Jim: “The fifth round is about to start and I see that Sophie Schumann’s right eye is gaining colour. The big left hook received late in the last engagement did some damage.”
Megan thinks: “Coach wants action. He’s gonna see it alright.”
Were the American’s body language put in any online translator, the result would be “intention” across tongues. Megan has new spring in her step and she looks more menacing than at any time prior to now.
Sophie is taken by surprise, so she opts for a more conservative approach. The opponent is known for hard-hitting, after all.
The brunette is more than happy to step to the plate and swing as the designated hitter. Her first hit is a single, when Sophie tightens up her guard to block salvos to the head. The American goes downstairs to visit the basement with a cracking right hand that tests the German’s impressive abs. Sophie tightens up there as well, but she still feels the sting.
Jo: “Yeah, sis! Get her!”Click for HD
She says no
Megan remains aggressive after scoring with that power shot to the tummy. “Now’s the time to find out if she can handle a real battle. I’m no untested chick on a debut.”
Sophie takes a couple of steps back every time her foe approaches, to keep her cool and think of a solution. “Yeah, she’s tough, but I’ll manage.” For a brief spell, the visitor is able to contain the host with bobbing, weaving and hitting back with enough fire to threaten to burn.
Megan thinks of a clever move. She pumps a right hand downstairs, followed by a feint for the overhand right hook, but her real intention is throwing a left hook as Sophie is supposed to lean down to the right. The German refuses to comply, instead turning back to the left and serving a bolo punch that smacks an undefended cheek. PISH!
Alesia: “That’s IT!”Click for HD
The American smartens up. Megan seeks to attack from greater distance – where she excels – to deny the blonde the use of speed and strength in closer quarters.
The Queen of Brooklyn steps forward and back constantly with little feints to cause confusion, with the goal of drawing Sophie in to surge forward with big shots. She gets her way with the first minute of the round advancing. She steps back, makes the German draw an orange sword for a straight left, and counters with an overhand right that finds her cheek.
Jim: “Thomas stuns Schumann a little with that straight right. We see smart tactics on her part, although I would say that the action is pretty even in this round so far.”
Warren: “The German still leads by a nose but you are correct. It’s a rather even affair between these two, which a number of observers would not have expected to see. Schumann shows wisdom beyond her years in the ring. I’ll never say it often enough.”Click for HD
Picasso’s mindset changes a bit with a lead under pressure. She resorts to an attempt to slow Megan down to avoid giving too much away. Although not known for her defensive skills, she turns to those to try and control the pace of the fight. A lower and more compact stance to deny the American and delay things.
The best example of her approach can be sampled at 0:46. Megan is going in with another straight right hand, and Sophie reacts by stepping inside, diagonally, to prevent damage. She drives her shoulder under the arm until it hits the opponent’s upper body.Click for HD
Containment only goes so far, though. Megan ups the pressure by getting more physical in the final stages. If punches aren’t enough, then direct contact will help get the job done.
Not being used to being pushed around, Sophie finds herself under the weather as the round draws to a close. She looks to send a looping left hook out to defend herself, but Megan grabs it while delivering a short left hook that smashes the young Bavarian’s cheek. PAFF.
Jim: “Thomas is getting back into the fight. A crafty move to take control of her opponent’s body is enough to score with a rugged left hook. Schumann is great at punching, but few fighters like it when it’s their turn to cash in the leather.”Click for HD
The bell rings. Megan disengages before the referee can say or do anything. Leaning in the ropes, Sophie isn’t happy since she knows she dropped a round.
The American walks away while saluting a cheering crowd. The local Lightweight champion may be back on track after all.
Regina gets in the ring while looking at her protégée.
Regina thinks: “She can’t be this negative for things to work.”Click for HD
The conversation is pretty straightforward in the red corner.
Regina: “Take a seat, babe.”
An agitated Sophie sits down on the stool, with stress and frustration showing.
Regina: “Alright. Slow it down. Breathe in. Breathe out. Relax, and breathe while you listen to me.”
The German legend’s touch with her fighters is unrivaled. She can make the most nervous ones chill out with only her presence. Sophie closes her eyes and catches a breath.
Regina: “We’re gonna make a change in the next round. Let’s switch to the counter.”
Sophie: “You sure? I’m not used to that.”
Regina: “The best punches you landed in this fight came on the counter. You’ve done it without knowing. Stay low, draw her in and hit hard when she gets in. Time it. She likes throwing a heavy right hand, so go for either a left hook, a left uppercut or a short right when leaning in. Focus on the counter unless I give you the signal to attack.”
The boxer gets up from her stool.
Sophie: “Regina… always the right words. Gonna beat this chick.”
Sophie: “Yes. Gimme. Armph.”
The coach pinches her left cheek lightly. “You got this, babe.”Click for HD
In the blue corner…
Joseph: “Good job. She was threatened in that round. It took some time, but we got her. I don’t want you to give her any time to recover. Attack. Go in. I want you to land a solid right hand as soon as possible. Don’t give her a chance. Alright?”
Megan: “I’ll knock her the fuck out, just like all the other ones.”
Joseph: “That’s my girl.”Click for HD
A champ weighing in
Jim: “What does a superstar think of this fight? I’m next to Alesia Schumann, the Super Lightweight champion of the world and one of the finest boxers on the planet. Alesia, what do you make of the fight so far?”
Alesia: “I believe that Sophie has handled herself very well halfway through the scheduled rounds. Not gonna lie: I think she got a bit nervous and passive in Round 5. I think Regina will tell her to rebalance her game to be more active, so she gets her punches in.”
Jim: “Do you think your sister is still in your shadow?”
Alesia: “Ridiculous. I only got to pro boxing before her. None of her past successes depended on me, and with the right approach, she can beat Megan. Sophie is for real.”
Jim: “Any quick update regarding your plans?”
Alesia: “We’re taking a hard look at the contenders in my division. It’s either gonna be Chloé Potvin or Sky Houghton. I like both, and they are both quality. I’ll be glad to get in the ring with either of them once we sort out timing and other details.”
Jim: “Alesia, thank you.”
Alesia: “Thanks for having me.”
Warren: “I guess it’s my turn now. Megan Thomas was more daring than Schumann in Round 5, and she grabs the points if only for showing more initiative. It’s a 10-9. However, the German is still ahead on my card because she has shown quality in most rounds. Still five rounds ahead in an excellent semi-final of the evening.”Click for HD
Jeffrey: “Seconds out!”