VIDEO: Padiham's Ella Wilkinson becomes UK's first ever female bareknuckle boxing champion!
Padiham firecracker Ella Wilkinson made her own little piece of history when coming the UK’s first ever female bareknuckle champion.
The 26-year-old, backed by a rapturous crowd at Colne Municipal Hall, stopped the well-travelled Sara Smith in the third round of their headline act.
Under the guidance of Muscle Factory coach Uwais Majeed, the former Ivy Bank pupil applied unrelenting pressure from the first bell and forced her more experienced foe to take cover.
The nomadic away fighter, who has had more than 30 contests on the circuit, appeared incapable of handling the heat and in the end succumbed to a crushing right hand when pinned in to the corner.
It was a shot that caused spectators ringside to gasp in disbelief, and one that left Sara requiring treatment to her left eye.
“I’m really pleased with the performance,” said Ella, who claimed the English featherweight strap. “I’ve only been training with Uwais [Majeed] for 10 weeks and this is my first bareknuckle fight. This is my first fight ever and the first women’s title fight in the UK.
“I’ve always been fiery tempered and I just wanted to put it in to the right place. I went in to the zone, listened to my coach’s voice and went for it.
“My gameplan was to put the pressure on from the start because she had a longer reach and she was a lot taller than me.
“I needed to keep on the inside of her and slip the jabs, land body shots and overhand rights. It’s worked out perfectly.
“It was such a big thing with it being the first one in the UK, that’s why I took it. I’ve made history and I’m just glad that I came out of it with the win. I’m proud.
“I came for the belt and that’s what I’m going home with. I was really nervous at first because my opponent has had 35-plus fights so she was more experienced. I took it all in my stride.”