Round 8 begins. Trailing in the scorecards, Nadia Monteil comes forward. She needs a knockout to fend off Anastasia Orlova’s charge for the Super Lightweight world title.
Virginie Rossignol, her coach, thinks: “This is the most dangerous situation we ever faced. I hope she can do this.”
The defending champ finds her target with a couple of jabs early on. She boxes with a mix of aggression and strategic patience, but it remains difficult to get close to Anastasia.
Near the one-minute mark, the Frenchwoman comes in quickly and lands a big right hand in the Russian’s eye.
Nadia thinks: “Come on. Let’s get this job done.”
She drives forward with power shots, but Anastasia surprises her with excellent leg movement and blocking. It doesn’t look like she punched herself out when punishing Nadia in the previous rounds.
Nadia has just landed a clean left hook to finish a combination. She fakes the hook at the beginning of a new combo to make her opponent move, and follows up by coming in with a big right cross. The Russian was expecting it. She leans to her left and unloads an overhand right that whips Nadia’s cheek and jaw. PISH!
Esther: “Monteil has dominated proceedings so far in this round but she walks straight into a counter right! Orlova may have swallowed the rope a dope bait earlier, but it did not break through her durability. The champion is in trouble.”
The crowd is stunned. Murmurs are heard at ringside.
Alesia: “It… doesn’t look good.”
Regina: “I know. I’m concerned for Nadia here.”
Nadia stumbles backwards and tries to put distance between herself and Anastasia to recuperate from that punch. Getting close for a clinch may be too dangerous.
Esther: “She’s hurt! The champion is hurt for the first time in ages!”
The silent crowd can’t believe its eyes.
Dimitri: “GO GET HER!”
Anastasia fakes a jab and Nadia tries to duck under it. Wrong move. The Russian pulls her hand back a bit and catches her with a clean left uppercut to the chin. The champ pulls back and finds herself in a corner. Anastasia pummels the body with wicked shots that make Nadia gurgle.
Then, the challenger moves upstairs. She unloads straight lefts and rights that cut through the Frenchwoman’s defense. After a few shots, that defense has been split open. She has been turned into a personal punching bag.
Referee Rebecca Linden gets close to the fighters.
The Russian beast stays at range and unloads another straight right hand. Nadia feels her nose cracking as the red glove blasts the middle of her face. Anastasia feels the bone snapping.
Esther: “Monteil isn’t just hurt. She is taking a beating for the first time in her career, and hasn’t thrown a punch in more than 15 seconds. This fight may be about to end!”
The ref has given the champ a chance, but she didn’t fight back. She steps in. Anastasia pulls away quickly. All smiles, she knows what this means.
Rebecca: “STOP! This fight’s over!”
A collective “ahhhhh” comes out of the crowd. Nadia’s fans are disappointed, but they know that their favourite was in danger.
The fighter herself rests against the corner, spent, with a crooked nose.
Nadia thinks: “Fuck. I’ve lost. I’m no longer the champion. All the work I’ve done… to get thrashed. Fuck my life.”
Esther: “Rebecca Linden makes the right decision by stopping this fight. We have a new Super Lightweight champion of the world in Anastasia Orlova! What a convincing performance! She crushed a dominant incumbent in a way that no one could possibly have expected. The new title holder will surely scare many challengers.”
One of those challengers is ringside and an animated discussion takes place at her table.
The stunned German champion lets her jaw drop at the sight of a soundly defeated Monteil.
Alesia: “Holy shit. I can’t believe my eyes. How could there be such a gulf in class between these two?”
Regina: “I’m not surprised that Anastasia fought great, but the domination is startling indeed.”
Alesia: “I don’t fancy being alone with Anastasia, honestly. Not now. Nadia, though?”
Regina: “It may be more doable than we thought.”
Alesia: “This loss could also shake her confidence.”
Regina: “Hmmmm. I agree. This also explains why she was in such a hurry to defeat challengers before they could peak. She must have known something about her personal limits.”
Alesia: “So, who was right?”
They both laugh.
Regina: “Let’s talk about it later. She could be a very attractive opponent once she recovers from the shock.”