Water brings life
A little chicanery from Thomas happens as he makes his exit from the ring. Emma’s coach *accidentally* spills water from the water bottle he brought into the ring.
Instantly, this draws the attention of the referee, Victoria James, who has no intention of having a title fight be sullied by a slippery canvas.
Victoria: “Clean that up!”
Thomas dutifully goes about finding a towel to mop up the spilled water, but his *accidental* clumsiness has delayed the start of the round by a crucial few seconds. Emma takes those few seconds to relax and continue to recharge her batteries after a trying round.
Sylvie thinks: Well, you remembered the little tricks I taught you, Thomas. The sign of a good student. The sign of a great one would have been to find a unique way to delay the start of this round. It also tells me that Emma hasn’t fully recovered from that punch. Because if she had, you wouldn’t have bothered with this chicanery.
Once the spill has been cleaned, the bell rings. DING! The round can begin.
Chantal: “After an unfortunate H20 spillage, the fourth round is underway. McGale looks better than she did at the end of the 3rd round, but she doesn’t seem to have fully recovered yet either.”Click for HD
Emma starts off the round passively, letting Mechelle take the middle of the ring. The Québécoise fighter seems assured and confident, her movement in general speaks to a fighter that is winning and knows it. Mechelle starts off by utilizing her jab. A couple of them land, which seems to give Mechelle even more confidence.
In the middle of the ring, Mechelle wants to continue to work the jab, and Emma is none too keen on continuing to get hit by it, so when Mechelle makes the motion for a jab, Emma darts in to land a solid punch to Mechelle’s unprotected midsection. The Peach quickly darts away before Mechelle can go for an extended trade of punches.
Sylvie: “That’s LAZY Mechelle, be BETTER!”
Emma thinks: I’m not here to make this easy for you.
Chantal: “Early signs of life from McGale in the fourth round as she gets Mechelle with the sort of counter that will make life uncomfortable for her. The Toronto-based fighter might have been playing a bit of possum previously.”Click for HD
Spurred on by her coach and the lack of incoming fire from Emma, Mechelle is the aggressor for the 4th round, while Emma does her best to simply deny Mechelle any joy as she looks to put the hurt on. Emma’s defence isn’t always pretty, but is often effective enough in making sure any heavy leather doesn’t land. Mechelle’s certainly winning the round, perhaps just out of pure aggression.
With one minute and 21 seconds to go in the round, Mechelle throws a flurry of punches ending with a right hook from an unorthodox position. Emma does very well to keep a high guard and an active upper body, swaying as she avoids the incoming blows.
Chantal: “Emma McGale is no one’s definition of an elusive fighter, but she’s making Gauthier miss repeatedly here in the fourth round.”Click for HD
As the round continues on with a lot of swinging and missing along with some glancing blows, Mechelle seems to be almost out of ideas. Emma’s high guard and defensive style are proving hard to unlock.
Sylvie: “IF SHE’S GIVING YOU THE BODY, TAKE IT!”
Sylvie thinks: I hate yelling, but it’s the best way to motivate Mechelle. She’s the type that improves after scolding.
Stung by the verbal lashing from her coach, Mechelle gets a bit more focused than she has been previously has been in this round and gets to work. Given that Mechelle has targeted the head for a majority of the fight, her change of level takes Emma by surprise, and Mechelle’s shovelled left hook drives into Emma’s midsection.
Chantal: “Gauthier wisely changes levels and lands a very nice body punch to McGale’s midsection. That’s the good work that her coach will want to see from her, as McGale hasn’t really shown much here in the fourth round.”Click for HD
With Mechelle giving Emma balanced breakfast of red leather, it’s inevitable that some good punches to the head will get through, and the best of the bunch is a clever little left hook that just avoids Emma’s guard and smacks Emma clean on the chin. The left hook is not Mechelle’s most powerful punch, but what she lacks in power she makes up with accuracy.
Emma thinks: I’m not going to make it out of this fight on my feet if she keeps landing shots like this. They aren’t hugely powerful, but there’s enough of them.
Mechelle thinks: This is easy at the moment, just need to pick my shots and I can make sure Emma never even gets a sniff of a comeback.Click for HD
The Exclamation Point
Emma endures the rest of the one-sided round, offering just enough resistance for the referee to not stop the fight, but not doing much beyond that.
Mechelle looks to put an exclamation point on the round near the end, and as she has Emma near the corner, she knows that she wants to pontificate her superiority by landing another uppercut. Knowing that Emma will be watching her right hand for that uppercut, Mechelle flips the script and throws the left, sneaking it through Emma’s guard and connecting again with Emma’s chin.
Emma thinks: The left uppercut isn’t as powerful as the right, but it’s got some snap on it too. I don’t want to eat another uppercut from Mechelle again.
Chantal: “Another dominant round for The Pretty Warrior is in the books and she has laid a beating on Emma McGale in these last two rounds. At this rate, it could be a very long, or perhaps very short night for ‘The Peach.’Click for HD
The Corner Chats
In the corners, things are pretty much as you’d expect.
In the blue corner, Thomas and Emma aren’t particularly happy, but Emma can at least acknowledge that she has recovered from the uppercut from the third round. Emma knows these next few rounds are critical. She has to win them, or the only way she’ll be able to win is by stoppage.
In the red corner, things are very cheerful.
Mechelle: “I’m landing everything! I’m fighting so well!”
Sylvie: “You landed everything after you started not being so predictable. Stop headhunting when you don’t have to. You aren’t going to knock this girl out in one punch.”
Mechelle: “Can’t we stay positive? Leave the criticisms for next week?”
Sylvie: “Okay, here’s a positive. You are winning. You need to stay winning. Keep focused. It’s only four rounds into a title fight.”
Mechelle: “I’m focused. I’m just enjoying myself.”
Sylvie: “Good, keep it up, girl. You’ll be a Pretty Warrior and a Pretty Champion.”Click for HD
Chantal: “We go to our ringside reporter Virani MacVicar for her insight on an action packed first four rounds.”
Virani: “Thanks Chantal. First we have the obvious, the scorecard. Mechelle Gauthier has a 39-36 lead on my scorecard going into the fifth round, thanks to a knockdown in the third and a dominant end to the fourth.”
“However, in my opinion, if this is going to turn into the close fight that we thought we were going to get at the start, this is where Emma McGale needs to impose herself in the fight. She must establish herself in the upcoming rounds, and start testing Mechelle Gauthier’s somewhat suspect durability. If she cannot get herself going here shortly, she’ll be forced to go all out for a late knockout, which is not her strength.”
Virani thinks: Where’s the Emma I sparred with? Come on girl!Click for HD