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Laila Ali vs. Shadina Pennybaker

Mountaineer Race Track, Chester, WV, November 10 1999
fight report by a Women's Boxing Page correspondent

 
   

I was at Mountaineer Race Track last night so I saw Ali's fight.

I think her opponent was a lot tougher than they counted on. The first standing eight count was a mistake in my mind. Her mouthpiece came out and the ref jumped in. The action was still good at that point. He should have waited for a break in the action and then stopped it to replace the mouthpiece. It seemed that when he realized what he had done he gave her an eight count to account for his error and then took another ten or so seconds to replace the mouthpiece.

He appeared to be looking for an excuse to stop the fight. When he did stop it a standing eight count may have been in order. There was no reason for an immediate stoppage. The girl was not in any serious distress, just tired but still trying to fire back. The official time announced was 1:47 of the fourth round. (I was also timing the rounds.)

Ali was definitely winning on points but Pennybaker was slipping and moving fairly well. She also landed some good punches on Ali when Ali tried to move in for the kill.

Ali threw mostly jab/cross combos, very few hooks. She used her height and reach advantage well but got nailed when she got overanxious.

Ali is 5'10", Pennybaker is 5'4" ... Ali had a big reach advantage that made Pennybaker work hard to get past her jabs. Pennybaker said that she knew she needed a KO to win because she felt there was no way the judges would award her a fight on points against Muhammad Ali's daughter. Pennybaker tired in the final round and Ali pressed her attack just before the TKO. Ali ended the fight with a small bruise on her right cheek but looking ready for more ... Dee

Dee Williams

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