A keen Peach

After a rocky round 1, Emma knows that she needs to signal to Takara that she’s not going to be there for the taking. The two fighters both try to claim the middle of the ring and snipe jabs at each other as they try to control the important center area of the ring.

Laila: “A battle of the jabs here in the early going. Winning the ‘jabbing’ war is something that a lot of casual fans don’t think about a lot, but it can be a huge factor in a fight. A bit surprising not to see the taller Takara be able to judge the distance better.”

Sandra thinks: Now or never. Either Emma gets run over or she finally sees what I see in her.

Emma knows that it is on her to shift the script of this fight, and she does it by standing her ground. That suits Takara just fine, as she doesn’t want to be chasing Emma around the ring. As the two play a bit of cat and mouse, Emma feints stepping into range, which draws an immediate right hand from the Japanese fighter. As Emma didn’t actually step in, the punch misses, and Emma files that knowledge away for further use.

Laila: “McGale looks light on her feet here, and she’s making Oshima guess at when she’ll be in range, which is a nice piece of adaption. Footwork doesn’t seem sexy, but it can be a deciding factor in a fight, and McGale’s looks quite smooth today.”

Finding the Courage

Emma thinks: I have to be brave to be in the ring with this girl, but I can’t just wait back. I have to make her respect me.

As one may learn from time in the boxing ring, or by simply watching ‘The Karate Kid’ – striking first can be an excellent strategy as well. Emma takes this to heart as she spots a chance for an overhand right and throws it. The dark grey glove finds a home on the cheek of the Japanese fighter, making a solid connection.

Laila: “McGale lands her best shot of the fight, a crunching right over the top. A clever little shot making Oshima pay for not getting her defence back in place quickly.”

Takara has much less success tagging Emma in the second round. The Canadian, having had a taste of her opponent’s power, makes sure to make herself an easy target. But she also knows that the closer that she gets to Takara, the less dangerous the Japanese fighter’s straight punches become.

Emma makes Takara miss on a right hand. Now in close, the Canadian knows that she must work in close and impose her strength on her opponent.

Sandra: “That’s how you BOX! Yes, Peach!”

Being in close with Emma McGale is not fun for Takara. The Canadian bullies the Japanese fighter around, making life uncomfortable and not granting the space for the puncher to unleash her biggest or best punches.

What does Emma do when she gets inside? She wants to take the body. ‘The Peach’ is able to shift to the side and throw a short uppercut into Takara’s midsection, which draws a groan from the Japanese fighter. It’s clear that Emma is comfortable in close quarters.

Laila: “McGale may have come into this fight as the underdog, but anyone who has seen McGale fight recently knows that she can be an absolute bully in close quarters. Even the nominally heavier Takara is having trouble with the strong Canadian.”


Takara is eventually able to extricate herself from being in close with Emma. She has no desire to get into close range with Emma anymore, so she tries to keep Emma from getting inside by extending a long jab. She’s able to make a bit of a connection, but Emma’s good head movement make the connection little more than a glance.

Laila: “The power puncher has been forced on the defensive by an Emma McGale who has upped her workrate here in the second round. Takara is having trouble make a solid connection and when power punchers can’t get their punches in, that’s always going to be a bit of a problem. Or, more than a big problem, really.”

Emma’s elusiveness is more than enough to get in close and when she is able to work inside near the end of the round, ‘The Peach’ is able to land by far the better punches, including a short left hook that jolts the Japanese fighter’s head around.

Emma thinks: This girl has nothing for me inside. I will pummel her.

Laila: “The warning bells must be ringing in Takara Oshima’s camp after a dominant round for the underdog Canadian. And after that left hook, her head might be ringing a bit. McGale isn’t known for dramatic power, but she does have 7 knockouts to her name. If Oshima endures more rounds like this one, that number may be increasing shortly.”


DING! End of the round.

Laila: “A good round for Emma McGale to even the scorecards. Let’s listen in to the corner of Takara Oshima and her coach Clifford Little.”

Needing a change?

Clifford: “I need more from you and I need you to be smarter. You’re just throwing a fastball. I need you to throw at different speeds so that it isn’t so easy for her. It’s easy because everything is coming at her at the same speed. Make her feel like she can come in and trade with you and then when she does, you punish.”

Takara: “I’ll catch her.”

Clifford: “You will. But if she ever gets close, I need you to just tie her up. This doesn’t need to be a one punch KO. But you need the range.”

Takara: “I’ve got this. Just one bad round.”

Clifford: “Focus. Be dynamic in there. She hasn’t seen a puncher like you before.”

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Emma McGale
A self admitted boxing nerd and friend of Virani. Especially powerful and dangerous working from in close Super Featherweight contender.
Emma McGale

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  1. There we go, the confidence is kicking in! I would say the goal here is to maintain it, do not lose focus no matter how many punches Emma takes. I got a good feeling on this, I think the Canadian champion has it in her, she has to take advantage and see if she remind Takara of her previous losses. Get in there from the inside and give Takara a Zohana or Sophie worthy knockdown.

    • Easier to be confident when you are kicking ass 😀

      Takara is vulnerable to a wicked knockout as we’ve seen before, but Emma is too. This one is a fight that can change with any punch.

  2. Let’s hope Emma keeps this up, pats thing she needs is for Takara to get going, meant to put this in my post lol

  3. Now that’s some better boxing from the peach this round!
    It’s so weird to see her doing so well against Takara, I mean those weren’t KO punches but she has the Ko power, and she definitely dominated her this round.

    Emma has gotten so good with inside fighting, and I don’t mind seeing some insider fighting in a boxing match. She definitely took the love muffin to school.

    We’re done with round 2 and it comes down to Emma to keep on dominating or Takara starts to find a way to fight back….

    • Much better from Emma. This would be, if we are to believe Sandra, far closer to what her actual level is. Is Sandra right? Well, one good round does not make a fight. Emma’s still got 8 more rounds against a very dangerous opponent.

      And who wouldn’t like watching Emma bully people up close? 😀

  4. A good display of fundamentals from Emma in that round’s first minute. A better use of space and moving well are very important factors in a fight. They can determine who lands the best punches.

    Strike first? I see that the Cobra Kai/Eagle Fang philosophy is in. Johnny Lawrence is proud but I hear that Daniel LaRusso wants to have a word. Wait, he actually learned the value of that himself!

    Then, Emma looks nice with her grey gloves as she closes in to do what she does best. That’s punching inside. I’m sure that Takara doesn’t share my appreciation for either the aesthetics or the purpose but… it’s there.

    The late action probably gives a disputed impression of how long a round should be. Emma socks her opponent well and probably wishes she had a little more time to build on it. Takara has to be thinking that seeing her coach immediately is the best thing.

    So, the Peach had a bad start but she’s not rotten. Got back into it. Let’s see if coaches can steer this one in a particular direction.

    • This is the Emma that Sandra wanted to see from the start, without a doubt. She judges range well and only progresses into range on her own terms.

      We also see that Emma isnt afraid of taking some decent risks. She is the underdog and that does behoove her. She shows Takara shes not just a threat on the inside.

      But when she does get inside it’s not good for any Takara fans. The Peach is in her element and she paffs Takara with clean punches.

      Surely Emma would have wanted a 3 minute round there at the end, but she probably wouldn’t have been appreciative of the longer rounds in the first. Swings and roundabouts as they say.

      These next rounds will be critical. We shall see which fighter has made the better adjustment.

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