Laila: “Round one in this intriguing contest begins right now.”
Takara confidently claims the middle of the ring staking a claim for the territory she will need to be successful in the fight. No chance she wants to trapped in the ropes with Emma McGale.
Early on in the fight, Takara wants to set the tone, she throws a thumping 1-2 combination that Emma is able to take on her gloves.
Emma thinks: Holy crap, that punch had some snap on it. I have to be careful.
The Japanese fighter doesn’t want to let Emma settle into the fight, and she detects that the Englishwoman might be a little nervous. Takara takes a little risk – dropping her hands to allow for more movement. She throws a jab to bring Emma’s hands up and then steps to the side, uncorking a right hand. With the change of angle, and her vision of her opponent obscured, Takara’s right hand finds Emma’s jaw cleanly.
Laila: “That is textbook Takara Oshima right there. Oshima at her best is the type of fighter that can leave her opponent on the canvas with one perfect punch. She is an offensive wizard, if given the ability to operate.”
Emma thinks: Yep. Takara can punch. Punch real hard.
Emma knows that her success is all about getting inside, negating Takara’s best punches and getting in those short, powerful shots that damage her opponent. She stalks forward towards Takara with consistent pressure, occasionally getting sniped by accurate shots from Takara.
Emma does succeed in getting Takara in the ropes, and she looks to score with a right hand, but the ‘Love Muffin’ was anticipating the move, stepping in, getting low and putting her arm around Emma.
Using Emma’s own momentum against her, Takara turns Emma into the ropes. Surprised at being turned by someone who she doesn’t expect to be this strong, Emma’s back hits the ropes and as she tries to keep her balance, her guard drops for just a second.
That’s all Takara needs to launch a nuclear level left hook that lands completely flush on the chin of the Canadian.
Laila: “Oh! That’s a huge connection from Takara Oshima, who showed some great tactical knowledge to turn McGale before landing a completely uncontested left hook that seems to have McGale feeling worse for wear.”
Laila is right. Emma taking such a clean punch from Takara is bound to have an effect. Emma is able to escape from the ropes and corner, but Takara pursues.
Takara thinks: Gotcha, girl. This one might be easier than usual. I could use a short night.
Emma isn’t quite out of it yet, and she’s been hurt enough times to know what to do. She keeps a high guard, and concentrates on not getting smacked with those red Winning gloves. Then when the opportunity strikes, she pushes forward and grabs a hold of the ‘Love Muffin’ in an attempt to slow down the fight.
Takara struggles against Emma’s grip but has to concede as ‘The Peach’s’ hold is too strong.
Takara thinks: Yeah this girl is as physically strong as advertised.
Monique: “Okay, Okay, break it up. “
Laila: “McGale seems to be hurt early in this one, but she’s doing well to try to prevent Oshima from making this a short night. Still, she needs to be very careful.
Takara’s not going to let Emma off the hook quite so easily. She knows that there’s a timid fighter in front of her, and Emma’s not in any mood to be trading against Takara having been taught a lesson early on in the fight. She’s in damage control mode right now.
A late fusillade of punches from Takara make Emma shell up and shy away from those damaging red gloves. But Takara catches Emma with a clean, strong left hand that twists her head around painfully.
Laila: “McGale is getting absolutely cracked by Oshima here, who seems to be at her frightening best. An adjustment will be necessary.”
DING! The round is over and the fighters return to their corners.
Laying Down the Law
Laila: “Let’s listen in with Emma McGale’s corner after a ragged round.”
Sandra: “Are you jetlagged still?”
Emma: “What? No!”
Sandra: “Someone put drugs in your water?”
Emma: “What are you talking about.”
Sandra: “Then why the FUCK are you boxing like a complete newbie in there?”
Emma: “She’s tricky and she hits really hard.”
Sandra: “She’s a one dimensional puncher that hasn’t evolved her game in years. Make her miss like we worked on in practice and then show her that she’s not the only one that punches hard! The boxer with the most talent is going to win this fight and that’s YOU, Emma. I know how good you are, now show the world. What’s the worst that could happen – she flatlines you? You’ve been there. You have nothing to lose. Now fight like it.”
Emma: “Yes, ma’am.”
Sandra: “This is your ring. I want to hear you say it.”
Emma: “This is MY ring.”
Sandra: “Okay now I want to go and see it.”
Emma thinks: Damn, I feel like I should be paying tens of thousands for these motivational speeches.