Anastasia Orlova takes control against Nadia Monteil

The world title fight between Nadia Monteil (champion) and Anastasia Orlova (challenger) is underway and we take a look at the action in Round 2. We’re in for a surprise.

Anastasia is taller and leaner. True to her style, she uses her super reach to stay out of the way and throw long, darting straight shots. Also an outside fighter, Nadia starts slowly. The Russian tower is in her comfort zone, keeping the champ away with slick, fast jabs and right hands.

Nadia Monteil vs Anastasia Orlova 1

Round 1 goes badly for the defending WBU title holder. She struggles to get close enough to find her reach. Anastasia goes backwards all the time, moving with extreme agility. Nadia eats clean straight shots every time she finds herself in The Fugitive’s range.

Nadia gets instructions to keep going forward even when she eats those clean shots. Her coach Virginie Rossignol tells her she has no other choice but to take one to land at least one, especially when going to the body.

Round 2 begins and the champ tries hard but… Anastasia doesn’t cooperate. She moves fluidly to get out of the way as soon as she lands a shot or two. Attempts to go to the body are the worst. Orlova dominates the exchanges.

The crowd goes silent. It never expected the local fave to get schooled.

Esther: “Orlova’s slim, tall legs are like two engines on the German Autobahn. No speed limit! She stays outside and totally outflanks the French steamroller. Monteil barely landed anything! Orlova is like a light version of a Klitschko. She doesn’t have their power, but she has three times the velocity!”

Alesia: “Wow. Anastasia is amazing. I’ve never seen Nadia take unanswered punishment.”

Regina: “Me either. I wouldn’t bet against her, but it looks like we are in for a big upset.”

Alesia: “Who would be the bigger threat down the road?”

Regina: “Anastasia’s size won’t be easy to overcome, and I never expected her to replicate her tactics so easily. Based on past fights and what we see now… you better start cheering for Monteil in a hurry.”

Alesia: “GO NADIA!”

Nadia Monteil vs Anastasia Orlova 1-2

Swimming against the tide

We are already three rounds in. Nadia got smacked around. Based on corner advice, the world champion makes an unusual change when the bell rings ahead of Round 4. She rips a few pages from the Joe Frazier playbook. She stays low, bobs, weaves and cuts the ring on her way in, getting close and trying to land short punches.

Anastasia remains difficult to reach.

Nadia thinks: “I can’t beat her skill for skill. Not with that reach of hers. The only solution is… durability. Wear her down.”

The champ bites on her mouthpiece and trusts her chin to weather the storm. The Russian lands her punches with ease to win Round 4 as her French opponent tries to find solutions.

At the break, coach Dimitri Ivanov tells his protégée that she is doing a great job. At the other end, Virginie Rossignol praises the champ for her resilience. “You had no choice to make her work harder, she says. Gotta suffer to win. We need to land a few clean shots in the next round, though. Use your shoulders to destabilise her and go for short punches.”

The tide turns in Round 5. Nadia follows her instructions, gets closer to Anastasia and outmuscles her in close quarters. Unable to fire her right cross at range, she goes for the right hook inside and starts making damage on the left side of the Russian fugitive’s face.

Nadia Monteil vs Anastasia Orlova 2-1

Clack clack clack. 10 seconds left!

Nadia charges as Anastasia is close to the red corner. They get tangled up. The champ gives a shoulder push. As Nadia pulls back, the Russian throws a straight left but the Frenchwoman has the advantage. She comes back in with a massive short overhand right on the cheek.

Esther: “The world champion is back in the game! The right hand that knocked so many challengers out has just smashed a seemingly unstoppable mandatory challenger! This superfight lives up to the hype after all.”

Nadia Monteil vs Anastasia Orlova 2-2

The Schumann camp’s reaction

Ding! Round’s over. The crowd erupts to support the champ. She’s behind, but she may have a chance.

Caught in the moment, Alesia jumps from her seat to cheer. Her coach gives her the look.

Alesia: “What? I do like what she’s doing.”

Regina: “Sure, but I have a question. Was I right in preventing you from taking a title shot? Are you ready for Nadia?”

Alesia, concerned: “Hmmm. Not yet?”

Regina: “Will you question my judgement again later?”

Alesia: “Errr. Hey, why don’t I get us beers? It’s on me.”

Regina: “Good idea.”