Up close and personal

Round 2. After an even first round, it is all up in the air for the fighters to claim momentum.

The second round begins with both fighters looking to put their mark on the round. But while Vicki comes out to scrap like she did in the first round, Emma fights patiently, waiting for chances to slip inside and work from in close. It’s not something Vicki seems to expect.

Emma thinks: A lot of boxers don’t really have a developed inside game. A lot of boxers, as soon as you get close to them, they just try to shut me down by grabbing on. I mean that is a tactic that can work, but I know how to use my body positioning and my shoulders to create spaces where I can punch. And punch from such a short range that it is impossible to miss and impossible to defend. Truly, fighting inside might not look glamorous, or that these punches, like the one I drive into Vicki’s midsection, hurt as much as those flashy right hands from long range. But you try taking a clean punch to the gut that you didn’t see coming because you were trying to hold on to your opponent and tell me that it doesn’t hurt.

Brad Holt: “The charming Canadian is really being a bully to Vicki Groves in the early part of this round. The Peach may be a lumberjack or hockey player in her spare time. Canadians – not as polite as they their reputation has foretold.”


Throughout the round, Emma works from short distances, not allowing Vicki to get any momentum going. Once Emma inevitably gets back inside, there’s no question that one fighter holds a gigantic advantage over the other. Vicki’s attempts to fight back get wilder and more desperate by the minute.

Emma thinks: There’s nothing quite like the feeling that you get when you realize that your opponent has no way of stopping your gameplan. I feel like I’m pretty close to that point already. I focus on going to the body, taking the power and strength from Vicki. There’s a wonderful feeling of when you land to the body and you feel a little give. That’s when you know it hurt. Yes, I know I’m a psycho. Deal with it.

Brad Holt: “McGale is doing some great work in this second round. I wonder if Groves took the cute little Canuck a bit too lightly.”


Losing the temper

After a one-sided second round goes Emma’s way, the visitor tries out some new tactics when Emma gets inside in the third round. As the two get tangled up, Vicki pulls down on Emma, getting her almost in a headlock with her left arm, and with Emma in a compromised position, Vicki wraps Emma’s ribs with her free right hand.

Clarissa: “Break!”

Vicki keeps throwing short punches until the referee physically separates the two.

Emma: “That’s about 10 different fouls ref!”

Emma thinks: Those punches might have hurt a bit (I won’t deny it), but those punches feel good, because these are punches that are coming from a spot of pure frustration. The Aussie has a little bit of a short temper, as she gets warned for fouls often in her fights. She’s not a dirty fighter, she just has a temper. That’s all.

Brad Holt: “The referee likes to let the fighters do their thing, but it seems like she’s lost her patience here…”


Clarissa: “Time! Vicki! I’m going you a last warning. Cut that shit out.”

Vicki: “I understand.”

Clarissa: “Emma, you ready?”

Emma: “Ready to keep punching!”

Emma thinks: Glad I got a ref that I know for this fight. Clarissa is a good referee. She doesn’t want to be the center of attention, so she’s usually barely seen in the ring. Me? I’m enjoying watching my opponent get shamed. Pretty fun. Have to get ready for the reaction though. Mind focused.

Brad Holt: “You like to see the referee keeping order in the match, especially early in the fight. The third woman in the ring is in there for a reason. McGale is looking quite smug while Vicki is being browbeat by the ref.”


A Peachy Round 3

Once the round resumes, it’s time for more of the same from Emma. She’s able to get in close to Vicki with little trouble, as Vicki has never really fought someone that fights like Emma. The Peach works well in close quarters, pulling down on Vicki’s arms to create openings and generally just being a nuisance. Her best punch is a right hook that lands from really short range, but twists the Australian champion’s head around violently.

Emma thinks: I’m stronger and just technically better than this girl. Her awkwardness made for a strange first round, but it’s that same awkwardness that is allowing me to move around this girl and get in spots that I want to do damage from. Then, when I get the chance and get my hands free, I can slam them into her with authority. It’s just so much fun.

Brad Holt: “It’s more of the same from McGale, who is testing the chin of Vicki Groves. Groves is standing strong, but she is under pressure here.”


Vicki struggles to fight inside, so the only thing she can do is cover up and try to avoid the incoming leather. Emma gets a good angle for her right hand in clove, but Vicki manages to keep her guard up and turn away from the pink leather. Emma’s follow-up left hook over the top also misses.

Emma thinks: Vicki, who is a brawler who loves to trade at heart, is so flummoxed by what I’m doing that she’s basically just covering up. Sometimes, I’m able to pull down someone’s guard to allow me to sneak in some clean shots, but Vicki’s learning quickly. I don’t like that. I’d prefer a punching bag for a few more rounds.

Brad Holt: “Vicki Groves is enduring under pressure here against Emma McGale. The local favourite is showing some good adaptions to Emma’s tactics. Once she has that sorted, I’m sure that black leather will be finding the target soon.”


Emma thinks: With Vicki covering up, it was time for a slightly different approach. Not only do I want to put an exclamation point on the round, I want to show her that this tactic doesn’t work. I don’t want her to duck and cover. So the next time we get in close, I use my shoulder and body positioning to work an opening for my left. This time instead of throwing a looking hook, or a short straight, I throw an uppercut straight up the middle. My glove catches Vicki right under the chin, jerking her head upwards, but she endures. Chick is tough.

Brad Holt: “The last major action of the round is a quick little uppercut from McGale, who really is taking the fight to our champion. But if there’s anything I know about watching Vicki Groves, she’ll be coming out in the next round like a house on fire.”


Corner views

The fighters retreat back to their corners between the rounds. The first round was a toss up, but clearly Emma has won the last two rounds and has the momentum on her side. As they are getting instructions from their respective coaches. The two fighters get a clear view of each other during the minute break, and share a look. Emma’s looking outwardly confident, while Vicki looks a tad distracted.

Blue corner

Thomas: “Good work, she has no answers for you inside. You can keep going back there throughout the fight and wear her down.”

Emma: “I’ll chop her down like a redwood tree.”

Thomas: “You’ve won the last two rounds decisively so expect resistance here. She can’t afford to lose this round.”

Emma thinks: Good point, but what do you want me to do about it?

Emma: “So do you want me to fight inside or what?”

Thomas: “Just dial back the risk factor a bit. That’s all I want.”

Red corner

Darlene: “You’ve got to keep this girl at range. Every time she gets in close, she makes you pay. You’ve got to step up your work rate. You’ve got to be more mobile in there.”

Vicki: “She’s so strong. Her punches have something on them too.”

Darlene: “We have to make it your fight. Plant your feet and throw. If she wants to get inside, you have to make her pay. That’s the only way this is going to work. You hit hard too. Show her. Some roughly applied leather will take away her courage.”

Vicki: “I never lose mine.”

Darlene: “It’s time to fire away with abandon, Vicki. Get this fight going our way.”


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Emma McGale
A self admitted boxing nerd and friend of Virani. Especially powerful and dangerous working from in close Super Featherweight contender.
Emma McGale

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  1. This is some peachy bully boxing at it’s finest lol.

    Once Emma started fighting smarter(well she already has) and closer she started dominating, and this is my kind of action, taking things up close and personal ?
    Seriously I love Emma’s fighting style staying in close and landing some well placed shots to the body and to the chin if available.

    Seeing Clarissa giving Vicki a warning is like watching a parent talk to there stubborn kid like they got in trouble lol. And the scene is even funnier with Emma having that smug look on her face, she’s really changed 🙂

    But overall these two rounds have been good for Emma. Fighting close up will be a lot easier, and it throws Vicki off her game, but her coach wants her to stay put and trade for the next round, it might back fire or it might work cause we know Emma doesn’t have the best chin.

    Emma will have to keep fighting inside to get her off her game again. It seems like she was gonna do that either way with or without Thomas telling her.
    Im starting to see where Emma doubts Thomas skills as a coach slowly.

    • Emma ‘The Bully’ McGale 😀

      Emma fought smart this round, in her comfort zone, up close with Vicki. The Austrailian doesn’t seem to enjoy being in a close space with Emma. Emma seems to enjoy using tight spaces to create room for her punches and against someone who isn’t comfortable in tight spaces, it can get pretty one sided.

      Emma’s always been a fun fighter – not the most gifted defensively, but always willing to bring the fight to her opponent.

      Clarissa is like the disappointed parent when she scolds Vicki. Emma is like the younger sister, laughing it up the whole time.

      These two rounds were good for Emma. She’s in control and now Vicki has to do something to stop Emma.

      And a little bit of tension in the corner. Not much, but its there.

  2. There has been quite a change in Emma in her recent fights. The girl who was a little naive in the ring and got brutally stopped by Kayleigh and Tanille has turned into a bully. With an outfit that sells her best physical features well, of course.

    There’s a wonderful feeling of when you land to the body and you feel a little give. That’s when you know it hurt. Yes, I know I’m a psycho. Deal with it.

    Yep. A real bully ?

    Emma doesn’t just get inside to punch. She got inside Vicki’s head and made her lose control. On the other side of a clear foul and a stern warning, Vicki won’t dare to grab Emma anymore. That gives her total freedom to bend the rules and rough up the Australian.

    Vicki’s learning quickly. I don’t like that. I’d prefer a punching bag for a few more rounds.

    Where is the sign-up page for this? ?

    Adapting with tricky movement works for a little while for Vicki, but she eats 115% of that uppercut late in the third. If given the chance to land that cleanly a few times, Emma can make you land… on the canvas.

    The Peach really bossed it. The best scene has to be at 0:54 in Round 3. It seems that the right hook inside has turned into a speciality for Emma, who punished Lexi Mills with it in a past fight.

    • Emma’s perspective of the boxing game has changed recently. She’s taken some tough losses to Kayleigh and Tanille – top fighters. But those lessons have imported themself onto Emma for sure.

      Emma ‘The Bully’ McGale 😀

      Emma’s dominance really seems to break something inside of Vicki, who reacts out of frustration and anger. Emma’s amused look while the ref berates Vicki shows that everything is going to plan for her.

      Signing up to be Emma’s punching bag? Well, I don’t think that would be a short list :D.

      Vicki really ate that uppercut. The Austrailian’s chin will be tested in the coming rounds one has to think. Emma’s not the biggest puncher in the world, but eating enough leather from her will have you seeing stars.

      That short right hook does seem to be a bit of a calling card for Emma in her evolution as a fighter. Almost certainly Emma’s best punch now.

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