It’s the third round of the fight. Both fighters have had their moments of success and now as they end the feeling out stage of the fight, it’s time to see in whose direction the momentum will shift.
There’s not much different about the third round right off the start of the round. Namid continues to be evasive, fading in and out from her range and confounding Emma when she wants to throw punches of her own.
This is not to say that Namid is completely passive though, she keeps Emma honest by throwing punches from a distance – and she’s not above throwing a lead right hand – and the surprise factor is huge. Orange gloves collide with Emma’s cheeks and jaw, forcing a grunt from the Englishwoman.
Laila: “Fighting and fading is the name of the game for ‘Shining Owl’ and she is doing both perfectly. She has McGale looking for shadows.”
The third round is a total wipeout for the fighter from Chippewa, she fights nearly perfectly. Emma tries to break the growing momentum for the visiting fighter, but she can’t make a clean connection that would make a change.
Emma’s frustration is palpable enough that she puts her head down and throws an overhand right that never had any chance of hitting Namid in the head – but as a minor win, she does manage to hit Namid. In the shoulder.
Thea: “This might be the best Namid Henderson has looked in years. She looks unhittable in there. But I think Emma is just getting impatient. Take time to set and plan your moves.”
Laila: “Namid Henderson takes the third round to take the lead in this one. Good boxing from the Chippewa fighter.”
Inspired by Sandra’s no nonsense talk between rounds, Emma works hard to cut off the ring. It’s not easy because Namid knows what Emma wants to do, and she has the swifter feet. Emma takes smart risks, feinting and faking to draw a reaction before getting Namid where she wants. When she does, she doesn’t try to throw a risky punch upstairs, she keeps the punch low, roasting Namid ‘s left side around the ribs.
Sandra: “That’s it! That’s how we work!”
Thea: “Emma is having some success – she’s having to work for it in a very tactical fight that isn’t really going at her speed. She might be best off going to the body – the body doesn’t move as much as Namid’s head does.”
The fourth round has Emma finding her feet a bit. She thinks she is beginning to decode the tricky Chippewa fighter, managing to get the better of the action, though it’s still being fought at the slower pace that Namid prefers.
Emma dips and weaves, coming in and then throwing an overhand right hook. But Namid, instead of backing away as she usually does, shifts to her side, plants her feet and throws an inch perfect left hook/uppercut that clips Emma flush underneath the chin.
Laila: “A brilliantly timed counter from Namid Henderson! She lured Emma McGale in and made her pay!”
Emma’s legs wobble and then completely lose strength. She falls hard on her butt. It’s a knockdown here in the fourth round for Namid Henderson on a brilliantly timed counter.
Laila: “Down goes McGale! ‘Shining Owl’ caught ‘The Peach’ totally flush with a punch Emma did not see coming and she goes down.”
Thea: “The power of timing in action. I don’t think Emma is too badly hurt, but that is an authentic a knockdown as you’ll see.”
Emma thinks: Shit. She caught me good.
The referee points Namid into a neutral corner and begins the count on Emma.
Emma takes a few seconds to judge her own strength, and decides that she’s not too badly hurt despite her legs giving out a few seconds prior. She gathers herself and gets back to her feet by the count of five. At six, she’s walking back towards her corner, just to check how stable her legs are before the fight continues.
Laila: “McGale is back up on her feet, but coach Sandra Blohm doesn’t look too thrilled at what just happened.”
Thea: “The biggest hit is probably to Emma’s confidence. How do you keep going forward when one punch from her opponent can drop you?”
Namid correctly assesses that her opponent isn’t too badly hurt, so she doesn’t follow up too aggressively, aware that she’d actually be getting into Emma’s sort of fight.
Time ticks away on the round, but Emma still can’t seem to find the range, as Namid continues to make her look a bit silly in the ring. A long range jab to the body from Emma falls way short of its intended target.
Laila: “A big round for Namid Henderson as she drops Emma McGale and seems like she is well on top here at the moment.”
Sandra: “You okay?”
Emma: “Yeah. I’m good.”
Sandra: “Okay. I’m glad. Now listen – that was SHIT. You absolutely must be better than that, or she’s going to do that to you for six more rounds.”
Emma: “What do I do?”
Sandra: “The basics. She’s controlling distance. Don’t let her. Move your head and don’t force it. You are trying to do too much, just do the basics. Trust me, this fight will come back to you. But you have to not be SHIT.”
Emma thinks: Boy, that was blunt.
Laila: “A big swing here after four rounds. Namid Henderson has played unfriendly visitor so far as she takes the lead on my scorecard 39-36. It’s a very solid lead for this time in the fight. What has surprised you so far, Thea?”
Thea: “It’s so very tactical, but Namid is like a chess Master and Emma just seems like a kid who picked up the game last week. It’s surprising, given that Emma has a reputation for being a smart, hard working fighter.”
Laila: “How would you adjust if you are Emma?”
Thea: “You know, I’d go to the body. I think that she might need to stop Namid to get a victory here, so invest to the body and then maybe try to go to the head late.”
Laila: “Let’s see what the next round brings us.”
Damn. This is not looking good for Emma…Namid may have the high-end talent like a Kansas City Chief, but Sandra can still lead Emma to victory with the coaching skills of a John Harbaugh. Making Emma do the basics and not rush the fight, that might be the key, but it depends on how much Namid would want to turn it up too. It might be a bit much to ask for a Hunter to trick herself into her own trap. As for Sandra telling her that her performance is shit, that sounds like some Boxing Twitter language being used in an intense situation. In fact, who knows how much the AleXisa (crossover name) universe boxing fans are trolling Emma right now after losing these rounds.
Namid’s got skills. Nice long punches from a distance for a sample of orange. Crafty move to avoid getting hit. Even when she gets caught downstairs, she isn’t easy to hit clean.
That creative bolo punch that catches Emma isn’t about delivering full power. It’s timing. Tip of the chin while the Peach was going forward to attack. Give her stance, you have to think that Namid could have delivered a huge straight right hand. She didn’t have to, though. The Canadian went down quickly.
Sandra’s throwing her hands in the air is worth memes 😆 Her frank criticism reminds us that she has high expectations and won’t listen to any excuse. She wants a big performance tonight.
Going to the body in the next round might be a good investment but Emma has to get close without getting timed again. Otherwise, Namid might stand tall with her hand raised.
And damn, she has a nice lead after four rounds 👀
Namid didn’t hang around the top of the rankings without some skill to back it up. She’s crafty, she knows how to minimize damage and when Emma makes a mistake, she’s creative enough to crack her with a very good punch. As you said, it’s not the power, it’s the timing.
Sandra throwing her hands in the air is going to be one of those memes that lasts a while I think. She expects a higher standard of performance from her fighter.
Emma investing to the body is a good idea, but she has to be cautious about getting timed up again.
Damn this girl is a veteran for a reason, Emma is not doing terrible but Namid is a dangerous defensive fighter, man it’s always the defensive ones that are the dangerous ones.
So far Emma has be school for three rounds, she did get some success in round 4 but still lost that one. Now it’s nowhere near over I hope. Her style is different but she’s smart, I know she can find a way to get inside and break Namid down. Not that I’m saying I hate Namid of course, she is an excellent boxer and she shows it.
No surprise Sandra is blunt and straight to the point, but this is far from over and it’s up to Emma to fight smarter and make a comeback which I’m sure she can 👍
Namid didn’t come here to lose – she came to win!
It’s a different thing when fighting someone defensive and Emma’s not used to it. She’s already paid the price a few times.
Sandra really spends her time motivating Emma, so maybe she thinks its a problem of motivation and concentration rather than the gameplan being wrong.
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