Ring Announcer: “Ladies and Gentleman, this next bout is 6 rounds of boxing in the women’s super featherweight division. Introducing first, fighting out of the red corner. She comes to us from Gothenburg, Sweden, with a record of 7 wins and 3 defeats with 3 of those wins coming by way of knockout. She weighed in at a fit and ready 130 pounds, Ladies and gentleman, please welcome the to the ring, ‘The Swedish Sweetheart’ Astrid Olsson!”
Commentator: “Astrid Olsson will get our first televised fight of the evening under way. A crowd pleasing fighter with an all action style, there’s a lot to like about the Swede. She’s won her last two fights, and is hoping to put herself into the Super Featherweight rankings with a big win here. She’s certainly in fit and fighting shape. Loving the socks too!”
Astrid: First time fighting overseas, but the thrill of the fight is still the same. Truth being told, I love to fight. There’s no purer form of competition anywhere. Win or lose, I’m going to love the next 20 minutes of my life.
Emma: Astrid Olsson. A more Swedish name is impossible. Two Europeans fighting in Canada…though, I feel at home here in Montreal. I was born in Canada, after all. She looks fit, but I’m not afraid.
Ring Announcer: “And her opponent, fighting out of the red corner. She comes to us from London, England, but she is fighting out of Toronto, Canada. She has a professional record of 6 wins and 4 defeats with 2 of those wins coming by way of knockout. She weighed in at 129 pounds, Ladies and gentleman, please give a warm welcome to, Emma, ‘The Peach’ McGale!”
Emma: Getting my name announced is…hard to describe. When my record is announced, I briefly recall each of those wins and losses. I have more wins than losses, but the losses stand out more than the wins…I have to focus on what is in front of me. I’ve had a good training camp, I’m in great shape. I’m ready.
Thomas: Emma is looking and feeling good. It’s crazy to think that if she wins, she’ll have more professional victories than Virani. This is a massive fight for her. If she wins, she’ll have real momentum going forward, if she loses…it’ll be tough. We’ve kept training focused on the positive though. She really gave Virani some tough rounds in sparring last week, yes, Virani was just getting back into fight shape, but she had the better of Virani for a good portion of the sessions. She’s not the most talented, but she loves the sport. Let’s go win this fight.
Commentator: “Our referee for this contest will be the experienced Kanti Agrawal. Kanti is known for being a bit lenient, especially when it comes to stoppages, but she’s a well-respected referee who has been in charge of some high profile fights recently. Let’s hand it over to her.”
Kanti: “Okay ladies, I went over the rules with both of you in your dressing rooms. This fight is 6 rounds. There is no three-knockdown rule. There is no standing eight-count. You cannot be saved by the bell in any round. If you knock your opponent down, you have to go to a neutral corner before I start the count. Protect yourself at all times. If you do not, I will protect you. Any questions? No. Touch gloves, and lets get to this.”
The two fighters share a brief staredown and then touch gloves.
Emma: “Good luck.”
Astrid: “Good luck and have fun.”
Emma thinks: I don’t think anyone has wished me to have fun before a boxing match…
Commentator: “Quickly out of the gates in this one is Emma MacGale as she wastes no time in getting Astrid a taste of her right hand. Good work to split the gloves of Olsson, who is well known to have a poor defense. McGale is not a big puncher…but neither does she have fists made of pillows.”
Emma: One of the things that Thomas has emphasized in preparation for this fight is to not get overwhelmed by Astrid aggression. To do that, I’m aggressive right out of the gate, sneaking in a good right hand. That one gets a slight nod from Astrid as if to say ‘Okay, lets do this.’ I’m not here to trade though, I’m here to box.
Thomas: Dutiful Emma, right from the start. This girl always listens to what I want….which is good. But it could be a bit dangerous sometimes. She needs to appreciate her own instincts and follow them.
Virani: “Good start, Emma!”
Anita: “Are you going to celebrate every landed punch?”
Virani: “Yes. Get earplugs if it bothers you.”
Commentator: “In the early going of this one, it seems like the Swedish Sweetheart is having trouble with McGale’s speed and footwork. The Englishwoman is doing nicely to stay out of range and box at her preferred distance. Olsson comes forward with a right hand, but McGale reads it well, and uses some nice upper body movement to let that punch sail wide. McGale is not known for being super durable..so a good defence to that is not to get hit!”
Emma: The biggest change I’ve had working with Thomas is paying attention to my defence. I was too hittable in the past, and that made me vulnerable. I’m not a flashy defensive fighter, but I’ve been learning to keep an active head and my upper body moving to present a moving target. Much harder to hit and I think I have an opening too..”
Thomas: “Good work, Emma. In and out, girl!”
Commentator: “McGale lands a short, crisp right hand, that catches Astrid’s attention. Swing at miss at the peach, and you might get the pit!”
Emma: I land a nice, short hook, using the fact that Astri’d punch has disrupted Astrid’s technique. There’s a nice sound as my punch drives home. That’s not a punch that will win a fight, but the timing of it was solid. I’ve got Astrid’s respect early.
Astrid: Okay…this girl is not a pushover. That’s good. This will be a real challenge.
Virani: “Nice hook!”
Anita: “Emma seems…slicker than before.”
Virani: “Yup. Better movement and increased use of counters. She’s legit now.”
Commentator: “The Swedish Sweetheart is relentless in trying to cut off the ring against Emma McGale, but Emma is moving well herself and scoring well even while being pursued…and there’s another example as a swift left hook catches Astrid as she was setting up for a right hand. McGale escapes to her left and gets back to the center of the ring. The first minute of the fight has been all McGale.”
Emma: I’m glad I’ve seen Astrid fight as much as I have, because I’d probably have been surprised by Astrid’s aggression. She does it mostly with her feet, keeping up the pressure without throwing punches. But she takes a step into range and I fire off a left hook on the move. It lands, though it didn’t have the most pop on it.
Thomas: Emma’s got good feet and she needs them against Astrid. The Swede is totally relentless. So far its working out for us. So far.
Virani: “Nice job, Emma!”
Anita: “I wonder why the other two VIP seats are empty. Running late?”
Virani: “Are you even watching the fight?”
Commentator: “McGale has landed all of the significant strikes in the first part of this first round, but Astrid is keeping the pressure up on the Englishwoman, and after an inconclusive flurry, she changes levels and drives home a good punch to Emma’s midsection. That one has to have stung McGale a bit.”
Emma: This Swedish girl is absolutely relentless. She just throws punch after punch…and this time she finds an opening and thunders home a very good punch to my midsection…ouch. I’ve been trying to increase my ability to take punches like this…but it’s still painful.
Astrid: Finally! My best punch of the fight so far. Going to keep the pressure up and hope that Emma wilts.
Virani:“Ouch. That one stung.”
Anita: “You couldn’t pay me to take a punch like that.”
Virani: “Instead you pay us to.”
Commentator: “The aggression of Astrid continues on, but it’s beginning to come as a price as McGale is finding a home for her counters, including that nice overhand right! The Swede is going to have to be a bit more careful coming forward or McGale will continue to punish her…”
Emma: Astrid is…overly aggressive, but Thomas and I worked on counters and I’m using that training right now. Astrid is wild…throwing punches that I wouldn’t expect, but that is creating openings at the same time. Astrid tries to throw an uppercut, but its way short and I use that as a chance to throw a right hand into Astrid’s cheek. Solid contact. Good stuff, Emma.
Astrid: Oof. Okay, Emma has my attention. I have to be better.
Virani: “That’s the overhand right that Emma loves so much. It’s her best punch too…I’m sure that Astrid was not pleased to eat that one.”
Anita: “How much power to Emma really have?”
Virani: “Maybe a bit above average? She doesn’t really have one-punch KO power, but you can’t try to walk through her punches either.”
Commentator: “A round that has been all Astrid in terms of aggression, has been all Emma in terms of effective punches landed. Astrid again tries the left hook, but Emma is wise to that game, as she gets low and lands a nice looking punch to the body. This has been a bad round for Astrid, who has used up a lot of energy to accomplish not much of note.”
Emma: Astrid is pretty easy to read. She doesn’t use much deception, just aggression. I can see how it would be unnerving for some, but right now its just making it easy for me. I land a nice counter to the body and then back away to my left, seeing out the remainder of the round. One round for me in the books. Five more to go.
Thomas: “That’s the way, Emma!”
Virani: “Get ’em girl!”
Anita: “This is looking good for us so far.”
Virani: “Such a negative Nancy.”
Anita: “I don’t get paid to be optimistic.”
Commentator: “One round in the books, and one round in the books for Emma McGale. Astrid Olsson might have been the more active fighter, but not the more effective one. 10-9 in my books to the Englishwoman. Let’s go to the corners of the fighters to see the adjustments that might be in the cards.”
In the Blue Corner:
Thomas: “Good stuff Emma. That was exactly what I wanted from you.”
Emma: “This girl is all about pressure. It’s crazy.”
Thomas: “You did good getting her respect with your punches. Make sure she can’t walk right through you. And no trading!”
Emma thinks: This hasn’t been easy so far…and I expect 5 more rounds of aggression from Astrid. I hope I can catch her coming in with a good shot and take her out…but I can’t afford to count on it.
In the red Corner:
Sven: “Not a good round, not good at all. You must do more to set up your punches, Astrid. Come at her from angles. Be tricky! This girl is not someone they picked from the crowd. She has skill. You must have more.”
Astrid: “Okay coach.”
Sven: “You are the bigger and stronger woman, rough her up on the inside. Don’t cheat, but make her feel your strength when you work inside.”
Astrid: “I can do that.”
Sven: “There are not many rounds left, so winning this one is important!”
Astrid thinks: I am so happy for this chance to box in front of a TV audience. The opponent they’ve found is a good match as well. I will impose my will on her as I have done with so many others. Once I find my openings, I will break her confidence, and then I will be on the path to victory. Boxing is that simple, sometimes.