The White Swan swims graciously and pecks at Sue

Heather Barker bounces on her toes as she waits for the bell to ring. Her mouthpiece is secured and her eight ounce gloves snug on her hands.

In the other corner, Sue Strong stays flat on her feet, saving her energy for the fighting.

Heather thinks: “I want a win here, and it will come at your expense, Sue. If you’re not happy, you can sue me after the fight.”

Sue thinks: “Another good fighter I can beat. This is my ring.”

Ding!

Heather is eager to get started as soon as the boxers meet in the center of the ring. She throws a couple of sharp jabs in Sue’s gloves. The American blocks, stays calms and circles for a few seconds.

Tiger fires a jab a moment later, making Heather dodge slightly to the right. Easy to avoid, with the only counterattacking possibility available being a jab to the chin.

Heather Barker Sue Strong 1-1

Heather Barker Sue Strong 1-2

Fresh openings

Heather prefers to retreat to gain an understanding of her opponent’s movement before doing anything serious. This is, after all, the first round of boxing she has since getting stopped by Virani MacVicar.

We have 30 seconds of tentative fighting, with Sue being slightly more aggressive going forward. However, the White Swan moves smartly around the ring, not conceding much space, and avoiding the ropes.

Dancing doesn’t make you win much in this sport, though. Sue applies a bit of pressure to trigger exchanges. She throws two jabs that Heather blocks with her purple gloves. Sue throws a third jab to set up her right hook. Heather slips under it. When the hook comes out, the Purple People Eater comes from below and fires a short right that paffs the jaw.

Pish!

Heather Barker Sue Strong 2-1
Heather thinks: “Yes. Got her. I can use her aggression against her.”

Heather Barker Sue Strong 2-2

Aggression comes further. The Tiger fires volleys to disturb Heather’s defense. The Canadian resists by blocking and dodging the punches. The price to pay is being forced back towards the ropes, and having to escape with quick sidesteps.

Sue keeps the pressure on in the hope of landing a solid shot. She gets close to Heather near the ropes, fakes a right and fires a looping left hook. The purple-haired lady withdraws her upper body from the action to make the red glove miss by a couple of centimetres.

Heather Barker Sue Strong 3-2
Heather thinks: “No no no. No way. Non. Nie. Nyet. Nein.”
Heather Barker Sue Strong 3-1
Sue thinks: “This is frustrating. I can usually hit my opponents.”

A split second later, Sue finishes her motion and her left hook goes down after the miss. The perfect opportunity for Heather to counter. The pale skinned beauty firms up her arm muscles and strikes with an overhand right hook. Perfect technique, and a perfect thud of purple leather in Sue’s jaw. Pish!

Heather Barker Sue Strong 4-1

Sue grunts. Getting caught when you’re out of position hurts, even when you don’t face the biggest puncher in the world.

Heather Barker Sue Strong 4-2

Paffing return

Heather gains confidence quickly after landing that shot. She throws a fast combination to chase the invader out of the corner, landing a few glancing blows along the way.

Sensing trouble, Sue pulls out of the exchanges to buffer and delay the action. She wonders if a lion is hidden in the innocent-looking swan in front of her. This tiger is used to ruling the jungle, but is she in the plain with that other type of cat? How do they grow purple hair anyway?

The purple cat is on the prowl at the end of the round. It’s her turn to press and try to gain an advantage. She throws shots and ducks when the counter comes.

Clack clack clack. Ten seconds left, and Sue is almost cornered. She unleashes a looping right hook. Heather reads the intention when the right shoulder moves back. She pumps a swift, straight jab that flies in and crushes Sue’s nose.

Heather Barker Sue Strong 5-1

Sue grunts again. This one landed flush. Tears come out the blur her vision.

Heather Barker Sue Strong 5-2

The undefeated American fighter clinches to slow things down, making the referee intervene.

Ding!

Only a 2 or 3

We immediately go to the corners.

When Heather is back, the stool is already waiting to host her butt cheeks.

Sylvie: “Have a seat!”

Heather sits, breathes and asks: “What do you think?”

Sylvie: “Solid start. Tell me… how difficult was this round, from 1 to 10?”

Heather: “Um, I’d say 2 or 3. I don’t get it, though. She’s undefeated with 11 wins.”

Sylvie: “That’s what I thought. I think that your opponent is heavily protected and hyped up to look good. She probably accepts fights only when she’s sure to win.”

Heather: “Let’s ruin her plans.”

Sylvie: “Yes. You saw her throwing looping punches. Her technique is poor for someone with that kind of record.”

Heather: “Ok. My instructions?”

Sylvie: “I want you to do a proper deconstruction of her. The worst nightmare for a technically poor boxer is fighting backwards. Move, cut the ring and bring her to the ropes. Let your hands go when she opens up. Do it patiently, without forgetting your defense.”

Heather: “Yes boss!”

Heather Barker Sue Strong 6

Ordered to brawl

Mark: “Wanna sit down?”

Sue: “I’m too strong to sit down.”

Mark: “True. Alright. That round was hers. You know how we win fights, Sue. This needs to be a brawl for your skills to shine. Make her trade. You have the chin and the fists to prevail in that kind of fight. I don’t care if it looks ugly and if there are multiple knockdowns on both sides. You have an undefeated record to protect, and playing your own game is the only way to do it.”

Sue: “Yes.”

Mark: “You are the best fighter, and your superiority won’t be questioned after you are done with her. Got it?”

Sue: “Got it.”

Heather Barker Sue Strong

Heather Barker
Heather Barker
A former Canadian Featherweight champ, Heather Barker is a religious, caring and ambitious woman based in Montreal.