Puncher’s paradise

There’s a small pause, right before the bell.

The fighters look across from each other, from the woman that is keeping them from achieving their goal. For Virani, it would be a world title win, an affirmation of her talent and finally winning the ‘big’ fight. For Michaela, it’s revenge for a result she never accepted and a sign that her reign at the top may not be short lived. It’s a legacy defining fight for both.

DING!

Laila: “The WBU Featherweight title is on the line. Let’s see how these 10 rounds, or likely less, will go.”

While one might expect a calm start to a fight with such high stakes, the fight quickly proves to be the opposite, with both fighters settling into the optimum range for doing damage and swinging away. It’s not a drunken barfight, but both boxers state their intentions quite clearly to punch this one out.

The first, clean contact of the night goes to the champion, as she fires over an overhand right that lands cleanly on Virani’s jaw.

Virani thinks: That’s the power I remember.

Laila: “Cleanly on target for Michaela Sommer, who will not mind the distance that this one is being fought at.”

Even though Virani has taken the first major contact of the fight, she’s not inclined to back down. The Canadian searches for her own opening, and not too long after getting caught with a powerful right hand, the Canadian is able to find Michaela’s chin with a solid left hook.

Laila: “This one is shaping up to be a short fight, if both fighters want to stay in range and go to town throwing bombs. I’d give the slight edge to the champion at this point, but if this keeps up, its going to be a matter of who is standing at the end.”

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The pace can’t last forever, and eventually some boxing does occur. Virani boxes from a distance, deciding to utilize her longer reach. The Canadian jabs and pops in and out of range effectively, stymieing Michaela from working from her preferred range. It’s not what Virani really wants to do, but as a change of pace, she throws it in to not allow the champion to be comfortable.

Sandra: “Good, Cobra!”

Laila: “A good jab from Virani has dulled the pace here in the first, and it shows her evolution as a fighter. This might not be how she wants to work the whole fight, but it gives Michaela something to think about as the fight progresses.”

Working behind her reach advantage gives Virani the impetus in the round but jabs won’t do for the Canadian Cobra. She knows that this fight is one that is going to be decided by power punches. After working a jab, Virani steps in to follow up with a right hook, but it’s well ducked by Michaela who keeps her composure well under pressure.

Laila: “Though Sommer often is talked about because of her power, the champion is an accomplished boxer. One does not simply ascend to this level of champion without being able to compete in all phases of the game. Sommer knows that she has to avoid those dangerous hooks from Virani, and she does so well here.”

As the round goes onward, the natural inclinations of both fighters brings them closer together and into range where power punches are the order of the day.

The champion plays a more patient game, keeping her guard up and letting Virani try to break through. The Canadian has trouble with a tight guard, and tries to slip to her left to open up the space for a right hook. Before she can get it going though, Michaela steps into a straight right hand that catches Virani’s chin, sending the Cobra’s head jolting sideways – her intended left hook now flying wildly off target.

Michaela thinks: “That one had to hurt you.”

Laila: “Sommer shows composure to land the perfect shot at the perfect time. That was the biggest punch of the fight so far for the champion.”

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A little dazed by that strong right hand, Virani cedes the momentum to Michaela. The champion is happy enough to be the one coming forward, putting the challenger under pressure. The pressure eventually pays off when Virani tries to respond by throwing a left hook as Michaela comes in – but the champion’s unexpectedly short right hand is on target first. Another painful punch on the jaw from Queen Kong.

Laila: “This is what all fans of Sommer want to see. She’s bullying Virani around the ring and winning these exchanges – in fact she’s not even letting Virani reply, so it’s more of a one sided exchange – like talking to your mother!”

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Virani thinks: I’m hurt, time to retreat.

Buzzed by those two right hands, Virani turns into a defensive Cobra, wanting very much to avoid the fate of Kayleigh Parsons and losing in the first round to the hard punching Michaela. Virani uses her legs to get away and avoid getting into further exchanges of leather with Queen Kong.

The crowd loves the fact that the challenger is backing up early in the fight and it spurs Michaela to come forward, even when she should be a bit careful of Virani’s possible reply.

Towards the end of the round Virani is in full retreat, and she has to perform some emergency actions – leaning backwards to prevent another fierce right hand from Michaela landing. It’s not textbook defence, but it works.

Laila: “A dominant round for the champion ends with her having the challenger on the run! Sommer forced MacVicar out of her comfort zone and took the round easily.”

DING!

It’s time for a chat with the coaches!

Michaela’s Corner

Axel: “Good round, die Meisterin. This is what I want from you. Make sure every time she comes into range, she pays for it. She won’t take it for very long.”

Michaela: “More of the same? I’ll be happy to give it to her.”

Axel: “Don’t neglect the defence, though. You slowed her down when you used the high guard. You can mix it up and keep her off guard.”

Michaela: “Understood.”

Virani’s Corner

Sandra: “How are you after that one?”

Virani: “I forgot she hits like a steel hammer.”

Sandra: “Two phases of play. Use the jab to keep her away, even when you want to take a breather. Putting the guard up only invites pressure, and we don’t really want to trade with her. Only unequal trades.”

Virani: “Like the world’s worst trading partner.”

Sandra: “Nerd. But yes. Keep calm, it’s a long fight, and she’ll give you chances.”

Ringside, also viewing the action are Alesia Schumann and Emma McGale.

Alesia: “Tell me what a boxing nerd thinks.”

Emma: “Tough one for Virani. This Michaela chick doesn’t just hit hard. She moves and times shots well. It’s dangerous to get anywhere close. Didn’t you guys work on handling that?”

Alesia: “We did, with a focus on the setting traps and setting up the counter. It feels like Michaela played that game in this round. I sparred with her before. She sucks up knowledge like a sponge and improves very quickly.”

Emma: “I may need you to be a bit more comforting than that.”

Alesia: “Did I mention how good Virani looks in that outfit?”

Emma: “You did that last round.”

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Fiery Kong

Virani MacVicar

Current number one contender in the Featherweight division, by Alex. Get her full profile and fight history.
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Michaela SOmmer

The German Featherweight champion is a tough inside fighter, with size, who punches above her weight.
Michaela Sommer
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6 comments

  1. Ooh, Michaela is off to a nice start. However, even though Virani does not prefer to do it for an entire fight, I think her fighting from the outside with the jab and trying to get points until a bigger opportunity comes along is the key for her to get back and win this fight. They are both capable of knockout power, but I think Virani has more speed and footwork of the two and that she has what it takes to outlast the champion until a late KO or even an undeniable decision win. It will be tough mentally and emotionally not to go for a KO immediately, but it will have to wait. Another shot at the title and against someone she has defeated before, this is Virani’s best chance here than ever before. It is now or never at this point. The next challenge is surviving the middle rounds, that will show a better improvement than her title fight with Park.

    • Michaela gets the better of the first round. I think you are right that the jab could be a big weapon for Virani. She’s taller and Michaela has much shorter arms.

      Virani going for a decision? It would take an evolution, and going 10 rounds with Michaela would be tough as heck. Possible though.

  2. Totally disappointed here. I expected a defensive chess match, only to witness heavy punching. What are these two even thinking?

    Virani thinks: That’s the power I remember.

    That stings a little more than the reminders you set up on your phone. I think.

    It’s daring to go at this pace when the two fighters are able to brutally stop each other. Virani tries to control things better with the jab with some success but some ring IQ from the champion and more shots fired give her the round. When you’re the one eating the punches, what people see as points is physical pain for you.

    Good thing for Virani that there is little time left on the clock when she has to retreat while hurt. A few more seconds could have brought more pain.

    Emma’s reaction is pretty funny. It’s hard to find comfort when a friend is in the ring against a champion who is a hard puncher whose skills go beyond having heavy hands. You just have to hope that the challenger will find a solution.

    • Defensive chess match? You’re in the wrong place, madame 😀

      Michaela’s power is nothing to be trifled with. She can put anyone on the canvas with one good punch. Virani is powerful too, but probably not to the same extent.

      Both sides show the technical side of their game as well – Virani with the jab, and Michaela with her good defence. These aren’t backyard brutes just throwing punches at will, it’s two high level punchers playing a high stakes game.

      Michaela stuns Virani late, and easily takes the round. Emma is a bit nervous at ringside, but having hope is all you can do! It’s probably not that fun to watch!

  3. What a first round, they didn’t really bother feeling each other out, they just went at it. And that was definitely ok for Michaela.

    As I expected I feel that round went to the champ, she was able to hurt V already and it’s only the first round, but on the bright side she didn’t get knocked out like Kayleigh did lol.

    Michaela just needs to keep doing what she’s doing, but V needs to fight smart by using that jab, then come in with some power shots that the champ can’t see.

    It’s a serious fight and Alesia is still talking about fashion x3

    • No feel out phase here 😀

      Virani lasted one more round than Kayleigh did. Hopefully she lasts a few more 😀

      I think you are right, Virani can work behind the jab. We’re turning you into a boxing strategist 😀

      Alesia is playing the role of friend, trying to distract Emma 😀

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