Alesia Schumann vs. Lilly Sanchez – Round 1

A fight that has been in the works for two months begins. Finally!

Alesia and Lilly take their respective stances, orthodox against southpaw. They look at each other while the referee is ready to get things started.

The bell rings. DING!

Kanti: “BOX!”

Loud cheers come from the Berlin crowd, which is excited that punches are about to be thrown by two high-profile fighters.

Esther: “This is the fight we have been waiting for! Sit back, have a beer and enjoy the demented violence!”

A fight that has been in the works for two months begins. Finally!

Alesia and Lilly take their respective stances, orthodox against southpaw. They look at each other while the referee is ready to get things started.

The bell rings. DING!

Kanti: “BOX!”

Loud cheers come from the Berlin crowd, which is excited that punches are about to be thrown by two high-profile fighters.

Esther: “This is the fight we have been waiting for! Sit back, have a beer and enjoy the demented violence!”

Sanchez-Schumann is underway! Lilly approaches Alesia, who has been instructed to drop back and box patiently.

As our fighters circle each other, a battle of footwork starts on the ground. Ally’s left foot is forward, and so is Lilly’s right foot. Their respective jabbing hands are also aligned and close. Their back hands are further away.

Regina won’t yell it in the middle of a round, but Ally has been instructed to move sideways to her left most of the time to avoid walking into the Mexican’s left cross. A classic tactic for an orthodox fighter, which southpaws are used to dealing with. The German does it well on the first attack. She sets her left foot outside and fires a fast jab. Lilly brings her forearm back, opens up her hand and blocks it. The attacker’s arm can’t completely extend.

“Right, thinks Alesia. I’ll need an angle to score with the jab.”

“Easy peasy, thinks Lilly. I’ve blocked a million of those before.”

Esther: “As you would expect, the two girls are feeling each other out and Schumann has an extra task here, which is figuring out how the left-handed Sanchez reacts to her moves to find the best position. The element of surprise could give the visitor an early edge.”

Right after Alesia’s jab hit Lilly’s glove, the Mexican wants to strike fast and take control.

The Aztec Princess steps inside with her right foot next to Alesia’s left, throwing the massive left cross she is known for. The punch that sent so many opponents down for the count.

The Bavarian’s training shows, though. At the last moment, she moves her upper body back to the left and tilts her head to avoid deadly impact. The only part of the pink glove that catches her is the thumb, for a glancing blow. More on that in the closeups.

Many in the crowd sigh in relief. They really thought this one would land. Referee Kanti thinks: “Wah, that was close!”

Regina pumps her fist in silence in the red corner. She thinks: “Just what I want. Moving to the left, not to the right when the cross comes.”

Esther: “Schumann is putting on a move that she absolutely needs to survive in a fight with Sanchez. Smart defending on her part to avoid being burned. It shows how dangerous the Mexican is, though.”

The battle between the Diva and the Aztec Princess is developing, becoming less and less tentative.

After barely catching Alesia with a left cross, Lilly is still confident but also aware of what her opponent can do. Ally presses a bit and the pair find themselves fighting near the ropes.

The German unloads a decent left hook but the Princess tightens her guard. The white glove hits a pink glove, making a nice smack sound for the attendance to hear.

Marlene: “Nice! Keep going and you’ll figure her out sooner than later. Engulf her in a sea of pink!”

Lilly thinks: “This is easier than I thought. I see her shots coming and have no problem blocking them.”

Esther: “The Pink Sea better not split like the Red Sea if you are Lilly Sanchez… anyhow, she’s doing well defensively. It’s been only 16 seconds into the fight and the pace is increasing.”

Defensive efforts have made Lilly Sanchez grow confident in the first minute of Round 1. She wants to lash out.

Lilly thinks: “I have more instinct than she does. I’ll show her how it’s done.”

Alesia drops back and gets ready to fire a jab, but the Aztec Princess steps inside and lets her right jab fly. She catches the German’s jaw perfectly, smiling as she lands her shot.

Marlene: “Yes! Get a bit closer and strike with your left cross!”

Esther: “Sanchez just landed the first meaningful punch of the fight with a jab on Schumann’s jaw. She was smart enough to change the angle in the exchange to gain the advantage. As a bonus, she delivered a cute smile as her leather found its target. What’s not to love?”

Lilly thinks: “She thinks a battle of footwork is enough to win this. I don’t need my foot to be outside to kick her ass.”

The Aztec Princess previously landed a clean jab and she follows it up. She shifts her weight from right to left and lets out a left cross as Alesia is trying to fight back with a right hand. The punch finds the German’s jaw because Lilly moved inside to get the best angle. The one punch she wants to avoid at any cost.

Ally knows that a glove just hit her but the force of the blow is so intense that she wonders if a brick isn’t inside the pink leather and padding. “Holy shit. What does she eat to hit so hard?”

Esther
: “Sanchez is asserting herself almost 30 seconds in. A clean right-left combo just threatened to knock Schumann out of her shoes. I hope she tied her laces tightly.”

Lilly punished Alesia few seconds ago with a big left cross. Her confidence is increasing and so is her aggressiveness, with the intent to make Round 1 herround.

Lilly thinks: “I’ll beat her. I’m the better, more powerful puncher.”

Alesia thinks
: “Shit. I have to pick up the pace.”

The German stumbles, and drops back in order to find time and space. Lilly pursues her and finally manages to put her right foot outside of Ally’s left, working to cut angles and force her into the corner.

Alesia resists. She throws three jabs in a row, hitting the Mexican’s pink gloves. She then throws a fourth jab as Lilly tries her luck with her right hand. The fourth shot, thrown with full arm extension, darts and finds the invader’s jaw!

Regina is gesturing right behind her fighter, shadow boxing her own jabs. She thinks: “That’s it. She needs to respond to pressure, but stand her ground on the edges of the ring.”

Esther
: “Four consecutive jabs opened up Sanchez’ defense and prevented her from attacking efficiently. Schumann is telling her: not in my house!”

Although she tasted Lilly’s left cross, Alesia answered well with a strong jab and she is not rattled.

The Aztec Princess still follows her mom’s plan, which is to press and try to gain an early psychological advantage by hurting Alesia. “The sooner the better”, she thinks.

Just as Lilly wants to throw a solid left cross, though, Ally steps to her right side and comes in with an overhand right hook that is fast, crisp and on target.

Ally says: “Prepare for a long night at the office.”

Lilly replies: “I’ll get you. Count on it.”

Esther: “It may still be early in the fight, but it looks like Schumann put on her move and counter boots again tonight. Sanchez better stop taking her lightly if she doesn’t want to feel lightheaded.”

Lilly is more shaken than expected after taking a right hook but she still is in attacking mode.

The Mexican thinks
: “I have to slow her down with body shots.”

Alesia stands back to invite pressure and Lilly comes forward, winding up for a left hook to the ribs. The German reads the move from outside and takes a step to her left. She drops her right hand, which comes back up in the form of an uppercut.

Lilly walks into the punch, getting caught on the chin and jaw.

Lilly: “Urgh!”

Esther: “Schumann is fighting with strong ring generalship. This is perhaps her strongest start in the professional ranks, playing her own game… against Sanchez to boot! And isn’t that uppercut a thing of beauty?”

Regina thinks: “Come on, Diva, you knowwhat to do next.”

Hurt by a right uppercut, Lilly stays on her feet, but it takes an extra split second for her to get back in a fighting stance.

Ally thinks: “Right, she’s reeling. Another big move before she can fight back.”

The Bavarian puts her left foot slightly outside of Lilly’s right and transfers her weight from the upper position after the uppercut, shifting it back and then forward again. A left hook to the body comes out of it and it lands under Lilly’s ribs. The sound of the impact is clean and clear.

Lilly: “Argh!”

Regina thinks: “Good girl. She’s done it perfectly. Right uppercut to the chin, followed by a strong left hook to the body.”

Esther: “Oh la la, as the French say! After landing her uppercut, Schumann goes for the jugular, so to speak, by targeting Lilly’s liver! It’s a rare weak point in her game.”

Lilly wants to keep going, but a good second after taking a left hook to the liver, she can’t. Her legs weaken and gravity pulls her down.

The crowd gets to its feet and cheers as the Mexican is going through a mix of pain and confusion.

Esther: “Lilly Sanchez is down in the first round! I repeat: she’s down in the first round! It won’t be easy to get up after a liver shot. You feel worse than after taking too much tequila the previous evening. I know, because I’ve done it…”

Marlene: “GET UP AND FIGHT BETTER!”

Shortly after Lilly goes down due to a liver shot, referee Kanti points to a neutral corner, where Alesia goes as quickly as she can.

We get a view from Regina’s standpoint in the red corner. She thinks: “Yeah, Lilly can get up from this. She’ll be slower for the rest of the round, I’m sure.”

Esther: “The referee will start the count shortly. It looks like Sanchez is recuperating. It’s a good idea on Schumann’s side to hurry to the corner to leave her opponent as little time as possible.”

The count started at 1:10 in Round 1.

Kanti: “One…”

The ref zeroes in on Lilly’s eyes to see how she reacts. Is she still in this? In the neutral corner, Alesia watches confidently.

Esther: “The battle between Sanchez and the clock is underway. In the meantime, Schumann is disciplined enough not to be overjoyed by the knockdown. That’s a sign of growing professionalism. Not long ago, she may have been tempted to do a chicken dance.”

Kanti: “Two… three… four… five… six.. seven… eight…”

At the count of 8, Lilly is not only on her feet. Her hands are up high and her eyes wide open to convince the ref that she’s fine and able to continue.

Kanti: “That’s good enough. Get ready.”

The Berlin crowd cheers. It wants more action, not just a quick knockout!

Esther: “Sanchez is a tough cookie, baked with concrete inside to hold it together in the face of adversity. Let the violence resume!”

Kanti: “BOX!”

Action resumes in Round 1 after Lilly’s knockdown. The tone has changed. Alesia comes forward to attack, with plenty of time left in the round. Can she hurt the Mexican even more?

Marlene: “GET AWAY FROM HER! YOU NEED TIME TO RECOVER!”

Ally gets set, fakes a jab and throws a right hand with velocity. Lilly tightens her guard and blocks the shot with both hands. The force of the punch pushes her upper body back, as she’s already moving backwards.

Esther: “Schumann lit up a dynamite stick and threw it at Sanchez. It almost exploded in her face. This, added to the knockdown, is a serious wake up call for the visitor. Now would be a good time to get her act together because there are 56 seconds left in the round!”

The battle in the corner continues. Lilly may have landed a right hand, but Alesia keeps the Mexican under pressure, like a hungry panther seeing her prey cornered.

Lilly sidesteps to her left to work along the ropes. The German decides to throw the left hook to the body she already had in mind a moment ago. She powers on. The fighter in pink crouches and lowers her right arm to block it before it goes any further. Liver protected.

Marlene
: “That’s it, kid! Now get the hell of out there at once!”

Esther: “Sanchez remains in the danger zone and Schumann is still looking to do damage after scoring an early knockdown. Her right hand is free, but so is Sanchez’ left hand. Who will throw first? Stay tuned. Same bat-time, same bat-channel, Actually just in a second…”

Lilly is still dangerously close to the ropes but she knows how to defend herself. She’s set to try and hurt Alesia for coming close.

Having heard her mom and coach Marlene, the Aztec Princess twists her feet and body to throw a left hook that seems destined to severely hurt the German.

Alesia politely turns down Lilly’s “offer”. She bends her knees, using her legs to go under the punch and rotate to the right with her upper body. All the pink glove can catch is air.

Marlene: “HOW COULD SHE DODGE THAT?!?”

Regina comes out of her silence
: “That’s it, babe! Never stand still!”

Esther: “Just as Sanchez looked certain to decapitate Schumann with an executioner’s left hook, the Bavarian said: not in my house! This defensive move deserves its own statue in a boxing museum.”

Alesia avoided taking a big left hook while keeping Lilly on the ropes a moment ago. What moves do our fighters have up their sleeves?

The Diva is the quickest to act here. She ducked under the hook and now rotates her body, with her right foot’s toes planted on the canvas to deliver a right hook from an angle. It catches Lilly’s chin. Right on target!

The Aztec Princess’ head turns under the impact. She’s hurt again with more than 30 seconds left in the round.

Marlene: “GET OUT OF THERE! NOW!”

Esther: “Sanchez is in trouble. Schumann’s punching is so fast and violent since the knockdown that it gives me goosebumps. The ones you have when you enjoy watching a fighter ‘in the zone’… and don’t want to feel if you’re inches away from her!”

Lilly has been fighting on the back foot since her knockdown. After getting rocked by a right hook, she wants to slow things down.

Nothing is better than a clinch in that situation. Lilly bounces off the ropes, leans in and grabs Alesia, putting all her strength at work to squeeze the German’s arms so they can’t move.

Ally realises that she’s stuck, and doesn’t fight it. Saving that energy for later.

Esther: “Sanchez made the right decision. Schumann is on fire in this round. The Mexican has to waste time by all means necessary. If that means putting her into a headlock, so be it!”

Lilly finally recovers from her knockdown, thanks to a bear hug of a clinch.

Kanti: “BOX!”

The two fighters meet again in the middle of the ring. Lilly knows that she is far behind in this round, but a strong finish would be handy to build for Round 2. The Aztec Princess tip toes to get close to Alesia. She fires a devilish jab that is fast and low enough to smash the nose.

Ally makes an emergency move. She starts lifting her left leg, twists her body back and turns her head to avoid the shot. It misses by a hair! The closeup will illustrate it very well.

Regina thinks: “Great work. She’s disciplined in there.”

Esther: “Boxing isn’t only about landing clean hits and enjoying the sound of your opponent suffering. It’s also about doing just enough to make the other fighter miss. Schumann has done it well again.”

Alesia slipped to her left to avoid a pesky jab, and she wants to turn defense into attack, which is her specialty in the ring.

As Lilly’s starts pulling back her right arm, the German puts her left foot on the ground and drives her upper body forward to send a half jab, half hook in her direction. She only catches the Mexican’s upper cheek with the edge of her glove, but that’s enough to turn her head a bit and keep her busy.

Marlene: “That little pest really knows what she’s doing in there! LILLY! Just waste the last 13 seconds!”

Esther: “Sanchez’ coach is right. Lilly is losing that round. She needs a break to regroup, refuel and come out firing in the second round. In the meantime, Schumann would surely like to hack the clock to add an extra minute!”

Lilly does what her mom and coach Marlene told her, which is putting space between herself and Alesia for the last 13 seconds of Round 1. Ally is in no mood to chase and expose herself to a counter.

The bell rings.

Kanti: “STOP!”

The ref gestures for the fighters to return to their corners, which happens in orderly fashion. Alesia has reasons to be happy. Lilly not so much. The closeups will show it.

Esther: “Round 1 has just ended in Berlin and Schumann wins it, no problem there. She knocked Sanchez down early and never let her get back into the round. Kudos to Halmich who picked her up and seemingly has given her the ability to fight this way against such excellent opposition.”

Esther: “Round 1 just ended and we eavesdrop on Schumann’s corner and hear what will be said.”

Regina: “What’s up?”

Alesia: “I’m in a fight with Lilly Sanchez and I took the first round 10-8. How about you?”

Regina:“I took this random chick off the street, put her in a fight with Lilly Sanchez and she scored a first-round knockdown.”

The pair laugh.

Regina: “Alright. Great work in this round. You managed space well, won the battle of footwork and worked the counter nicely. See how body shots can hurt her?”

Alesia: “Yes!”

Regina: “Now, we can’t get carried away. I expect her to come back with fury after a minute’s rest. She will want to make you pay.”

Alesia: “That’s true.”

Regina: “Have you noticed that when she landed her jab and cross, her arms were inside yours in the middle? Work the angles and fight from outside whenever possible. That’s how you made her miss… and landed your punches.”

Alesia nods. Regina rubs a bit of vaseline on her face and gives her water.

Esther: “That’s high-level advice from Regina Halmich. Were Schumann to do exactly as told, Sanchez could have a hard time finding her rhythm.”

Esther “Now we go to the blue corner to know what is happening in the Sanchez camp.”

Lilly: “What is hap…”

Marlene: “I’ll tell you what’s happening! You’re in a fight with the no.10 Super Lightweight, you didn’t take her seriously and she knocked you down. That’s what’s going on! Now you need to roll up your sleeves and get to work!”

Lilly: “Sorry. It looked so easy early in the first round.”

Marlene: “Alesia is one of those fighters who work around you to come in and explode unpredictably. Stay close to take that movement away. Understand?”

Lilly: “Yes, mom! I’ll do it, I promise!”

Marlene: “You have to be faster and more aggressive, too. Otherwise she’ll just keep doing what she did to you in the first round.”

The fighter is getting pumped up by Marlene’s talk.

Lilly: “I won’t let her. I’ll be so close she’ll smell my hair. I’ll hit her so hard she’ll taste the leather… and her own blood.”

Marlene: “Good.”

The coach gives her water, makes her face slippery with vaseline and gives her the mouthpiece again.

Esther: “Marlene gave Lilly a serious talk in the corner, for good reason. She has to fight better or Schumann will uppercut her into the ceiling soon.”

After one round and before the second starts, let’s hear what Esther Schouten has to say about the action so far.

Esther
: “This one is easy to score, 10-8 in favour of Alesia Schumann. As soon as Sanchez landed her left cross, the young German took the warning, knocked her down and kept control of the action. The coaching change in favour of Halmich is making a difference in her game.”

“If I were Schumann, though, I wouldn’t go all-out and be hungry to attack from the bell. Sanchez has made more experienced opponents kiss her gloves and the canvas in similar circumstances. It’s time for her to light a fire, bring this fight to a boil, and see if the German can stay in a hot kitchen.”

“The second course of this exotic meal starts in a few seconds!”

Alesia Schumann
German Super Lightweight champion, former world champion and one of the pound for pound best. The Diva is known for her tactical strength and durability.
Alesia Schumann
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