No margin

Two rugged women train hard and get introduced

Munich – It’s training camp! We head to Halmich Academy first to find out how Sophie Schumann is preparing for the biggest fight of her career against Elsie Nadege.

The wunderkind from Munich obviously goes through all kinds of drills with head coach Regina Halmich, but a new element stands out. Picasso works on her defense with sister and world champion Alesia.

On the menu of nearly every session: freshly baked shoulder rolls. Under Regina’s supervision, Alesia teaches her beloved sister how to roll her shoulders to dodge and deflect incoming punches. The task is technically difficult because you have to stand in the line of fire and move just enough to avert danger while staying close to prepare for the counterattack.

Regina: “Keep at it, girls. This is improving. Tighten the left arm and lean a little more to nullify a punch, my bitter orange.”

After the session, both the big sis and coach are happy.

Regina: “I like how this defense is improving. No need to adopt the Philly shell, but I like that you can prevent hits better than in the past.”

Alesia grins: “Give it a little time and we’ll make you unbeatable. I dream of the day when you can take on Zohana Patel and defeat her.”

Sophie: “You don’t like her?”

Alesia: “Zohana’s really cool and admirable but I want to see you fight her and win. Sophie Schumann pound for pound queen? It will happen.”

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The core

Back in London, Elsie Nadege is also hard at work. Her main focus? A strong core. It’s the secret sauce to cook up and deliver an endless stream of punches, which is why she is so hard to face. She takes time away from you.

Your Highness does specific exercises in the weight room. There are obviously reps with all kinds of weights to maintain and strengthen muscles and the core. More importantly, though, Elsie does an insane number of sit-ups, push-ups and burpees. It’s basic and it’s not fun, but it’s effective training for fighters who like to bury opponents under a pile of punishment.

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Let those hands go

Clifford Little, a legendary English coach, carries the spirit of this training philosophy into the gym’s ring. Since taking on Elsie, he has limited the amount of full-contact sparring to spare his fighter the hits that destroy brain cells over the years. He prefers to give a nice rate per sparring round – about 50 pounds Sterling – to durable journeymen in exchange for a limited offensive output. The guests like the money and Elsie is free to let her hands go with volume punching to build her ability to have a high work rate, which is essential to her game.

Today’s guest is Anja Kresinger, a rugged German veteran who is here for that money.

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A very stylish Elsie throws punch after punch in a way that makes it nearly impossible to defend yourself, while rocking a powder pink top and gloves. Having never been knocked out, Anja can withstand the punishment. She spends 10 rounds under the weather with Elsie, who gets the workout she needs before facing Sophie.

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Stars are coming

The press conference and weigh-in are largely positive. Elsie and Sophie promote the f*ck out of this fight with good looks, friendly behaviour and funny lines in response to every invite.

Then, we go ringside. Esther Schouten and Anna Schwartz go on the air on Box TV.

Esther: “Welcome back to the Olympia Eishalle in Munich for the main event of the evening. We have a cracking fight ahead, featuring Sophie Schumann and Elsie Nadege in a clash opposing Top 10 boxers in the Lightweight division. Three-minute rounds because these two don’t pussyfoot.”

Anna: “This is a delicious matchup, folks. Schumann is the most exciting prospect in women’s boxing and she is living up to expectations by rising to number nine in the rankings in only four fights. She defeated American champion Megan Thomas in December, after taking the fight on short notice, and the world took notice.”

Esther: “Elsie Nadege? Aged 36, the athletic boxer from Cameroon barely needs an introduction since she has been on the world stage for years. It’s her first appearance in Germany and we don’t doubt that you, fight fans, will love what you see in the ring.”

Anna: “That’s right. Schumann and Nadege are excellent boxers and this should be a firecracker of a fight.”

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Stay in control

As we’re in Munich, it’s no surprise that Sophie gets a massive amount of attention as she walks towards the ring. When she comes out, cameras follow the starlet like magnets, and Elsa Braun gets in perfect position to capture Picasso’s walk as Evil Never Dies, by Judas Priest, blasts through the speakers.

Esther: “What’s the game plan for the orange menace?”

Anna: “She’s facing a veteran who likes to throw a lot of punches. So, she needs to keep action under control and match the work rate, probably with counterattacks. It’s also important not to get hit too often, so good defense is in order.”

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Pump up the volume

Although the reception is less intense, Elsie also gets some applause as she walks to the ring with Smells Like Teen Spirit, by Nirvana, playing in the background.

Esther: “What can we expect from the African woman?”

Anna: “Volume punching to overwhelm the opposition is her trademark. We should expect some rapid fire. However, she still needs to be cautious although her chin is battle tested. Sophie Schumann is one of the hardest hitters in the game, and she’s increasingly sophisticated. Make the same move a few times and she will punish you for predictability.”

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Still smiling

Veronica handles formal introductions, and then the girls have to touch gloves.

Rebecca: “We went over the unified rules in the dressing rooms. This fight is scheduled for 10 three-minute rounds. There is no three-knockdown rule. There is no standing eight-count. You cannot be saved by the bell in any round. In case of an accidental head butt after Round 4, we go to the scorecards. If you knock your opponent down, you have to go to a neutral corner before I start a count. If you foul intentionally, I will deduct a point. The second time, you’re disqualified. Protect yourself at all times. Obey my command at all times. No cheating, no bullshit. Touch gloves.”

Esther: “What does it mean when Rebecca Linden is your referee?”

Anna: “It means that you are in a big fight. That woman is now a fixture for top contenders and world champions. This is a huge event for Schumann.”

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Mouthpieces in. Everything is ready. Rebecca stands, hears the bell and orders the fighters to box. We are seconds away from the action.

Esther: “Sophie Schumann against Elsie Nadege in a battle of Top 10 Lightweight contenders. This should be a cracker.”

Sophie thinks: “Man. This chick looks solid with her game face on. Megan Thomas was nothing. This won’t be a cakewalk.”

Elsie thinks: “This match isn’t just big for her. I must win tonight to have a future.”

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Sophie Schumann Elsie Nadege Round 1
Sophie Schumann
The little sister of Alesia Schumann is a born troublemaker but supremely talented puncher. The mandatory challenger in the Lightweight division.
Sophie Schumann
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15 comments

  1. I could feel the tension building with each paragraph. I was hoping for some fight action as now I am on the edge of my seat. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the bitter orange.

  2. Alesia,
    This has the makings of an exciting fight! Elsie is known for her offensive output, and she can put her opponents down. And of course she has the experience to bolster her abilities. However, against a more well rounded fighter, she may tire out down the road.

    Sophie is the more well rounded fighter. She has shown how she mixes her defense with offense. Mixed in with her defense, she hammers her opponents with precision punches and counter punches. Before they know it, they’re getting beat up by her.

    Sophie has her work cut out for her, but she can prevail. The biggest and very critical advantage she has over Elsie is…..drum ? roll please………..Alesia Schumann!!! Her sister has imparted to her her ring knowledge to her, training her to fight like her, a mix of offense and defense, making her the champion ?that she is!!!!

    • Training with Alesia is beneficial. No doubt about that. The master of turning defence into offence. It can make her sister grow.

      Once the bell rings, though, Sophie is alone in that ring with Elsie, and she has to pass the test against someone who has vast experience.

  3. I’m really excited to see how Sophie responds to the pressure of this calibre of fight but Elsie is equally as intriguing. Two different fighters at different stages of their careers trying to prove they belong on the world stage always makes for a great matchup cause you know both are going to give it their all.

    • That sums up the essence of this matchup. Either Elsie has lost a step and Sophie will take advantage of that in spectacular fashion or…. Elsie might turn up with a majestic performance due to urgency.

      What will it be? Punches will be thrown very soon.

  4. Here we go, a lot is on the line for both boxers and their careers! With no three knockdown rule and no standing 8 count, I think this will benefit Elsie as throwing punches mercilessly will be a key advantage for her and these lack of restrictions will allow her to throw them as many times as she likes without a limit set and especially any possible lack of rest from no standing 8 count.

    • Unified rules always make the fights tough. Three minutes, less safeguards. It’s either you prevail over your opponent, or she can take you to the cleaners.

      It’s a big test for the bitter orange.

  5. A pair of Schumann shoulder rolls get things started. I love the sisters training together and I would love to see them do anything together. Cook. Clean, write an essay…I’m there for all of it.

    Alesia: “Zohana’s really cool and admirable but I want to see you fight her and win. Sophie Schumann pound for pound queen? It will happen.”

    It might not be next year, but the way that Sophie’s been positioned, I think that’s probably going to happen at some point.

    Elsie is all about that hard work. At her age, she should have the art of being in camp down to a science. She doesn’t want to get hit anymore (sensible) so she uses durable partners like Anja (who earns 500 pounds the hard way) to keep her sharp. It’s a bit risky to have a camp where she doesn’t have many people throwing punches at her, so she doesn’t get many defensive reps in. But Elsie knows her stuff.

    Sophie’s back in the ring for the first time since knocking Megan Thomas into next week. She’ll be hoping for another sensational knockout to propel her even further up the rankings. Seems like the younger Schumann is set with ‘Evil Never dies’ as her walkout music. Not a problem with that. Just found it interesting.

    Elsie’s walkout song is just about as old as she is. It’s a classic. Who can hate on Nirvana? Elsie’s not short on confidence. The gray outfit shows off that athletic body and accentuates those red gloves which she believes she’ll be using shortly to punish Sophie with.

    The two fighters continue their friendly relations at the last moment before the fight begins. No words, just smile.

    Esther: “What does it mean when Rebecca Linden is your referee?”
    Anna: “It means that you are in a big fight. That woman is now a fixture for top contenders and world champions. This is a huge event for Schumann.”

    It also don’t means don’t think about breaking the rules 😀 .

    In the last showdown pics, we see almost second thoughts from Sophie (more of a calculation of the seriousness of her opponent), and a motivational pep talk from Elsie. She knows a loss here ends her ambitions at the top of the sport. It’s a must win fight for her.

    Elsie is a little more physically intimidating, but looking across at Sophie and her guns and the knowledge of what she can do with those must be a bit disconcerting for the veteran too. She knows that if she loses, it might not be a graceful decision exit, but as another highlight on Sophie’s highlight reel.

    Let’s see how it shakes out!

    • Makes me wonder what the Schumann sisters would be cooking if I made a scene about that ?

      Different approaches to training, each catering to their needs. Sophie is working hard on not getting hit while Elsie avoids taking too many punches while working on maintaining her ability to hit people as often as she can. It’s central to her game.

      LOL! It’s true that when Rebecca is in the ring with you, the margin of error is very slim if you try to bend the rules. One misstep and a point will be deducted faster than you may think.

      Whether you are Sophie or Elsie, the woman who is stepping forward to fight you is intimidating. And you have to be courageous enough to do what it takes to win, knowing she can hurt you. Good luck.

  6. This is it! It’s always a pleasure to see the sisters training together, although I’d like to see them spar each other one of these days before too long. Of course, Elsie is just as pumped and primed as Sophie is. Either way, I know that this is gonna be, without question, the toughest fight of Sophie’s career and I hope that no matter what that there’s no love lost between them and, as you may have figured by now, that Sophie comes out on top either by KO or decision.

    • Taking on a credible Top 5 veteran in your fifth contest is a big task. Well, I hope this is the way Elsie is perceived anyway ?

      Let’s see if Sophie has what it takes to get this massive win!

  7. Aww look art that, both of the Schumann training together ❤️ It’s nice to see Alesia helping Sophie prepare for her upcoming fight, smart that they are helping her work on her defense more, she may now have that Alesia kind of defense but if she keeps it up she’ll be there ?

    Elsies training is way different, she works on her core to throw better punches and would add some more muscle. Anja finds out how many punches Elsie can land the hard way, eventually Sophie’s gonna find out soon.

    Now it’s fight night and both fighters have great intros, no surprised that Sophie is getting the most cheers but I still don’t count her opponent out either. Both look cute touching gloves before the bell.
    This will be Sophie’s first fight with 3 minutes, this is definitely a big test for her and is for Elsie as well, they both need a big win but I bet we will enjoy a good fight with lots of leather flying!! Best of luck to both ladies! ❤️?

    • My fighters are moving to three-minute fights indeed. It’s challenging, and it normally allows the best boxer to prevail. It’s a big test for Sophie.

      Also a crucial match for Elsie to remain relevant.

      This ain’t no undercard filler. A big one.

  8. Creator’s notes

    We have two different approaches to training here. Sophie works on improving her defense, acquiring new skills to make her game more complete. In the opposite direction, Elsie focuses on her main weapon, the core that allows her to throw punches relentlessly.

    I don’t think that I have ever shown it in the past, but working with Alesia is a mainstay in Sophie’s training regimen. It had to be seen.

    Anna has a tailor-made game plan for each fighter. Will they go with her wise advice?

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