Skye Nicolson scores first TKO win to retain WBC interim belt and stake Serrano claim

Skye Nicolson retained her interim WBC featherweight title and stayed on course for a possible showdown against undisputed champion Amanda Serrano in 2024 with a ninth-round stoppage over Lucy Wildheart.

The game Wildheart, back in action after a gruelling and bloody 10-round loss to Mikaela Mayer in April, found herself a few levels below the 28-year-old former Olympian, who moves on to 9-0 in a little over a year-and-a-half as a professional.

Most significantly, an upping of the tempo during a punishingly one-sided ninth gave Nicolson her first TKO triumph. Having decided against returning to the unpaid ranks for Paris 2024, bigger challenges lie ahead next year.

The opening two rounds featured the now-familiar sight of Nicolson establishing her long southpaw lead to control the action, but she also brought her backhand into play after pledging to show a more aggressive side.

MORE: Chantelle Cameron vs Katie Taylor 2 live updates, results, highlights for undisputed 140lb title fight

Wildheart’s game but rudimentary forward advances were easier for the Australian to time by round three. That forced a change of tact from Wildheart (10-3), who switched to southpaw to match up with Nicolson showing a few more feints.

Wildheart walked onto a one-two and a meaty right hook in the fifth as Nicolson’s corner called on their fighter to up the tempo

Nicolson’s educated footwork left her opponent swatting at fresh air for most of the seventh as the Swede sought to turn the tide. It proved to be a fruitless endeavour and, in the penultimate session, some solid, straight shots from Nicolson stiffened her foe.

Wildheart’s nose, which was also damaged against Mayer, began to bleed badly and, as Nicolson planted her feet and started to tee off the towel came in.

WATCH: Nicolson vs. Wildheart exclusively on DAZN

When will Skye Nicolson fight for the featherweight world title?

Part of the reason for Nicolson being granted a shot at and winning the interim WBC featherweight title against Sabrina Perez in her previous contest is pound-for-pound superstar Serrano having the 126 lbs division on lockdown.

Serrano is the undisputed featherweight champion and Nicolson hopes a bout with the Puerto Rican great is in her immediate future.

“I want to be made mandatory after this fight,” Nicolson told iFL TV this week. “That’s the aim, that’s the goal. I want to fight for undisputed in my first fight in 2024.”

That might depend on the fallout from Saturday’s main event in Dublin, where undisputed super lightweight champion Chantelle Cameron faces Katie Taylor.

Taylor holds all the belts at 135 lbs, where she beat Serrano in a thriller at a sold-out Madison Square Garden in April 2022. She will retain that status regardless of whether or not she suffers a second defeat to Cameron at the higher weight class and Taylor vs. Serrano II remains potentially huge business.

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