Building Blocks

Laila Ali hosts Women’s Boxing Wrapup with a quick update from all the goings around in the Featherweight division. As usual, watching from home is Virani MacVicar and Emma McGale.

After recapping some of the more prominent divisions, Laila turns her attention to the Featherweights and Super Featherweights.

Laila: “First up, we have a continental clash as American champion Sonia Fox takes on the Australian champion Vicky Groves in a contest of champions down under.”

Emma: “Vicky’s still going. Good for her.”

Virani: “She draws decent crowds down there, I bet she does okay. Probably took this long to recover from you knocking her senseless.”

Emma: “Yeah, that was a good knockout, wasn’t it.”

Virani: “Remember when you used to be nice?”

Emma laughs.

Laila: “In what was a crowd pleasing eight-round fight, it was Sonia Fox who started the stronger, working well in close range with the tenacious Aussie fighter.”

Laila: “Groves tried to stage a comeback in the second half of the fight, and she did have her moments. But as has become a trend for the hardworking Sonia Fox, she kept up a solid pace and that eventually wore down Vicki Groves. She finished the seventh and eighth rounds strong, claiming a clear decision on the judges’ scorecards.”

Virani: “Sonia’s a fighter to avoid. She can take a punch and she is in great shape – she can go on to the very end.”

Emma: “She kind of reminds me of me. Just lacking a little bit of something special.”

Virani: “She’s not as cute as you?”

Emma: “I was going to say I have better coaching.”

Storm Rising

Laila: “Next up we have a prospect on the rise as Leanne Storm faced off against Jessimin Reed.”

“It was a tight contest for the first few rounds, but in the fifth, Storm staggered Reed with a right hand and wasted no time in finding the finishing punch, a scything left hook that found a home on the American’s chin.”

Laila: “Reed hit the canvas hard after taking heavy shots from Storm, who has been establishing herself as quite a power puncher through in her rise through the ranks.”

Virani: “She’s a puncher, but she’s not one dimensional. You have some similarities.”

Emma: “I wish I had hair like that.”

Virani: “I meant in the ring…”

Emma thinks: Good job, sis.

Laila: “Reed showed great heart by getting off the canvas, but there was no indication that she was in shape to defend herself and referee Clarissa Starling made the right call in waving the fight off.”

Virani: “Poor Jessimin. Good boxer, but absolutely no chin.”

Emma:Carla Flores and Tanille Taylor and now Leanne. Yeah, she can’t last against good fighters.”

Virani: “And people say I have a mediocre chin.”

Emma: “Well, you have been knocked out several times.”

Virani: “Let’s not compare.”

Lightning Strikes

Laila: “Our last match from Featherweight was a matchup of two ladies who desperately needed a win as Renee Heroux traveled to England to take on Sybil Graves.”

Emma: “Can both of these ladies lose?”

Virani: “Renee looks like a stick figure, and Sybil is just a nightmare. I agree, I hope they both lose.”

Laila: “Sybil started early with good pressure, but the bombs from Graves never really found the mark to shake Heroux, as the Lightning Wolf showed unexpected grit against the feisty Brit. This was for some, an unexpected result for some who had completely written off Heroux.”

Laila: “The Lightning Wolf took over by the middle rounds, showing off the fast hands that she’s been known for in her undefeated streak. The Frenchwoman didn’t allow a brawl to take place and she was outlanding Graves very clearly, using her height and reach to dominate the affair.”

Virani: “Yeah, but if Sybil ever did connect, she’d probably send Renee down. Remember her against Michaela Sommer? Sad performance.”

Emma: “Is it so easy to go up against Michaela?”

Virani: “I seem to manage okay. Two and 0, baby!”

Laila: “And as the fight hurtled towards a conclusion, we saw the Heroux that racked up a big knockout rate while fighting in France. The long levers of Heroux saw her land some brilliant power punches from a distance. Graves was rattled late in the fight, but she held on to the hear the final bell. Heroux stops her slide towards obscurity and seems like she has revitalized her credibility. Graves seems like she will be a gatekeeper for the division, at best.”


Laila: “Now moving on to the Bantamweight division…”

Virani: “That’s my cue to exit.”

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  1. Sonia Fox, Leanne Storm, and Renee Heroux. Now that is a hot and diverse combination right there. Good to see Sonia rebounding here from the Virani fight, winning over an Australian champion ought to do a lot for her stock as she is looking more and more like a really good but not great yet boxer, especially as she has lasted until a decision for most of her fights. If given another shot against a top ranked opponent, maybe it could be the breakthrough she hopes for. As for Leanne, I think she is ready to become a ranked contender soon. Safe to say power punches run in the family. And for Renee, a win over Graves is certainly a good win to brag about, especially with Graves’ tendencies to get really rough. It is almost a miracle that she survived that encounter without a scratch or a cut on her face.

  2. Some fighters have no quit in them. Not the most talented but they keep coming at you while taking anything you throw their way. They gobble up your energy until they have their way. Very annoying to deal with. Sonia does that really well.

    A highlight of that fight is the right she drives into Vicky’s body. It’s the sort of punch that can make torso movement uncomfortable at times, even when the immediate pain is gone.

    Poor Jessimin. Signing up for a 10-rounder with Leanne Storm is something you should only do if you have a chin made of cast iron. Otherwise, you’re at her mercy the moment she lands one of those heavy punches.

    This time, it looks like two punches did the job. It’s probably in the American’s interest that the pain session didn’t last longer.

    The surprise package is Renee. Some time back, Michaela made short work of her. The brutal knockout she suffered is the type that can make you hesitant and fearful when you fight again. Especially with a brute like Sybil.

    The Frenchwoman handles herself well, though. Hitting without taking a big punch might make sense in boxing…

    • Sonia is one of those fighters that if you agree to fight her, you should expect to go the mandated distance and be in a very tough fight, even if you win. Sonia’s just that sort of fighter.

      Jessimin is one of those – good enough to get decent fights, but always overmatched against the top girls. We know Leanne can punch and when she connects, its enough to finish off Jessimin.

      Renee claims a victory over Sybil, which I think is a bit of an upset. Neither of these fighters may be the world’s greatest, but one of them put themselves back in contention for a good fight, which is all you can ask for after being ‘exposed’ as one of those fighters with a carefully constructed record.

      And yes, the old hit and don’t get hit mantra may have finally sunk in with Renee – I think Michaela was probably a good teacher of that particular lesson 😀

  3. Good to see some fighters rising in the feather weight division. They need the spot light.

    Up first is the unstoppable train Sonia fox, I know that’s not her ring name but I feel it fits her perfectly lol. Groves gave her a good fight but the train was just too much for her.
    V is right though, even though she beat her before she is a fighter to be avoided.

    Next is Leanne storm as she takes out her opponent in Great fashion, a fight with V in the future would be interesting to see. Emma must be so proud of her sister ❤️

    And then next is Sybil and Renee, to be honest didn’t really care for these two much but it was a bit nice seeing Renee beating Sybil in the end. Nobody really cares for the two it seems lol.

    Also really love the conversation between V and Emma m, they are both like sisters, and it seems Emma is more confident and has some jokes to spare lol.

    Now I’m curious to see how Tanille does against another fighter i haven’t heard about, if there’s a fighter that doesn’t deserve to be in the spot light it’s her. Wonder if this is just another tomato can to hype her up.

    • Needed to get in some quick updates for sure

      Sonia is a very tough fighter, maybe not the most skilled, but bloody tough. She has enough of an advantage to take a victory over Vicki though.

      Leanne continues to be a big puncher. She’s dangerous

      Renee gets a bit of a good win, but she gets dismissed as a challenge by Virani. Can’t say she’s wrong, but at least Renee has a bit of momentum again.

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