Kasandra Sobieski vs Tabatha Kogen: intros and Round 1

It is fight night here on the West Coast of the United States. Kasandra and three other members of her gym have been flown to California to fight on this card.

The other 3 fighters, Kasandra knows, are journeyman and women, with records like 15-5 and 11-4 and 8-6. Records that do not indicate stardom, but rather a place on the fringes of the boxing community, a fighter that is chosen to fight against up and coming fighters with hopes and dreams of stardom.

Kasandra’s fight is the first of the evening. She got her first look at her opponent at the weigh-in yesterday. Tabatha Kogen was a young looking woman with red hair even brighter than her own and confidence that seemed to exude from every pore in her body. All that Kasandra knows is that Tabatha is trained by the same man that trains Lilim Alterion. He is not a coach that will be training a boxer that does not have talent.

Kasandra wears the white and red of her home country, Poland and awaits the start of the fight. The crowd is sparse so far and those actually in the crowd seem to be on their phones anyways. Even though this fight card is broadcast on DAZN, there’s no commentator sitting in the chair off to the side. The cameras are rolling, but it’ll only be seen if the footage is dramatic.

Ring Announcer: “Ladies and Gentleman, Welcome to the Doubletree Hotel in Sacramento, California! We are proud to present championship boxing to you tonight, LIVE on DAZN! Our first bout of the evening is in the Lightweight division and is scheduled for 4 rounds. Introducing first, fighting out of the blue corner. She comes to us with a perfect professional record of one win and zero losses with that one win coming by way of knockout! She weighed in at a trim 132 pounds. Fighting out of London, England by way of Gdansk, Poland, please give a warm welcome to Kasandra ‘La Bomba’ Sobieski!”

Kasandra: Okay, here we go. Fighting at Lightweight again, even though I told my promoter that I wanted to fight at Featherweight. I didn’t even have to cut weight at all to make the Lightweight limit of 135. A big advantage being thrown out the window. Fighting on foreign soil (again) against an undefeated opponent (again). I just got to do what I did last time. Take my chance and leave a mark on my opponent. I just wish that the deck wasn’t so stacked against me.

Tabatha: Kneeling as her name is being called? Real original lady. I think she is trying way too hard to look cool. And only one fight with one knockout? Must had been a lucky punch on some green girl who didn’t know how to fight worth a damn. Well that won’t be me. I didn’t get to where I am because I’m an idiot. I might not have knockout power like Lilim, but I have more skill than her or anyone else.

Ring Announcer: “And her opponent, from right here in Sacramento, California, USA. She weighed in at 134 pounds. She has an undefeated professional record of 3 wins and 0 losses. Ladies and Gentleman, I proudly present to you the 2017 California Golden Gloves champion, ‘Flashpoint’ Tabatha Kogen!”

Tabatha: I can’t help but raise my glove up as I hear my name being called. The noise of the crowd isn’t the largest but I can tell the crowd is on my side at least. And damn does it feel good to be in the ring again. I may not be part of Fiona’s camp anymore, but my new team isn’t so bad. I just hope those two morons watch me as I pick this girl apart.

Kasandra: While Tabatha plays to the crowd confidently, I try to remain focused on myself. Having zero knockouts early in a career means that she probably doesn’t have that much power, but she probably does have good technique, as someone who had success in the amateur ranks. Normally I could take the first round to try to figure her out, but as its a 4 round fight, I can’t afford to throw a round away.

The experienced Canadian referee, Marshall Howard is in charge of this fight. He summons the two fighters to the middle of the ring for last minute instructions. Kasandra seems slightly nervous, while Tabatha has an air of complete confidence about her.

Marshall: “Okay ladies, this fight is four rounds of two minutes each. I expect a good clean fight, and that you will protect yourselves at all times. Break clean when I say break. Are there any questions? Okay, touch gloves and go back to your corners.”

Kasandra offers her gloves, but Tabatha, being a bit cheeky, only uses her left hand to make contact with Kasandra’s.

Tabatha: Touching gloves with my opponent always feels weird. I get it’s about respect, but I don’t care about that. I just want to win. I don’t sense much looking at Kasandra. She seems so plain. I don’t think she has any idea what she’s up against. Well, whatever. I get to my corner. My Coach offers me my mouthpiece and I bite down on it firmly. Now I feel ready. Time to show this girl how a real woman fights.

Kasandra: From my initial impressions of my opponent, she has confidence to spare. She seems at home in this ring. The fans support her too. I think I have my work cut out for me. I go back to my corner, and my coach gives me my mouthpiece. Okay, Kasandra. I have to give this girl 8 minutes of my best. Let’s do it.

The bell rings and the fight begins…

The opening few seconds of the fight are tentative, but broken quickly by quick jabs from Tabatha who lands the first punches of the fight. There is not much snap to them, but the speed of the punches surprises the Pole, who wasn’t expecting it. Kasandra tries to get back at Tabatha with punches of her own, but the American’s defends with good upper body movement. Early success for ‘Flashpoint.’

Tabatha: Her defense isn’t bad but I see the holes. I jab swiftly knocking her head back slightly. Yeah landing the first couple of punches first is such a great feeling. I am going to be in control of this fight and pick her apart. She’s not ready for my movements. I feel great and my speed and accuracy have never been better. She jabs slowly at me and swiftly avoid it. Seriously was that her punching back at me?

Kasandra: This redhead is crazy fast and she has good feet. That much I can tell even ten seconds into the fight. I don’t even seen her jab coming when she fires it. I just see a quick move of her hands and then pain above my right eye where her jab apparently landed. I have to say apparently, because I didn’t see it land. It’s a light jab, but it shows she can hit me without much effort. When I try to hit her back she makes me feel slow as she avoids my jabs with ease. Yikes. Not a great start.

Tabatha clearly has the upper hand early on in the fight as her speed puts Kasandra on the back foot. The Pole is surprised to face someone who has handspeed like ‘Flashpoint,’ seemingly able to throw punches that come from nowhere and land before she can even register to defend the incoming blows. Kasandra’s corner doesn seem to be aware of what is happening, and only throws out platitudes like ‘be first.’ Kasandra decides that if she is going to get hit, she might as well try to hit back and discourage Tabatha from punching freely. Kasandra fires off a left and a right but Tabatha avoids the left and, upon seeing the right incoming, she launches a right hand of her own, which lands flush on Kasandra’s jaw, forcing her head upwards. Tabatha might be a light puncher, but the Pole felt that one.

Tabatha: I stick to my strengths and box her from the outside. Using my swift jams to tag her when I see a good angle. She comes back at me with left right combo but move my head back and forth and smack her with a well timed right that snaps her head back pretty good. Best punch I’ve landed so far.

Kasandra: Okay, I’m not sure what to do when a fighters is just this fast…I’ve never thought I was slow but Tabatha is just so fast and smooth, I can’t just stand here and hope to outbox her. I have to be aggressive. I try to throw a solid 1-2 combination, but Tabatha slips the left and then cracks me on the jaw with a right hand of her own. It’s not the heaviest punch I’ve taken, but that was a solid ouchie.

After the right hand, Tabatha sets her target lower, throwing a strong left hand towards Kasandra’s midsection. Kasandra tries to knock down the incoming punch, much like she had against Kayleigh, but Tabatha is too fast, and ‘Flashpoint’ makes solid contact with the Polish fighter’s midsection. Tabatha is doing anything she wants to Kasandra early on in this fight. Speed is a killer.

Tabatha: I’ve landed a few good punches upstairs now for the body to keep her guessing. I bend my knees and unload a good jab directly into her body. Not a bad one, but I hit her with more speed than power. My punches don’t have much bite, but If I land enough they will slow her down and win the judges over.

Kasandra: I can’t stop this girl from hitting me. After that right hand, Tabatha goes low. I react quickly, but not quick enough to disrupt Tabatha’s punch, and it stings my midsection. Damn it, I was able to use that same move against Kayleigh and it worked. Not this time though… If this girl could punch harder, I think she’d be a world champion.

After the right hand, Tabatha sets her target lower, throwing a strong left hand towards Kasandra’s midsection. Kasandra tries to knock down the incoming punch, much like she had against Kayleigh, but Tabatha is too fast, and ‘Flashpoint’ makes solid contact with the Polish fighter’s midsection. Tabatha is doing anything she wants to Kasandra early on in this fight. Speed is a killer.

Tabatha: I’ve landed a few good punches upstairs now for the body to keep her guessing. I bend my knees and unload a good jab directly into her body. Not a bad one, but I hit her with more speed than power. My punches don’t have much bite, but If I land enough they will slow her down and win the judges over.

Kasandra: I can’t stop this girl from hitting me. After that right hand, Tabatha goes low. I react quickly, but not quick enough to disrupt Tabatha’s punch, and it stings my midsection. Damn it, I was able to use that same move against Kayleigh and it worked. Not this time though… If this girl could punch harder, I think she’d be a world champion.

The left hook that Kasandra landed might have been the wake up call that Tabtha needed. The American tightens her defence and though she throws less punches, she makes the punches more meaningful. Kasandra, assuming that she needs to be aggressive to win the round, thinks that going to the body might be a good way to slow down the faster woman. As Kasandra moves in with a right hand to the body, Tabatha lowers her elbow to protect herself and throws a right hook that takes advantage of Kasandra’s aggressiveness. That punch hits Kasandra right around the Polish fighter’s left eye. The crowd applauds. They can sense that the hometown fighter has the upper hand early on.

Tabatha: I knew it was only a matter of second till she switched to the body. She is just too slow when she throws. So I show her what real speed and talent is and smash her with good counter right hook. Love seeing her head jerk over shoulder when I hit her, but come on. She is making this too easy.

Kasandra: I’m losing this first round, but there’s enough time left that I could turn it around if I land something good. I decide that I want to slow down the fast fighter, I should go to the body. I fake a couple of jabs and then switch target for a right hand to the body. By the time my right hand is on the way, there’s a right hand from Tabatha in my eye. This girl is a hell of a boxer.

Stung, Kasandra retreats backwards and the next time Tabatha gets in range, Kasandra throws a jab and steps forward, smothing Tabatha’s attempted punches. Kasandra grabs a hold of Tabatha and refuses to let go before the referee breaks it up. A little rest for the Polish fighter.

Tabatha: I dodge a short punch and feel her hot body up against me. “Heh.” It’s only the first round and she’s already clinching? Is she already this tired? That’s funny. I can’t help but smile as she holds on to me for dear life. I’m barely breaking a sweat over here and she’s barely keeping it up. It’s a great feeling being in complete control of a boxing match. I hope Lilim is taking notes.

Kasandra: I need to reset and regroup. I didn’t necessarily have a gameplan coming into this fight, but having no plan isn’t going to be enough to beat Tabatha. So I throw a jab and step inside and then grab on to Tabatha, resting my head on her shoulder, which makes it difficult for Tabatha to punch to the head. The optics of this clinch don’t look great for me, I’m sure. I’m sure I look shellshocked.

Kasandra is reeling as Tabatha continues to use speed to punish her. Kasandra’s offensive output flags as she concentrates on defending herself against the pressure and speed. A snappy jab is emblematic of this section of the fight as it splits Kasandra’s gloves before she can react. It’s not exactly one-way traffic, but it is clear who has the upper hand.

Kasandra: If this girl had a bit of power she would be devastating. She’s not hurting me, but the flow of leather is like a river. Constant. Unending.

Tabatha: After the ref breaks us up I see a good opportunity and I activate my speed and technique. I snap out my jabs a quick as I can. And I manage to break up her guard so I can land a sharp left. I see her head snap back hard, but my power still isn’t the greatest. But I can hit her so much the ref will have to step in to stop the fight.

In the closing stages of the round, Tabatha seems to sense that she has Kasandra if not hurt, but mentally in a spot where she is hesitant to react aggressively. The American wants to add punctuation to the round by landing a big punch, and she manages to get Kasandra backing up into the ropes. Tabatha uncorks a bit right hand, but Kasandra’s guard is up and she creates space by leaning back into the ropes, allowing the punch to slide by. It’s an adroit defensive move but little more than that as she rides out the remainder of the round.

Tabatha: I am the fastest boxer in the world. But now I really want to try and hurt this girl. I Cock my right arm back slight and unload the hardest right hook I can manage. Kasandra manages to use the ropes and barley dodge it somehow. Lucky bitch. Whatever. I’m dominating this chick.

Kasandra: I’m just glad this round is nearly over. Tabatha really swung for the fences with that right hand. If I had been in a better position, I could have tried to counter, but right now I don’t have the timing down. I can only counter her speed by being ultra passive. It’s not a long term solution, or any sort of solution.

The round comes to a close, and the hometown fighter isn’t shy about letting everyone know that she won that round. Kasandra walks back to the corner, hoping that there is some sort of plan that will change the tides. For Tabatha, this is all about soaking in the reaction of the crowd as she turns in a dominant 1st round.

Tabatha: The bell rings and the home crowd reacts happily to my performance. I turned around and jump a little in excitement. It feels so great to be back in the ring again. After seeing Lilim take spotlight like a fat hog. I’m going to show everyone that I’m going to be the next best thing in this country. I can’t wait for round 2.

Kasandra: Well that wasn’t the worst round in my career but it was close to it. I need a new idea how to approach this fight.

Tabatha stands in her corner confidently, waiting for Jett to put the stool down before sitting.

Jett: “Nice round girl. You are picking her apart out there.”

Tabatha: “Thanks a lot. I got this coach. She can barely touch me.”

Jett: “I know. You definitely have the jump on her. But she’s going to try and adjust herself to try and counter you. So I want you to keep your distance and outbox this chick until you can go in for the kill. She can hit pretty hard.

Tabatha: “Yeah yeah yeah. Don’t worry Coach I know exactly what I’m doing.”

Jett: Hmm alright. But be careful Tabs. You’re doing amazing, but don’t let her bait you. Overconfidence has ruined a lot of fights for rising boxers.”

Tabatha: “I know, but you forget they didn’t have my speed, Jett.”

Jett thinks: I love her confident spirit, but I didn’t think she was this bad. Well I did what I could to keep her ready. The rest is up to her. But I really am impressed how quickly she took Kasandra apart.

In the blue corner…

Kasandra: “She’s too fast…what can I do?”

Laura: “You must take risks. It is not your natural style, but it is the best chance you have.”

Kasandra: “What risks should I take.”

Laura: “She doesn’t hurt you with your punches, yes?”

Kasandra: “They sting, but they don’t hurt.”

Laura: “Then you must take two punches to give one back. If you see a chance, take it. Risk everything or she will outbox you for the remainder of the fight.

Kasandra thinks: Well, if this is the tactic I’m being reduced to already, this certainly isn’t great. But Laura is right, Tabatha doesn’t hit with much power. Maybe I should just…go for it.

Lilim thinks: That was amazing. Fiona was right about her. Tabatha really is skilled, but I never thought she was this good. Her hands move so damn fast even I think I’d have a hard time dealing with them. And she still just started her pro career. But I’m nervous how happy she looks right now. I don’t want her to be too confident to the point it weakens her focus. Kassandra is going to try and make up for that round. And she hits way harder than Tabatha can. And if what I heard was true? Tabatha can’t take a punch very well. But if she stays on the outside and just keeps landing those swift jabs of hers Kassandra will keep frustrated. She’ll make more mistakes and Tabatha will just beat her down till she’s had enough or the ref steps in. Keep it up, Tabatha. I’m cheering for you.

Kasandra Sobieski

A Polish-Canadian created by Alesia and now owned by Alex. She is known for classy technical boxing.
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