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Rematch for the Ages Ends with Bizarre Controversy Again

Boxing fans had been anticipating the second act of the Thyme vs. Time saga since the instant Time was disqualified from the championship last May. The ending is still the topic of heated arguments along the sports landscape and last night’s battle will do nothing to quell the bickering. In fact, most fans could be forgiven for waking up this morning thinking they’d watched a rerun.

When the judges ruled Time to be in violation in the sixth round last year, handing Thyme the title, many argued that the arbiters had exceeded their authority. Time famously froze herself in a block of ice in the opening moments of the round, rendering Thyme’s blows impervious. Upon review, the judges determined the move was a unique ability of Time alone, leaving it outside the rules and therefore illegal. Time has publicly claimed she was the victim of “entity bias” ever since.

In the meantime, Thyme, since dubbed the “Hero de Provence,” has enjoyed his time atop the boxing mountain, having spent his days over the last year promoting his Italian sausage business and infusing himself with olive oil to stay in top form. It has clearly paid dividends, as his stalk was stiffer in yesterday’s bout than at any other time since he left the ill-conceived Salad League. Thyme has been dogged by the dispute over his dubious championship win for a year and was eager to put the squabble to rest.

With both fighters entering the ring with something to prove, they were focused and looked the part for the first three rounds. Thyme landed several shots to Time’s midsection in the first, and Time countered with a vicious left hook to open the second round, which briefly looked to be fatal. Much of the pace was slow going, as they danced more than they lunged between the first two sounds of the bell, but this too was reminiscent of their previous face off. That match featured three rounds of the opponents more or less bobbing on the balls of their feet, gauging each other.

In contrast, the third round this year revealed a panoply of rapid shuffling and quick strikes. Thyme delivered four solid connections with both gloves early on, but Time rallied late and punished Thyme’s leaves with a number of uppercuts just before the bell clanged. The competitors were noticeably winded from their efforts as they reengaged in the fourth.

That’s when the rerun became official. Thyme appeared timid to start the round, still smarting from the leaf-beating moments before. Time seemed to have a clear lane to strike hard and furious, but instead opted to simply stand still. Thyme hesitated, but soon realized what was happening, regained his composure and began pummeling Time’s face with jab after jab. Yet he became visibly unnerved the more he punched, and by the moment he stopped, sixteen or seventeen blows later, the entire arena was as silent as his gloves, wondering, “this again?”

Apparently, yes. Once again, referee Fredrick Strimler appealed to the three-judge panel. And once again, the efforts of Time were wasted.

Upon the viewing of the Metaphorical Instant Replay Analyzation, it was determined that in Time’s case, standing still is the same as freezing, and she was disqualified, just as before. Thyme’s corner celebrated as Time’s entourage flew like an arrow toward the exit in a fury, but one senses this isn’t the last we’ve seen of these two challengers squaring off. Time has in previously interviews claimed to heal all wounds, and this is a gaping one she can’t help but return to.

Thyme most likely will be unable to resist the pull of a third bout either, but for now, he’s never smelled so good.

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