The changes Mary Spencer made to her team and her training methods weren’t enough to help her win her rematch with Femke Hermans on Wednesday night in Montreal.
The decorated Canadian amateur was sharper than she was when Spencer lost their first fight on points, but Hermans had plenty of success during the second half of their 10-round rematch and won a majority decision at Montreal Casino. Belgium’s Hermans won on the cards of judges Sylvain Leblanc (96-94) and John Rupert (97-93), though judge Martha Tremblay scored their second fight a draw, 95-95.
Hermans retained her IBO super welterweight title and claimed the previously vacant IBF junior middleweight title in a main event ESPN+ streamed.
The 38-year-old Spencer (7-2, 5 KOs), a native of Wiarton, Ontario, Canada, lost a 10-round unanimous decision to Hermans in her previous bout. That fight was contested for the IBO 154-pound title last December 16 in Shawinigan, Canada.
Spencer seemingly needed a knockout entering the 10th and final round to win Wednesday night, but Hermans held her ground and landed the flusher punches in those final two minutes.
A right hand by Hermans backed up Spencer with just over 30 seconds remaining in their bout.
Spencer blasted Hermans with a right hand that connected a little more than 20 seconds into the 10th round. Hermans took that shot well, however, and kept coming forward.
Hermans landed three punches in a flurry toward the end of the ninth round. Hermans landed a straight left a little more than 40 seconds into the ninth round.
Spencer landed two right hands to Hermans’ head and two lefts to her body during a productive sequence with just over 30 seconds to go in the eighth round.
Spencer’s left hook to the body landed flush with about 45 seconds on the clock in the sixth round. Hermans landed a right hand a little less than 30 seconds into the sixth round, which made Spencer move away from her.
Spencer drilled Hermans with a right hand that landed with about 10 seconds to go in the fifth round. Hermans landed a right uppercut with just under 30 seconds on the clock in the fifth round.
A stiff jab by Spencer snapped back Hermans’ head during the third round. Spencer later landed a left to Hermans’ body in the third round.
Spencer’s right hand landed in an exchange near a corner with just under 1:10 to go in the second round.
Hermans landed a right hand to the side of Spencer’s head as Spencer pursued her a few seconds before the opening round concluded. Hermans switched stances again during the first round and made Spencer miss with many of her punches.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.