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Francesca Hennessy Easily Outpoints Laura Belen Valdebenito

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LONDON – Later on this evening, all eyes will be on the eagerly awaited light heavyweight fight between Dan Azeez and Joshua Buatsi but Francesca Hennessy got the action underway at the OVO Arena, Wembley. 

Making her third professional appearance, the confident 19-year-old from Kent had a comfortable night against Argentina’s Laura Belen Valdebenito in their six round featherweight fight. 

The Argentinean generally fights around the flyweight limit and was stopped in the second round when challenging for the South American light flyweight title last February. Size wasn’t her biggest problem, however. Her feet were just too slow and she struggled badly to get close to the speedy Hennessy who landed the cleanest punch of the opening round with a stiff left-hand lead.

Valdebenito began to lunge in with her attacks in the second. For the most part, Hennessy would see the attack coming and quickly step out of range but on one occasion she held her feet and walked Valdebenito onto a right hand. A trick she repeated in the third. Clean punches were few and far between but although she kept trying, Valdebenito just couldn’t reach Hennessy.

Hennessy began to use her jab in the third round and started to enjoy more regular success. Valdebenito began to show real signs of frustration in the fourth and Hennessy began to hold her feet for a split second and use her right hand rather than backing away. She walked Valdebenito into a couple of those right hands in the fifth but did take a solid right hand herself as Valdebenito finally found an opportunity to land herself. 

After collecting her third warning, Valdebenito (5-6-1, 2 KO’s) lost a point in the final round for hitting on the break and the fight petered out. After six rounds, Hennessy (3-0, 1 KO) was awarded a 60-53 decision by referee Kieran McCann and remains unbeaten. 

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