Continuing the story of Penelope Primrose, taking place during the start of the Beautiful Angels of Boxing Entertainment league.
The author of these stories goes by the DeviantArt handle of thegeorgiapeach. Over the years, I’ve enjoyed his post-match analysis of B.A.B.E. matches very much. But now, he’s covered a year in the life of the former UK Foxy Boxing champion.
Without detracting from the current B.A.B.E. storylines and keeping true to (and in some cases building up) the personalities of B.A.B.E. fighters, this story presented an outsider (UK) view of what was going on with the league. These stories helped make my own fictional world seem more real to me! In fact, as far as I’m concerned, these stories are canon to my own stories.
This doesn’t usually happen but I was so into this storyline, that I actually wanted to help bring some of it to life. And with the author’s permission, I will be re-publishing these stories to the B.A.B.E. blog.
So, (around) every week, you can tune in here for the stories with some associated images. (Not everything will have images… just the action-oriented stuff! And, please, visit thegeorgiapeach‘s DA page for his stories and analysis. It’ll be worth your time!
Story by thegeorgiapeach and art by cpunch . (Please note, some of the images in these stories may have been previously published. Click the highlighted links below for refreshers as you go along.)
Penelope Primrose was finding the final promotional press conference for her upcoming fight with Chantelle Daniels more exhausting than her final workout earlier in the morning. She and Chantelle had completed the weigh-in and final promotional poses for the cameras, at which Penelope was not amused that she had been outwitted by Chantelle, who already had three inches on Penelope but had slipped on high heels for the stare down photos to accentuate the difference.
Now she was sitting at the dais listening to different ‘dignitaries’ talk and talk and talk. Penelope just wanted to get home, get a massage, and relax before her fight tomorrow night. As UK Foxy Boxing Commissioner Mr. Tyrus Johnson was droning on, Penelope’s mind began to wander – flittering from images of her many recent tribulations – from Ivanna to Trixies’ to Sydney Smith, clearing them out with images of what she wanted to do to Chantelle in the ring.
Penelope knew that she was in need of a big win in her career, and this was her next best chance to achieve that goal. Her defeat of Morgan Mace was now a distant memory, and one nobody brought up anymore. As much as she tried to deflect attention to the fact that, international star Luiza Lima aside, she was the only one in UK Foxy Boxing who had actually defeated the current UK Champion Mace, no one wanted to talk about it. The attention was always on the rematch where she had been dethroned as champ, or Rayne, or Ivanna. And the recent loss to Sydney in her UK return bout had legs too, as they talked often about it in the publicity for Sydney’s fight with Kelly Fairchild. ‘“Ugh . . . Fairchild! That tart was getting all the press!’ Penelope sulked.
“We’ve about 5 minutes before we have to make room for ‘The English Rose’ and Smith,” David Kent, UK Foxy Boxing’s studio host on British Sports Network, who was navigating the press conferences today. “So, we have time for a few more questions?”
Penelope looked out at the press corps, and other fans who were in attendance, and came to the realization that it was starting to fill up past capacity. All kinds of media and fans were trying to get in, and Penelope smarted when it hit her that she, former Queen of UK Foxy Boxing, was an afterthought when it came to the stardom of Kelly Fairchild. The fans were packing in, not for two former UK champions, but for the shot of seeing Kelly Fairchild close up. “Ridiculous!” she muttered aloud, and in her head she fought back a pang of jealousy as she thought how not very long ago that was here getting the limelight.
“What?” Missy responded next to her.
“What? Nothing . . .”
“This question is for both fighters. Clearly it would seem that the winner of this fight would claim a very reasonable shot at being the next opponent for Morgan Mace. It has been a long while since the UK Foxy Boxing scene has seen three champions all going strong at the same time . . .”
“Is there a question coming, love!?” Chantelle interrupted from her end of the dais. The reporter blushed a bit as she continued.
“ . . . Umm, yes, do you think you deserve a rematch if you win tomorrow night?”
“If I win . . . sweetie, there are no ifs here. Do you see the washed up floozy I am fighting tomorrow night? Primrose ‘going strong!?’ Have you researched at all what has been happening? There’ll be a rematch for the ‘Dover Duchess’ with Mace, love. Count on it! ” Chantelle purred.
“Aren’t they still pulling your eyelashes out of the canvas, Chantelle, after your dreamland faceplant against Mace?!” Penelope shot back as she leaned forward and turned towards Chantelle. She’d held her tongue long enough, no matter what she had promised Missy. If David Kent was going to just give them five more minutes before his precious ‘English Rose’ came on stage, she was going to use them. “Why would any of us care to see that again.”
“She speaks! Got the beer bottle out of your mouth long enough to utter some words I see!”
“And ‘Mama’s Little Girl’ has got her pacifier out!” Ophelia Daniels perked up and shot Penelope a look.
David Kent jumped in to interrupt, even though he seemed to be enjoying the squabble between the two Foxy Boxers who had mostly been silent up to this point, “So what of it, Penelope? You think the winner gets a rematch with Mace?”
“Of course! Me and Mace have unfinished business! We must settle this with a third match.”
“ . . . Still living in the past ‘Pudgy,’ now that is surely an oldie rerun! Those fights were in black and white weren’t they, Primrose?”
“I would have thought the ‘Dover Duchess’ could afford a color TV, or is your regal wealth as phony as your mother’s plastic face!?”
With that, Missy now stared daggers of her own at Penelope. ‘What? She has to have had surgery to look that good at her age! Ask Kent, I am sure he knows.” Penelope muttered in defense. Penelope enjoyed ruffling Ophelia Daniels’ feathers, but also enjoyed seeing the unflappable David Kent go red in the face, “Hmmm, could the rumors be true!’ Penny thought.
Chantelle began to stand up, but Ophelia put a hand on her leg to keep her in place, whispering something in her daughter’s ear.
“Ahem . . . yes, a question in the back?”
“What do you think of Kelly Fairchild, doesn’t she deserve the next shot at Mace?”
Penelope did everything she could to not roll her eyes, and she felt Missy kick her in the ankle and mutter ‘No!” for only Penelope to hear.
Chantelle, ever the savvy media star that she was, jumped on the question first, “I would assume ‘The English Rose’ would get a shot at Mace soon. What a wonderful fighter, wonderful girl she is. I would assume she would win tomorrow night – which would clearly put her ahead of Primrose, afterall, we all saw what Smith did to my ‘Hot Mess’ opponent. She has bloomed fast, that ‘Rose.’
‘Cute Chantelle,’ Penny thought, and then offered weakly aloud, “Well, she is in the conversation . . . I guess we shall see.” She now received a subtle elbow from Missy, “ . . . and she is definitely one the greatest talents we’ve seen in Foxy Boxing in quite some time! She’d give those B.A.B.E. girls a run for their money, so I am sure she has more than enough for Mace.”
The crowd had grown more frenzied, and had continued to grow. “We’ll take one more question?” David Kent announced, “Kathleen?”
“Yes. For both fighters. Nevermind all the talk between the two of you, what do you see as being the key to winning this fight tomorrow night?”
“Chantelle?” Kent nudged.
“Just doing what I have always done – fight fast. We’ve seen this new Primrose, bulked up and such . . . she’ll just be that much slower and easier to hit. Really, looking forward to showing the world that whatever this new Primrose is, it is pretty much the same fighter – yesterday’s news fading to obscurity, ready to be put out to pasture to get fat on the farm . . . maybe she’ll run off to America again after this!”
“Penny?” Kent said as he turned to her.
“I’ve seen this ‘Porcelain Barbie Doll’ up close now – and yes, she may be fast, but my goodness does she have some weaknesses in her game. I’ll be able to exploit those at my whim. Really, the flash and the glitz has gotten Chantelle about as far as it can take her . . .”
“She’s around back!” someone shouted from the back of the media scrum. And all of a sudden there was a mad scramble of camera men and reporters from the back of the room scurrying out the back door. Penelope had no doubt who the ‘she’ was.
“Well – that concludes this press conference! I would like to thank Chantelle Daniels and Penelope Primrose for their time today, and wish them both the best of luck tomorrow night. Do not forget to tune in to BSN for this fight and all the others – Former Champion vs Former Champion, it’ll be electric! . . . David Kent turned to the curtain in the back of the room listening to a woman in headphones. “ . . .Okay, we’ll have Fairchild and Smith out here in 10 minutes!”
With that Penelope got up and headed through the curtain – wishing she had remembered to bring a dozen donuts. Yes, it may have continued her ruse of pretending to eat them during training, but right now she really just wanted to throw them at Chantelle, as juvenile as that sounded.
“Penny, I got a car for you – in the back lot. It’ll take you home. I’ve got some folks to talk to here for a bit. I’ll see you later. Do not . . . DO NOT do anything rash! Stay quiet, stay calm!” Missy looked at her and Penelope nodded., “Okay! Bye!”
Penelope watched Missy exit one of the doors, and she headed for the backlot. She heeded Missy’s advice and slipped into the secret access hallway that brought you to the spot in the backlot that cars normally would be waiting out of sight of anyone. She hadn’t gotten too far down the dark hallway when she saw another figure heading her way. “If this is Chantelle . . .” she thought, “ . . . but it couldn’t be, not walking this direction, Chantelle had just left the podium in the other direction . . .”
“Penelope Primrose!!?? Ya! Finally I get to run into you!”
‘Shit!’ was the first thought that entered Penelope’s head. “Kelly Fairchild . . . right?” And Penelope pinched herself for the slight, ‘ . . . really Penny, a question, of course it is Fairchild, we all know Fairchild!’ she berated herself.
“I know you’re on your way home,” Kelly seemed to ignore the little slight, “But, I just have to say, you were one of my inspirations, well, an inspiration for a lot of the girl’s I came up with. It is an honor to meet you!”
“Well, thank you . . . it’s wonderful to finally meet you too! You’ve been busy these days! And I see you escaped the media scrum.”
“Yes! So glad I was shown this secret hallway . . . It was actually Chantelle who showed it to me. But . . . Can you believe it – all this hype – and I haven’t really done anything yet?! I so wish I could watch your fight tomorrow night!”
“Well, you have your own fight to worry about, so . . .”
“Yeah, gotta get through this circus today first! How did you manage all these?”
Penelope ignored her bruised ego, as she never had to manage this kind of hype that Kelly was getting, but smiled and said, “Just enjoy the ride Kelly!”
Kelly Fairchild smiled, “I will . . . thanks. You know, I saw you fight once in America?”
“Really? You saw a B.A.B.E. fight?”
“Yes, I was a guest of a friend, a B.A.B.E. fighter – learning some tricks of the trade I guess you could say. I think you fought Pepper Syn if I remember correctly.”
“Well I did fight her,” Penelope responded, and thought ‘Hell, she remembered Pepper and I hadn’t . . . and of course she has a B.A.B.E. friend. I wonder who – should I ask?”
“I hope we’ll see each other after the fights, best of luck – you are both two of the best in UK history! Don’t want to keep David Kent waiting.”
And with that Kelly reached out her hand. Penelope shuck it, “Nice meeting you . . . “ and then watched Kelly turn and head down the hall in the direction she just came from. “Shit!” she grumbled after Kelly had exited the door, “She has to be nice too!”
Missy Eddington sat in the fighters cafeteria of the UK Foxy Boxing Arena sipping her coffee and listening to Pepper Syn and Candy Carpenter chat about the monumental change that had just occurred with B.A.B.E. – Raquel Balboa selling the company to Gail Golden. The shockwaves had reverberated across the Atlantic, and despite the ongoing media hype of two big fights tomorrow night in the UK, the ripples had been felt through the locker room of UK Foxy Boxing, The Daily Beacon, and David Kent’s ramblings on BSN. The second part of the news was even greater – Raquel ‘Rocky’ Balboa was coming back as a fighter.
No one expected Balboa to come out of retirement, given her pet project of B.A.B.E., the fact that she had retired undefeated, and that she clearly didn’t need to fight for money – not if the amount she got from Gail for B.A.B.E. that was being reported in the news was true.
“You know, back when they had that International Tournament – thought that would have been the time we saw Rocky put the gloves back on,” Candy said.
“She probably should have – after what happened to Liberty!” Pepper responded.
“Right! Rocky won’t say it out loud, but Liberty falling on her face in that tournament did hurt her financing when she got B.A.B.E. off and running – everyone thought the U.S. boxing scene had gone flat – the Foxy Boxing League was struggling with Rocky gone . . . anyway, so Missy, Penny ready for tomorrow?”
“I think so, Candy – I’ve known her for quite awhile now, and I think she is back to what she was – different body, but stronger mind.”
“Well, I can’t wait for tomorrow night! Penny and Chantelle, and then Fairchild for the encore. I’ve been getting Pepper caught up on the Euro Foxy Boxing scene before I fly back to the States. She thinks she can talk Kelly into jumping to B.A.B.E.” And Candy smiled.
“No! Candy has beaten that dream out of me! But . . . But, I will say, Gail will stop at nothing to get the best fighters in the world to come fight in B.A.B.E. I mean, they have so many of the best already – or had them.”
“Who else are you looking at Candy – or have been looking at?” Missy was interested.
“I know Gail is serious about bringing over some of your UK talent here – the obvious names on the top of the list, minus Mace and Fairchild of course who have already given a firm no – Chantelle, Kearney,and Gail really does want Penny back.”
“Really. Gail thought Rocky overreacted – and Gail doesn’t care about what fighters do – she wants personality and she wants any kind of publicity . . . hell, it wouldn’t even surprise me if she brought back that Lee girl . . .”
Pepper interrupted Candy, “Gail said to me shortly after Penny’s little Trixie escapade – ‘You can’t buy that kind of press!’ She was right, it dominated the news cycle for a bit, but Gail felt Rocky didn’t capitalize on any of it by cutting Penny loose.”
“ . . . to finish my thought, from what Gail has told me – or it’s Pepper’s job now – but she wants to reel Rayne back in, and put the full court press on the likes of Cloutier and Nielsen. I know Gail is interested in going to Asia and Africa too – but she has to set all that up with scouts.”
“Well, Nielsen’s retired,” Missy interjected.
“So was Rocky! Gail has money, and she is willing to throw it around. She’s already come to terms in bringing Hannah back, and Sylvia Silver.”
“Not the biggest fish,” Pepper said.
“True . . .” responded Candy, “ . . . but that was within two days of taking over.”
“So, what do you need from me?” Missy asked.
“Well, no one knows the UK boxing scene quite like you,” Pepper responded. “Do you think we can entice anyone – Gail really wants Chantelle, and now that she is no longer champion Gail thinks she can get her.”
“I don’t think you’ll have any luck with the Daniels, Pepper,” Missy offered. Missy knew how connected Ophelia was to everything that went down in UK Foxy Boxing, and had, over the years, helped pave a path for her daughter Chantelle, that many saw as the course of least resistance to get to the title. Penelope, with her mouth, had hinted at Ophelia’s relationship with David Kent – but that was just for fun and ensuring good coverage on BSN for Chantelle. Ophelia’s real target has always been the UK Commissioner, Mr. Johnson. Now that was a seedy relationship that Ophelia was working to her favor.
“Why do you say that? Candy, you tried . . .”
“I did . . . but I would have to agree with Missy. Missy knows.”
“Knows what?” Pepper asked.
“Knows why Ophelia and Chantelle even agree to fight Penelope in the first place – assurances from Mr. Johnson.”
“Assurances?” Pepper was once step behind the conversation.
Missy finished Candy’s thoughts, “That no matter the outcome tomorrow night, Chantelle will get a rematch before Penny gets any three-peat opportunity. And also, Chantelle won’t have to fight Fairchild for that right.”
Pepper’s eyes went wide, “Does Penenope know!?”
“Nope! Penelope wanted this fight – wanted it bad and well before I thought she should be taking it. Ophelia and Chantelle had all the leverage and they knew it. When I walked in with Penny to meet them, we had already struck a deal, and Ophelia mentioned all of that . . . in so many words.”
“Listen, Pepper,” Missy continued, “There are a lot of moving parts that go on here at UK Foxy Boxing. I am a big fan of Penelope, but she was protected a bit as Champ, and Ophelia surely made sure Chantelle was protected. There was a reason Mace had to wait so long to get a crack at Chantelle – and there has always been rumors of Ophelia’s machinations behind Mace’s suspension in the first place.”
“So, Chantelle is a ‘no’ . . . no matter the money we offer?”
“Chantelle has money, Pepper!”
“So, if Penelope is going to have to play the long waiting game . . .”
“Oh, Penelope won’t wait! When she hears she’s going to be third or 4th in line to get at Mace, she’s going to blow a fuse. I’m glad that I am moving back to the booth full time after tomorrow night’s fight.”
“Really?! Back to the booth?” Pepper aske,. “Training seems natural to you.”
“Yeah – it’s been fun getting that close to the ring again, but I love what I do in the booth. Plus, I am under contract . . .”
“You think Penny would hear an offer from Gail?”
“I think she just might, “ And Missy thought back to how Penelope glowed during their time training with Lana and being in the B.A.B.E. arena and all of it’s glitz and glamor! “You flatter her just a little bit and I don’t think you’ll have to work too hard after that.”
The three of them sat in silence for a bit. Pepper finally broke the silence, “When do you think I can talk to Penelope?”
“Not now of course, but swing by after the fight, or the next day pending how it goes.”
“Even if she wins, you think she’ll hear me out?”
“When she finds out Chantelle has outmaneuvered her and gets the shot at Mace first? Knowing Penny, yeah she’ll listen to what you have to say!” With that Missy excused herself from the table, “I’ll see you ladies at the arena tomorrow night – I am going to go rest my bones!”
Penelope tossed and turned in bed, as sleep was coming hard for her tonight. She knew she was ready – sparring with Lana Sinclair was what truly told her that she was ready, truly ready. Missy had taught her to be honest with herself if she was going to make this comeback work, and she really did believe that this time she had put in the hard work. She had never felt better. Never felt stronger. She hoped that Chantelle was taking her lighty, but seeing Chantelle at the weigh-in had alleviated her of those thoughts – Chantelle looked lean and ready.
Penelope went over the fight plan again in her head. There was no doubt she would have to be the counter-puncher in this fight, something she knew was becoming more of the norm in her fights. Her days of a volume puncher were behind her, and though that worried her a bit, she thought Chantelle had enough weaknesses that could be exploited . But seeing Chantelle’s work rate up close had been quite an experience. She had dominated Morgan Mace in that fight. Penelope had never seen Mace so confused, outgunned, and slow. She knew she was in for a battle, and that Chantelle was very easily the fastest fighter she has faced thus far in her career. Ivanna Payne had been fast, but Ivanna was more of a power puncher. Sydney Smith had been fast, but Penelope had finally accepted that that was more the case of how out-of-shape she was for that fight.
The nervous excitement she was feeling was not ebbing away and Penelope sat up and sighed. ‘I need this win . . .” she thought to herself. It had been a very long time since she had tasted a strong win in the UK Arena, and she wanted to steal the show – from Chantelle and Ophelia, and from Kelly Fairchild. It was her name she wanted to hear them chanting at the end of the night.
She thought of calling Missy, but it was late – surely Missy was long asleep. She knew Lana would be awake, but decided against it. She had to do this herself. Lana had already sent her a text with some final words. She read it again: Remember what we practiced! Remember what I told you! She will come at you with everything, she will hit you – but you are stronger, and you will stay patient and remember your plan, and you will win! No more chili if you don’t! Love Lana . . .
With that, Penny tossed her phone on the bed stand, and curled back under the covers, her last conscious thought was of Chantelle Daniels falling at the feet of Mace, and she smiled.
Across the city up in a penthouse suite of the Dorchester Hotel, Ophelia Daniels was massaging the neck of her daughter Chantelle. The fight with Penelope was tomorrow, and she could see Chantelle was tense. Training had gone well, but Ophelia knew that Chantelle was wound tighter for this fight than any other in her career. Coming off her second career loss, and only meaningful one as neither of them really remembered her first loss in her second fight, Ophelia knew that Chantelle was dealing with the fallout of that fight – a fight she had dominated early, only to be knocked out cold inside of three rounds.
She and Chantelle had found a way to get the talking heads on the BSN, notaly David Kent, to frame that loss as a ‘one shot, one-in-a-million’ punch landed by Morgan Mace. Ophelia was doing her best to assure Chantelle that that was the case. Ophelia wasn’t so sure she had totally convinced her daughter. They both knew, the repercussions of a first knockout loss were real, and self doubt was hard to overcome after such a hard loss and humiliating aftermath. Truth is, Chantelle had been knocked to the canvas in her last two fights, a sight that was new to them both. Ophelia had done her best to protect Chantelle with carefully choosing opponents, but when you reached the heights Chantelle had attained, you could only avoid the heat for so long.
Ophelia felt better, knowing she had that rematch with Mace secured for a title shot. Like so many others, she was keenly aware of the meteoric rise of Kelly Fairchild, and that was concerning. Ophelia had worked hard at polishing Chantelle’s reputation, making sure she said and did the right things – acting brash, yet respectful. But Chantelle had some sass, and had some arrogance that would filter through at times, and Ophelia was also keenly aware how no matter Chantelle’s beauty, and savvy, and skill, she didn’t have the natural charisma and girl-next-door appeal of Kelly Fairchild. Ophelia simmered as she thought again how to navigate the conundrum that Fairchild had brought on her for her daughter. Chantelle was liked, Fairchild was loved.
“You’re squeezing a bit hard mum!” Chantelle chirped.
“Sorry love . . . just working out a naught. Penny for your thoughts!”
“Ha-ha! Not funny!”
“You’re ready Channy! You do what you do, and what you do will get it done!”
“Just like daddy always said . . .”
“Just like your dad always said . . .” Ophelia smiled at the memory. Her daughter was ready to send Penelope Primrose to the canvas . . . again!
(To Be Continued – Up Next – Fight Night – Chantelle Daniels vs Penelope Primrose)