McGale shows the improvements in her game as she bullies the champion
It’s the start of the 4th round. Mechelle comes out of the corner with far more of a spring in her step, absolutely wanting to set the pace. She does it with her jab, using it often to keep Emma from getting too aggressive. The Torontonian is able to block or parry most of the jabs that come from the champion.
Figuring that the early output is sure to end shortly, Emma leans forward, intent on getting back inside, where she was able to do so much good work in the last round. Unfortunately for the challenger, she’s stopped by a clean jab right to the chest. It’s hard to move forward when getting hit in the chest, Emma finds.
Emma thinks: I can’t decide if she did that on purpose, but it worked for her.
Laila: “Every fighter in a rematch comes up with different tools they’d wished they’d used in the first fight. We may be seeing this adjustment from Gauthier to contain McGale from getting inside.”
Getting jabbed in the chest or not, Emma will not stop coming forward in Round 4, and that aggression ultimately unlocks Mechelle’s defence.
As Emma shifts to go low again, changing the point of attack, Mechelle brings her left hand up to protect against the expected overhand right that Emma will be throwing. But that’s not the punch the challenger had in mind, it’s instead a powerful hook to the body. Without any opposition from Mechelle, the punch thunders home, drawing a groan from the champion and applause from the crowd that appreciates the good work from the challenger.
Laila: “McGale’s body work has to be taking a toll on the champion, as even through only 4 rounds, she has landed some absolutely sickening body punches. McGale could be carving the path to victory here as we speak.”
The fifth round has Mechelle really wanting to use that jab that she used to good effect in portions of the fourth round. Sandra has already told Emma to be more elusive when trying to get into her preferred range, and she takes this advice to heart. Though no one will confuse her for Alesia Schumann, Emma does show that she isn’t a stationary target that is just there to be hit, especially causing Mechelle trouble when she tries to control the fight with her jab.
Laila: “Though this is not the highest level of boxing we will see tonight, that does not mean that there is not skill on display as she weaves nicely to avoid a jab from the champion. It’s moves like that which do not end up on highlight reels that often make the difference in the fight.”
Sandra thinks: Emma is boxing well and more importantly, boxing confidently. We’ll see if Mechelle can keep pace. I suspect that most in the division can’t handle Emma wearing on them the whole fight.
Though the champion is trying to get momentum back in her direction, she doesn’t manage it in the fifth round. Instead, it’s been the story of the fight so far, as Emma’s best work has been to the body, and Mechelle has not been very appreciative of it. Emma’s not a one-punch KO artist, but no one has confused her with a light puncher either.
A quick left hook to the body after an exchange scores nicely for Emma, as she shows a bit of diversity to her attack.
Sylvie thinks: This one is getting away from us.
Laila: “The Pretty Warrior might have will have her good looks after this fight tomorrow, but she will not be feeling very good, win or lose, after these repeated blows to the body. A win might at least make her feel like it was worth it, however.”
A Painful Round 6
Round 6 is… more of the same. Mechelle tries in vain to get the better of Emma, but the challenger has the answer and then some. No earth shattering punches are landed, but it’s clear to everyone at ringside (including the most dunderheaded of judges) that Emma is winning, hands down.
Early on in the sixth, Emma underscores this by landing a very good long left hand to the body that draws an audible reaction from her opponent.
Laila: “People at ringside are being treated to an array of grunts from Mechelle Gauthier as Emma McGale continues to exploit the openings in the champion’s defence. This one was a well thrown jab to the body that uses Mechelle’s own momentum against her. Few will want to sign up for a fight against McGale if this is her approach from now on, because she is showing the ability to be a true body snatcher.”
Very late in the round, Emma wanted to add an exclamation point to the round and she found a perfect opportunity, leaning in and driving her arm up into the solar plexus area of Mechelle Gauthier. The dark grey glove compresses that sensitive area of the body.
How good was that particular shot to the body? Well, it takes a second, but as Mechelle’s brain registers that air is no longer reaching it easily, her legs completely lose all strength and she collapses to the canvas in absolute agony.
Mechelle squirms on the canvas as Emma stands above her, admiring her handiwork. Persistence paying off.
Emma thinks: Ouch. Looks like that hurt. Remind me to not get hit in the solar plexus.
Laila: “Gauthier goes down! It looks like that was in the solar plexus of the champion! She is writhing on the canvas in pain, and I’m not sure she’ll make it up from that one!”
Emma takes a second to get to the neutral corner, which gives Mechelle just a second or two more time than she might have if she got to the corner with appropriate haste. Small margins.
Mechelle writhes on the canvas for a few seconds, but as the count continues upwards, she pulls herself off the canvas with an effort of will.
Mechelle thinks: Fuck, this hurts, but I’m going to get up, or I’ll never forgive myself.
At the count of 5, Mechelle is still in obvious pain, but she seems to be heading towards getting to her feet.
Sylvie: “COME ON, Get UP!”
Laila: “The champion is struggling and has obviously been hurt, but she is giving it everything she has ton continue on with the fight. Given that the bell will ring shortly, I suspect that I’ll she’ll need to do is beat the count to continue on.”
With a groan and a last effort of will, Mechelle pushes to her feet and turns to face the referee. Her legs are not recovered, so she leans against the ropes to give her the stability that she needs.
Victoria thinks: She’s lucky that the round just ended, because I’m not sure she’s fit to continue. Still, the round is over, so she gets a chance to recover.
Victoria: “Round is over, go to your corner.”
Emma thinks: I got her good. Now I’ve got a big lead. Almost won the title right there.
In the corner between rounds, Emma’s corner wants more of the same. Now that Mechelle is hurt to the body, Sandra wants her to keep going back, and if she starts protecting it, shift up high.
In Mechelle’s corner, Sylvie tells Mechelle that she has to drop her guard to protect her body better, because she’ll get knocked out if she doesn’t – even if that does mean taking a clean punch or two to the face.