The seventh round is mostly uncharted territory for both fighters, as it is fairly rare for either of them to be pushed into these late rounds. These young ladies are both in good shape, but boxing requires a different sort of endurance, the ability to keep boxing to the highest standard now that you’ve taken six rounds of punishment.
Some fighters have legendary endurance. Some fighters fade in these rounds. It remains to be seen if either will happen for these fighters.
Early on in the round, it is Emma that wants to put an early imprint on the round by imprinting her Adidas gloves onto Mechelle’s face. Following a bit of an awkward exchange, Emma lets fly a big right hand. Mechelle senses it coming and lowers herself down, making Emma’s punch miss by a good amount.
Mechelle thinks: I’m not that easy to hit. I’m not that girl you used to beat up in sparring all the time.
Chantal: “McGale misses badly in the opening of the round, but let’s not ignore the good defensive work from Gauthier. This is an aspect of her game that seems to be much improved since her last chance at winning the Canadian title.”Click for HD
Back and Forth
But Emma continues on the offensive, and gets Mechelle into a spot where she likes to work – up against the ropes and up close and personal. When in this position, Mechelle tries to fight against Emma, but simply finds herself overpowered. Emma simply denies Mechelle the ability to fight back and lands a cuffing right hook that smacks Mechelle flush on the jaw.
Emma thinks: This part of the ring is my playground and you just get to experience it. As long as I don’t get crack with another uppercut that is.
Chantal: “McGale might be the shorter of the two fighters, but she is showing that she also knows how to use her power, and rough up Gauthier, who looks thoroughly uncomfortable at being in close quarters with McGale.”Click for HD
But at range it’s the French Canadian that has her way, most times. The Pretty Warrior is a pretty boxer and her long range right hand scores brilliantly throughout the fight. It’s the right hand of Gauthier that is marking up the face of Emma, as she tries to fight back. At 1:13 into the round, the right hand is on target yet again as Mechelle hits the swelling flesh around Emma’s eye.
Sylvie thinks: Mechelle doesn’t have top notch power, but she is accurate. If Emma’s eyesight can be reduced, she can be hurt, and if she can be hurt, Mechelle can finish her.Click for HD
But even when Mechelle seems to have the better positioning, Emma fights extremely tenaciously, rarely yielding an inch. Mechelle gets Emma up against the ropes and in a position where she thinks she can do some real damage. To no one’s surprise, she thinks uppercut. But Emma leans back and away from Mechelle’s punch and uses her momentum to land a right hand of her own. Mechelle didn’t see that punch and is momentarily stunned, though she does recover well.
Chantal: “A great fight here in the seventh round as both women are standing their ground and firing away. Both fighters have had success here, and it’s anyone’s guess as to what might happen next. Just enjoy the show!”Click for HD
Mutually Assured Destruction
But there’s probably not many people that could predict what would happen next. Eager to trade, both women go in for a wild exchange. And they both connect at the same time, Emma with a clever overhand left hook, and Mechelle as she steps into a well-placed right hand. The sound of the two punches landing echoes like thunder throughout the arena.
Chantal: “Both fighters just landed massive punches here in the seventh round…”Click for HD
The reaction is instantaneous, and unexpected.
After taking Emma’s devastating left hook directly to the chin, Mechelle’s legs instantly lose strength and she is propelled backwards, landing hard on her butt and back as she is floored for the first time in the fight.
After taking Mechelle’s right, Emma staggers backwards as she struggles to keep her balance. The Peach seems like she is almost out on her feet.
Chantal: “Gauthier is down! Gauthier goes down hard, but it doesn’t seem like McGale is in much better shape! It looks like she’s in as much trouble as Gauthier!”Click for HD
The ring is a bit chaotic for the moment. Mechelle is still on the canvas, trying to sort out what the license plate of the car that just hit her was. Emma’s still trying to find her feet, not quite processing that her opponent is down and she needs to be making her way to the neutral corner.
Victoria: “Emma, neutral corner, now!”
Victoria thinks: If Mechelle wasn’t on the canvas, I might have had to stop the fight because I’m not sure Emma is with us right now.
Emma does eventually snap out of it and she staggers to the neutral corner, trying to sort out the cobwebs in her head.
Emma thinks: Holy hell, that right hand has me seeing stars.
Mechelle thinks: That left hook has me seeing double.Click for HD
With Emma in the neutral corner, the drama can, rather belatedly, turn to the fighter on the canvas, Mechelle Gauthier.
Mechelle’s clearly a bit dazed, as she struggles to get to her feet. By the count of 4, she’s on her side and looking up at the referee, but the seconds are ticking by quickly…. and she still looks rather hurt.
Emma thinks: For the love of god, please stay down.
Chantal: “High drama here in the seventh round as the home town fighter is down, and even though she’s had a good amount of time to get to her feet, due to Emma not getting to the neutral corner not quite promptly, she is still on her side. Has Mechelle Gauthier’s lack of durability gotten to her again?”Click for HD
But Mechelle if nothing else, has plenty of heart. The Pretty Warrior didn’t get her nickname from a Google search, she earned it. She gets to her feet, using the ropes to keep herself upright. By the count of 8, she is basically on her feet, with the assistance of the ropes.
The crowd roars in approval. Not only is the hometown fighter back on her feet, they don’t want to see the fight end either. They also don’t want to see their fighter lose.
Chantal: “An unsteady Mechelle Gauthier is on her feet, but she must still convince the ref she is fit to continue. It would be hard for a referee to stop the fight after the mutually assured destruction from that last exchange. Plus, the hometown fighter can often get the benefit of the doubt from the referee, for better or worse.”Click for HD
Victoria: “9… Okay, come to me.”
Mechelle puts her gloves up and walks towards the referee. Victoria takes her time in assessing the hurt Québécois fighter.
Victoria thinks: If I stop the fight right now, I think the crowd might kill me. And this is a title fight. And Emma seems like she’s hurt too. I think this one has to keep going. I don’t like the way Mechelle looks right now. If Emma starts landing clean punches, I’ll stop it. I may be lenient, but I protect my fighters.
Victoria: “Do you want to continue?”
Mechelle: “Why else do you think I got to my feet?”
Victoria: “Okay…. ready… box!Click for HD
Ready to go…or Setting a Trap?
Though commanded to box, neither fighter seems too willing to engage in fisticuffs. Almost unprompted, Mechelle goes to the corner, and is caught there as Emma advances.
Mechelle thinks: Well, this is how it ends. At least I tried.
Emma thinks: Why is she dropping her hands like this? Is she really this hurt? No, it has to be a trap.
The round ends without further action. The chance for Emma to finish Mechelle passes.
Chantal: “Though it seemed like Mechelle Gauthier was ready to go, Emma McGale seemed to hesitate, and has let a hurt fighter survive until the end of the round. Of course, Emma herself wasn’t looking too fresh either.”Click for HD
Exhaustion Sets In
Emma makes what feels like a long trek to her corner and sits heavily on the prepared stool, breathing in and out deeply. Thomas does a little maintenance work, working on the swelling around her right eye, as well as giving her some water.
Thomas: “Emma… what happened there at the end?”
Emma: “I think she was trying to trap me. I was just so hurt and confused. I didn’t know what to do.”
Thomas thinks: If you just would have gone for it, this fight would probably be over.
Thomas: “No matter now. This is a slugfest Emma, and I don’t think this one is going to the judge’s scorecards. I need you to summon everything for these last three rounds. EVERYTHING.”
Emma: “There’s not that much of it left.”
Thomas: “Well, you have more than she does, Emma.”
Emma: “Don’t worry, I’ll never give up.”Click for HD
In the red corner, Sylvie Chouinard, has an urgent situation in front of her. A fighter that was felled in the late stages of the round and may have not recovered. A fighter that is prone to self-doubt.
Sylvie: “The next time I see you drop your gloves like that, I’ll come into the ring and knock you out myself.”
Mechelle: “I was just so done. I couldn’t keep them up.”
Sylvie: “You raised them for the ref but you couldn’t raise them five seconds later? You gave up. If you wanted to give up, you should have just stayed on the canvas. No one could have blamed you.”
Mechelle: “I see what you are doing here.”
Sylvie: “Is it working?”
Mechelle: “A bit.”
Sylvie: “You know what I want. Keep your legs moving. DO NOT let this girl in close with you, otherwise this fight will be over. Because I know it isn’t and you know that it isn’t.”
Mechelle: “I sometimes wish this just wasn’t so hard.”
Sylvie: “If it wasn’t hard, everyone could do it. But you can do this. You can be champion.”
Mechelle: “Will be champion. I will be the champion.”
Sylvie thinks: I really need to get on the motivational speakers tour. I’m good at this.Click for HD