Tanille showcases her personality and skills
The first broadcast match of DAZN’s card in Philadelphia is a showdown in the Featherweight division between a talented prospect and an overlooked champion.
Laila Ali: “Hello all, and welcome to another wonderful fight card her on DAZN. Tonight, we are in one of America’s most famous fight towns, Philadephia, for a great night of fights. We have four great fights, including a WBC Silver title fight in the Super Middleweight division, and kicking things off, we have one of the brightest prospects in boxing in Tanille Taylor.”
Ring announcer: “Ladies and gentlemen, we are LIVE on DAZN! Our first bout of the evening is in the Featherweight division, scheduled for eight rounds. Introducing first, fighting out of the red corner, she comes to us from Cleveland, Ohio. She has a perfect professional record of 8 wins and 0 defeats with 5 of those wins coming by way of knockout. She weighed in at a fit and ready 125 pounds, Ladies and gentlemen, please show your appreciation for ‘The Prodigy’ Tanille Taylor!”
Tanille strikes a relaxed pose as she is introduced.
Laila: “Tanille is a fighter that enjoys the spotlight, and she looks completely calm here as she takes on a late replacement fighter. Taylor will be expected to produce yet another highlight reel display.”
Ring announcer: “And her opponent, fighting out of blue red corner, she comes to us from Biloxi, Mississippi. She has a professional record of 7 wins and 2 defeats with 3 of those wins coming by way of knockout. She weighed in at 126 pounds, Ladies and gentlemen, please show your appreciation for The Extinguisher’ Sonia Fox!”
Sonia thinks: The didn’t even announce me as the American champion! Do they think this thing around my waist is a toy?
Laila: “Sonia Fox got the call to fight Tanille Taylor three weeks ago. The largely unknown fighter said yes, and she is here today with an opportunity to pull off the massive upset. The one fighter on her resume that fight fans will know is a loss to Steffi Slater.”
Laila: “Our referee tonight is Kendra Vickers. She refereed Tanille’s big victory over Emma McGale, which ended in a third-round knockout.”
Kendra: “Ladies. This is an eight-round fight. I want you to follow my instructions at all times. Protect yourself at all times. Please remember you cannot be saved by the bell in any round. If you score a knockdown, I will not start the count until you are in a neutral corner. Touch gloves and go back to your corners.”
Sonia stays silent while the two touch gloves, while Tanille can’t resist getting in a little dig.
Tanille: “The only reason you’ll still be American champion after this is that I don’t care about fourth-rate titles.”
For all of Tanille’s tough talk, she starts off slowly, as usual, trying to parse her opponent and see how she moves. Sonia’s a bit slow and plodding, compared to the fleet footed Taylor, who hops around and move fluidly with both her hand and feet. The flame haired Taylor scores the first clean shot of the fight with a right cross, which is delivered with authority.
Sonia thinks: This chick is fast! And she punches way harder than she should be able to as well.
Laila Ali: “Tanille Taylor is a notoriously slow starter, but it is quite strategic. The youngster wants to see what her opponent has to offer before turning up the heat. Still, a clean shot like that will catch Sonia Fox’s attention.”
With Tanille’s slightly passive opening, Sonia takes the opportunity to try to make an impression on her opponent with her fists. Unfortunately, that is slightly easier said than done, as Tanille has an impressively flashy defence and Sonia isn’t doing much to disguise her punches.
Sonia thinks: No one I’ve face has been able to move like that. But I can’t let her make me shy about throwing punches. I just have to force her to make mistakes.
Tanille thinks: Girl, ya basic.
Laila Ali: “Taylor is so smooth in the ring and she showcases it both offensively and defensively, ducking low to make Sonia Fox miss on what was a pretty good punch. Taylor’s next evolution will be to take these positions and counter attack off of them, but that is something she does when she settles into the fight. It’s still early in this one.”
Tanille doesn’t throw a lot of punches in the opening round, but she connects on a high percentage of them, and keeps Sonia from getting any momentum. Towards the end of the round, Tanille shows Sonia the improvement that she’s made with her jab, using her relatively long limbs to keep Sonia at the end of her left hand.
Laila: “It’s all smooth sailing for ‘The Prodigy’ so far in the first round, as she’s been able to do whatever she wants against Sonia Fox, who looks durable, but not really in the same league as the prodigiously gifted Taylor. I will say that Taylor doesn’t look the fittest she has ever looked, but that seems like a problem for another day.”
The round ends without much further action, leading both fighters to retreat to their corners for the minute long break.
Corners and scores
Tanille: “That was easy, I don’t even think she hit me.”
Scott: “She’ll adapt. But she’s not used to the speed. Pick your shots and your opportunities.”
Tanille: “Do you want me to make this last a few rounds, or end it now?”
Scott: “She’s never been stopped, it’s not going to come easy. Just take your time, and be methodical.”
Tanille: “Boring. But fine.”
Sonia: “She’s so fast. I don’t know what to do.”
Margerie: “You can’t make it easy for her. You are standing flatfooted, of course it’s easy for her.”
Margerie: “You have to make this fight tough for her. If she gets to fight at the range she likes, she’ll close the show on you. Get inside, work the body and try to make this ugly.”
Sonia: “I’m used to ugly.”
Margerie: “It won’t be easy to do it. There’s a reason that a lot of money is invested in Taylor.”
Laila: “Through one round I have Tanille up one round to zero. Surprising? Not really. This is the Tanille Taylor show and the question at this point is how much entertainment we’ll get out of this before Taylor adds yet another knockout to her resume.”