The 8th round of this title fight has been everything the crowd might have wanted it to be. Both fighters have been down, both fighters have been hurt, both fighters have shown heart, grit and desire and it shows on their faces.
Both Emma and Mechelle have left a little piece of themselves in the ring tonight, and the crowd, at the very least, shows their approval of their choice. Few of them would have made the same choice. It’s easier to be in the crowd than the ring.
Mechelle knows in her heart that if she is going to survive and thrive for the remainder of this fight, she needs to score early and show Emma that she’s not out of this fight. The opening occurs early in the 8th as Emma’s overhand left hook is a bit too slow in developing. Mechelle shows good inventiveness and willpower to risk taking a punch to land one of her own. Her own right hand scores flush, as it has so frequently throughout the fight.
Chantal: “An early message from Gauthier as she uses her right hand that has been so effective in this fight. McGale’s tried to use the left hook a lot, but she is becoming a bit predictable too, and Gauthier has had the ability to take advantage.”Click for HD
But Emma’s still pretty fresh, having had a rest between rounds and she stays in range of Mechelle, wanting to even the score. Mechelle’s defenses hold for a bit, but when she backs up and tries to lower her body, Emma steps in with a left from long range that catches Mechelle right on the chin.
Emma thinks: Oh no, this ain’t no hit and run.
Chantal: “McGale with some long distance package delivery. Leather delivered, same-day, right to the chin of Mechelle Gauthier, who was not expecting such a prompt delivery.”Click for HD
Courage Under Fire
Having landed one punch, Emma sets her feet and steps into a right hand, hoping that her left hand has made Mechelle vulnerable enough that she can land another damaging blow. But Mechelle shows courage under fire, keeping low and letting Emma’s right hand sail high.
Mechelle thinks: Defence wins championships, Peach.
Emma thinks: Why can’t this girl stay still while I hit her?Click for HD
Mechelle springs from her crouched position, bringing that momentum around and letting it power her next punch as it lands from short range on Emma’s chin, twisting the English-Canadian fighter’s head around. Emma sees stars as she backs away. Mechelle might have pursued, but instead opts for the patient route. She is, after all, still hurting from the last round.
Sylvie: That’s how you box, Mechelle!
Chantal: “Gauthier is courage and confident under fire as she thumps Emma McGale with a wonderful counter right hand that seems to have stunned McGale. These two ladies are really not being shy with the amount of leather being traded in this one.”Click for HD
Fighting on Empty
Stung not just from that last right hand, but the many similar right hands that Mechelle has landed throughout the fight, Emma goes passive as she tries to recuperate, both her body and her spirit.
Mechelle doesn’t go for the kill, but she does pile up more points, including a dagger of a right hand that produces a groan of pain from Emma.
Chantal: “Mechelle Gauthier is doing some of her best boxing here in the 8th. It’s style and substance all at play, and she is making Emma McGale looks slow and sluggish. One has to wonder if the sheer amount of punches landed has taken its toll on McGale.”Click for HD
Thomas: “You gotta want it more, Emma!”
The Peach very much does want it. She wants the title. She wants victory. She wants to stand overtop of Mechelle as the referee stops the fight. It’s nothing personal. Mechelle is just an obstacle. Emma’s own body is just an obstacle. Her brain is just an obstacle. Her sense of self-preservation is an obstacle.
Winning is the only thing that matters.
Emma comes forward, eating a few half-hearted jabs from Mechelle as she does. By the time Mechelle can load up a punch that can stop the oncoming fighter, there’s a left hand that is smashing into her jaw.
Chantal: “A brilliantly thrown overhand left hook from McGale. There’s clearly a reason why she keeps going back to that punch, as it is very proficient for her.”Click for HD
Emma’s burst of energy doesn’t last too long though. Mechelle simply proves too elusive to be hit and hurt consistently. Emma tries to continue her momentum, but her energy doesn’t go as far as it did in the first round. When the barrage ceases, it is time for the Pretty Warrior to shine.
And shine she does. She drives Emma across the ring with a fusillade of punches. And when Emma opens herself for the left hook to try to get Mechelle to back off, it’s far too late. Mechelle’s jolting right hand smashes across Emma’s chin. The Peach sees stars and feels dizzy. She grabs on to Mechelle out of sheer desperation.
Chantal: “That was yet another sweet right hand from Mechelle, who has enough right hands landed in this fight that she can make an entire calendar of them. That last one really seemed to take the starch out of McGale who’s legs seem to be a bit shaky.”Click for HD
But Mechelle can’t get through before the end of the round. We will see a 9th round.
The Minute Break
In Emma’s corner, the peach is slumped against the ring pad, exhausted as she tries to use the 1 minute break to recover from the punishment of the 8 previous rounds.
Thomas: “Em, you okay?”
Emma: “This is where I want to be.”
Emma thinks: I don’t want to feel like this, but there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.
Thomas: “Even scorecards I think. You got enough left for two more rounds?”
Emma: “Don’t have a choice.”
Thomas: “You need both of these rounds, Emma. Both of them. A draw does no one any good.”
Emma: “I kind of want to fight Mechelle again.”
Thomas: “Well beat her first, and then we can worry about a rematch.”Click for HD
In the red corner, Mechelle isn’t too happy.
Mechelle: “Isn’t the fight over? I hurt everywhere!”
Sylvie: “Girl, you are in a fight. It’s supposed to hurt.”
Mechelle: “Not like this. Can’t you call timeout? We can have the last two rounds next week.”
Sylvie: “Shut up. I don’t want to hear you say anything else. Just nod. You are hurt. Sure. Your hands hurt. Your head hurts. You are seeing stars. Fine. But you are the fresher girl at the moment. Look across the ring at your opponent. She’s done. All you need to do is send her home. Now do you want to do that, or do you want to complain?”
Mechelle opens her mouth, but then just nods.
Sylvie: “I want you to get low when Emma fires, then just burst out of that crouch with a strong left hand. Put all your weight on your left foot, then transition it to the right when you throw.”
Sylvie: “I know your left isn’t as good as your right, but it’s her right eye that is the most closed, so it’s the left that she won’t see coming. Besides, she’s so used to being hit by the right, she won’t expect the left.”
Mechelle nods and taps her gloves together.
Sylvie: “Go out there and become a champion.”Click for HD
Virani: “This is the championship rounds in this fight, and no matter who wins, each fighter has earned the right to call themselves a champion. Officially, one of them will be champion though. On my scorecard, I have it even. Both fighters have tasted the canvas, both fighters have been hurt, and there’s nothing more that the crowd, or myself wants to see than two more rounds of this.”
“I do feel that Mechelle has more left in the tank than Emma McGale, but I wouldn’t put it past Emma to dig deep and win this match late on.”
Virani thinks: Or Emma is exhausted and I’ll end up very sad.Click for HD