Sarah: Poppy felt hard done by when she missed the draw for the title fight and rightly so as I think most people would have liked to see Poppy go head to head with Abbie. That fight will come eventually. Poppy, 36, is having a great year. Her FCBA PPV win over Lauren German has been played down overseas but anytime you beat a rising star by knockout in round 1 when you’re pushing 40….that’s a great win. Strangely enough, Poppy has only fought twice in the AWUBA and lost both those fights, so this will be a test for her tonight. Tania Zaetta has had a decorated AWUBA career, ranked 19th all time. She’s nearing the end of her career but has been placed nicely as head trainer at Wildetime, which will become a full time role when she retires.
Tania, firstly to you, your AWUBA record makes Poppy’s FCBA record look secondary. You’ve never fought her before, how will you approach this?
Tania: As the night goes on you get even more insulting. Let’s get a few things straight. I am not retiring anytime soon. When you are 36, you are not pushing 40. I’ve watched all the tapes on Poppy and the way I won’t approach it is like Jenny McCartney, that was awful boxing.
Sarah: Ok, so Poppy, have you got anything to add?
Poppy: Thanks Tania for handling the age thing. No nothing to add really. This is all very new for me tonight. Fighting back here in Australia is really exciting. Fighting Tania is going to be a bit of an honour because I have watched her from abroad for so many years. And if Jenny McCartney….
Poppy: Huh? Oh yeah, whatever, if she is watching back at home, probably in her rocking chair, picking chocolate snowflakes out of her hair….turn up the hearing aids honey!!
A flurry of punches to begin. Both girls clinching. Zaetta throwing short right hands in Poppy’s ribs. Zaetta pushing out of the clinch, HARD RIGHT UPPERCUT to the chin, Poppy driven backwards, shakes it off quickly and resets as Zaetta skips to and bends the knees twisting into swiping hooks to Poppy’s ribs again. Poppy taking it well but not the BLISTERING LEFT HOOK that smacks into her cheek. Zaetta just launch out of the crouch to put that on Poppy’s face. Poppy hightailing it out of there, circling, Zaetta coming on again so she meets her and connects with a neat little jab through the gloves, Zaetta stunned, her head popped back again and again, she’s backing off. Poppy advances, jabbing, Zaetta evading it then sending one back of her own, flush to chin. Poppy stopped now and she is backing off. There’s the bell.
Kristy: Tania taking the first round there. Good start from her. Poppy I think struggling to find a bit of rhythm.
Kylie: That can often happen when you are fighting someone new but in saying that, Tania is handling things ok.
Zaetta getting close again, working the body with those short sharp jabs. Poppy taking it well, popping jabs back in return at the face of Zaetta, OH RIGHT UPPERCUT POPPY MO, Zaetta rocked backwards, Poppy skipping in and fires a left and right hook to the belly, Zaetta buckles over, Poppy rocks onto the back foot and SLAMS THE RIGHT HOOK into the side of Zaetta’s head and DOWN GOES TANIA! On all fours, as Poppy jogs to her corner, Zaetta slowly to her feet at 6. Zaetta more careful now, Poppy not racing in to finish, but timing that jab and popping Zaetta’s head back as she backs away. Poppy grinning, banging away with the jab, Zaetta leaning and slipping one and fires a short sharp jab to the chin. Another to the chin, Poppy smoked! Zaetta a short left uppercut followed by a RAGING LEFT HOOK to the jaw and DOWN GOES POPPY! Statue like at first then sinking to her knees. It takes her a while to rise, up at 8, as the ref calls them together and Poppy takes a beating to the bell.
Kylie: What a round! If you had have told me beforehand that there would be two knock downs in the second round I would’ve have said “that’s Poppy ending the fight”. But one each, I would not have predicted that.
Kristy: Tania did so well to stay in that round so to get the knock down is huge. Poppy probably wins the round though, she dominated the first half.
Poppy slow, Tania banging a jab on her forehead, Poppy seething, ducks under another jab and RIPS THE RIGHT HOOK to Zaetta’s six pack, she’s hurt! Heaving winded, bent over, Poppy just JAMS THE RIGHT UPPERCUT into her open face and DOWN GOES ZAETTA! She’s flat on her back, legs kicking out, rolling onto her side and holding her tummy as she gets to one knee. Wipes away some blood from her nose as she rises, sucking hard at 8. She gets the call from the ref and she’s out of there, bunny hopping backwards, swatting at Poppy’s roundhouse blows. Poppy trying to knock her down, just relentless in her attack but can’t land the finishing shot. Zaetta trips on her own her boot, stumbles to the corner, Poppy respectful allows her off the ropes then springs in and hammers those roundhouse hooks and Zaetta’s guard, shot after shot thumping against her forearms until she switches into the LEFT UPPERCUT AND A CRUNCHING RIGHT HOOK to the temple and DOWN GOES ZAETTA! Head on a bobble, neck snapping sideways as she takes the full force of the punch on the jaw and falls straight down in the corner. Saved by the bell but Zaetta is in trouble in the corner.
Kristy: I’ve been waiting to see Poppy live for weeks and how about the power. Tania was powerless to stop her then. Sheer brutal force there from Poppy.
Kylie: I get to watch that every day over at the Crown. Her and Nikki Visser going toe to toe is something you have to see. I’m not giving Tania much hope from here. She’s a fighter but she has a lot on her plate here.
Poppy kicks it up another notch, just pouring it onto Zaetta. She is tired and can’t force a gap. Poppy just walking her backwards, banging her head back and forth with left and right jabs, has Zaetta on the ropes. Zaetta leaning away, able to bag a couple of little jabs to Poppy’s open face but Poppy just takes it, propping Zaetta up with a nice little uppercut to the chin, 1, 2, then leans back into a short SHARP RIGHT HOOK to the jaw, Zaetta turning sideways and slowly turning back, lights out, knees gone, LEFT HOOK POPPY MO and DOWN GOES ZAETTA! Leaning Tower of Pisa to the left then falling stiff to her side. Zaetta would be silly to get up after that, she can’t anyway, it’s over! KO4 Poppy Montgomery!
Kylie: A bit of one sided fight really. No disrespect to Tania, her knockdown of Poppy was great. But Poppy is at her peak and fighting at her best. She will fight for the title not time in, that is a certainty.
Kristy: I think that was a good effort from Tania against a champion boxer. Whether Poppy can beat an Abbie Cornish or Rachael Finch type, that remains to be scene.
Sarah: I’m here with Poppy, great win, how do you feel?
Poppy: Good. I didn’t feel too good at the end of the second and I simply started the round thinking that I couldn’t lose another fight in Australia, especially the very first PPV.
Sarah: Ok, well done tonight Poppy. No chat with Tania, she is still in Lady Gaga land as Kylie would say.
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