Iman Barlow turns on the style in Las Vegas world title defence

Iman and Mark Barlow with boxing great Floyd Mayweather EMN-170802-131622002
Iman and Mark Barlow with boxing great Floyd Mayweather EMN-170802-131622002
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Multiple world champion Iman Barlow was watched by sporting royalty as she made her Las Vegas fight debut.

Floyd Mayweather, one of the most successful boxers of all time, came along to the Lion Fight show for support after the Melton Thai boxer trained at his gym.

Iman spends her down time meeting cast members of Cirque Du Soleil EMN-170802-144945002

Iman spends her down time meeting cast members of Cirque Du Soleil EMN-170802-144945002

Having arrived in Nevada a week early, Iman enjoyed an eventful build-up to her super bantamweight world title defence against Meryem Uslu.

The 23-year-old, together with her dad and coach Mark Barlow, went to the Carl Frampton v Leo Santa Cruz world title fight at MGM Casino and were also invited to the world-famous Cirque Du Soleil where they met the cast backstage.

The day of the bout also proved eventful with an appearance on American network Fox TV as well as two further interviews.

Despite all the potential distractions of Vegas’ glitz and glamour, the bout itself drew a typically professional performance from Iman.

Iman Barlow pictured with dad and coach Mark and her 12th world title belt last year EMN-170802-144932002

Iman Barlow pictured with dad and coach Mark and her 12th world title belt last year EMN-170802-144932002

The opening round saw both girls trade leg kicks with the Muay Thai Assassin landing the heavier blows, but Melton’s ‘Pretty Killer’ then took charge.

Uslu had no answer to several solid body kicks, and was also caught with several left elbows.

The Leicestershire fighter kept up the pressure with further kicks in round three as the German tired, before dumping Uslu on the canvas several times in the fourth as she doubled up her kicks.

A stunning right elbow in the fifth and final round opened a four-inch cut to Uslu’s forehead, following a barrage of front kicks to the face.

The bell saved the tough German fighter from a knockout defeat, but the Melton girl was the overwhelming winner, and was awarded the verdict in each round by all three judges.

Iman will be defending another of her world titles in Melton next month as the Muay Thai Assassins serve up their first hometown show of 2017.

It takes place on Saturday, March 4 at the Market Tavern. Tickets are on sale from any Assassin member, from Nicko’s Fish Bar or via the Assassins Muay Thai Facebook page.