Friday Night Fights on ESPN—Connie Smith vs. Sara Hex, back in the day when Mondo was mortal [Fight Like A Girl, Episode #101]
Two weeks ago …
“So, Freddie, do we owe you a mea culpa?”
“That’s up to you guys,” he says. “But I wasn’t going to put this kid in against Sergio before she was ready. If we had made the fight before, it would have been like leading the kid to slaughter. It’s better we do this tune-up, first.”
Fight night …
“The fix is off. You won’t be taking a dive. Fats wants you to do her for real.”
“What do you want me to do, coach? I can walk her down, bang with her, or box her.”
“Do it all, if you like. But … A crowd-pleasing slugfest would be nice, especially for the ratings, this being TV and all. On second thought, just win. At all costs, win.”
“Even if that means I have to finish her?”
“Yes. Fats wants to send a strong message to someone, and you know who that is.”
“The someone who had the gumption to welch on the bet?”
The deal had been quite simple. Connie was presented as just another can to pad Sara’s record, with only a puncher’s chance of winning. Nothing more, nothing less. She would take Sara into deep waters, and thus beat the points spread—Sara had never gone past the eighth round. With Sara winning every round on points, and beating Connie to the punch time and time again, seemingly out of nowhere Connie would KO Sara in the closing seconds of this ten rounder. Shades of Iron Mike Tyson and Buster Douglas. Controversy sells tickets and breaks bookies. There would be an inevitable rematch. Connie would lose convincingly in one of the early rounds, proving that her previous win had been a fluke. Sara’s contender status would be restored, and all the concerned parties go away from the table with their pockets bulging with money with no one else the wiser. All of that has gone up in smoke. Because some weasel decided to double-cross the Mob.
There they are again. I find myself laughing at the bleach blond girls standing in the ring holding “Corona” signs and smiling at the camera! That’s funny. There’s always a gal ready to show her T & A for $10.
Kuntz notices the source of Manny’s distraction, and smiles approvingly. She can guess what he’s thinking—it’s probably the same thing that she’s thinking. Genies are a horny, predictable lot when it comes to appraising a fine piece of ass or getting some good tail. And with this being a bout promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, the ring girls are [literally] two-handers! Got milk?!
The bell rings. Kuntz slips in Connie’s mouth piece, having rinsed it off. The cornerman, a Genie named Pacman [the aforementioned Manny], gives Connie her [injection of] stimms. A human club-fighter Connie Smith versus an inhuman contender Sara Hex, the stimms are legal, of course. Else this fight would have been a one-sided shellacking. BORING!!!
The action begins just like it has in previous rounds. But, this time when Sara Hex moves into the kill zone without throwing punches first, the hard-hitting Connie punishes her with a heretofore undisplayed, dazzling hand speed, stunning the Giant. Too bad the up-and-comer is not a Goon. Muscle memory is the only thing that saves Sara from a quick, devastating knockout.
Instinctively, the heavy-handed Sara responds with a barrage of her own—an overhand left being her so-called H-bomb. But, unlike before, Connie has an answer to Sara’s looping punches, close guard, awkward style, and elusive south-paw stance, as well as her height and reach advantage.
This time, Connie has positioned her front foot properly for fighting a south-paw from the orthodox stance—her lead left foot is kept just outside of Sara’s lead right foot. Then, after their brief exchange where blows are traded at a furious pace, Connie walks Sara down, nullifying Sara’s height and reach advantage.
No longer able to fight from the outside, unable to secure a clinch [Connie fights out of her holds], now suddenly faced with a fighter who has equal hand speed, superior footwork, and equal power—who’s completely outclassing her—Sara mentally breaks.
Fighters such as Sara Hex, Zab Judah, and Amir Khan have always been similar in the sense of enjoying the fight when it is going in their favor, but, if not, they do not have the boxing brain to change and adapt to a style to beat the opponent.
The undefeated Sara has amazing hand speed and each fight you hear about this freakish power and how she is hitting harder like a Goon as well as feeling stronger but fight night comes and this [Hulk smash] power disappears after two rounds [excluding the fight against faded, mortal Judah]. Fighters, fellow Giants, such as Miguel Cotto, Fredda Garcia, and Grace Maidana would naturally give Sara nightmares as they would disregard the power and look to walk through and hurt her. If you have no other tactic but to throw 1-2 punches and run away, it becomes easy to figure out.
This is exactly the scenario that Sara is now facing tonight against a human on stimms!!!
Connie moves in close, preceded by stiff left jabs. Once inside, Connie works Sara’s body with left hooks and tests her chin with vicious right uppercuts that split Sara’s guard with ease. The obvious defensive counter to Connie’s sneaky guard-splitting uppercuts is head movement. The obvious defensive counter to Connie’s body shots is footwork or blocking punches. As aforementioned, Sara isn’t that savvy.
In the boxing game there are three ways to defend: footwork, head movement, and blocking punches. Sara is a journeyman at best when it comes to all three against an opponent with equal hand speed and power, and superior footwork. No longer protected, Sara’s obvious shortcomings are showcased in spades.
Fighting opposition which is tailor made for your style is a way to impress the fans but when fighting a fighter who comes to win you receive the shock. Sara received this shock previously whilst fighting Jennifer Prescott, who came to win and wasn’t Sara’s typical “take punishment opponent”. The result was a controversial split decision in Sara’s favor.
Sara has impressed many times against Andriy Kotelnik, Helena Maidana [Grace’s younger smaller sister], Marco Antonio Barrera, Zab Judah, Pauline Malignaggi, but out of these opponents how many could punch and produce speed at the same time? Each opponent faced had speed or just power. This is what has kept Hex safe until she meets the likes of Prescott, Maidana, Peterson, or Garcia. Sara’s team has kept her sheltered for too long and hasn’t thrown Hex in the deep end to keep her [and her extensive fan base’s] championship hopes alive.
The way that Connie wins the fight is a thing of beauty to behold. Counter punching. Slipping punches. Hanging and banging. The mortal schools the immortal. Connie makes it look like she’s been suckering Sara the whole time, then bam when she wanted to. By the time that Connie delivers the coup de gras, a broken Sara is looking for a reason to lose. Connie not only beats Sara, she finishes Hex’s career. Looks like HOF trainer Freddie Roach will have to find another cash cow.
Of course, the way that Fats placed her bets, she makes a killing on the fight.