by Paul Topliff
19th May 2019
This was always going to be a cracker of fight, and so it proved to be. Right from the first bell, both fighters came out with gusto, exchanging jabs at the centre of the ring, until mid-way through the 2nd minute when Ryan almost imprisoned Sonvico into the corner in a fashion designed to determine alpha dominance. Noticeably Sonvico's cocky shoulder rocking and foot shuffling against her semi final opponent Che Kenneally was absent. The first minute was all about claiming territory, and Ryan had clearly proved her point, by leading with the left and on one occasion following up with a boomer of a blow that had the commentator raising his voice to her name. Had it made full contact Sonvico would inevitably have been in trouble at that point. As they exchanged a flurry of jabs Sonvico grabbed Ryan in a hold as Ryan was coming in; Sonvico having her head and shoulders low. Ryan was having none of it though and proceeded to lift 69kg of Sonvico off her feet with her neck alone. Sonvico must surely have known by this time that Ryan was the much stronger of the two. Sonvico was clearly cautious at the ferocity and above all power of Ryan's shots. Ryan began to tease, and Sonvico was holding her ground by playing the waiting game until she could see a window of opportunity for herself to let rip with a flurry of shots. Ryan though was fast and showed beautiful agility to dance back and forth avoiding danger while getting her jabs in. Sonvico now claimed the centre and it was clear that Ryan absolutely agreed with her. Ryan was more than happy to take the outside as she seemed to prefer the space to move around, encircling her, while placing Sonvico into a false sense of security, until the end of the first when Ryan had Sonvico against the ropes only for the bell to go.
The second round bell rung out, and Ryan began feigning jabs as Sonvico moved to her familiar central position of the ring. As Ryan closed it Sonvico held Ryan around the shoulders, only to be cast aside by Ryan's strength again, and ended up on the canvas. She got to her feet and moved back to the centre, throwing long jabs that barely made contact. Ryan seemed to have immensely long arms from the outside and continued to let fly with thrusts of power: left and right. Ryan began moving beautifully in and out with her feet, reminiscent of the great Muhammad Ali. Again Ryan moved in, and again Sonvico grabbed Ryan around the body. This time Sonvico landed on the canvas staring up at Ryan, as Ryan stood over her like a boss with both arms straight down and slightly apart. You have to understand here too that Sonvico is an extremely well built, muscular fighter, going to show that Ryan is an absolute force to be reckoned with to be able to dominate the French girl like this. Had Ryan not been so powerful herself, there was no doubt whatsoever that she would have been bullied. The pair resumed trading, with both fighters getting in one-two combinations until once again Sonvico attempted to grab hold of Ryan only to bend her body double with head down as if to attempt to illustrate to the judges in front of her that Ryan was somehow holding her, which she clearly wasn't. The fight resumed once again and Ryan moved around, circling Sonvico, with lefts and rights, often while moving slightly backwards. The bell goes and Sonvico I'm sure would have been disappointed at not being able to make her mark. At the half-way stage it was 2-0 to Ryan.
Round three, and both fighters start lively yet again. Ryan again the more dominant of the two leading with the left and combining sharp jabs left and right. Sonvico trades the same with some powerful jabs of her own from a lower central gravity. Grappling begins in the corner and the referee eventually breaks it up. Again the pair end up against the ropes jabbing each other in the sides followed by both fighters holding as the frenetic tempo ebbs away for a breather. Again both fighters bounce into the ropes with Sandy Ryan as usual on the outside, and Sonvico steadily getting cornered again, and looking like she's done a day graft. As the referee breaks it up and they move to the centre of the ring to resume, only for the final bell to go, and it's job done. Sonvico, who will have learned an awful lot during this bout, will know, and probably be thankful that she will not be in a tougher bout for a very long time.