Jim: “We enter the second half of this Lightweight bout with Schumann narrowly leading on our card. Can she stand the pressure of Thomas, who has more pro experience for this type of occasion?”
The bell rings.
Sophie surprises Megan by secluding herself. Being antisocial even. She has no interest in engaging early, making the brunette work to get anywhere close and circling patiently.
Megan thinks: “Afraid of me, huh? Running won’t work forever.”
The German gets what she wants. Her counterpart has only one option to begin trading, and that’s putting herself out there. Her purple leather can only brush the orange gloves when she throws.
The American is happy to attack with confidence that she will land her power shots. After dealing with 30 seconds of avoidance, the Queen of Brooklyn takes a risk. She steps in more aggressively to throw a left hook. A move countered by Picasso taking a half step to the left and firing a left that lands clean, on the mouth.
Jim: “Schumann’s punch gets in first! She seemed reluctant to do anything in previous seconds, but she actually gets a solid shot on target.”
Warren: “There is a speed differential between the two women. It’s the blonde who has the fastest hands.”Click for HD
Little by little, Sophie becomes more socially engaging. On her terms. She picks her spots and shoots out counterattacks that tend to be spot-on, with increasing power.
A little enervated by this strategy, Megan loses her cool. She goes in to throw a right hand, but Picasso leans left to avoid it. The American is so eager to throw her left hook that she drops her right hand without thinking, and lets the left hand fly out. Sophie reacts by twisting from her lower position and unloading a short left that connects, straight on the chin.
Jim: “Schumann showing us a new side, Warren. She’s countering with conviction and accuracy. Who would have expect that tonight?”
Warren: “The big picture is that she’s sucking Thomas in before striking. The American is determined to knock her out, and she seems to underestimate the youngster’s ability.”
Alesia: “That’s it, sis! You’re getting there!”
Chelsea: “It’s brilliant boxing. She must be the most talented chick in the division.”
Akane: “She’s fighting like someone with 15 bouts on record.”Click for HD
It only takes a few more seconds before Megan makes the mistake. The big one. She decides to up the pressure and take aim downstairs to grab a piece of liver. The hunt doesn’t yield any meat, though. The snatcher’s big bomb is easy for Sophie to see coming. She positions herself on the right, stands her ground and slips a vicious uppercut below the incoming arm. PISH! Just below the jaw.
Jim: “Oh! What a punch by Schumann. She gives Thomas a sense of her brutality with a vicious uppercut that, I believe, has something to do with the family DNA.”
Warren: “Thomas got rocked by this one, and I think she is hurt.”
In the red corner, someone agrees with the analyst.
Regina: “ATTACK!”Click for HD
Sophie doesn’t need to hear anything more. It’s the signal she was looking for. Megan stumbles as she tries to pull away from the German, who converts resistance into an invasion. She follows the American to the middle of the ring. Just as Megan can’t dig a gap, Sophie enters her space and cracks her on the chin with the biggest gun in her arsenal: the right cross. PAFF!
This punch really hurts. Megan’s head and torso spin and go backwards in perfect harmony.Click for HD
The American champ falls backwards in a second, landing flat on her back with her legs going up while Sophie watches with a devilish smile. A stunned crowd can only murmur in response.
Jim: “THOMAS IS DOWN! It’s the first time she lands on the canvas in three years, and she looks in terrible pain. I think anyone would be after taking that massive right hand from Schumann.”
The referee isn’t too far from the scene. He immediately points to the nearest neutral corner with both hands.
Jeffrey: “Get there, Sophie.”Click for HD
Picasso gladly obeys the official’s command. He assesses the situation. “I think she’s out, but benefit of the doubt. I’m giving her a count.”
Jeffrey: “One… two… three… four… five…”
All Megan does in five seconds is moving her head to the left. She realises that the ref is rather on her right.
Alesia jumps from her chair: “I think she’s done it!”Click for HD
A star is born
Jeffrey: “Six… seven… eight… nine… ten… OUT!”
In five more seconds, all Megan has done is looking at the ref in confusion, and moving her arms a little. She’s clearly not strong enough to get up.
Jim: “What an ending! Sophie Schumann scores a huge knockout against Megan Thomas, ranked 7th in the division, in the sixth round of their fight.”
Warren: “I think that a Lightweight star is born, Jim. She didn’t look threatened too often, she fought with composure and delivered the power in this round. Amateur experience doesn’t always make a solid professional boxer, but Schumann is the kind of breed that can make it happen. A boxing pure-blood.”
Alesia, Akane and Chelsea are all up, and they can’t wait to go inside to congratulate the winner.Click for HD
Before that, though, the result must be made official.
Ring announcer: “We have a winner at 0:52 in Round 6. By knockout… she is a bitter orange… SOPHIE… PICASSO…. Schuuuuuuuumaaaaaannnnnnn!”
Regina, Alesia, Akane and Chelsea take turns to hug and congratulate the elated victor. She does get a bit of applause, but the audience didn’t get the emphatic American win it was looking for.Click for HD
Before long, the Star Sports crew gets close to the winner for a few questions.
Jim: “Congratulations Sophie. That was a scintillating win. First impressions?”
Sophie: “Thanks. I’m obviously super happy! This is a big win after taking the fight on short notice. I was very hungry after a few months of being unable to book an opponent, and I think it showed tonight.”
Jim: “Had you prepared to be a counterattacker?”
Sophie: “Honestly, no. We did come up with a few ideas to adjust to Megan’s style, and we respected her skills, but we discovered what made the difference in this fight in the thick of the action. I landed a couple of solid counters earlier and Regina wanted me to go for it ‘full time’. It worked better than I thought.”
Jim: “You convinced against a Top 10 fighter, and many people already considered you as a top prospect. Where do you take it from there?”
Sophie: “I’m obviously far from a title shot but the world just saw what I’m capable of, and I’m not afraid of taking on top fighters. I’m hoping for more important fights in 2021, and I certainly am hoping that no one will duck me anymore.”
Jim: “In the States?”
Sophie: “I may require opponents to come to Germany because that’s where my sister and I can generate the most money in any fight. We came here because the event was already scheduled. The same fight in my country would have made more with our European TV contract, which is good for both fighters.”
Jim: “I see your sister Alesia standing behind us. Are you curious to know what she has to say?”
Sophie: “Come, sis!”
Alesia: “I’m just happy and proud to see Sophie getting a big breakthrough tonight. We all knew how talented and dangerous she is, and she only needed a chance to prove it. Look out. She’s a great fighter.”
The analyst then goes to Megan.
Jim: “What are your thoughts on this fight?”
Megan: “Not gonna say much here. Thanks to Sophie for taking the fight on short notice. She saved a payday in which I am taking most of the money. I don’t thank her for the savage punching, though. Holy shit she hurt me.”
That forces a laugh out of everyone.
Megan: “It’s back to the drawing board for me after taking this knockout. I honestly underestimated what Sophie could do, and paid the price for it. Gonna have to see where I’m going next. Probably defending the American title.”
Jim: “Thank you, ladies.”
They shake hands before parting ways. There’s no hate between the two boxers.Click for HD
Akane and Chelsea ask Alesia to take a picture with her phone. They stand on each side of Sophie, who lets herself fall in their arms with a stunned expression.Click for HD