” The IBF Super Lightweight Champion displayed that greatness on Saturday night.
“This event is not just for me, but for all the women at this table,” said McGee at a boxing press conference held in her hometown of Gary, Indiana on Wednesday, February 5 at the Genesis Convention Center.
“The men always get opportunities to fight. So, if I could put on a great show and I brought women along [with me] that could put on a great show, then, we deserve to be equally promoted, and equally paid at the end of the event [too].”
Said McGee during the press conference, “This belt is staying at home. I brought pride to Gary, Indiana. I’m my city’s first and only world champion. This belt is staying at home!”
McGee also said during the press conference that she could have fought anywhere in the world, but chose to fight in the state of Indiana near her hometown–Gary.
McGee also said she was very proud to fight against a girl coming all the way from Australia (whose flight was 22 hours).
McGee, who currently owns a boxing record of 27-3 with 15 knockouts in 30 bouts believes her success in upcoming fights will be a contributing factor in the continued growth of women’s boxing.
At the press conference earlier in the week, Gary’s Mayor Jerome Prince said he was very excited to see McGee become one of the city’s most prominent athletes and remarked the city was “excited to host “Merciless” Mary McGee, one of Gary’s own great fighters here tonight to become one of Gary’s premier stars over the next few years.”
McGee also wanted to make sure that she was a woman of her word by adding 13 fights to the Fight Card on Saturday night.
The Fight Card featured matches between the always charismatic Melissa “Lil Miss Tyson” St. Vil (12-4-4, 1 KO), originally from Haiti, now residing out of Brooklyn, New York, who was victorious over Canadian contender Jessica “The Cobra” Camara (7-1) winning 96-94;
Bantamweight Prospect Ebanie “Blonde Bomber” Bridges (3-0, 2 KOs), from Australia, defeating Crystal “Baby Faced Assassin” Hoy (6-10-4, 3 KOs) of Kansas;
Chicago’s very first female world champion and heavy-handed boxer Leatitia “Baby Girl” Robinson (15-1, 9 KOs) defeating New York’s Claire Hafner (4-2), after a 10-year hiatus from the ring; and
Chicago’s Northwest suburban native “Savage” Sarah French (4-2-1) defeating Christina Berry of Lacrosse, Wisconsin.
Additional bouts included:
World Ranked Super Welterweight Charles Conwell (12-0, 9 KOs) of Cleveland, Ohio, returning to ring action and defeating opponent, Mexico’s Ramses Agaton.
It was Conwell’s first fight since his October 12, 2019 victory in Chicago over Long Island, New York, native Patrick Day. Day passed days later due to brain injuries sustained in their match in Chicago.
In addition to Conwell’s boxing debut for the year 2020, Chicagoan Destyne Butler (9-0, 6 KOs) defeated boxer Marcus Washington (4-2,1 KO) of Toledo, Ohio, for the American Boxing Federation (ABF) USA Mid America Title.
The event also featured undefeated middleweight Isaiah Steen (now 14-0, 11 KOs) of Cleveland, Ohio, defeating opponent Kenneth Council.
Indianapolis’ very own Austin Manning (8-0, 4 KOs) defeated Tyron Harris of Lansing, Michigan.
Caleb Hernandez (3-0, 3 KOs) of Schererville, Indiana, Gregory Clark (4-4-1, 1 KO) of Washington, DC (not reported).
Cristian Williams (9-0, 6 KOs) of Crete, IL defeated Fernando Robles (2-3) of Pearland, Texas, Anthony Fleming (1-0, 1 KO) of Hammond, Indiana, defeated Muhammad Adams (0-4-1) of Cincinnati, Ohio, Christina Linardatou defeated Prisca Vicot for the WBO Championship belt.
In the Main Event of the night, Mary McGee (27-3, 15 KO) defended her IBF title against Australia’s top ranked Super Lightweight contender Deanha “(the) Silencer” Hobbs (8-1, 5 KOs).
McGee’s manager Brian Cohen said as a boxing fan, this was an event you didn’t want to miss.
The event featured six champions, three world titles, one ring, one night and the matches aired via live stream on the LRP network.
Gary’s Mayor Prince noted, “It is not every day that we congratulate a hometown hero, who happens to be a world boxing champion. Gary has a long and rich boxing history including names like Tony ‘The Man of Steel’ Zale, Angel Manfredy, and now the IBF Super Lightweight World Champion, Mary McGee.”
Joseph Phillips is a Chicago native, who has been a sports writer for over 15 years. He also hosts the SC Media News and Sports Network Q&A radio show on WHPK 88.5 FM Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.