The fourth round begins with Amber Rose ahead on the unofficial scorecard. Kathy Black shows new urgency to create pressure from the get-go.
The champion measures her space and strikes first. She often lands the first shot or two before taking a lighter counter. The Amazon is still getting hit, but she takes control of the ring to win the exchanges.
Warren: “Black found her groove, and her picking spots works very well. Quicker, more accurate movement coupled with weight transfers puts force at the end of her gloves to blast the challenger.”Click on pics for HD size
After conceding the fourth, the adopted New Yorker shows more resistance in the fifth. She turns to the counterattack by “staying out and going in” when The Amazon settles down for an exchange.
More than a minute in, Kathy pumps her fists to deceive and puts her feet on the canvas to unleash a left hook. Amber stays outside but takes one step forward to strike inside, simultaneously making the attack miss and cracking Kathy on the chin with a short right.
Jim: “This fight has gained intensity as we are close to the mid-point. Rose manages space better although the champion is boxing intelligently.”
Warren: “Her footwork’s accuracy has greatly improved. She is putting herself in the correct position to counter, which is much harder than the fans can imagine. You have to put your feet in the right place to deliver a punch without getting your face smashed as you come in.”
The champ isn’t dead
Amber increases her work rate to try and wear Kathy down, as planned by Hanna, but the champion is resilient. The sixth round is tight with the two fighters landing shots from all angles.
Amber even allows herself the occasional “going in for a clean hit” before pulling out as the exchange risks turning into a war. Kathy is looking to twist a left hook or uppercut inside but her challenger is too quick to come in with a jab. She lands two more quick hits and gets out, never going for more than three punches at a time.
Jim: “Rose’s left eye is swelling up and turning red after taking shots in the last couple of rounds. That could soon become a factor in the fight.”
The more decisive move takes place with less than 10 seconds left. Kathy throws a couple of jabs to stun Amber while stepping to the left. The golden girl raises her hands to block. The champion changes direction by stepping to the right and coming in with a fast right hook that targets the eye. It’s too zippy for Amber to do anything but lean back before the impact. Pish!
Jim: “After six rounds of action, Amber Rose is doing very well but it remains close.”
Warren: “That’s right. Halfway into this title fight, Black has started winning rounds but she trails by a couple of points. With four rounds left, the bigger puncher may be entering her territory. Will Rose be steady or will she lose focus, as so many have done before?”
Warren was right. Feeling ahead, Amber gets cocky and takes unnecessary risks to entertain the crowd early in the sixth round. She changes her stance to defy the champion because she feels she can beat her to run away with the belt.
The Amazon doesn’t think twice. In fact, she doesn’t think at all. She simply springs forward, steps in and hammers Amber with a huge left hook before she can pull her hands back up.
Hanna: “STAY FOCUSED. Don’t give it away!”
Warren: “Most of the time, a taunt will stop the action for a second or two, but not today. Black is making Rose pay the price by landing a bomb in response to mental aggression. That won’t go down well with Hanna Gabriels.”
It’s a costly mistake for Amber. She’s stunned and her head spins, allowing Kathy to take charge, pressure and land the only clean hits of the round. Amber knows that she messed up. In the last 20 seconds, she lowers her stance, tightens her guard and focuses on not getting hit. Kathy pins her challenger into a corner, but Amber makes clever body movement to slip and slide. The champ’s gloves often come close but the punches miss narrowly.
At the bell, the Russian-American gets a frosty welcome from her Costa Rican coach.
Hanna: “What were you thinking?”
The trainer gives her protégée a light slap across the face.
Amber: “Why are you hitting me?”
Hanna: “TO WAKE YOU UP. It was dumb to give her a free shot. She took the entire round with it. Do you know that Kathy has 10 knockouts in 12 wins? If you play games, she’ll put you to sleep. Do you want to be remembered for being the idiot who threw away a title shot and got knocked out? Do you want that video of you to go viral on YouTube?”
Hanna: “Then listen to me! FOCUS. We’re entering the championship rounds and I want you to win them. Stay sharp, move, play a game of position, keep your damn hands up and hit her on the counter.”
Amber: “Got it.”
In the other corner, Alex Green is happier.
Alex: “Alright. This is a close match but you’re the better boxer. Keep your eyes on the prize, and keep Amber under pressure. Keep making swift changes of direction before striking hard. That will keep her guessing.”
Jim: “Seven rounds done, three to go. How do you score it?”
Warren: “I give Black the seventh, so Rose leads by a single point. The challenger got cocky and paid the price for it, but by my calculation, she still has a chance to win. However, she cannot afford any slip-up. Judges are often more generous to the champion, and they may disagree with my score.”