A knockdown and a controversy
Activity is the priority for the two pugilists who bounce on their toes, ready for Round 8.
Esther: “It’s surprising to see how much energy there is left in both after seven full rounds. The training camps must have been top-notch.”
Alesia Schumann follows her instructions to make herself extremely annoying in the first minute of this round. She increases the pace to let her black gloved fists fly. The problem for Chelsea is not rocket science: the more punches are coming your way, the harder it is to implement your strategy.
High Voltage wants to find penetration but finds nothing other than black leather on her way in when throwing a jab. A sharp right hook comes in and clashes with her cheek.
Anna: “Alesia is making the champion’s life difficult and showing the ability to protect her lead.”
Dominated by the hyperactive style of the Diva, the brunette recalls a tip received in her corner in the previous minute’s rest. Trick the challenger into walking into a punch, if you can.
The champ uses her black boots and agile legs to go on a little retreat towards the ropes. Not as comfortable as a mountain escape, but it does draw an attacking-minded German towards her.
Chelsea knows that she must produce a special moment if she’s going to win this fight, and has an idea. When she sees Alesia ready to attack with the right, she sticks out her left hand. It looks like it will be a jab but the gray glove catches two black gloves at once. The blonde’s guard is disabled.
Chelsea thinks: “Gotchu.”
Her counterpart realises how she’s terribly exposed to a fully loaded right hand, with the brunette’s eyes fixed on her chin.
Alesia thinks: “Fuck.”
The inevitable happens. Chelsea launches a looping right hand with her entire weight behind it and her knuckles as tightened as they can possibly be inside that glove. The Bavarian fully anticipates it and leans away, but this puts her at the perfect distance to take 100% of the force on the chin.
Everyone ringside gasps. Even the TV commentators are lost for words for a moment.
The fans collectively gulp at the sight of Alesia falling heavily on the canvas in no time.
Esther: “Chelsea Carter DROPS Alesia Schumann with a heavy-duty right hand, after a clever bait, and that’s perhaps the most powerful punch she ever took! A legend’s proven ability to get up from a knockdown is about to be tested.”
Anna: “That was ferocious. Such punches have ended a few careers.”
Chelsea knows the drill. She quietly takes her spot in a neutral corner to let the referee do her job.
Rebecca: “One… two… three… four…. five…”
Esther: “Schumann appears confused although years of fighting are probably making her body slowly rise up from the ground. Can she beat this count with so little to go?”
Chelsea thinks: “She’ll beat the count. I know she will, but I’m ending this rivalry right here.”
Just like a hungry leopard, the girl from San Francisco gets out of the corner and takes a few steps forward to get a little closer to her prey. Just in case she might be available for the kill in a few seconds.
The official does what every third person in the ring does during a count, which is checking out if the other boxer remains in the corner. Not doing so means breaking the rule.
The ref calmly stops the count, gets up and walks towards Chelsea.
Rebecca: “Fighter! Back in the corner!”
Stupefied, the American doesn’t obey.
Rebecca: “Back in the neutral corner. NOW!”
The champ retreats reluctantly after wasting precious seconds.
Sophie: “You’re the intellectual here. Got an opinion?”
Heather: “Rebecca is right. Can’t leave the corner like that.”
The American’s fans are booing when the ref finally turns away, walks to Alesia and resumes counting.
Rebecca: “Six… seven… eight… nine… can you continue?”
Whether the blonde needed the extra time or not will be debated. What’s certain is her answer after recuperating from a brutal shot.
Alesia: “Yes. Let her come.”
Esther: “Schumann is back up! I expect that Rebecca Linden’s actions will cause a stir, but I believe that she made the right decision and that if there’s one official you don’t want to cross, it’s her.”
Anna: “The WBU has a list of 25 fouls you cannot commit and leaving the neutral corner before being instructed to do so is one of them. Chelsea is guilty. Her fans will cry about it and they will argue that this will have influenced the result, but it is what it is. Follow the laws of the game.”
A champion and a challenger are in legal standing to fight again.
You’d think that Chelsea could leap on Alesia like a big cat in the savanna and get her meal, but reality is more complicated.
The gray gloved girl is angry and distracted by the drama, and it shows. She comes forward with anger and certainly shoots heavy punches, but they are a little sloppier than before.
Knowing that she needs time more than anything else, the girl in black and red doesn’t mind the ineffective attacks. She slips, lands the odd prodding shot to slow things down, bats down arms and escapes to safety with ease until the bell rings.
Esther: “That round was worth the price of the ticket or whatever you paid to be watching at home. Chelsea Carter knocked down Alesia Schumann with a devilish right, got caught for a boxing crime and failed to score the knockout she so desperately wanted. On to the corners.”
Ally gets to sit down in her corner. Regina tends to her face as they talk.
Regina: “You really are a clever woman. Made the best out of this crazy situation. But we have a problem. The lead narrowed with this knockdown. I need you to listen closely now.”
Alesia: “I’ll do whatever you say.”
Regina: “No more attacking. She got much smarter with a little time. I want pure boxing only from the sides, with angles. Distance. She comes in, you evade and hit back fast. How’s the energy level?”
Alesia: “Not that bad, actually.”
Regina: “Use those legs like twin engines to do it, then. Everything has to come from the legs. Focus on scoring. All we need is a little effectiveness for two rounds and this is in the bag.”
Alesia: “Got it.”
If the Germans are composed, the Americans are agitated.
Chelsea: “I got robbed of a win!”
Mercedes: “Shut the fuck up!”
Mercedes: “Ya can’t leave dat corner. Dat was dumbassery.”
Chelsea: “Aren’t you on my side?”
Mercedes: “I am, and I know ya made a mistake. Now, ya gonna listen to me?”
The boxer sighs. She doesn’t believe it, but still has a fight to win.
Mercedes: “Yer fate depends on lettin’ dat anger go and boxin’ like ya can do it. Fail and she takes dat title back. Focus on yer strengths and ya can do it. Dat was a 10-8 round, so we be close! So shut yer mouth and let them hands do the talkin’! See what one punch did!”
Esther: “What say you, Anna, after this most run of the mill affair?”
Anna laughs: “Well… if you must ask… the plot thickens. Chelsea crunched Alesia with a right hand that makes it possible for either side to win. Based on my scoring, dividing the spoils is enough to get a two-time world champion while two good rounds make for a successful title defense. This may come down to who is the most disciplined, most effective boxer.”
Rebecca: “Seconds out!”