Generation gap

With a fight scheduled, it is time for Virani’s first training camp under Sandra Blohm to take place. True to her words, she puts Virani to work.

Different from any of Thomas Nagy’s previous training camps, Sandra puts all of the in-ring training early in the camp, putting Virani through grueling session after grueling session, not letting her take things easy for a second. Any complaints from the Cobra fall on deaf ears.

Back in the ring seriously for the first time since getting clubbed by Hee Jung Park, the former Canadian champion is presented with the challenge of getting back to her best. The quality of opposition rises slowly each week as Sandra doesn’t bring in one sparring partner, but a collection. What does the German coach find after weeks of training?

Well, she finds that the Cobra still has the power and ability that made her special. That Virani is a smart and willfull fighter that she has to be forceful with. But with her back against the wall, Virani is receptive to this tough training.

As the fight gets closer, the in-ring training is toned down to more padwork and less contact. But Sandra also puts a strong focus on cardio, knowing that Virani may have to fight deep into fights at the elite level. Virani’s always been a good athlete with good cardio, but it never hurts to keep it up.

An important tenant for Sandra is to make sure that each training flows into the next. Once Virani is done with her run, she takes a moment to collect herself before immediately starting to shadow box. No training is done in isolation. Everything is connected.

Virani thinks: This shit is tiring. I’m putting in the effort, though. Would rather do that here than suffer in the ring.

Training the Panther

The Hamilton based Zoey Whittaker is hard at work on a camp of her own. With her manager, coach, boyfriend (and professional fighter in his own right) Brad Jackson overseeing everything. A keen athlete, Zoey has the right kind of frame for boxing and she’ll have a height and reach advantage over Virani; an advantage they are keen to exploit.

Brad: “Remember, long punches at full extension. Keep her at the end of your glove. She can’t hit you with a hook when she’s got a glove in her face.”

Zoey grunts as her gloves move the heavybag. She concentrates on her technique, making sure that it doesn’t slip under repetition. Minute after minute goes by under the aching shoulders of the young fighter simply cannot take it and she stops.

Brad gives her a gentle rub of the shoulders, provoking a laugh from Zoey.

Zoey: “Not now. My workout isn’t over yet.”

Brad: “Okay, okay Zoey, no need to waste all your good punches on the bag here. Save a few for the Cobra.”

Zoey: “It’s weird, it’s been my dream to meet her for years inside that ring, and show her what a generation of boxers she’s inspired. But it’s hard to see that face on the other end of my punches, ya know?”

Brad: “All great ones surpass their mentors eventually. This is your chance to do so. To prove to a big stage that this is Panther territory. That you’ll take what Virani built and make it 100x bigger. That’s what this is for. And who knows, once you beat her, maybe we can bring her on as an advisor or sparring partner. Make her part of the team.”

Zoey: “I would love that!”

Brad: “But remember the plan. We use range to fight at our distance and when she gets in range, we fire away. Hurt, her, knock her down like so many have before. Then we take the fight home.”

Zoey: “I’m excited just thinking about it.”

Brad: “Calm down. First, I need a kiss for all the hard work I did.”

Zoey: “Oh I think I can arrange that…”

Coming to the Ring

It’s a cold February night in Toronto for this Final Bell fight card. For the first time in a long while, Virani is not the main event, nor even the featured supporting fight. She’s on TV, but one of the first fights of the night. It simply goes to show how far her star has fallen.

Laila: “Welcome back. Up next, we have the return to the ring of one of the former title challenger Virani MacVicar as she faces a young fighter that idolized her in the undefeated prospect, Zoey Whittaker. It is a crossroads fight for the Canadian Cobra. Lose and there are major doubts as to her future. An unconvincing win would only fuel the doubters who see MacVicar as a dangerous but limited boxer. However, a big win would go a long way to show that the Cobra is a threat to the top of the division. Her opponent, Zoey Whittaker, has little to lose and lots to gain and she will use this fight as a launching point for her own career.”

Laila: “The fighters are ready to make their entrances.”

The betting underdog makes her entrance first. With a nickname like the Pink Panther, it’s only fitting she comes out to a modern remix of the Pink Panther theme song.

Looking youthful and excited to be on the biggest stage of her career, she gets a warm reception from the crowd, as who wouldn’t want to cheer on a beautiful youngster like Zoey?

Laila: “Zoey Whittaker will not be known to most of you at home. She’s 5-0 in her pro career and had a fairly strong amateur career as well. She’s said in interviews that her decision to turn pro was inspired by her very opponent in this fight tonight. A rangy fighter, she is something of a pure boxer who will likely use her jab to set up her offence.”

The noise level of the crowd rises as the popular Virani MacVicar is expected to enter.

Inspired by her friend Alesia Schumann’s taste in music, Virani enters to the Finish metal band Battle Beast’s ‘We Will Fight.’

“We will fight There’s no surrender To the bitter end of daylight we will stand. We will fight Always remember In the darkest times the beast awakes inside.”

Virani makes her entrance in a stylish dress, looking a bit stoic in her return to the ring.

Laila: “A hard rock entrance for a hard puncher in Virani MacVicar. It was a tough 2021 for The Canadian Cobra, losing to Alesia Schumann and Hee Jung Park, both by knockout. A destructive puncher, she has 10 wins by knockout, but on the other hand, her five losses have all come via stoppage. The question is this – are we getting an evolved Virani MacVicar, or have we already seen the best of her?”

The Introductions

With everyone in the ring, the ring announcer gets to work.

Ring announcer: “Ladies and gentlemen, our next fight is in the Featherweight division. This fight is scheduled for eight rounds of two minutes each.”

Laila: “This is the first time since 2019 that MacVicar will fight for less than 10 rounds. However, her fights rarely go the distance.”

Ring announcer: “Introducing first, fighting out of the blue corner, this woman comes to us today with record of 5 wins and 0 losses. She is coached by Brad Jackson. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the undefeated prospect, Zoey ‘Pink Panther’ Whittaker.”

Zoey thinks: I’m so ready for this. Can’t believe I get to trade punches with the Canadian Cobra! I’ll show her how she’s inspired a new generation.”

Ring announcer: “Introducing second, fighting out of the red corner, this woman comes to us today with record of 11 wins, 5 losses and 1 draw, with 10 of those wins coming by way of knockout. She is coached by Sandra Blohm of Germany. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the former Featherweight champion of Canada, The Canadian Cobra, Virani MacVicar!”

Sandra: “Time to impress again, Cobra.”

Virani thinks: I will. This girl wanted to face the Cobra. She’s going to regret it.

Too much respect?

Laila: “Our referee for this one will be Tina Twellman. She is a referee from Vancouver that is drawing great reviews. She is a by the book referee.”

Tina: “Fighters. This fight is being conducted under the unified rules. This is an 8 round fight. There is no three-knockdown rule or standing eight-count. You cannot be saved by the bell in any round. If you knock your opponent down, you have to go to a neutral corner before I start a count. When I say ‘break,’ I expect you to break. Obey my command at all times or expect consequences. Fight hard, fight clean. Now, touch gloves.”

Showing full respect for Virani, not only does Zoey touch gloves, she bows as she does it.

Virani thinks: This can’t be real. Bowing to me before the match. Girl, you are my opponent. I wouldn’t even bow to you if you knocked me out!”


Laila: “Virani MacVicar’s return to the top may start today or it may be the birth of a new star. We shall find out over the next eight rounds.”

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Virani MacVicar
Current Featherweight champion. A Canadian puncher known for her knockouts that has developed a more all-round style.
Virani MacVicar

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  1. I have a bad feeling about this for Zoey. A trainer / manager that doesn’t know what they’re doing. Athletic skills but not a lot of focus on ringwork. Plus the overwhelming respect she has for Virani. Too much respect for an opponent of Virani’s power and Zoey will be bullied the entire fight.

  2. It looks like training is going hard! Sandra isn’t playing around, she’s still not holding back, she’s making this training hard and brutal for the cobra.
    But I think this is good and a lot better training for her last fights, it’s none stop but it’s not over doing it. And if she wants to get better I say this training is perfect!
    Plus V looks good in that outfit and love what she did with her hair. ❤️

    I’m really taking a liking to Zoey, she’s gorgeous has a fit body and she just seems so friendly, can’t blame her for being so excited to be facing up against her idol.

    I’m still rooting for V to win mainly cause she really needs build momentum again and I wanna see her make it to the top as soon as possible, but It’ll be hard to watch cause I actually like Zoey.

    No surprise she shows respect but maybe a little to much respect, dang it I really like her XD but I’m sorry girl gotta go with V on this one. Though I’m looking forward to see what she can do 🙂

    • Train hard, fight hard!

      Virani’s training hair and gear is a little different, a bit more realistic for training in the cold winter months 😀

      I agree, with a little too much respect. Respect your elders and your idols, but this is boxing, its kind of about punching each other in the face…

  3. Coaches like Sandra are the ones you pay because you believe in their ability to get results. There are two catches, though. Her words sting more than a jab and her training drills will wrestle you to the mat.

    Virani thinks: This shit is tiring. I’m putting in the effort, though. Would rather do that here than suffer in the ring.

    Given what happened last year, especially with Hee Jung Park, that’s the right attitude. Better find training tiresome than getting battered.

    The hair and clothing fit Virani nicely. The looks of an authentic sporty chick.

    It’s hard not to like Zoey. She looks the part, has the right body type for pugilism and she’s very passionate about the sport. As a bonus, her choice of clothing and orange glove only enhances her cuteness.

    I really wonder how the Panther will react when the action starts. In this situation, she could be so enthusiastic about the fight that she could defy expectations and surprise everyone with a scintillating display that would send Virani into a tailspin with a third consecutive defeat. There is also a genuine risk that the intimidation factor could kick in, make her freeze and seal the deal for a fantastic knockout loss.

    Brad: “And who knows, once you beat her, maybe we can bring her on as an advisor or sparring partner. Make her part of the team.”

    Hmmm. Say that the win actually takes place. Would Virani surrender to become part of the team? I doubt it. Her reaction at the touch gloves makes me believe that Virani is okay with boxing traditions, but also that the bow is too much to her taste.

    • Sandra and Virani are negotiating their coach-student relationship at the moment. As we’ve seen, she’s far more sharp tongued than Thomas, and has many more expectations of Virani that she expects to be met.

      Zoey’s got a good look for boxing. Tall and lean is often a winning formula for boxers.

      The Panther has the task of staring her idol in the face, but hopefully not staring so long that she’ll get punched in the face. A third loss for Virani would probably doom her to relative obscurity, for sure.

      I think Brad is honestly a bit delusional….

  4. It is hard not to like Zoey with her friendly nature going into this fight and even right as she touches gloves with Virani. A loss here would hurt Virani big time more than losing to 2 champions before this, but Zoey being respectful to her idols seems like a great way to show that she can rise above the low expectations set upon her before this fight. Just like the Rams in the Super Bowl yesterday, I will pick the favorite here in Virani. However, I wouldn’t mind it either if Zoey can overcome the big situation she was placed in.

    • There’s a lot to like with Zoey. She’s young, she’s cute, and she’s got a personality to like as well. But it’s one thing to be in the ring with Virani, its another to be in a fight with her.

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