Meet Heather and Sue ahead of their fight

We drop in at the Casino de Montréal, in Canada. A local gala is underway and the third fight on the program will feature Heather Barker against Sue Strong.

Ring announcer: “Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back for a battle that will pit a swan and a tiger. Eight rounds of boxing in the Lightweight division. Introducing to you first and fighting out of the red corner…. she is wearing black with feline stripes and red gloves. Coached by Mark Ford, her professional record stands at 11 wins, seven of them by way of knockout, no loss, no draw. From Miami, the undefeated American Lightweight prospect…. Sue ‘Tiger’ Strong!”

Heather Barker Sue Strong overview

A handful of American friends applaud while most of the audience remains silent.

Sue Strong introduction
Sue thinks: “Almost no support. That was expected. I’m against the home fighter here.”

Ring announcer: “Her opponent across the ring fights out of the blue corner. She is wearing white and purple. Her professional record is made of five wins, two of them by knockout, and one loss. She is a former Canadian champion in the Featherweight division, coached by Sylvie Chouinard. From Montréal by way of Kelowna… Heather ‘The White Swan’ Baaaaarrrkerrrrrrr!”

Heather gets a warm round of applause and many whistles, takes a few steps and acknowledges her supporters.

Heather Barker introduction
Heather thinks: “The fight hair, the gloves, the atmosphere… I missed all of this. Please, God, allow me to fight well tonight. I need a win.”

A local referee, Chantal Gagné, asks the contestants to meet in the centre of the ring.

Chantal: “Ladies…. we went over the rules in the dressing rooms. Do you have questions? No? Protect yourself at all times. Obey my command at all times. Have a good, clean fight. Touch gloves.”

The boxers touch them up and have a look at each other.

Heather Barker Sue Strong touch gloves

Heather thinks: “Shorter, meaty arms. Looks tough, but the scouts say she’s overrated. Maybe she fought girls taken off the street or something. Appearances can be misleading anyway.”

Sue thinks: “Looks delicate. Very pale. How can she be so white? Doesn’t matter. I can take her. I’ll be smart, though. You never know what you get when you travel for a fight, and she held a title before.”

Heather Barker Sue Strong touch gloves

Heather and Sue return to their corners.

While she gives Heather the mouthpiece, Sylvie has a small tip: “She has short arms. You know what that means.”

In the blue corner, Mark Ford keeps it simple: “Take time to analyse her moves in the first round. She’s a tricky fighter, and we don’t want to give anything away early.”

Heather Barker
Heather Barker
A former Canadian Featherweight champ, Heather Barker is a religious, caring and ambitious woman based in Montreal.