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Hartmann KOs Garcia in one
By Ewan Whyte


(OCT 2) Last night in the AWE Arena, Oldenburg (Germany), Heidi Hartmann added the WIBF middleweight title to the super welterweight title she won last year against Marischa Sjauw, when Mariana Garcia of the Dominican Republic was counted out, eight seconds from the end of Round One. Hartmann, who lives nearby in Uplengen and had been aiming, as she put it, to 'shine' in front of her home crowd, did just that albeit briefly with fast hands that found their mark tellingly on three occasions, and her hopelessly outclassed opponent, who had taken a standing eight count half way through the round, froze like a rabbit caught in the headlights and succumbed with embarrassing ease.

By a strange quirk of fate, what finished her off wasn't a set of Firestone tyres attached to a 44-tonne truck (the nemesis of most leporidae venturing out at night without their Ray-Bans) but a punch under the ear (which, as is known, accounts for the rest). There'd be little point, come to think of it, in punching a rabbit above the ear.

The blows that did the damage were all straight rights: one on the ear (close, but not close enough to have anyone reaching for the casserole and the mustard sauce); one on the temple moments later, as she panicked and tried to fend off her opponent's jab (of all things) with both hands; and the rabbit punch itself, seventeen seconds from the end, which Hartmann speared into the gap between her head and rising left shoulder as she flinched and tried to duck.

The German followed with an uppercut and a glancing blow to the head, but the shorter woman's legs had already gone, and as she staggered about in the corner, bent double, her right knee gave, and she sat backwards suddenly as though felled by an invisible knee; onto the fourth rope, first; then onto her side on the ring apron.

At 7, she tried to force herself upright with her left arm, but it, too, gave way, and she fell onto her face. By 10, she was on all fours but still unsteady, as the referee, on one knee at her side, wrapped both arms around her and looked up, like a customs officer posing with an Alsatian. It turned out, he was looking for medical assistance.

The main event this time featured a huge Russian covered from head to foot with tiny hairs, like a magnet dipped in iron filings. El Pais this morning has photos of a gorilla wading through a pond, testing the depth of the water in front of her with a long stick, and whilst Im not saying this guy was as smart at that, his trainers had taught him to breathe through both nostrils at the same time. He and a chap called Donald (who ignored waggish warnings to 'duck') belaboured each other for ten (or was it twelve?) excruciating rounds. In the slow-mos, you saw all the fleshy bits on their faces wobbling with each blow, as though they were latex puppets.

The Russian guy's forehead, interestingly enough, was horizontal rather than vertical: a bonnet, so to speak, instead of a windscreen. I think perhaps his toupee had shrunk and pulled the whole top of his head out of shape. Anyway, he won, if anyone's interested. But so he should have done, given that he was twice the size of the other guy.
 
 
     
     
   
 
     
     
 
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