Hanging on

One Fighter Hangs On, When One Fighter Needs a Knockout

Standing on ceremony

The 8th round. The final two minutes of the fight. Sonia Fox needs a knockout, while Tanille Taylor just wants this fight to end as quickly as possible.

Before the bell, referee Kendra Vickers wants the two fighters to touch gloves before getting action underway as an act of sportsmanship. Sonia offers a glove, and Tanille… well…

Kendra: “Touch gloves!”

Tanille thinks: Guess I have to…

Tanille offers a glove quickly and touches the red gloves of Sonia, before quickly retreating. Space and time are important for her, but that open mouth and tired look in her eyes give Sonia all the motivation that she needs. As if she needed any more.

Pouring it on

Sonia comes out all guns blazing, looking for that one punch that will win her the fight. But even a tired Tanille doesn’t just capitulate to the tenacity of the American champion. She keeps a high guard and continues to parry punches as she had throughout the fight. Notably though, there’s no return fire from the white-gloved fighter. Her offence appears to be pretty much spent.

Sonia thinks: She’s tired, but she’s not going to just let me punch her lights out. I have to be a bit more clever than this.

Laila: “Strong defence to start the 8th round from Tanille Taylor. The Prodigy looks like she has established her intent to just ride out her huge lead to a decision.”

Exhorted by her coach, Sonia goes back to what worked for her so well in the last round, getting in close with Tanille and letting her hands go to the body. The lady in black uses her aggression to force Tanille into the ropes, and as soon as she does get ‘The Prodigy’ where she wants, she makes sure Tanille can’t escape.

As Tanille tries to hold on to force a break, Sonia frees herself and drives a tight, short right hand into Tanille midsection, a punch that audibly provokes a whine of pain from the redhead.

Sonia thinks: I wish I could have done this the whole fight, but I wouldn’t have been able to early in the fight, she wouldn’t have let me get close.  Right now though, She doesn’t have an answer for me. But I can’t knock her out like this, I don’t think.  She’s tougher than she looks.

Laila: “Bullying tactics from the desperate champion, who may not have the title on the line, but has the pride to try to produce something to show why she has the belt in the first place.”

Going for broke

With Tanille taking place so much punishment to the body, her gloves naturally drop to protect her from taking further pain.

Sonia thinks: Now it’s time to go to the head.

Sonia runs into trouble the first few times she to land upstairs. It takes a little more setup to actually land the type of punch that ‘The Extguisher’ wants. A couple of good feints to the body get the gloves of Tanille going low, before Sonia shifts her weight to throw a mean right hook over the top that lands flush on Tanille.

Tanille takes the punch, but her legs show the first sign of unsteadiness, whether that is from the punch or her fatigue.

Laila thinks: How do I make it seem like Tanille is not just struggling to survive here?

Laila: “A barnstorming shot from Sonia Fox who is showing late life in this fight. Can she make the breakthrough or can Tanille Taylor answer back – we’ve never seen her on the other end like this!”

With Tanille more or less staggering around the ring, Sonia has a hard time corralling her to stay still to land the punches she needs to end the fight. That leads back to a familiar strategy, the smaller, more powerful Sonia pursuing and outright pushing Tanille into the ropes. Once she gets her there, Sonia unleashes everything she has, not allowing Tanille to hold or obstruct her.

An opening arrives for a sharp, quick uppercut, and Sonia doesn’t miss it. It connects right under Tanille’s chin, jerking it skyward as she tries to absorb the red leather. Now Sonia does seem like Tyson.

The crowd oohs, and gets loud, sensing that we might be on the verge of seeing a dramatic comeback, and the downfall of a prospect.

Laila: “Taylor is hurt! She may have been playing possum, but if she was, she was almost made into roadkill by Sonia Fox after she landed a cruel uppercut to the chin. Tanille looks like she might go down!”


Going for the kill

Sonia’s enemy is time, and Tanille’s surprising strength of character to stay on her feet, despite the onslaught. The prospect might not have shown much, but she shows here that she can take a punch.

Seconds slip away, Tanille slips and slides along the ropes, grabbing almost getting tied up as she tries to stay upright. A veteran fighter would take a knee, laugh about it, and get up to beat the count and win the fight. Tanille’s never been in a spot like this before. She’s hurt, she’s reeling, and Sonia knows that victory might be near.

Tanille tries to turn to avoid a left hook, but Sonia’s punch rings true, drilling the prospect back into the ropes as sweat flies off her head. The crowd rises. It knows time is running short.

Laila: “Tanille Taylor is staggering around the ring like a drunken aunt after one too many chardonnays! Sonia lands another good punch! Does she have time to finish off Taylor! Will the referee intervene to save The Prodigy!”

Kendra thinks: If the roles were reversed and Sonia was on the other hand of this beating, I’d stop the fight. But the I know who the promoter wants to win, and unless it gets obvious that I need to stop it, I’m letting this one go.

Referee aside, the crowd senses blood. It wants the knockout. Sonia wants to deliver it. She has Tanille in the corner, where there is no escape. Tanille’s hands are low, she can barely defend herself. Sonia fires a wicked right cross that almost knocks Tanille’s head into the third row..


But Tanille survives.

The next sound is the sound of the bell.


The fight is over. Tanille Taylor is more or less out on her feet, but she’s made it to the final bell.

Kendra thinks: This Tanille chick took a hell of a beating. I’m surprised she’s still standing.

Kendra: “You okay?

Tanille: “….Yeah.”

Sonia walks away from the corner, to an outpouring of cheers from the fans, but she can only look back and think – if only I had a few more seconds.

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  1. Darn! Sonia almost had it, it could have been the biggest upset perhaps on the website history. However despite this, there are some good notes for her despite time running out. She exposed some of Tanille’s flaws and weaknesses as a boxer in this last round with her fitness. That is something no one has seen from Tanille and just like Patrick Mahomes in the NFL/after the Super Bowl, everyone else in the division will see the past footage of this fight and pick it up on Tanille in later fights. That is the tough part of a televised fight, now Tanille is seen that she can be vulnerable. No one expected Sonia to make it out of the 3rd or 4th round, and she made it all the way through without being on Tanille’s knockout reel. That means something. She wants the attention of the boxing media, and she might have gotten it. She made sure it ended on an ugly win at least for Tanille rather than a highlight reel win.

    • So close, yet so far.

      This would have been a big upset – another tuneup for the prospect goes horibly wrong. This will go down as a victory for Tanille, but in reality, kind of a major setback for her.

      Sonia has proved something, and may be given an opportunity for something more. But its a tough assignment, being the one that is not totally backed by a promoter either.

  2. Man I was really hoping for an upset KO! Maybe this will be the thing that makes her more serious about her training and become an even better fighter.

    • We almost had one of those moments where the hyped prospect crashes and burns on live TV!

      Tanille might need to look at the mirror. Hopefully that is the wakeup call she needs.

  3. Damn it! It was just getting good finally seeing her get her ass beat! She was really tired and Sonia really dominated that round.
    But sadly we know who won this fight….

    You can tell from the way Tanille looked out of it when they touched gloves, and it looked like she didn’t want to do that.

    When Sonia started going at her defense you can tell she didn’t want to fight, that was all she needed to go all out. Sonia really lays into her but she surprisingly makes it to the bell. Like I said before…woke by share luck

    If it was another fighter or if Sonia was a bit stronger Tanille would have been definitely out.

    Sadly it’s obvious that Tanille won the fight but I’m sure and hoping that after this Sonia has a lot more fans and maybe some promoters that would be interested in her.

    And I’m curious to what people will think of Tanille now, or will they still hype her up like they always do.

    • Sonia gave it her all. Just not enough time. Time is so precious….

      Tanille won the fight, but she lost the aura that she’s some undefeated genius fighter that cannot possibly be beat.

      It will be interesting to see where Sonia goes from here. I may have a few ideas… 😀

  4. My gawd. What an ending. It comes with a few thoughts.

    First, Sonia just cemented her appeal as the underdog who wasn’t in favour when coming into this one. Fight fans will be critical of Tanille for running out of gas and only counting on talent to do the job. It turns out that endurance and the will to fight made Sonia look like the better fighter, and they’ll be talking about it.

    Second, that feisty underdog can punch. Most of the pics in this post demonstrate that Tanille is getting hurt. You can feel the movement and the impact of the punches. Not everyone can do that with 3D renders.

    Third, signs that were already there earlier in the sequence make it very obvious that Tanille is the promoter’s darling, with everyone doing her little favours. Laila asking herself how to put things while doing commentary, and the ref letting her take the spanking so she can make it to the final bell. For a decision that, if the narrative still holds up, should favour Tanille. Unless the judges felt differently than many of us do.

    Whatever happens next, Sonia can hold her head high and tell the world that had she been given two more rounds, she would have dropped Tanille. The Prodigy will find it very hard to counter that opinion unless she pulls a Claressa out of her bag to live in denial.


    The more critical part of me, as a creator, salutes this way to end a fight. The underdog losing the fight but winning the audience has been done in cinema but amateur storytellers tend to go for the clean knockout in such circumstances. This story has more wrinkles than most.

    • Thank you, my friend. Your praise is always appreciated and warmly recieved :).

      Sonia is the scrappy, unapreciated underdog in the story, and though she doesn’t get the wonderful moment that knocking Tanille out would have been, she at least proved something in that ring – at least that she’s not a fluke, holding the US championship. There’s a future there for her, but its a bit uncertain.

      Fans will no doubt be savage of Tanille who seemingly lacks the physical prerequisites to succeed at the top level. Nothing attracts more commentary than someone failing to live up to their potential, and no doubt tongues will be wagging. How Tanille will react will be quite interesting.

      I think the renders in this round came out quite well – Sonia does pack a pretty good punch, and she worked Tanille like a speedbag. Only the indifference of the referee, and the agreed upon round limit saved Tanille from (what seems to be) a loss.

      The underdog winning would have been an easy story, but this one had more of the ring of truth to it. Tanille is talented but not dedicated. Sonia is tough, but can’t compete with Tanille’s skills. It made for an interesting clash and I think this was the most interesting way to explore such a fight.

      Knockouts, though I do very much enjoy them, cannot be the end of all fights. Storytelling is richer when knowing that fights can, and do go the distance.

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