Commentator: “In the corner, Sylvie Chouinard laid down the law to her charge – you need to win this round. Unfortunately for her, Virani has just landed the first big punch of the round, smacking Heather with a clean right hand as Heather tried to pull back.”
Virani: No pulling straight back now Heather, that’s how you get hit with straight right hands.
Heather: Well, I ate that punch, but maybe I can try to get inside now…
Alesia: “Solid start again. Damn. Is she going to try and close the show in the third round?”
Kayleigh: “That’s one thing that Virani can do.. she is a good finisher.”
Commentator: “Heather turns failure into success, as after taking that right hand, she manages to fall into a clinch with Virani. She gets her right hand free and slams some good right hands into Virani’s midsection before Virani can regain control of that limb and force a break. Heather’s successes have seemingly all come to the body in this fight.”
Heather: Okay, that’s not the way we drew up the gameplan, but when I do manage to get inside, I can find success. All Virani does is try to clinch, she doesn’t try to punch, so its just a matter of freeing an arm for a moment to land a punch. When I do land to the body, I can feel Virani grunt. These punches are hurting her.
Virani: Hell, I hate fighting inside. Heather’s so strong and persistent. I wish the ref would just break us apart when we get in close. When Heather does land…she hurts.
Alesia: “It’s the second time that Virani’s clinch isn’t timely. As strange as it is, she may have to spend a little time working on that in the gym.”
Commentator: “This has been a bit of a cagey round so far, and there has been little to separate the two fighters. There’s a slight exchange in the middle of the ring, now Heather comes in at an odd angle and catches Virani with an uppercut! That one jerked Virani’s head upwards for a moment and has sent Virani reeling for a moment. That was only the left hand from Heather, but that had force to it!”
Heather: I need to get unpredictable. Virani and I get into a bit of an exchange where mostly everything misses. Then I evaluate the angle and step towards her and I sneak an uppercut underneath Virani’s guard to land flush. That one felt good, even though Virani took it well. This girl is a much different fighter than Mechelle, certainly.
Virani: Heather and I scrap it out for a moment and I back to my right. Heather steps forward and she starts to throw an uppercut and I move to cover my chin…but not in time. Her glove sends my head flying upwards for a moment. My vision blurs slightly for a moment. Damn this girl can punch.
Alesia: “I guess we had to expect a reaction in this round. Right? But damn. That left uppercut seems almost as strong as her right.”
Commentator: “After that uppercut, Heather seems to have found her legs in this fight. Now Heather lands a right hand around Virani’s temple as the Canadian Cobra was trying to get elusive. This is the kind of boxing we had been expecting from ‘The White Swan.'”
Heather: For the first time, Virani looks a tad uncertain, it seems like that uppercut caught her attention. Maybe it stunned her for a moment. For now, she’s passive, and I’m on the front foot. I manage to catch her with a right hand around the temple. Nice punch, wish I had gotten more of a connection.
Virani: Ow. Those punches around the temple area are dangerous. It feels like Heather has found herself at last. Now we’ve got a fight.
Sylvie: “Keep going, Heather!”
Alesia: “Come on, Virani! Dodge a couple of punches to kill that rhythm!”
Commentator: “It feels like we have entered Act 2 of this story, as the Canadian Cobra has been de-fanged in this 3rd round. Heather is looking for the next big punch to land, but here Virani is up to the task, neatly blocking the attempted left hook from Virani. No return fire, but a simple block, well executed.”
Virani: I’m going to be have to be very hurt to get hit like a punch like that. Basic.
Heather: Well, it was worth a try. At least I’m keeping Virani on the back foot. Not much of a counterpuncher either.
Thomas: If there is one punch Virani knows how to defend it’s the left hook. She doesn’t get caught by too many of those anymore.
Alesia: “Ok. She’s not totally losing control of the action. Whew!”
Commentator: “Virani is trying to come back to steal this round back and she starts to throw a left hook, but Heather strikes first, landing a wicked uppercut to the body. That one bring’s Virani’s left hook up short.”
Heather: I’m starting to pick up on Virani’s little tells, and it’s making it easier for me to get back in this fight. I sense a left hook coming, so I go to my left and slam an uppercut into Virani’s unprotected midsection. As always, when Virani throws, she leaves herself open.
Virani: Hmm…I’m losing my rhythm…and those body punches are hurting. I don’t want to eat many more of those.
Commentator: “Heather Barker is looking to make a statement at the end of this round…and she does right there! That was a solid right hand that smashed right through Virani’s guard. The Canadian Cobra is slightly staggered by that one!”
Virani: I miss my block on Heather’s right hand and for the first time, I feel like I’m very slightly in trouble. Thankfully this round is nearly over…
Heather: I land a really nice right hand..and I think the problem has been that I’ve given Virani too much respect. I respect her, but I shouldn’t be afraid of her. Especially not now when I’ve hurt her.
Sylvie: Perfect. Virani is thinking of defending and not attacking – that’s how I want her to be thinking.
“Go to the BODY!”
It’s too much to hope for a late-in-the-round knockout, but another punishing body punch is something I think Heather can manage.
Commentator: “Virani and Heather fight inside as the round heads to a close…and Heather controls Virani’s posture with her left hand on her shoulder, and drives a right hand straight into Virani’s stomach. Ouch! That had to hurt…and perhaps referee Jennifer Beattie should not be allowing these tactics…”
Heather: Whenever I get in close, I can really punish Virani. She fights pretty strongly at the end of the round, but eventually I get my arms free and use my left arm to throw off her balance and then throw my right hand into Virani’s stomach. Again she groans on impact. I’m doing damage here…but the bell rings to end the round. Good round for me!
Virani: I’m a little shaken after that last right hand, so I just want to waste the rest of this round. Heather doesn’t let me, getting in close and bullying me around before finally landing a bodyshot right at the bell that stings. No lie, I’m getting a bit worn down by these body punches.
Alesia: “End that damn round now! Am I gonna have to go ring that bell myself?”
Commentator: “MacVicar looks a tad uncomfortable as she heads back to the corner. Barker landed some good punches to the body that round, perhaps they have had an effect on Virani?”
Thomas: “Sit. You okay?”
Virani: “Yeah…that last one hurt though…”
Thomas: “We knew that Heather wouldn’t be a pushover. I need you to keep up that active jab. Once she has her tempo, she’s picking her shots well. I need that jab to be disruptive. Slip the right hand behind it too. Keep her honest – she’s hittable.”
Virani: “She’s really strong inside. I can’t control her.”
Thomas: “I don’t want you to focus on that. Focus on keeping her at your distance, like you did in the 1st and 2nd. She’s taking more risks to get back in this and to get inside. I need you to punish them.”
Thomas: “Get this round and we can really pressure her, okay?”
Virani: “Sure, coach.” I wish the pain in my midsection would fade. Would make it easier.
Commentator: “Let’s now check in with the Champion.”
Sylvie: “There you GO, champ. Thanks for showing up at last. We just need to keep that up.”
Heather: “I think I’m hurting her to the body.”
Sylvie: “Virani is resilant. Take what you can. If she protects her body, go upstairs. There are seven rounds left in this one, we don’t need to rush anything.”
Heather: “I started slow, but I think I have this.”
Sylvie: “Stick with the plan, and we walk out with the belt, and a top 15 ranking.”
Heather: “I like the sound of that.”
Commentator: “We have some luminaries of the boxing world with us today, so lets check in with one of them before the start of the next round. I’m here with Alesia Schumann, one of Germany’s leading lights in the boxing world and one of Virani MacVicar’s friends. Alesia, what do you think of the fight so far?”
Alesia: “I really liked how Virani started and it seems that Heather hesitated a bit. Probably because the first few power shots she took have shocked her. That forced her to respect who she is up against.”
Commentator: “What about the last round. What changed?”
Alesia: “This time around, Heather decided to keep going and try to land shots inside even after taking a hit. That’s why she rattled her with a right to the body and a left uppercut. That respect was gone and she kept the pressure on.”
Commentator: “You’ve sparred with Virani. What makes her special as a fighter?
Alesia: “To make a pun with her Cobra nickname, it’s venom. I’m 15 pounds heavier and when she caught me with clean punches… they really hurt. She punches above her weight and once you feel it, you know you are in trouble.”
Commentator: “How do you think this fight goes the rest of the way?”
Alesia: “Virani has matured a lot in a few months. I think that Thomas will bring her back in line and make her box cautiously until she finds her opening. Then, Heather will feel the pain and get knocked out. I don’t think she has enough experience to resist once Virani lays her hands on her.”
Commentator: “Thanks for your time.”