Putting down the champ

Tanille makes a breakthrough

Prodigious talents on display

This one has more or less gone to plan for Tanille Taylor through three rounds, the Prodigy has sparkled at times, but is still looking for the emphatic finish that she is always looking for. Knocking out someone who has yet to be stopped is the sort of challenge that appeals to the Cleveland based fighter.

Tanille tries to start strong, pressing the tempo of the fight, but the pressure actually backfires, giving Sonia time to stand in the pocket, find an opening and deliver a clever little overhand left. It catches the hyped up American in a dangerous spot around the temple, but ‘The Prodigy’ is able to escape grievous harm.

Laila Ali: “A hot start from Taylor backfires as she tried to regroup to throw a left hook, but was beaten to it by Sonia Fox, who is brave, or stupid enough to stand in the pocket with Tanille.”


As happened earlier in the fight, Sonia landing a good punch early only serves to fire up the firey redhead to take this round a bit more seriously. A jolting reply comes not too long afterwards, as Tanille times a brilliant straight right hand to catch Sonia right along the jawline. It’s a big hit from the young American, and for one of the first times in the fight, Sonia feels the real effects of the punch.

Sonia thinks: Oh, there’s the power that flattened those other girls. More the timing than the pure power, but I felt that one.

Laila Ali: “When challenged, Tanille Taylor ups her game. That’s a wonderful attribute in a fighter, one that sees adversity and thrives under it. Fox doesn’t look completely steady after that shot and Tanille is hunting for the finish!”


As much as Sonia likes to pretend that right hand didn’t hurt, it has a notable effect on the American champion. An unsteady opponent is just a cue to attack. To her credit, Sonia does well to avoid the worst of the incoming assault, but it’s difficult enough at full capacity to avoid Tanille. At less than 100%? Impossible.

As Tanille throws punch after punch, Sonia makes defensive moves to avoid them – but sometimes those moves leave her open. As Sonia crouches down to avoid a right hand, Tanille adjusts the angle, transfers her body weight and throws a short, clean left hook that lands completely flush on the jaw. Jackpot.

Tanille thinks: “You’re going down after that one, girly.”

Laila Ali: “A crunching shot from Tanille Taylor! That one was short, but landed in a great spot – Sonia Fox has shown toughness, but her resistance has been broken here in the fourth!”


Being tested

After taking such a wicked shot, Sonia’s legs weaken, and with a loss of balance, there’s only one way to go, and that’s down. Sonia’s butt falls first, but Sonia has enough wherewithal to get an arm down to prevent herself from going all the way to her back. Still, it’s a clear knockdown for the American in white and orange.

Sonia thinks: Fuck. That was a good shot.

Laila: “Down goes Sonia Fox! Tanille’s making a real statement in the fourth round. It was an eye-catching hook, and it’ll be tough for the American champion to beat the count here! This could be the moment for The Prodigy.”


The referee, Kendra Vickers, shoos Tanille to the neutral corner before starting the count.

Kendra: “1…..2….3….4….”

By the count of four, Sonia has already gathered herself, and she is on one knee, waiting for the right moment to rise. The question on her mind is if she should rise.

Sonia thinks: That one rattled me for real. I could stay down here. Take my cheque and go home. But that’s not the way I was raised, that’s not why I took this fight, either. Tanille’s better than I am. But I don’t think she can finish me off. I really don’t.

Laila: “Sonia Fox is a tough cookie! She’s on a knee at four, but getting to her feet is the easy part – the hard part will be surviving the round against a Tanille Taylor that will no doubt look for the finish!”



At 7, Sonia stands. Her legs do not wobble.

Kendra: “8….Do you want to continue?”

Sonia: “Yes, ma’am. Tell her I’d like another.”

Kendra thinks: This girl is nuts.

Kendra: “Okay, box on!”

Laila Ali: “Sonia Fox will beat the count and continue on. Tanille will be looking to put her away emphatically!”


Championship grit

Tanille Taylor doesn’t just want to win, and win by knockout in this round. She wants to win spectacularly, with a punch that will put her on the front page of YouTube, Tik Tok and Twitter. That means not just landing some short punch to the body or something that the viewing audience has seen before, no that means going for the spectacular.

Tanille believes Sonia is just one punch away from winning the fight, but doesn’t seem to suss out that Sonia hasn’t capitulated to her power. ‘The Prodigy’ tries with a few speculative shots and then just starts throwing haymakers, the most powerful of which is an uppercut, that had it connected, could have ended just about any fight in history. Sonia calmly opens her guard to slip the punch well, and avoids getting her head taken clean off her shoulders.

Sonia thinks: If I was a bit more steady, this would be the time to throw a short right hand, but getting into a firefight with Tanille at this point is basically suicide. Survive and thrive, baby. Either that or she’ll polish me off. There’s not much choice in the matter.

Laila Ali: “A WILD Tanille Taylor is throwing it all to the wind, she wants the finish and she wants it now. Sonia Fox is doing all she can to just survive the onslaught. Really, what Tanille needs to do is be a bit patient, pick her punches better and land that one punch. She’s trying to end this with volume, when she should remember her skill.”


A funny thing happens on the way to what was assumed to be an easy knockout, Sonia Fox endures as Tanille struggles to put the finishing touches on what she thought was a nearly done fighter.

But Sonia endures as Tanille can’t find the telling punch. And as Tanille flags from throwing so many punches of ill intent, Sonia finds confidence of her own. After all, she’s taken the best from Tanille and though she got knocked down, she’s still standing. After an awkward exchange, Sonia stands in the pocket and lands a tight right hand to the ribs of the younger American.

Tanille: “Ooof.”

Laila: “The courage of Sonia Fox is rewarded as she stands in there and lands a good right hand. Taylor does pay the price for being over eager when looking for a finish. That’s the kind of thing she will have to learn as she progresses in her career.”


Corner chats

Tanille’s corner

Scott: “Good work in there, but you got stupid and you got sloppy, trying to take her out in one punch. She was smart and kept her hands in, so she didn’t give you a chance to counter.”

Tanille: “I hurt her, though.”

Scott: “She wasn’t that hurt. I want to see combinations from you – you are way faster than this girl, but if you keep throwing single shots, she’s going to keep coming.”

Tanille: “I can take her out when I want to.”

Scott thinks: I don’t think that’s true actually, but she’s not going to want to hear that.

Scott: “Remember, eight-round fight, we have to be there in the end. Pace yourself, be a bit more patient. She’s got to come to you, so you’ll get your chances.”


Sonia’s corner

Margerie: “Good comeback after the knockdown. She got crazy, while you were cool under pressure.”

Sonia: “I’m comfortable. She doesn’t hit nearly as hard as she thinks she does. I can take it.”

Margerie: “You are going to have to. You’ve got to go at her. There’s no way to win this one by decision anymore. Those red gloves have to put her down. There’s not much more to say.”

Sonia: “She faded late in the round. I’ll have to use that.”

Margerie: “Work the body, slow her down.  Everything you got, Sonia. Four rounds to go.”


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  1. Even though a knockdown like that is a good sign Tanille is winning the fight, as indicated by anyone’s scorecards this far, Sonia getting up and finding out how to prevent the finish that Tanille was looking for in the round might help her win over the crowd that did not invest in her before this fight. If Tanille can make a mistake and get ahead of herself in trying to get the knockout? This fight would go viral for different reasons than the ones Tanille is dreaming about. It’s heat up time for the Firewoman. Triumph or Defeat as she cannot allow it to go to the judges. She is going to have to convince them and Tanille with her gloves instead.

    • It’s a strange round in that it should be the signal of the end for Sonia, but it doesn’t really feel that way.

      Like Tanille is winning and is dominant enough that Sonia’s going to have to go for the stoppage, but Tanille seems a bit distracted and Sonia seems focused. Mentality matters. Now will it be the decisive factor? We’ll have to see.

  2. Yet another round that Tanille domanates again…but she didn’t get the knock out she wanted, she got a little to over confident and paid the price for a body shot by Sonia.

    She still wants that knock out one way or the other.

    “I can take her out when I want to.” Seriously talk about over confidence. I’m with gameshow. Really hope Sonia makes a better come back and knocks her on her ass or knocks her ass out.

    Sonia still has to be careful, she fought smart at the end of the round surviving and letting Tanille come to her. Let’s hope the champ can keep this up.

    • Tanille’s winning, but Sonia’s hanging in there. There’s a gap in talent, but there also might be a gap in ring IQ too that is starting to be seen.

      Sonia has had some select moments, but if she messes up, Tanille’s going to make this a really short night.

  3. NOW Sonia is starting to find the right momentum! I would love more than anything to see her give Tenille her what’s due either by knockout or by points loss.

    • Sonia’s got something on her side. It might just be belief that Tanille can’t stop her. But its something.

  4. The two women are living up to their profiles. Sonia being willing to stand up to someone whose technical skills and athletic ability are superior, and land, while the response from the fire haired boxer is lethal.

    One of the risks boxers face is that scoring with a good shot, as Sonia does, can backfire when someone this good finds motivation to hit back. It’s a little surprising that Tanille resorts to pressure because you would expect her to invite it instead, and fire from angles.

    No matter. When she responds with a vicious right hand, pretty much anyone who finds themselves at the end of her gloves should be shaken. With talent and instinct, she scores that knockdown.

    Sonia’s got guts, though. She risks more pain to either keep trying to score an upset or at least earn the rare bragging rights associated with making the distance against Tanille.

    Is she making a sensible, healthy decision there? No, but that’s the craziness of boxing. Someone makes you dizzy and she’ll look to violate your face even more in a moment, and you still say “I’d like another” 😆

    Scott doesn’t sound too impressed. The theory usually goes as: a flood of combinations should finish the job after a knockdown, but Tanille went for wild single shots. A straight KO in Round 4 would have been a very good addition to her record and social media video collection. She might have to settle for less if Sonia is gritty enough to stay up no matter what.

    Still, I say that Tanille has too much talent for a girl like Sonia. She should be able to put her away in a round or two… if she listens to her coach.

    • Sonia’s one of those fighters that seems to have the mental toughness to succeed. She’s getting beat, but she’s not desperate, she’s not despairing, she’s just trying to use what advantages she can see to try to grind out a result.

      Tanille has so much talent, but in this fight, we aren’t seeing the fight IQ you might like to see in someone climbing the ranks. The talent is there, as she lands that good right hand and completes the knockdown though.

      Scott isn’t too impressed – imagine having to coach someone with the attitude of Tanille :D. He sees the big picture, a fighter that might not be easy to put away, and seeing his fighter having spent a lot of energy in these rounds.

      Still, I think your prediction is correct. But you have to be impressed by the unhearalded challenger. She’s a tough cookie.

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