Zohana demolishes Takara

Zohana defends her world title with a fantastic knockout

It’s fight time! Zohana Patel and Takara Oshima take to the ring at the Copper Box Arena in London for a Lightweight world championship fight.

The usual suspects are at the helm. Esther Schouten and Anna Schwartz are broadcasting for Box TV, which has gone free-to-air across Europe to gather large audiences monetised by ads. Veronica handles introductions, as she always does for big events. Rebecca Linden is the referee.

We join the action in Round 1. It’s a match between two diametrically opposed boxers. Zohana moves her feet well, shuffles her hands and dances around the challenger. She’s the freestyling, creative boxer who gives a stylish show to the fans. Takara is a dynamic puncher with power in both hands. Always a threat if she can put her knuckles in your face.

The world champion stays low while Takara throws head shots.

Zohana thinks: “This girl’s good, but also a headhunter.”

The Indian woman does Zohana things, tailoring her strategy to the opponent. She stays low and looks to work around the Japanese fighter, so she can avoid head-twisting punches and hit hard on the counter.

With already more than a minute gone, Takara tries to uncork a threatening left hook as the world champion is elusive. Zohana simply lowers her weight from a distance and unleashes a straight right to catch the ribs.

Esther: “Patel has a sharp start. She’s moving around the ring with ease and landing clean when throwing. What do you make of it, Anna?”

Anna: “I say that there is a differential in speed, intelligence and creativity between the two women. Patel is very much the favourite here, and for obvious reasons. I’m not sure that Oshima has what it takes to beat her.”

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The master

Late into the round, the challenger ramps up the aggression. She has The Dementor near the ropes, and wants to land something solid to make a statement. She throws a descending right hand to catch the low-lying champion. Zohana takes a step to the left and uses the attacker’s body for leverage to move out of the way.

Zohana: “You didn’t think you’d hit me with that, did you?”

Sophie: “What a move. Done against one of the most dangerous punchers in the division. Embarrassing for Takara.”

Alesia: “Zohana is the master.”

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Brutal fun

Zohana’s creative movement carries into the second round. She stays in a low stance and makes herself very difficult to find. Takara takes good swings at her, but very little leather finds the world champion.

When the challenger believes she got the Indian lined up for a powerful left hook, Zohana takes half a step backwards to the right and comes back with a left hook that catches both the ribs and liver.

Esther: “Isn’t it impressive when a boxer can move this well and produce magic just the way Patel does? It’s like she’s pushing the limits of creativity with boxing gloves on.”

Anna: “The Zohana who held back in an exhibition against Alesia Schumann is not holding back today. She fights with style, at full force, and she is taking the body. The most interesting part? She’s enjoying herself. That’s bad news for any opponent, because her brand of fun is brutal.”

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Buffering

The Japanese woman is scolded by her coach Clifford Little between engagements. She comes out firing in Round 3 to try and overturn a two-point deficit.

Zohana spends the round under pressure, but she reacts cleverly to preserve energy and avoid getting hit clean. She leans away from the punches, rolls with them, and taps on the incoming arm whenever possible to minimise the amount of violence received.

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The price of freedom

After a talk that’s more motivational than anything else with her coach, Zohana switches gears in Round 4. She goes for in and out explosion, staying out of range and driving inside with huge counterattacks whenever she’s confident she can land a clean shot.

Late in the round, taking the body remains her focus. Takara is backing up and throwing a straight right, and the champion steps forward with a short right hook to nail the solar plexus. The challenger grunts. This one really hurts. Luckily for her, there isn’t enough time left for the defending champ to go for the finish.

Esther: “What’s the difference between a Zohana Patel and an inside fighter such as Emma McGale?”

Anna: “When it comes to body work, they are exact opposites. McGale will invade your space and choke you. She holds you. Unable to move, you are bound to feel the pain given by her punches.”

Esther: “Lovely.”

Anna: “Patel does things in reverse. She gives you the freedom to throw your punches, and gives herself the space to calculate your movement. When she has your timing nailed down, she comes in and puts all her weight behind and under the punch. It’s a high-risk game for more explosive shots, but she can afford it. Have you seen anyone else who can move the way she does?”

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Taking orders

We have a peculiar moment right before Round 5 starts, once the fighters got up from their stools. With her trainer Parvati Tavade already out of the ring, Zohana gestures to the loudest section of her fans.

“Hey, you guys over there. Do I knock her out now?”

They respond with wild cheers.

Zohana: “Alright. Round 5 is good. Your wish is my command.”

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Devastating finish

The pound for pound queen isn’t gambling or posturing. She does this for a reason. Having worked mostly downstairs for the first four rounds, she already took Takara’s legs away. Opponents whose ability to move is diminished are more vulnerable to head punches, which can land clean and hurt.

Zohana goes upstairs in this round. She stands higher and keeps working around the number two contender. She gives herself a couple of minutes to land clean, crisp shots that make Takara’s head spin. With 45 seconds left, she rocks the challenger with a big left hook.

Esther: “Oshima is hurt!”

A wobbly Takara takes a few steps back to clear the head, but the world champion doesn’t give her the luxury of having time off.

We witness the most devastating moment as Takara is struggling for balance while stepping back. Zohana steps forward aggressively while unloading a most vicious straight right. The red glove zooms in and crashes in Zohana’s face. PISH! The gloved fist continues its motion as the other woman’s head is snapped back.

A big “OH!” emerges from the audience.

Esther: “What a spectacular right hand! Patel punches through her target with the most diabolical of intentions. And Oshima is on the canvas!”

Anna: “Punches don’t land cleaner than that, and I think it’s game over, folks.”

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Mind the gap

Zohana grins as Takara falls flat on her back. Within a second, she’s unconscious.

The world champion goes to a neutral corner as Rebecca rushes to the scene. The official made her mind as soon as the punch connected.

Rebecca: “OUT!”

Esther: “We may have witnessed the knockout of the year! Zohana Patel has no problem defending the Lightweight title, and the unofficial title of pound for pound best, with a smashing performance that left Takara Oshima motionless on the canvas.”

Anna: “As stunning as it may be to some boxing fans, there is sometimes a gap between the champion and even the closest contenders. In a sport like tennis, it’s a win in straight sets. In boxing, it means a trip to the hospital.”

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The ring doctor, Takara’s coach and paramedics get to the defeated fighter before the result is made official. Takara is sent to hospital for a check-up after waking up from this brutal KO.

Veronica: “Your winner by knockout at 0:39 in Round 5. And STILL Lightweight champion of the world…. Zohana ‘The Dementor’ Paaaaattttttelllllllll!”

Zohana gets to the edge of the ring to celebrate a triumphant win, saluting her fans with pride.

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Don’t mess with the queen

It’s time for the post-match interview.

Esther: “Congrats on a very successful title defense. What’s on your mind right now?”

Zohana: “Takara is typical of chicks who talk tough but can’t deliver. She’s not the first undefeated that I send packing. Tonight’s a warning to anyone who wants to mess with me.”

Esther: “Don’t you think it’s a little rough to say that about a woman who is on her way to hospital?”

Zohana: “Who talked about a violent revolution in the pre-match? I took it seriously. Look. I’m not the one who launches the first salvo. If you threaten me, though, I will take action. It is what it is.”

Esther: “Fair enough. How do you explain the course of this match? We expected Oshima to be more of a threat.”

Zohana: “She’s really good, but she’s a headhunter. Undefeated punchers who score knockouts with head shots all the time tend to become overconfident in their ability to take anyone down. They don’t react well when someone can deal with their power game and hit them. She thought she would bulldoze me but I didn’t let her do it. I took the body and she had no Plan B.”

Esther: “Is any specific opponent on your mind for the future?”

Zohana: “Don’t know yet, but I have options at Lightweight and Super Lightweight. I think I’m still the best boxer in the world, and I can take on anyone as long as the money is right. I’m 36 and won’t be around forever, so money is a big factor at this point.”

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Esther: “Thank you. What do you think, Anna? I believe that Patel is right about still being the best fighter.”

Anna: “It’s hard to contest after this devastating knockout against an impressive challenger. For the time being, we just hope that Oshima will be okay.”

Esther: “It may be hard to recuperate from that in sporting terms.”

Anna: “It’s rare that a boxer can come back to the top after getting stopped in this fashion. Scores of fighters hit the comeback trail and won tune-up matches, but they couldn’t overcome the fear spawned by a brutal knockout. This emotion comes to the surface when they have a first difficult opponent. We’ll have to see if Oshima chooses to continue, and whether she can handle the dread of a repeat.”

Esther: “Thank you. This concludes our broadcast from London. So long, everybody!”

Thanks for reading

Takara Oshima

A dangerous Lightweight who has speed and power in both hands. Now living in London after leaving Japan.
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Zohana Patel

The world champion in the Lightweight division, and top pound for pound fighter. The pride of India with maddening skills.
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16 comments

  1. WOW, I DON’T KNOW IF THAT WAS A TITLE DEFENSE, OR A LAMB BEING LEAD TO THE SLAUGHTER! ZOHANA HAD HER NUMBER AS SOON AS THE BELL RANG. GREAT FIGHT, AND IT WILL BE INTERESTING TO SEE WHAT TAKARA HAS IN STORE FOR HER.

    • Not that I want to be a smartass, but I think that your shift key was stuck there ?

      Zohana was simply too strong for Takara. The queen reigns.

  2. I believe this is the combat sports interpretation of varsity vs pee-wee. You can be really good.. and there can still be someone who’s THAT much better. Lovely job on the renders!

    • Yep. I remember seeing world number one tennis players being able to dismantle the number two with ease, in the same way. It was the inspiration for this fight.

  3. Alesia,
    There’s a reason why Zohana is 37 – 1, with (25) of those wins coming by way of knockout. She displayed it in a grand and methodical fashion. Takara is a very good boxer, and can hammer her opponents. Unfortunate for her is her status as a headhunter in boxing. Being a headhunter does produce results and makes one a formidable boxer. But when one faces a boxing technician like Zohana, almost always the headhunter will come up short, as did Takara.

    Excellent ? work and narrative as always Alesia.
    Mike

    • Thank you.

      You have a point there. Zohana has style, but in order to have that kind of style, you have to master technique like nobody else. That’s why she can move around the ring and sting someone like Takara so impressively.

  4. Oh my goodness! Defeating Alesia was impressive enough but with this win, I think Zohana is proving herself to be perhaps the strongest boxer in the Alesiaboxing canon history. To simply knockout a top challenger like Takara whenever she wanted, it makes you wonder if there is anyone who can even beat her in the Lightweight division. I think Heather Barker has the best chance but I am not sure she can pull this up if this is how Zohana is able to easily retain the championship. Might have to wait 5 or 10 years when Zohana is older and slowing down for the division to have a chance.

    • If you remember, Zohana was holding back against Alesia because their belts weren’t on the line, in a match for charity. This time, her crown was into play and Takara had promised to dethrone her. There was no charity ?

      At the moment, Zohana is clearly the strongest boxer in my little universe.

      Although not undefeated, Heather could be an interesting challenger for her since she’s got a far higher ring IQ than Takara.

  5. Damn…just damn! I don’t really know what to say, that wasn’t even a fight that was a hard lesson for Takara, that was a serious beat down. I really wasn’t this at all.

    Zohana demolished Takara like it was nothing, like she was some simple beginner boxer. Takara is a dangerous punching but she showed a lot of flaws in this fight and Zohana shower why she’s a world champion.

    Takara may be undefeated, well was undefeated…but she has alot to learn, and when you think about it she hasn’t had a really decent challenge in the ring till now, this loss is definitely a brutal one but I hope we get to see her again soon.

    Zohana is one dangerous women, even asking the fans if she should knock her opponent out, she’s just toying with her most of the fight. Elsie is gonna have her hands full.

    I say I don’t know what to say then I say all of this lol.

    • As you’ve seen before, I like a variety of stories and not all the matches are near-even back and forth affairs.

      Today’s story is the pound for pound champion living up to her record and to the previously seen background.

      Takara who was a very credible and dangerous challenger, but there were two problems for her. First, Zohana is even more dangerous, and she knew what to do to stop her.

  6. This might be the first time that ‘demolishes’ is actually an understatement. Zohana took Takara to school, and not just primary school, but secondary school, into undergrad and then into a Masters degree. This was boxing 101, and Takara failed as a student, to terrible results.

    Zohana thinks: “This girl’s good, but also a headhunter.”

    It’s a fair assessment of Takara. She’s dangerous, but a bit one dimensional, which is a problem at the higher parts of the boxing game.

    Sophie: “What a move. Done against one of the most dangerous punchers in the division. Embarrassing for Takara.”

    Alesia: “Zohana is the master.”

    When the people at ringside are talking about embarrassment….its never a good sign

    Anna: “…That’s bad news for any opponent, because her brand of fun is brutal.”

    Talk about foreshadowing Anna!

    Then in the 5th round, we have the terrifying sight (for other Lightweight contenders) of Zohana asking the people at ringside if she should end the fight, and then actually going out and doing so. Yikes. If I was a Lightweight contender, I’d probably be looking to move up in weight. Get me away from this monster…errr…this Dementor.

    And that final punch? I think that’s on the shortlist for most brutal punches ever seen on this site. Talk about getting your head snapped back…and Zohana held absolutely nothing back on that punch, Takara took all of it and it was too much to handle.

    Takara is out before she hits the canvas. There’s nothing for Rebecca to do but to signal for the ring doctor. Not even Kanti would have started a count on Takara.

    Esther: We may have witnessed the knockout of the year!

    May have? May have? Is there any doubt that this is the KO of the year? 😀

    The difference between victory and defeat here is stark to say the least. Zohana is a bubbly champion, who seems to not have much sympathy for the defeated challenger, before laying down the challenge to the rest of the fighters in her weightclass – ‘who is next!’

    For Takara, she gets a trip to the hospital, an end to her undefeated streak and her path back to the top is murky. Some fighters bounce back from getting KO’d. Some are never the same again. For her sake, I hope Taakra is the former, and not the latter

    • Imagine the feeling of it. Undefeated, knockout artist, very dangerous… only to be on the receiving end of a spectacular knockout. Although very skilled, Takara didn’t come close to defeating Zohana. Alesia can look at her decision loss and say “thank God this was an exhibition”.

      The path is clear for Zohana. She’s the woman to beat, and that’s no easy task. Anyone who wants a crack at her will have to be courageous and skilled enough to produce some magic.

      The road to a comeback is bumpy for Takara. Getting knocked off your feet that way leaves psychological marks. Can she be as strong again?

  7. Well, I certainly hope that this isn’t the end of Takara’s career as it was for Anna and Akane. Although, I had a sneaking hunch that Zohana was gonna wipe the floor with her. Now, I have another sneaking hunch that Zohana is gonna wanna have a rematch with Elsie soon and, if she gets the chance, who will come out on top is the one question that I have to ponder.

    • Had I wanted to end Takara’s career, I would have added it in this post ?

      This fight was a lot more about the demonstration of Zohana’s ability, and the gap that can exist between the best pound for pound fighter and her challengers.

      Obviously, there’s a challenge ahead for Takara. Getting knocked out this brutally takes something out of a boxer, and going back to the top is difficult.

      Elsie? I mean, she’s a logical challenger to Zohana after having her way with someone as good as Sophie.

      • Well, as long as Takara is still in the fighting business, I’m okay with that.

        But, right now, it makes you wonder when and if Elsie will get a second chance at Zohana and not only give her the what for but a beatdown that she’ll (Zohana) never forget.

  8. Creator’s notes

    Some revolutions succeed, others get crushed. Takara promised one for this fight but she got severely beaten by a stylish world champion.

    What’s there to understand? The most important factor here, is that there can be a gap between the best athlete/team in a sport and their challengers. While some championship matches or series can be close, others are routs because the eventual winners are too strong for the opposition. Yes, it even happens when the opponent is excellent.

    This is what happens to Takara in this fight. She’s a very strong boxer who came in with an undefeated record, but Zohana is a dominant force. Her exhibition with Alesia earlier this year featured two champions, and Zohana treated herself with a 97-93 decision, which is a clean result.

    The Indian woman is the queen at the moment!

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