The feisty Finn gets violent
The second round is about to begin between Sarita and Julie. A young blonde has a mental guess given the instructions she received in the corner.
Sarita thinks: “Avoid shots and set up power punches. Surely I am competent enough to do that.”
The Finnish flashes her footwork and upper body work with her traditional cross-armed defense. An unusual stance in boxing and one that is hard to master without getting hit.
The Top Draw gets to work. She moves around Julie, throws punches to keep her busy and waits until she brings pressure to dodge, such as this threatening backhand. The blonde leans down to the right and smiles wickedly as the gold Grant glove flies over her head.
A slick and more elusive prospect starts to show her talent with methods that are pretty frustrating for the American. Hitting air, sometimes hair and a refusal to engage on her terms doesn’t kill her motivation but it dampens the mood a little.
Right at a moment when the brunette pulls back a little slowly from an exchange, Sarita closes down space, grabs her with her right arm and shoves a red glove under her cheek.
Esther: “Waris scores with a cheeky little punch while holding Marks and quickly releasing to avoid an intervention by referee Akane Watanabe.”
Anna: “The insolent youngster is showing herself to be pragmatic instead of trying to impress with wild moves.”
Sarita can play slippery snake for a good minute more before receiving a warning shot from the visitor. The girl in red and gold is taking a step back under pressure, hoping to counter with an overhand right as Julie starts to release her left. She gets beaten to the punch and takes a solid crack on the chin.
Esther: “Marks scores with a left that has plenty of mustard behind it.”
Anna: “Momentum may still be on Sarita Waris’ side but she can’t take Julie Marks for granted. The Power Cube is not easy to contain.”
Sarita bides her time and refocuses on the basics. Don’t get hit, and let your hands go when you feel like you have a good chance to land.
It makes for a more boring final minute of the round until the opportunity pops up. The Finnish woman sets up a trap. First, she throws a flurry of punches to force Julie back into a corner. Then, she takes a long step back to signal that she’s finished throwing. Julie looks to use the lull in activity to take the body, prompting the adoptive Berliner to come back in with a howitzer of a right cross.
PISH! Julie’s cheek takes all the energy unleashed by the cannonball, making the crowd cheer for the blonde.
Anna: “Let’s have a moment of silence about that pun. Sarita Waris just landed a massive right cross after setting up a trap. One of the rare fighters to hurt Julie Marks after fooling her into counterattacking at the wrong time.”
With points in the bag, Sarita starts Round 3 with growing confidence in her ability to play dictator. She controls movement with her agile legs and fast hands, looking patiently to strike at the right moment instead of throwing everything and the kitchen sink at the American.
Anna: “It seems to me that Waris has learned lessons from past failures. She’s more mature in the thick of the action.”
Right when the analyst says that, Julie feels the need to press to turn the tide, but she pays for it. Throwing herself forward with a right to the body makes the Finn move to the left and uncork a left hook into wide open space. Julie’s exposed chin receives a knuckle sandwich, making her grunt.
Pain and frustration cause a couple of miscalculations by the Power Cube, who can’t seem to find her footing. She throws a lazy jab that drops quickly after failing to touch Sarita’s face. The younger woman, who was stepping outside, pounces with an overhand right to accurately target the left cheek. PAFF.
Sarita thinks: “It will take more work but I can take her down.”
Without further highlights in the last 30 seconds, the round ends. Someone has a message to send across.
Sarita: “No skills. Just a big meatball.”
Julie: “I’ll stuff your mouth in the next round.”
Akane: “To your corners now!”
Esther: “I may not be an expert in human relations but I believe that Julie Marks isn’t going to offer a place to stay to Sarita Waris if she visits Detroit.”
In the red corner, Maxim tells his charge to keep going. Vary the punches and keep baiting the opponent.
Across the ring, coach Dean Burns is not happy with his protégée’s performance.
Dean: “Look. We just dropped two rounds and she may have a lead. I need you to make some adjustments by going back to what she can’t handle from you. Physicality. Don’t fight her from a distance but close.”
Dean: “She’s at her best when her punches are thrown at full extension. Take the initiative to bottle her up and hit from a short range. You do that better than she does.”
Anna: “Three rounds are in and I give the advantage to Waris in the last two. That gives us an unofficial score of 29-28 in favour of the Finn, who may be showing us that she is more than a brash teenager we have seen in the past. She’s explosive and quite efficient so far today.”
Akane: “Seconds out!”