Ding! Round 2 begins. Mercedes and Caitlin come out of their corners for fresh action.
The boxers pepper each other’s faces with jabs. They move around the ring. Caitlin is a bit more dynamic, with better footwork than in the first round. The Witch also shifts her feet to throw in ambidextrous fashion, something she does well. Her punches don’t land, but the way she moves around slows Mercedes down a tad.
Shifting to become left-handed seems to work best. Caitlin takes a step back to the left, pivots and comes in with a strong cross to the body. Mercedes wants to counter, but by the time her right cross comes out, it’s too late. She takes a solid shot in the midsection.
Anne thinks: “Damn. That was a fast shot. Taking notes here.”
Jim: “Brown is smarter and slicker. That left hand to the body is anything but a knockout punch, but good body shots are always nice investments.”
Warren: “I don’t know if Wall Street buys those, but I do. Brown is doing it right, in an attempt to nullify Carter’s dangerous right hand.”
Mercedes replies to that body shot with a quick combination before getting out of the exchange.
Caitlin thinks: “Focus. Don’t try too hard. She’d beat me that way.”
The San Diego girl goes back to jabbing and varying her punches, including the occasional left downstairs.
Mercedes thinks: “I get it. She be lookin’ for left to the body. Gonna time it with my right.”
It looks like the Red Terror has her chance when Caitlin makes a move forward to seemingly throw a left to the body. However, it’s a fake. When Mercedes looks to come in with a right, Caitlin steps back to the right and puts torque behind a right hook. The black girl tries to pull back, but it’s too late. She gets rocked by a blue glove.
Jim: “Brown stuns Carter! The way she turned around delivered force to the Detroit Golden Gloves champ’s face.”
Warren: “Brown’s game plan was too simple in the first round. She has adjusted well. It’s Carter’s turn to up her game.”
Jim: “She’s hurt! Carter stumbles backward after walking into a right hook. She wants to stay away from Brown for a moment!”
With 30+ wins on record, Caitlin knows a hurting fighter when she sees one. Mercedes’ flapping arms leave her head undefended. The Witch comes forward and throws a straight left that combines the speed of a jab and the power of a cross. It smashes Mercedes’ cheek.
The loud PISH makes the crowd cheer.
Warren: “Carter is strong, but Brown also is a force to reckon with and the way she landed that straight left would make me worry if I were Carter’s coach.”
Mercedes is reeling after eating the full power of two big shots “graciously” given to her by Caitlin.
In fact, Mercedes is unfocused and off balance. With her opponent under her spell, The Witch wants more. She thinks: “Now’s the time to put her down.”
Caitlin comes forward to throw a right hand. Mercedes’ exposed chin seems too enticing to be spared a good smashing. As Caitlin is halfway in her motion, a hand blocks her glove and she hears something.
The ref does her job
Caitlin thinks: “What? Already?”
Jim: “The referee steps in! Will it be a standing eight count or an early stoppage?”
Referee: “Stop! Caitlin! Go to a neutral corner.”
The blue boxer obliges reluctantly. The official turns to Mercedes and starts a count.
Referee: “One… two… three…”
Jim: “A standing eight count. That is how things work in the amateur ranks to protect a boxer who has been hurt and is not fighting back.”
Referee: “Four… five… six…”
Mercedes thinks: “Ok. I’ll be fine. This really helps.”
Referee: “Seven… eight… do you want to continue?”
The fighter brings her hands up and says “yes”.
In the red corner, Mercedes’ coach has advice.
Carl: “Waste the round! Almost a minute to go! Waste it!”
Jim: “That is unusual advice, but it’s not entirely unheard of. Carl Williams believes that if she can use that time to recuperate, Mercedes Carter will bounce back in the third round.”
Warren: “It is risky to try and escape an opponent for a minute, but if it works, it will look brilliant.”
Mercedes starts the engine. She sets herself to evade Caitlin Brown for almost a full minute after taking a standing eight count. Thankfully for the Detroit girl, athleticism supplies are high in that body. Having recuperated during the count, she has the energy to avoid getting hit.
Mercedes plays a game of position that her opponent can’t follow. She moves sideways and ducks under shots. Then she comes forward to smother the punches and push her opponent back. She moves out of the way, forcing Caitlin to throw punches in the air. The best she can hit is red gloves.
Near the end of the round, Mercedes is near the ropes. She lowers her weight to sit on the second one and rolls her shoulders to block an incoming right hook.
Carl thinks: “Mah grrrl is a fuckin’ genius.”
Anne Carter thinks: “Defending never looked that sexy. So proud of my cousin!”
Jim: “If you see what I see, Warren, you will agree that although Mercedes Carter is losing that round, she is making Brown spend loads of energy for nothing. She could look forward to coming back stronger in the third round.”
Warren: “We see the same thing. This is actually embarrassing for Brown’s camp.”
Jim: “Almost as embarrassing as the time when the boss caught you with your pants down in a hotel room with one of our interns, Warren.”
Warren: “I thought that what happened in Vegas stayed in Vegas. Geez.”
A few seconds later, the bell rings. Mercedes took punishment, but she limited damage and escaped. The referee sends the fighters back to their corners for much-needed advice.