The attentive reader will note that in my last FNT post, I had said that, after eking out a victory against Jihan McCallen, I told her that I would give her a rematch any time she wanted. I meant it, too. Jihan is a tough, tenacious opponent, against whom it's a challenge to test myself.
This exchange took place in the ring, of course, and well within hearing of Averlast's owner, Karine Koba.
Karine also handles the booking for the Friday night events.
You can see where this is going, can't you?
Yep, the very next week, to kick off the middleweight division's portion of the evening's program, Jihan and I were in opposite corners, getting ready to do it all again.
Circumstances were slightly different this time, though. The time used to take down the sim that I referred to in my last post was used to upgrade the server. While things were not perfect, there was considerably less lag at ringside, despite the fact that we had a full house that evening.
The crowd, like it was in the prior week, seemed to be in Jihan's favor. No surprise there. If I were watching this fight in the stands instead of fighting it, I probably would have been cheering for Jihan, too. I've seen boxers on the wrong side of the crowd's preferences let it get to them. Those boxers usually didn't come back the following week.
So we faced each other again. We got Vox's instructions again. We wished each other luck before the bell rang again.
And then the bell rang, and we tore into each other again.
Aside from the fact that we could both, y'know, actually see what was going on with only a minimal drop in framerate, it started out much like our original confrontation: Give and take. She got her shots in, I got mine in. When I say that Jihan is tenacious, I'm not being hyperbolic. The woman will stick to you like glue if you let her.
If I had to pick the round that made it for me, I'd have to pick the second. I found the openings I was looking for and popped her up a couple of times. She never left the ring, instead landing and coming back in for more, but in that round she couldn't quite answer what I was handing out. And I think that, in the end, it was the second round that put me over. The rest of the time it was catch-as-catch-can, with neither of us gaining a solid advantage over the other.
At the end of the fight, it went to me on points. Jihan and I congratulated each other on another fight well fought, and even shared a hug in the ring. For now, perhaps, this ends matters between us as far as any friendly rivalry goes, but it would be foolish of me to think that I won't be facing her again some day.
Even barring any other considerations, the field of middleweights isn't that terribly wide at the present, to think that another rematch could never happen.
I have noticed one thing, however. For one reason or another, even outside of the FNT posts, Jihan has been something of a presence on the blog of late. I wonder if it would be possible to convince her to do a post on her thoughts on the last couple of weeks?