Tanille shows why she is ‘The Prodigy’ in Rounds 2 and 3
The second round is often a round where the full strategies of the fighters are revealed. The fighters have now exchanged punches and are aware of what the other can bring to the table.
Sonia thinks: Gotta take the action to her, make this difficult for her.
Unfortunately for Sonia, she has difficulty connecting with the elusive Tanille, who is enjoying making the American champion swing and miss. Sonia isn’t missing by much, but she is still missing. One silver lining, Tanille’s just defending – she’s not turning defence into attack the way that some would probably want her to.
Laila: “The sweet science is hit and not get hit and Tanille Taylor is a student of the game. Sonia Fox is finding out that there are levels to this game, and she’ll have to find another level to compete against Tanille Taylor tonight.”
Comfortable in the ring, Tanille starts to turn on the style. This is, in her mind, both a show and a fight, and if it’s not going to be much of a fight, she’s going to at least put on a show. ‘The Prodigy’ drops her hands and starts to move unpredictably. Frozen by the type of movement she’s never seen before in the ring, Sonia hesitates. Hesitation not what you want.
Tanille comes in off some unique footwork and leans in with a lovely uppercut that slips Sonia’s guard before she could react to the incoming punch. White leather clatters the American champion’s jaw.
Laila Ali: “This is why people pay to see Tanille Taylor. This kind of innovative boxing has to come naturally, some people are born with it, and the flame haired girl is one of those talents. Sonia Fox is in for a long night.”
Despite being on the wrong end of a total display of talent from Tanille, Sonia comes out in the Round 3 with real intent. With Tanille taking her foot off the pedal just that little bit on the start of the round, ‘The Extinguisher’ gets through with her best punch of the night, stepping in while Tanille throws a lazy left hook and connecting with a solid right hand of her own. ‘The Prodigy’ grunts upon taking a clean hit.
Laila Ali: “Sonia Fox showing that you cannot take too much time off in the professional ring. Credit to Fox for staying active, but these are the lessons a young prospect must learn in her career. Most professions have something similar, but few get punched in the face for it.”
Unfortunately for those that feel like that might provoke a more even contest, it instead motivates Tanille to be more active. Tanille begins throwing more punches, though, she only throws single punches and not combinations. Sonia endures this new flurry fairly well, but a scything overhand right is a wonderful display of skill, and power from the young American star.
Sonia thinks: This girl moves at a speed that is difficult to parse. She’s not as big a puncher as she thinks she is, though.
Laila: “The overhand right lands for the girl in white. Sonia Fox’s outfit might invoke Tyson, but she is not exactly making anyone think of Tyson right now. She’s tough though, taking these punches without complaints.”
Talents of the prodigy
Sonia tries to raise her game to Tanille’s level, and take advantage when Tanille’s output drops, but Tanille’s learned a bit of fight IQ – though her offensive output drops, her concentration does not. As Sonia tries to work the jab, Tanille’s more than capable of maintaining her elusiveness as, even with her hands down, she makes Sonia miss.
Sonia thinks: Can’t get through to her, but I need to start learning her patterns. Detect her patterns, and break them.
Head in the game, Tanille knows that she has a perception as a headhunter, but that also makes her opponent react in a certain way. ‘The Prodigy’ takes advantage of that, easily making Sonia react to a high feint before driving a rib roasting right hand to her midsection. Sonia grunts in pain. That was not a pleasant punch to take.
Sonia thinks: “I’m going to feel that one tomorrow.”
Tanille thinks: “She’s tough. She’s standing in front of me and trying to fight back. Tough, but foolish.”
Laila: “It’s a boxing instructional from Tanille Taylor, who is on another level. Just enjoy watching a prospect put on a show ,folks. It won’t be long before the fights will be far tighter and more closely contested.”
Point of emphasis
The round is clearly going Tanille’s way, but ‘The Prodigy’ is not done yet. She’s looking for that highlight reel finish, the one that goes on Tik Tok or Twitter and makes the rounds on social media. She feels like the time is right to make that happen. She puts a focus towards the body, making Sonia think that she’s shifted focus.
Then, like an unleashed tiger, Tanille strikes, throwing an overhand straight right hand that bypasses Sonia’s attempts to parry it. The white glove lands right on the jaw of Sonia, jerking her head around violently.
Other fighters have been knocked out by less.
Laila: “Oh, what a shot that is from Taylor! That was flush and clean!”
Sonia’s legs wobble for a moment, but she recovers quickly. Tanille doesn’t feel the need to follow up. Playing with her food, is the young American.
Tanille thinks: “I thought that’d be the end of you. But I respect the toughness. I got more where that came from.
Margerie: “You okay kid?”
Sonia: “Never better.”
Margerie: “Well, I can’t fault your desire. I need you to make this less of a boxing match and more of brawl.”
Sonia: “Easier said than done.”
Margerie: “I get it. She’s trying for the highlight reel KO. Make sure you don’t end up on that highlight.”
Sonia: “That’s the plan.”
Scott: “I like the way you are boxing. Measured. That’s what I want.”
Tanille: “She’s tough. Durable.”
Scott: “That’s fine. You are outboxing her like crazy.”
Tanille: “I want the knockout.”
Scott: “Don’t get sloppy, don’t get stupid and it will come.”