Shelito Vincent fights on the undercard of tonight’s special Wednesday edition of ESPN Friday Night Fights at Foxwoods, billed as 50 Cent’s 2nd Annual Birthday Bash. The undefeated Vincent (11-0, 1 KO), a New London, Conn., native, will face Bronx super bantamweight Nydia Feliciano (7-5-3) in a rematch of their 2013 bout, which Vincent won by unanimous decision.
Fresh off her win against Lakeysha Williams in May, Vincent hopes a change in her inner circle, along with a more important change in her workout regimen, will lead to another win over the always-dangerous Feliciano as she continues to press for a mega bout against fellow unbeaten bantamweight Heather Hardy.
Vincent endured her easiest weight cut yet while following a stricter, cleaner diet, relieving most of the pressures generally associated with fight week.
“I feel great,” said Vincent, who’s currently ranked No. 5 among super bantamweights in the World Boxing Council (WBC). “I changed up everything. My body looks amazing. This is the strongest I’ve ever been in my life. I didn’t have to do anything crazy to lose the weight. I feel strong.
“I just changed up my diet,” she continued. “[My coaches] gave me the food I was supposed to eat and told me when to eat it. I haven’t cheated at all. My arms look great, my waist is small. You can see my muscles popping. It’s crazy how much your diet plays into everything. I didn’t realize that until now.”
If Feliciano is expecting the same Vincent she faced in January of 2013, she might be in for a rude awakening. Feliciano has evolved, too. Ranked No. 16 among bantamweights in the WBC, Feliciano beat Elizabeth Sherman and Crystal Hoy following her loss to Vincent and then fought eight hard rounds against Hardy four months ago in Brooklyn. Hardy won by unanimous decision, 79-73 and 78-74 on two scorecards.
“I didn’t see the fight with Hardy, but I heard two different stories,” Vincent said. “On one hand, I heard [Feliciano] got tired and tapered out toward the end, and then I heard the fight was close.
“I don’t really care who [Feliciano] expects to see [tonight]. I busted my ass in the gym.”
The payoff for beating Feliciano could be the long-awaited showdown against Hardy, a potential battle of unbeatens hyped vigorously on social media, mostly by Vincent, who’s been scrambling to fight the undefeated Brooklyn native since 2012. Hardy faced her toughest test in June at the Barclays Center against Jackie Trivilino, a fight stopped after seven rounds due to a cut on Hardy’s scalp. Hardy won on the scorecards, 68-65, 67-66, 66-67.
“I’m definitely just focusing on this fight for now,” Vincent said of tonight’s rematch with Feliciano. “We all know Heather Hardy won’t take a fight with me anyway. That’s out there now. It’ll happen when it’s forced, so I guess I’ll just sit back and wait for that. I didn’t watch the fight [against Trivilino]. I was training. Everyone knows she’s all hype by now. Even she knows she’s all hype.”