Saturday, January 17, 2009

McConnell stops Johnson in 4

Story and Photos by Mike Blair
Courtesy of WBAN

The Silver Reef Casino filled half of the fight card on January 17th with women’s bouts. Six women, three fights, two of the rematches, and two Northwest belts resulted in just about everything a fight fan would like to see.

Molly McConnell stepped in to the ring to face Tammie Johnson in a rematch of a fight last year that though McConnell won, there were those ringside who believed should have leaned toward Johnson.


There would be no such controversy in this fight. McConnell answered the opening bell, met Johnson in the middle of the ring and threw a jab straight and hard at her head. Johnson answered throwing both the left and right, from the outside, and while keeping her head down, plowing forward.

While Johnson was certainly the busier fighter in the first round, if one counts punches thrown, she did not counter McConnell’s accuracy and efficiency.

In the second round, McConnell struck an advantage in the inside. While Johnson continued to step forward and though she tightened up her punches a bit, was still throwing wide, McConnell found the range for and the position from which to launch the uppercut. McConnell popped Johnson’s head back a couple of times in the round. While Johnson continued to pursue McConnell she was also burning a lot of energy.

McConnell on the other hand was content to let Johnson come to her, and when she did jab and move to work inside. Even at the moments with Johnson had McConnell pinned to the ropes, and was landing to the body, McConnell was able to effectively counter.


McConnell emerged for the beginning of the third with a different look in her eyes. She seemed to sense that she could control the fight, and that the shots she was landing were taking a heavy toll on Johnson. Johnson, on the other hand, appeared tired, but no less active.

McConnell seemed to land almost every punch she threw, and when she backed Johnson across the ring about a minute and a half in, her right hand found a target flush to Johnson’s chin and dropped her. Hard. To Johnson’s credit, she rose and on shaky legs finished the round. A lesser fighter would have stayed down.


Johnson’s corner waved an end to the fight after examining her in the corner at the end of the third. McConnell would earn the 4th round TKO victory and the Northwest Welterweight Championship with a focused and intense display of boxing skill. Johnson is now 3-2, while McConnell climbs to 10-1 with 5 KOs. Perhaps it is time for Molly to get the chance to step up in the bright lights.


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