Costa Rican goddess Hanna Gabriels looked sharp, quick and in control through seven rounds at the Palacio de los Deportes in Heredia, Costa Rica on Saturday night against Dakota Stone. The WBO female junior middleweight champion was too athletic for the willing Stone in a bout shown on The Boxing Channel (BoxingChannel.TV), but Stone was hanging tough, and it looked like she'd force Gabriels to swim into deeper water than she'd ever had to. The ref Geno Rodriguez then put his stamp on the event, and not in a good way. Gabriels launched a combo midway through the eighth, and Rodriguez stepped in and stopped the scrap. Stone wasn't in a hint of trouble, and hadn't been badly buzzed to that point.
Stone protested vehemently, and Gabriels indicated that she didn't understand the stoppage.
Gabriels (age 28) rose to 13-0 with 9 KOs, while the 42 year-old Stone's record slipped to 10-9. The former track star Gabriels, who debuted as a pro in 2007, is part of a dynamic duo of pugilism in CR. Her fiancee is super featherweight contender Bryan Vasquez.
The esteemed Al Bernstein called the action on TBC. He called the stoppage "bizarre" and minced no words in labeling it inappropriate.
In the first, the Costa Rican got cooking with the jab. The Washington resident Stone, whose name might be familiar to you because she scored a TKO6 win against Christy Martin in June, when the ref halted the bout because Martin broke her hand, followed Gabriels, who is quite light on her feet. Gabriels bounces and floats about the ring in a graceful manner.
In the second, Gabriels smartly got angles on the challenger, launched and left repeatedly. The native put together a power combo to close the round.
In the third, Gabriels maintained her edge. Her movement was the difference, as Stone's flat-footedness kept her a step behind.
In the fourth, Gabriel's right cross scored but she ate a few pops as well. It was a tighter frame, with Stone looking to close the distance some.
In the fifth, the jab was a keeper for Gabriels. Her lateral movement was constant and kept Stone a day late and a dollar short once again.
In the sixth, Gabriels kept up with her combos; she put together three and four punch efforts which had to impress the judges.
In the seventh, Stone, with a mouse on her right eye, kept in Gabriels' face. Was the native getting winded?
In the eighth, the CR fighter came out looking fresher. She put together a combo, a decent compilation, but nothing extraordinary. The ref thought otherwise; he hopped in and stopped the scrap, giving Gabriels the TKO victory.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV