@paragonxxx: (OOC- Heya. No worries. Take your time!)
Seeing the big smirk on his face just continues to drive Catherine forward, determined to do better. As they each dance around the ring, she finds herself enjoying this just as much as Ted is. The audience the two have gained are also enjoying this. It's not every day Ted spars with a woman, especially one of Catherine's beauty. Already, silent bets are being made on how long the girl lasts before she's taken care of or if she even manage to knock Ted down.
Finally, Catherine is satisfied when she manages to land most of her combination of punches with the exception of the last one. The look of surprise on Ted's face indicates he didn't expect her to pack as much power as she is. And that's why men should never under estimate a woman. Catherine thinks to herself.
Unfortunately, Catherine's last punch gets mostly blocked by that superb Philly Shell style of blocking. A minor adjustment is all that is needed to spoil her efforts and she finds herself frustrated by how easy it looks for her final punch in this combination to have been defeated. But at the same time, she has to hand it to Ted for handling this like a Champ. He's good! Very good. The more she spars with him, the more she respects him. He truly knows his stuff. But now that Catherine has landed most of her combination, it's his turn.
Too bad for Catherine, she was really hoping for a knock down after that quick combination. Typical rookie mistake is to hope for the best only to receive something else in return, especially against a fighter who is more experienced and better skilled. Ted is a Champ and unknown to Catherine, he's gone toe to toe with the best of the best in the ring. To be in the ring with him, sparring or not, is a privilege and an honor.
Catherine sees the hook coming, but in her rush to try and knock the man down she forgets the general rule of boxing; Always keep your hands up. Her hands are a bit too low to block and she's not utilizing the excellent Philly shell style of blocking either. The hook, thrown with the masterful skill of a championship boxer, finds it's target by colliding with Catherine's jaw. She tries to dodge the punch, she begins to move and lean back but she sees it too little too late. Too excited to see Ted on the mat, that hook catches her square on.
Catherine's head spins to the side, taking her body a little with it. She feels herself moving backwards thanks to the force of the block and although she tries to move her feet to catch herself, the punch has stunned her and she only ends up stumbling backwards two steps before she falls on her left side.
It's a very good thing Ted decided to hold back with his hook, otherwise Catherine would have been knocked out completely. Even holding back, the man still packs quite a lot of power. To Catherine, it feels like she had just been hit by someone packing bricks in his gloves in his gloves. Impressive power. Catherine thinks in her dazed state.
The audience around the ring exchange money, laughs and smiles and that motivates Catherine to get back up. According to her own headcount, she's been down for approximately 4 seconds. But as she starts picking herself back up, she puts her right foot on the mat but her left leg is still in a kneeling position. Her head count has reached 6 seconds and that's when Catherine takes a deep breath as the ringing in her ears finally subsides. She knows she can stand up now since her dizziness has passed. But she chooses to stay down for another few seconds.
At her inner count of 8 seconds, Catherine rises and takes another deep breath. She beat the count. That is, IF this had been a real fight and not a sparring one. Catherine actually smiles, hungry for more. She knows she can't beat him, but she's going to try and do her best to make Ted sweat. Once again, assuming that peek-a-boo style, she at last comes for him again with renewed vigor and energy.
Working a nice stiff jab, she fires off several of them as she tries to hit him with quick blows and taking advantage of her slight edge in speed. She doesn't expect much from her jabs, so she decides to mix it up a little. Counter punching and capitalizing upon his mistakes might be a fools errand considering how skilled he's shown himself to be. Now she decides to use a different tactic. Instead, Catherine decides to utilize something else: Stamina.
With no rounds, no bell and no refs, Catherine decides to try and simply out last him. Still working that stiff jab, Catherine dances around the ring and uses the bob and weave to try and make it hard for Ted to land a blow. To frustrate his efforts in hitting her. If this works, if he misses, she tries to work her way on the inside to land a blow or two of her own.
Mixed cheers were chanted from the growing crowd that had gathered around the ring where boxing legend, veteran hero and gym owner Ted "Wildcat" Grant was sparring with an unlikely partner. A beautiful, slim but rather fit young woman who has shown the ability to not only hang with one of the world's most skilled martial artist but put up an incredible challenge in Wildcat's favorite discipline: Boxing. The crowd gathered for Wildcat but stayed for Black Felina.
The two championship caliber pugilists put on a show as they gracefully danced around the ring in combat. Technique displayed by both combatants were incredible. Their movements smooth and loose. Comfortable, but alert.
As both combatants engaged, Catherine and Ted landed both their strikes simultaneously. With Ted effectively blocking Catherine's final strike before landing a counter of his own. Dropping Black Felina onto the canvas. The unmistakable thud of someone hitting the canvas silenced the buzzing crowd momentarily before they once more erupted to mixed reactions.
An apologetic look dawned on Ted for a brief second as Catherine struggled to regain composure. She was clearly hurt and dazed but far from out. The guilt on Wildcat's face quickly turned into yet another excited smile as Black Felina beat the count. Finding even more vigor and fierceness in her step and demeanor.
A fighter through and through. The Veteran Vigilante thought as his foe now stood back up, determined to come out on top.
Catherine and Ted reengaged. They once more danced around the canvas. The Femme Fatale seemed to have had more spring on her step after the knockdown. She started to pump out jabs with speed enough to impress a veteran in combat sports and martial arts in Ted Grant while avoiding Ted's counters.
The sparring session was truly a display of high level pugilistic prowess by both combatants as they both landed, evaded, and countered each other's strikes. The advantage Catherine had in speed did not concern Wildcat as much as her impressive technique and incredible fight I.Q, Two factors Ted was more concerned about then any physical advantage. And she was utilizing all three effectively.
Black Felina cut the ring, pressured Wildcat and countered effectively when she could. While the Pugilistic Powerhouse tried to do the same, although not as successful.
"Now this is how it should be done" Ted thought as he caught up to Catherine's plan. Tire out the old timer who weighed at least 150 pounds more with constant pressure. "Aggressive, yet not careless." He thought once more as he continued to admire the fight I.Q and grit Black Felina was displaying.
The plan was working, they spent an impressively long time fighting without any breaks. The pace Catherine set was incredible and Wildcat was starting to feel the effects despite his equally incredible physic and level of fitness. While Catherine's focus was on outlasting the Old Warhorse, Wildcat's however, was on her movement and tendencies.
The sparring session was excruciatingly long. But the same amount of time was dangerously ample time for Wildcat to utilize and try to analyze Black Felina's style, movement. Her tendencies, habits if any.
Ted was playing defensive since the start, relying on Catherine to attack, make a mistake and counter. It already proved successful once but that didn't seem to be a viable option now as the Femme Fatale made her adjustments. It was perfect time to change strategies.
Wildcat started to throw more jabs of varying speed. Occasionally throwing a straight that had no intention of hitting. He was getting tired, he was slowing down. So he played it up. His strikes were purposely and gradually getting sloppy. He was acting more exhausted than he actually was.
Suddenly, Ted planted his feet on the canvas, exploding with a jab, left hook, right straight and left uppercut to finish his combination. Hoping he had lulled the impressive female fighter enough to land on her.
As Catherine continues to spar with Ted, she is using every clever tactic she can possibly think of just to stay ahead of him. She has speed and stamina while he has skill and power. It's a dance, she is discovering, that she enjoys just as much as Ted is. She is being pushed to her mental limits but physically as well. Ted has shown himself a real champion and his superb skills as a boxer are a true testament to what a great fighter he is. If he isn't already one of the all time greats, he should be.
But as the sparring match continues to stretch, Catherine knows it's obvious that Ted has caught on to her plan. Still, he persists with great heart and her admiration for him continues. The man shows himself to be very capable and even as young as Catherine is, she still struggles to keep up with a man who is twice her age. She is careful of his power, knowing that a single punch can end the sparring match for good. Especially given the weight disparity between them. She has power too, but not nearly as much as Ted.
As the sparring match stretches on and on, Catherine builds up a sweat. But she still puts on the pressure against the older fighter. Ever relentless, but playing it smart. She doesn't dare glance at the clock on the wall, but she has a feeling they've been at this for a while.
Catherine likes to dance around Ted, showing one of her tendencies, staying on the outside when she can and making a lot of use of that stiff jab. Another tendency is dropping her right a little too much. To a trained veteran like Ted, this is good information to have. Another tendency that becomes more and more obvious is the more tired Ted seems to get, the more risks Catherine seems to take, to try and get on the inside and try and do some damage before quickly moving away. The final obvious thing is that, despite Catherine's youth, she's getting tired too. She's slower now, not quite as quick to block or dodge punches.
Catherine planned to outlast him, but her plan, while brilliant, also had one major flaw. To someone like Ted Grant, it might as well have been a bright big signal flare in the sky on just how to beat her. Spending so many years both fighting in the ring and outside of it in order to learn various martial arts has made the man an incredibly dangerous opponent. Poor Catherine has no idea about this, otherwise she would have been a lot more careful.
Catherine let's most of his jabs hit her gloves but dodging a few here and there too before avoiding that straight. His act of being more tired than he actually was completely fools Catherine. Confidence builds and she's looking more and more like a predator that is about ready to pounce, almost like she's getting ready to put her plan into fruitition.
Unfortunately for Catherine, she never gets to finish her plan as Ted plants his feet and suddenly becomes an explosive ball of energy as he fires off a champion level combination. The jab is barely avoided by a tired Catherine, scraping her head guard as she moves out of the way of it. The left hook strikes full on and would have knocked her out if Ted had been a fresh fighter but Catherine manages to stay on her feet. However, the hook stuns her and causes her to start taking a step back. Too stunned to avoid or block the uppercut, Catherine's head is knocked back as her mouth piece flies out of her mouth and her body is lifted into the air before she lands squarely on her backside.
SLAM! Hitting the canvas hard, Catherine opens her eyes, but closes them again after seeing stars but also because darkness sweeps over her. She wants to get up, but she can't. Before, she managed to beat the ten count but not this time. Ted's plan worked perfectly and Catherine got lured into getting hit by such a powerful and awesome combination worthy of any champion.
The crowd is impressed, giving Ted some cheers but there are plenty there who are impressed by Catherine too. She lasted longer than some of them thought she would. Still, there are plenty of others who are considering her lucky she lasted as long as she did and that Ted went easy on her.
Catherine misses all these whispers and such as she eventually comes out of this strange darkness. Her head is pounding as she slowly tries to get up.
Ted's plan worked. He was able to lull Catherine into a slower pace before exploding with a combination that had floored so many of his other opponents both outside and inside the ring. Black Felina, although one of the more skilled fighters Wildcat had faced in recent memory was no different and shared the same fate as the others.
"You alright?" Wildcat asked Catherine, genuinely worried about her well being. Removing his sparring gloves before offering a helping hand to the skilled combatant who was still lying on the canvas recovering. "Gotta be honest, if you had kept that pace up, you'd be the one standing over here and I'd be the one seeing stars" Wildcat bantered still trying to catch his breath.
"Where did you learn to fight like that?" The Veteran Vigilante added.
@wild_cat: (Awesome sparring/fight Wild Cat! ^_^)
Catherine puts a glove to her head, trying to vain to stop the pounding. She thinks she hears a question and then it registers in her mind that Ted has asked if she's okay. Silly question, but no less charming. Where did the last part of that thought came from?
Catherine tries to get up, only managing to barely sit up. Why is the room moving? She closes her eyes as she lays back down against her will before hearing Ted's voice again. If there is a next time between them she'll have to keep the pace up as he said. But would that really have been a victory for her? Catherine doesn't know for sure. It's a praise from him, though.
Catherine opens her eyes again to him offering his hand and she reaches up and takes it. Her head has finally stopped spinning and if he helps her up, she can stand on her own, if a bit unsteady, "My Dad taught me and my sister ever since we five. I know various martial arts, including boxing. Since we were taught at home, we never gained any belts, never won any tournaments."
Then Catherine has to smile weakly at him, "Your pretty good yourself." And this is where Ted learns about Catherine's ignorance about him, "You were a professional once, right?" The question indicates Catherine has no idea who he is, no clue as to who he was a Championship boxer. She entered the ring in ignorance and now it's up to Ted how he will handle this.
Ted offers Catherine a refreshingly cold bottle of water that Mikey had prepared moments after the sparring session between Wildcat and Black Felina had ended. Listening closely to Catherine as she opened up about her martial arts background.
"Your dad must have been one hell of a fighter" Wildcat exclaimed, impressed by what he'd heard.
"You were a professional once, right?" She asked curiously. A couple of looks exchanged by the few gym members that had overheard their conversation as they passed by. Chuckling and amused by Catherine's unfamiliarity about Wildcat.
"Still am! Despite what Mikey here suggests, I ain't hanging up my gloves anytime soon." Ted answered playfully. "Arthritis will beat me before any contenders can" He added, before shortly pouring some water on his head.
"Ted Grant" Wildcat formally introduced himself, offering a handshake. "This part usually comes first, but a sparring session is a good ice breaker too, I guess" He jested.
After getting her gear off, Catherine gratefully accepts the bottled water. Since she just got done with a rather lengthy sparring match, it would be a mistake to drink it all at once since she'd only throw up. But Catherine does take several gulps when she unscrews the lid. Taking a towel that is offered to her, she wipes herself down as she listens to Ted.
Catherine is impressed he is still fighting at his age, but after the way he handled her, then she isn't surprised. He's still very, very good and pretty skilled. And as she shakes his hand after he introduces himself she thinks upon his name, "Why does your name sound so familiar?" She smiles at his jest, loving his sense of humor.
"You mean, you don't know him?" Someone nearby asks.
Catherine looks over her shoulder and shakes her head, "Uh...no. Should I?"
That same someone who spoke can't keep the smile off his face, "That's Ted 'Wild Cat' Grant. You just had a sparring match with the Heavyweight Champion of the World."
For a few seconds, Catherine looks confused. But then like a bell going off in her head, she now knows why that name sounds so familiar. She may not have kept up with boxing but she does remember reading the newspaper and an article about Ted Grant, the famous boxer. Catherine's head slowly pivots on her neck as it turns towards Ted as her gorgeous eyes go wide. I was sparring with the Heavyweight Champ this whole time?! She screams in her head, "Your...? Oh my ***."
The reaction is priceless if one wants to look at it that way and that someone nearby laughs at Catherine's reaction as she stares at Ted in amazement.
Wildcat couldn't help but chuckle audibly at the events that had transpired in the gym. Catherine's realization and the expression she made amused Ted and those who overheard them.
"Yup! In the flesh." Ted responded, downing a quick gulp of water before he continued. "You almost beat the heavyweight champion of the world, so as you can see. Belt's don't really mean all that much." He jested once more, this time at this own expense.
"So, any plans of fighting professionally?"
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