Laila Ali: “After a bit of an extended feeling out period, MacVicar and Parker seem ready to exchange leather. Jennifer probes with a few southpaw jabs, but MacVicar slips and rips a nice right hand that lands flush. A good start for the Canadian, who seems comfortable in the ring against her opponent already.”
Virani: As I would have expected from a tall, lanky fighter like Jennifer, she starts out trying to control the distance with her jab. It’s a bit of a weak, slow jab though, with nothing really behind it. I take a few moments to get the timing down and then I decided to work off of her jab. Jennifer throws another jab and I slide to my left and then square up to throw a right hand right down the middle. Jennifer reacts too slowly to defend, and my punch lands flush. Good start.
Thomas: Virani knows this isn’t the toughest opponent, but she is looking sharp right from the start. Jennifer really annoyed Virani, and an annoyed Virani is not someone I would like to face in the ring.
Laila Ali: “MacVicar has started brightly in this one. One thing I’ve noticed about Virani is that she knows how to mix up her punches. If the punch to the head is not available, she is perfectly content to go to the body. It’s the mark of mature fighter that knows how to adjust a gameplan on the fly. And she seems to be well drilled at fighting a southpaw. Looks like the former lawyer has done her research before the fight. A good solicitor never comes unprepared.”
Virani: I’m not particularly impressed by Jennifer’s speed right off the bat. She moves around the ring slowly, like her legs are too long for her body. I get a feel for her jab, before I switch up the angle and drive home a thudding right hand to the body. You’re not that toned there, Jenny, so I know you probably feel that one.
Watching at home:
Emma: “Virani looks sharp early.”
Anita: “Is that surprising?”
Emma: “Not really. It’s just really obvious that she is already settling into the fight. And when Virani settles in, bad things happen to opponents.”
Laila Ali: “MacVicar has a clear gameplan to be the aggressor early on. But it’s a controlled aggression that she is employing, not being wild, but using her footwork to keep Jennifer under threat. Jennifer is trying to keep Virani away from her, but MacVicar is reading her very well, using good upper body and head movement to make her punches sail wide. This is the kind of evolution that Virani’s coach, Thomas Nagy has been working with The Canadian Cobra. She’s already a dangerous puncher, Virani is working on the not getting hit part of boxing, which does not come easy to everyone.”
Virani: I like keeping up the pressure on Jennifer until I figure her out. I’m kinda getting the vibe that she’s not the best fighter I’d ever faced. Her footwork is pretty basic, and she seems to throw nothing more fancy than a basic 1-2 combination. I get the feeling she just flummoxes her opponents with her reach. I’m not bothered. I stay low and invite her to throw a combination, which she does. I stay low and avoid both punches. I could have tried to counter, but I’m totally willing to be patient for the moment.
Thomas: Perfect. Virani is pressuring, but she doesn’t feel the need to attack off of every missed punch. She’s reading Jennifer well off the start of the fight too. Jennifer seems a bit slow. Basic. That’s the kind of fighter that is not going to give Virani much trouble, southpaw or not.
Laila: “MacVicar has been the more impressive fighter in the early going and now she is now starting to throw punches in bunches…and given that MacVicar is a power puncher of impressive pedigree, that may spell trouble for Jennifer Patrick. She may be ‘The Bull,’ but she is getting bullied early on in this one. The way MacVicar is unleashing off of her opponent’s jab is also impressive, as was that right hand to the body and follow-up left hook. That was vicious.”
Virani: Okay, I’ve seen enough. I start being more aggressive, starting by using my jab, just to make her own jab a bit less effective. Her jab’s not bad, but it’s just…blah. I decide that I’ll make her pay for leaving her jab out too long. I slide to my right, which invites a jab, but I’m already expecting it and I throw a right hand to her ribs while Jennifer’s jab sails high. Then I instinctively follow up with a left hook which lands flush. That one was a bit dangerous, but I’m faster than Jennifer, so it’s a risk I feel I can take.
Thomas: That’s a creative punch combination from Virani. Not sure I can take credit for teaching her that one. Punching just comes naturally to her.
Watching at home:
Emma: “Yeah, Virani is feeling comfortable. That’s just Virani reacting to the openings that she’s given.”
Anita: “I like the sound of that.”
Laila: “MacVicar is all over Jennifer Patrick, and she has her along the ropes and is raking her over with punches. MacVicar is being very intelligent, mixing up hard punches with soft, probing jabs, which is keeping ‘The Bull’ guessing. It’s a brilliant bit of boxing from the Canadian Cobra, who is showing some real boxing intellect here. Patrick needs to get off the ropes and get back to her jab, its the only thing that has worked for her at all so far. Getting against the ropes against Virani is just a recipe for disaster as she jams in a really solid left hook to the liver. Patrick absorbs that one okay, but that is a punch that could be a fight ender.”
Virani: I’ve got Jennifer against the ropes after that combination, I don’t press hard or get wild throwing punches, but I use my footwork to keep Jennifer along the ropes, not letting her get back to the center of the ring easily. Jennifer doesn’t seem comfortable fighting off the ropes, and that intrigues me. I throw some light jabs at her, mixing in some power punches as well. A couple of them land nicely, but nothing too punishing. I then target the liver with a left hook that lands really nicely and produces a grunt from Jennifer. That one stung, but not enough to drop her. Meh.
Thomas: This is like watching a predator evaluate her prey. It’s really nice boxing from Virani, the kind of patience that I want her to display.
Laila: “A bright moment at long last for Jennifer Patrick as she manages to use her main advantage in this fight, her height and her reach as she catches Virani flush with a good left hand as Virani tries to pursue her. Judging by Virani’s wry smile after taking such a punch, I’m not sure that it had more of an effect on the Canadian Cobra. We know Virani is not blessed with an iron chin, but Jennifer Patrick is not known for having a ton of power either. Still, Patrick must start landing punches with snap behind them so that she gets the respect of Virani. If Virani feels comfortable in taking one punch to get one of her own in, I cannot see that being a favourable exchange for the American.”
Virani: Though Jennifer does manage to escape off the ropes, I’m still the one chasing Jennifer around the ring. Jennifer wants to fight at her distance and I’m not willing to allow that. I try to get her moving towards the ropes again, and when Jennifer notices this she fires out a snappy 1-2 combination. The left hand lands pretty nicely, but there wasn’t much snap behind it. This girl didn’t really sit down on her punch, I don’t think.
Thomas: Well that was nice from Jennifer. Not sure if she can keep this up, but that’s what she needs to do to keep Virani at a distance and off of her. I’ve seen Virani take flush punches enough time to judge her reaction…I’m not sure that one particularly hurt her.
Watching at home:
Emma: “That’s better from Jennifer. She needs to do this consistently though.”
Anita: “It still seems to be going perfectly for us, so far.”
Laila: “I can see now why Virani is named after a predator. She may look like that cute girl in the gym, but she is a relentless presence inside the ropes. She has a plan to get Jennifer into the ropes, and it seems like ‘The Bull’ is helpless to resist the call of the Cobra. It’s a masterclass from the Canadian, who is using some of the subtle skills of the boxing arts to make sure the fight is fought on her terms. As she gets Jennifer toward the ropes again, she punishes Jennifer with a flush left hook. Great work from the Cobra, and Jennifer will need another gameplan I think.”
Virani: This is too easy. Jennifer’s jab is weak and slow, and I can get the timing down by landing a nice overhard left hook that catches Jennifer flush. I worked on that with Thomas a lot as a counter to the southpaw jab. I like it. Works great. Jennifer can attest to it.
Thomas: Virani is not messing around. It’s…really quite impressive to watch. I would not want to put a fighter of Jennifer’s level up against Virani. Virani’s not just going to box her ears off, she’s going to knock this chick out.
Laila: “And MacVicar follows up a solid left hook with a rocking right hand! Jennifer’s head is being twisted this way and that, as Macvicar conducts a concerto of violence against the overwhelmed American. I give her credit for absorbing this barrage, though I doubt it does much good for her chances in this fight…”
Virani: Yeah, I’m feeling it early on in this fight. Lefts and rights are landing, I’m flowing into combinations, and I’m really not sure Jennifer was ready to face someone like me. Too bad.
Watching at home
Emma: “Virani is crushing early. I don’t think of her as a particularly fast starter, but she’s figured Jennifer out with lightening speed.”
Anita: “She’s fun to watch. Like a whirlwind of destruction.”
Emma: “Scary to see Virani turn the switch like this. When she’s in the ring…she’s scary.”
Lalia: “MacVicar is playing the cruel dominatrix in this one, battering Jennifer Patrick into submission along the ropes. Though Virani landed some good punches in the closing stages, she failed to land the one punch that could have granted her a first round KO. The bell will save Jennifer Patrick from the furious barrage from the Canadian. A dominant start to this fight from the Canadian Cobra.”
Victoria thinks: Goodness this has been one sided so far. Jennifer is still defending herself though. Probably too early to stop this one, I’m just thankful the bell is ringing shortly.
Virani: Damn, a little more time and I could have found the right punch to drop this girl. The best thing she’s done in this fight is defend herself along the ropes. Oh well. She’s got nothing for me. I’ve got nothing but time.
Laila Ali: “As the fighters return to their corners, Virani MacVicar doesn’t even bother with the stool that her corner has put down. It seems that the Canadian Cobra is content to just stand confidently and rest. It doesn’t seem like MacVicar broke much of a sweat in that first round, and she seems as confident as ever. A bit of mindgames from Virani as well.”
Thomas: “You look comfortable. Are you going to sit?”
Thomas: “Feeling confident are we?”
Virani: “This girl has nothing for me.”
Thomas: “Seems that way, but I want for you to keep it that way. Don’t get stupid, she can still nail you right on the chin if you aren’t careful.”
Virani: “I’ve been hit harder by toddlers.”
Thomas: “Hey! Don’t get stupid. Keep your feet on the ground, you haven’t won the fight yet.”
Virani: “Okay, coach.”
Thomas: “Keep your head on straight, Virani. Confidence can breed stupidity. Just ask Kayleigh.”
Virani: “I get it.”
Thomas: “Stay patient, I don’t need you to hunt the knockout yet.”
Laila Ali: After such a dominant opening, it would be pointless to bring up the scorecards when the only question worth asking was how much Virani MacVicar one the first round by. I had suspected in the run up to this fight that the more experienced Canadian might prove to be superior to the local favourite, but to see it play out is another thing entirely. MacVicar landed power shots seemingly at will, and while it never seemed like Jennifer Parker was ever hurt, it did have the American covering up and hoping for the best. That may have gotten her through the roound, but it will not help her last the fight. ‘The Bull’ needs to establish her reach and her jab and make Virani take notice by landing a power shot of any description, otherwise the Canadian will bulldoze her and add Patrick to her impressive list of highlight-reel worthy knockouts.”
Watching at home:
Anita: “Were you expecting such an eays fight for Virani?”
Emma: “To be honest…yeah. I’m better than this Jennifer girl. Virani is boxing really well though. She reaches a new level every time she steps into the ring and Jennifer has never faced anyone who is as good as Virani. This one will be over shortly.”
Anita: “Good. We need Virani to have a good debut on DAZN.”