The bell rings for Round 8 to begin.
Jim: “The championship rounds begin. Amber Rose has a short lead, and Round 7 has demonstrated that no one is above making mistakes. This match could give us a strong finish.”
The champion gets to work as predicted in this round. She goes on the offensive with pressure that is intense enough for Amber to pull back and defend. The challenger protects herself well, but she is on the back foot.Click on pics for HD size
The Amazon is still on the prowl in Round 9, but she is finally slowing down a tad. Losing the split second that can be so decisive in sports and so fatal in boxing.
Hanna: “She’s slowing down! Go for it!”
Amber puts herself into a low stance and gets ready to throw big shots in response to the champ’s aggression. She does so with gigantic counterattacks that hurt Kathy, who is having a taste of the New Yorker’s firepower.
Mercedes: “DATS MY DAWG!”
The big hook
The finest moment of the round takes place late, when a hurting Kathy mistimes a punch. Tired after making massive offensive efforts and hurt by counters, the champion makes a big mistake. She finds herself on the backfoot and swings a wild, looping right hook to which Amber responds with a compact right hook on the tip of the chin.
The punch makes Kathy spin, turn away from her opponent and fall forward on the canvas.
Jim: “The defending champion is now in a hole with this knockdown. If she gets up, she needs a lucky punch to win.”
Warren: “Correct. She will have to show heart to dig herself out of it. Rose has put one hand on the title, which is definitely within her grasp at this point.”
Kathy does beat the count narrowly and survives the rest of the round.
At the break in the red corner, Hanna asks Amber to test Kathy with an early offensive to see what she has left in the tank. If she can’t resist, go for the finish. If she fires back, play it safe.
Across the ring, Alex Green tells his protégée that she has to go out and take risks. “I’ll swing for the fences, she says. I can’t end a fight sitting in the corner or by coasting when going behind.”
The Amazon feels heavy as she gets up from the stool, though. When the bell rings, Amber pounces to stage a big offensive.
The challenger throws a barrage of power shots to meet little resistance. It’s a matter of seconds before Kathy is caught in a corner and giving in to intense pressure.
Slower than ever and struggling to cover up, the title holder fails to see a massive right hook coming. The white glove crashes in her left cheek and sends her mouthpiece flying.
The referee has seen enough. He gets between the two fighters before Amber can throw another shot. An exhausted Kathy is out on her feet. She wants no more of this.
Amber is ecstatic. She runs to Hanna for a hug. She steps out of the ring to see Mercedes and thank her for the help. Meanwhile, Kathy is making it back to her feet before seeing her coach.
Hanna takes Amber’s gloves away and they can finally relax after months of hard work that included taking a knockout in sparring.
Beast and champion
Announcer: “At 0:57 in the 10th round, we have a winner. By technical knockout, and NEW American Super Lightweight champion… Amber ‘The Beast’ Rooooooooooooooooose!”
The new champ gets a solid round of applause as an official puts the belt around her waist. Emotions pour out, with tears flowing on her cheeks.
Amber has little time to calm down, though. The Star Sports analyst is already coming to her for a short interview.
Jim: “Congratulations Amber for the title win. First impressions on this fight?”
Amber: “We have worked incredibly hard to get here and achieve this dream. You know what they say: if you train hard enough, the fight will be easy. It doesn’t happen all the time, but we saw it today. The only time when Kathy nailed me was in the sixth round, when I got careless. But my coach slapped some sense into me and I carried the rest of the fight.”
Jim: “What made this win possible tactically?”
Amber: “Kathy doesn’t have the best technique and she likes to brawl. I refused to do that today and counterattacks worked. She hits hard, but I didn’t let her do what she likes in the ring. I hit her hard as well and waited until she was tired to finish her off.”
Jim: “How did you prepare for her?”
Amber: “I must thank a few people for putting me through hell but also helping me so much in training camp. My coach Hanna made me train two to three times a day. Amateur champ Mercedes Carter, who is with us today, literally knocked some sense into me when I got too testy. My boyfriend Andrew took are of all nutritional planning to optimise performance. This title is theirs as much as mine.”
Jim: “Where are you going next?”
Amber: “I’ll be in the doghouse if I call anyone out before speaking with Hanna. I’m not risking it!”
Jim: “Thank you and congrats again, Amber.”