It’s fight night in Toronto!
With the last supporting fight currently going on, the main event fighters are putting their final preparations together for their championship clash.
In the champion’s locker room, Virani has the companionship of her friend, Alesia Schumann, who has flown in (first class, of course) from Munich for the fight.
While Sandra still tries to impact some last second wisdom and technique, Virani closes her eyes and breathes in deeply, focusing herself for the moment to come.
Virani thinks: I am a warrior. A gladiator. My only fear is failing myself. And I will not fail.
Alesia: “You got this, babe.”
Virani: “It’s easy to defend a world title, right?”
Alesia: “Hardest thing to do in the sport. Harder than winning the title.”
Sandra: “But we’ve trained for the challenge. You’re ready.”
Virani: “I feel ready. Let’s go.”
Nerves are high in the other locker room. This will be Kasandra’s first title fight, and Thomas’ second. ‘Bombel’ is facing a hard punching champion in her hometown, where any close rounds will certainly go the champion’s way. It’s an uphill battle, which the Polish fighter absolutely knows.
Thomas: “It’s okay to be nervous. You look great, by the way.”
Kasandra: “I’m always nervous before a fight. I’m never nervous during the fight. That seems odd, doesn’t it?”
Thomas: “Anticipation is the hardest part.”
Kasandra doesn’t respond.
Thomas: “This is the night to prove to the world what I’ve known all along, that you are the best Featherweight boxer in the world. It’s your night.”
Kasandra: “Thanks Thomas. Let’s go get a title.”
The fighters have made their way to the ring and it’s now time to turn it over to ring announcer, Greta, who has the microphone and is ready to introduce the fighters to the crowd.
Greta: “Ladies and gentlemen, this is the MAIN EVENT of the evening. Presented by Final Bell and Star Sports 2, this bout is scheduled for 10 three-minute rounds and is for the WBU Featherweight championship of the world! Sponsored by the MGM Grand Casino and live on Star Sports 2, it’s time for the Queens of Leather to show down! It’s time for a fight!”
Greta: “Introducing first, the challenger. Tonight she fights out of the red corner. She fights out of Toronto, Canada by way of Gdansk, Poland! She has an excellent professional record of eight wins, against only one defeat – with five of those wins coming by way of knockout! Known as ‘Bombel’, this elegant and skilled fighter is coached by Thomas Nagy. Please welcome the number three ranked Featherweight by the WBU, Kasandra Sobieski!!”
Kasandra strikes a pose as the crowd gives a the local fighter, if not the local favourite, a warm welcome.
Laila: “Kasandra Sobieski has long been cited as the top prospect in the division. A shocking loss to Leanne Storm set her back, but she has reeled off four straight wins, including going to London to defeat the Kayleigh Parsons in her backyard. By any measure, she has earned this moment. She’s a tall, rangy fighter that has some lovely skill. She’s also known for a very good chin, one of the best in the division. She will need it tonight against a hard punching champion.”
Greta: “Introducing her opponent, fighting out of the blue corner. This local favourite fights out of the Cobra Gym in Toronto, Canada. She comes to us tonight with a professional record of 14 wins, with give defeats and 1 draw, with 12 of those wins coming by way of knockout! She is the reigning and defending WBU Featherweight champion of the world! Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the beautiful, the dangerous, the Canadian Cobra – Virani MacVicar!”
As expected the home crowd is rapturous in its approval of the local champion, Virani. The champion strikes a confident, although kneeling pose, a confident smile adorning her face.
Laila: “There were times when it seemed that Virani MacVicar would not reach this level. A lopsided defeat in her first title challenge to Hee Jung Park seemed to show that she was good, but not good enough to get to the top. A change of coach changed her trajectory and she is now back and better than ever. She claimed the title in a heated affair against Michaela Sommer, and is making her first defence tonight.”
Greta: “Once the bell rings, the referee in control of the action will be Clarissa Starling.”
Laila: “A non-controversial pick for referee, the Englishwoman Starling is the type of referee you do not notice because she just competently does her job in the background.”
Clarissa: “Ladies, middle of the ring please.”
The two fighters make their way to the middle and make determined eye contact with each other.
Clarissa: “Ladies. This is a 10-round fight of three minutes each. My expectations are you conduct yourselves appropriately at all times. Protect yourselves at all times. Obey my instructions. Any questions? No? Touch ’em up.”
Virani and Kasandra don’t exchange words, and touch gloves before heading back to their corners.
After the ceremonial part of the pre-fight is done, Kasandra kneels in the corner, closing her eyes in focus.
Kasandra thinks: No fear. Get it done, Kass.
Virani waits like a caged predator, waiting for the bell.