Punching machine

Eight punches in a combination? Elsie keeps testing Sophie

After a difficult opening round, Sophie Schumann is raring to go just before the bell rings, so she can establish herself as the best. Elsie bounces confidently on her toes.

Ding.

The black woman leaves nothing to chance at the restart. She lets her hands go for flurries that are fast and accurate enough to defy the puncher in front of her.

Sophie thinks: “Damn girl never stops. I’ll need an extra effort to score with my shots.”

When the blonde comes in with the intention of penetrating the fortress with a left to the body, the African guard levies a fee. She makes Sophie pay with a swat of red leather, as her right cross clashes with the German’s chin. It makes her grunt.

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Sophie thinks: “Gawd. That was clean. Right. I gotta defend more.”

Esther: “Nadege doesn’t stop throwing. She keeps a high work rate that forces Schumann to dodge instead of firing back immediately. The ring is not a comfortable place if you share it with the Cameroonian.”

Anna: “Schumann is handling it with maturity, though. Her slips are accurate enough to make an attack miss without getting out of position or losing balance. I like what I see. What matters for her is grasping the timing of her opponent to counter.”

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Crunching

About 30 seconds of red aggression later, the counter that Anna expected comes. Elsie is getting ready to unload a left hook to finish a combination and Picasso reads the motion accurately. She takes half a step back, bounces forward again and throws a crunching right cross with a bit of an angle. PISH!

The crowd cheers.

Esther: “What a punch by Schumann! She cracks the visitor on the tip of the chin with the accuracy of a blacksmith hitting the iron while it’s hot.”

Anna: “And power. Given the solidity of the Cameroonian woman’s chin, iron is probably the best word. She did feel this punch, however, given her bothered facial expression. Sophie Schumann hits hard, if any of you aren’t up to speed yet.”

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That’s embarrassing

The woman in dark gray’s legs don’t flinch, though. She steps around to circle and take a mini-breather to recuperate from that hammer in the face. Sophie follows her around with a teenage Tyson stance, ready for anything. They have a few inconsequential exchanges that make the blonde slip back into a more defensive mode.

Well into the dance, Elsie ramps up the aggression. Not far from the ropes, she feints the left hook but throws the right instead. Sophie doesn’t swallow the bait, lets her left drop Philly shell style, and rolls her shoulders to make the punch miss by a wide margin.

Elsie is stupefied after missing by a foot, and first-row fans laugh.

“Was that even close?”

“I think she threw that with a remote control or something.”

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Pride

Having heard that ringside exchange, Elsie’s pride is stung and she’s livid.

Elsie thinks: “No one… no one… humiliates me that way.”

The African speeds in to pop Sophie’s bubble, getting so close inside that she can press her red gloves against Picasso’s orange.

Sophie thinks: “Dafuq is this? Isn’t she an outside fighter?”

Esther: “I believe that Nadege isn’t taking ringside laughs too well.

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Elsie attacks from a short range, but that’s widely inefficient. Sophie refuses to trade shot for shot, dodging some more and eventually pulling out of the danger zone.

Anna: “That’s a great sign of wisdom from the number nine contender. She refuses to let emotion guide her game as her opponent is trying to alter the flow of the match with a radical tactical change.”

Esther: “You mean that she’s sophie-sticated.”

Rebooting the machine

Aware that this reaction reaps no rewards, Elsie lets Sophie back away to fight from a longer range. She reboots her punching machine to throw combinations that range from three to five, six and seven punches at times. Her best moment comes at 1:50, when a straight left is the seventh punch in a combo. The German is opening up to fire a right hook on the counter, but the red glove flies faster and cracks her on the right side of the chin. Paff!

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Elsie thinks: “Alright. Got it.”

The Top 5 boxer rapidly follows up by twisting her body to deliver a long-range right cross. Sophie has no time to react. Her right cheek absorbs the second punch before she can even try to move her head.

Esther: “Nadege scores with a rapid and powerful 1-2 to finish an eight-punch combination. She is already known for being active, but I gotta say that it’s impressive to see her fighting when she’s that motivated.”

Anna: “She’s still an extremely fit athlete at 36 years of age. A second factor is that she must win this fight to stay relevant in the Lightweight division. It shows in her desire to get a much-needed result.”

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Zeal

The Bavarian starlet shakes off the pain, resets and gets back into the game. However, she faces a zealous opponent who looks like she just finished digesting an oversized caffeine pill. Elsie just doesn’t stop throwing punches that disrupt any attempt by the blonde to settle down and find rhythm.

Sophie can avoid taking too many clean shots, but she can delay the onslaught only for so long. After yet another flurry, Elsie fakes the left hook. Sophie ducks. Wrong move because the black-haired woman withdraws the sword before thrusting it in her liver in the form of a left hook.

Sophie grunts, steps away and keeps the visitor at the end of her jab for the rest of the round.

Ding!

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That power thing

The two boxers walk back to their corners. Regina is quick to see that her fighter is bewildered. She never thought that Elsie could take two straight rounds against her.

Regina: “Sit down and breathe. Difficult start. I get it, but let’s remain calm.”

Sophie: “I know but…”

Regina: “Just listen. It’s good that you’re not freaking out. Look, we’re in a contest with another top fighter and she’s in-form tonight. I’ll need you to be more active. She’s probably been throwing two punches for each one you sent her way, and we’ve got to take advantage of the power differential. If both of you land clean, you hit harder.”

Sophie: “Ok.”

Regina: “Throw more so you can get closer and land the power shots that count. Alright?”

Sophie: “Yeah.”

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Another gear

In the other corner, coach and fighter smile at each other.

Clifford: “This is going well. You’re fighting well but I don’t want you to repeat what you’ve done when you got super close to her. She didn’t want that proximity, but she’s more dangerous than you in that situation.”

Elsie: “Yeah. That was a mistake.”

Clifford: “So, no more of that and let’s stick with the game plan. I know you can still find another gear, but do it with changes in intensity. Don’t just throw long and rapid combos. Sometimes just go with a punch or two to make it looks like you may slow down. That will make her think she can hit back, and that’s when you accelerate again to nail her.”

She nods.

Clifford: “I want you to be unpredictable, so she can’t figure you out.”

Esther: “Two rounds into this one, how do you have it?”

Anna: “A second consecutive 10-9 for Nadege, making this a rare ‘dry spell’ for Schumann, who made it a habit to rarely drop a round. Getting back into the game is something that the local woman has the ability to do as long as she maintains a positive mindset and executes her new plan correctly.”

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Rebecca: “Seconds out!”

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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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14 comments

  1. Two rounds down, I imagine that must be weighing on Sophie’s mind, and the changing tactics may play into her opponents gameplan

  2. I love turn back the clock moments in any sport but particularly in combat sports when it’s a far older fighter taking it to a younger one. There’s an inherent beauty to the scene when a younger, faster, and maybe even stronger fighter can’t solve the puzzle of experience they’re going up against and learn just how much they have yet to learn. Sophie’s usually the one handing out the beatings and now she’s in the rare scenario (at least at this point in her career) where she’s on the other end of the spectrum against someone who has very clearly ‘still got it’ so to speak.

    You learn a lot about a fighter when they meet some real adversity and I get a feeling we’re all gonna learn lot about what the younger Schumann is made of in the coming rounds.

    • It’s one of those moments, yeah. The urgency to perform once an athlete is past their prime years can make them shine again.

      Elsie is more challenging than expected and Sophie now has a bigger fight on her hands. We see a mature reaction while she’s trying to get a better result.

  3. Alesia,
    Elsie is peppering ? Sophie with punches ??, and Sophie is feeling it. Elsie has a long and successful career, her keynote is the volume of her punches. Unfortuntely for her, Sophie’s keynote is two fold, her defense and the power in her punches ????! Taking some hard punches would dwindle most fighters, but not Sophie. She respects the ability of her opponents, in this case Elsie. That is why she is the formidable fighter she is, I sense it coming, she is soon to awaken in ring and hammer ? Elsie with the power in her fists!!!
    Mike

  4. Title of this post fits the round well, Elsie is a punching that just won’t stop at nothing to make you eat red leather with a side of pain.

    The round started well for her as she lands the first hit, but it doesn’t last long as Sophie uses her defense and lands a clean shot as well. She is definitely getting better with defense. ^^

    But that doesn’t last long at all.

    “Was that even close?”

    “I think she threw that with a remote control or something.”

    I think after hearing that and the other fans laughing at her really pissed her off, and that is when the tides turned of Sophie once again as Elsie came to life and started going at her like a locomotive.

    This fight is no joke, Sophie is really getting a tough challenge tonight. But it’s good she’s not over reacting or panicking, but she needs to step it up, land some harder shots, but that’s easier said then done.

    • Both women are doing quite a few things right, although experience and the “always on” mode are giving Elsie the edge so far.

      I wouldn’t bet too much money against Sophie, who is a very talented and capable fighter, but it’s more of an uphill battle than previous matches.

  5. This is a veteran vs. prospect showdown and so far the veteran is giving the prespect quite a healthy lesson.

    Sophie’s not without her moments in this round, showing some good defence and some of her typical power punches. But even her flush punches dont awe Elsie.

    And though the power edge has to go to Sophie, when Elsie connects she really does get Sophie’s attention.

    The big moment is after one of Sophie’s good defensive move, Elsie takes her anger out on the German. Leather is flowing like a waterfall and Sophie is looking for the ‘off’ switch.

    Can Sophie turn this around? It’s not panic time yet , but it doesn’t look good either

    • Yep, it’s high difficulty level, and you don’t want to give Elsie any form of motivation to either keep this going or make the fight even harder.

  6. Lesson learned: Do not laugh at Elsie. She took that to heart. If Sophie ends up getting knocked out, those first row fans will be taking part in the blame for it as they fired Elsie up.

    • I wouldn’t recommend that to anyone. She is quite capable of converting anger into effective aggression.

  7. Okay, now Sophie really needs to get her rear in gear if she’s gonna have any chance to either earn Elsie’s respect or potentially beat her!

    • Elsie is fighting like a Top 5 boxer. Gotta respond with that kind of quality to start taking rounds against her.

  8. Creator’s notes

    What do we have here? Many things, but I will stick to a couple of highlights.

    The first is obvious. Elsie fights at a high level. A former world title contender who has found her feet again. Facing her is like taking that final university exam and finding it very difficult.

    Secondly, Sophie isn’t panicking although she finds this immensely challenging since she’s not used to losing consecutive rounds.

    Third, Regina has competition across the ring. While most coaches she faced couldn’t see things coming, Clifford gives his protégée high-level advice in the hope she can stay ahead.

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