Jumpy amateur comes across Astrid
Sophie Schumann finishes her workout on a regular day at Halmich Academy in Munich, before getting ready to go.
Leonie von Hammerstein, who claimed the German championship in the Lightweight division earlier this year, shows up unannounced. Nicknamed The Eagle, she has an amateur record of 53 wins and 7 defeats.
Leonie: “Hi Sophie.”
Sophie: “Hi. Can I help you with something?”
Leonie: “You probably don’t recognise me, but you’ve seen me back when we were both amateurs. I won the Lightweight national belt this year. I’m your successor! About to turn pro and looking for a promoter, and I wonder if we could spar a bit?”
Sophie thinks: “I’ve barely seen this chick before and it’s not like I decide these things.”
Aware that Sophie is in an awkward position, the trainer butts in.
I don’t know you
Regina: “Hi Leonie. What’s up?”
She repeats her story and her wish quickly, just in case it’s needed.
Regina: “If you want to turn pro with us, you should talk to Veronica, our Vice President.”
She hands her the business card.
Regina: “Give her the video of your amateur title fight and she can scout you.”
Leonie: “Alright. Any chance to work with Sophie?”
Regina: “No offense, but I don’t know you. I don’t promise anything with my fighters when I haven’t seen someone even train. It’s best that you get in touch with Veronica.”
Leonie leaves half satisfied. Denied access to the girl she wants to work with, but at least she can get herself looked at.
Veronica checks out the fight and dispatches a scout to gather more info. She reports to Heidi and Regina in a meeting.
Heidi: “What about Leonie von Hammerstein?”
Veronica: “Good technician. Really good hands. Fast and accurate. Her challenge is settling down. She still goes back and forth abruptly like an amateur.”
Regina: “I had a look as well. There’s talent but I’m not convinced she’s the next big thing. We could give her tough test. If Leonie is amazing as she thinks, we’ll see it.”
Veronica: “Astrid Olsson, maybe? If she wants to spar with Sophie, then she should accept a match with Astrid.”
The youngster takes on the tough proposition, and Anna Schwartz reports on the result in the latest episode of Seconds Out.
Anna: “We have some fight highlights for you today, beginning with Astrid Olsson against amateur star Leonie von Hammerstein on her pro debut.”
Anna: “The German showed promise with an onslaught on the Swede. Watch this.”
They roll the taped segments.
Esther: “Olsson goes in to attack from the opening bell but walks into a counter! Von Hammerstein is incisive.”
Anna: “She jumps up and down, forward and backward in true amateur style, though. It’s a risky approach to pro boxing.”
The girl in gold moves swiftly and launches baffling flurries to reveal a gap in talent in just 15 seconds of action. Leonie has longer arms, a much faster release, accuracy, better reaction time and greater agility. Her body is custom-built for boxing. Try to match that and you’ll walk into shots.
The girl in blue makes an unconventional decision.
Astrid thinks: “Sock it to me. I’ll gather your timing and get you later.”
The Swedish Sweetheart loosens up her guard, slows down and visibly defers to the rookie. Leonie dances on her toes in absolute freedom. The empowered young pugilist wraps a thick layer of authority and confidence around the ring. Astrid is in a locked cage.
Leonie invades Astrid’s personal space and lets her golden gloved fists fly. The punches are thrown with delicious technique and malicious intention, and they land flush. Pish! Paff! Pish! Leathery smacking sounds delight boxing fans, who love unbridled aggression.
Leonie revels in leading this brutal dance. She has her way from start to finish in Rounds 1 and 2. Storming in, administering glove love and getting out. Reloading and repeating.
Leonie thinks: “Punches are landing so well. She’s feeling it.”
Esther: “Von Hammerstein woke up and chose violence. She’s giving a whipping to Olsson, who doesn’t seem to mind.”
The handiwork gets a good review.
Astrid thinks: “Lovely hands. They pop in fast. Nice sting.”
The bell ends Round 2.
Anna: “Von Hammerstein landed 40 punches per round. A newcomer holding a punishment session with a ranked contender is such a unique spectacle.”
The fresh-faced German’s dominance runs deep into Round 3 but it exposes repetitions. Always bouncing around the same way. Always throwing straight lefts, straight rights and left hooks with the same timing.
With the pattern of action on record, Astrid gives her opponent a nasty surprise in the final minute of the round. Leonie comes in to throw a left hook. When she’s about to land on her front foot prior to releasing the punch, Astrid cracks her jaw with a perfectly thrown right. PISH!
Esther: “Von Hammerstein just got hammered! She’s hurt and stumbling around the ring!”
Anna: “She set herself up by being predictable with a jumpy style. Olsson played a devilish and painful version of rope a dope before firing the big gun.”
The girl in blue follows up fast. An unsteady Leonie overshoots a right that gets countered from underneath. A massive punch that’s impossible to see coming.
Leonie’s legs turn into cooked pasta. She spins and crumples on the canvas.
Referee Zelda Deniz steps in immediately. An early call to protect the rookie.
Astrid gets a thunder of applause while doing a victory lap around the ring.
Esther: “Astrid Olsson takes an unusual path to score a crushing knockout in Round 3! She submitted to a chin test, passed and closed the show with two devastating counters.”
Anna: “Her approach to boxing is simple. You hit me. I hit you. Let’s see who falls.”
Sophie thinks: “What the hell was that matchup…?”
Back in the studio, the show host sets up another clip.
Anna: “In true Astrid Olsson style, the winner gave us another glimpse into her mindset.”
Astrid: “That chick came out swinging. After a couple of exchanges, I realised Leonie has better hands and legs than me. She’d be first and wear me down. I’d walk into counters. So I bit on the mouthpiece, she had a go at me and I read her timing.”
Anna: “Something that dodging and blocking could have done, no?”
Astrid: “Meh. You still get punched when you defend. Besides, it was fun! I enjoyed every punch Leonie gave me. My head’s spinning but I’d do it again tomorrow.”