WMC Lightweight World Title
5-3 Minute Rounds
(Japan) - Champion
(Sweden) - Challenger
The crowds in the TROPICANA Resort and Casino of Atlantic City were cheering wildly in anticipation for the Female Thaiboxing event
between the current WMC (World Muay Thai Council) Lightweight World Champion, Haruka Misaki (Tokyo, Japan), and her challenger,
Caren Nilsson (Stockholm, Sweden). The result of these five three-minute rounds on this 17th of June could either boost the champion’s
nearly perfect record or become a major disappointment to her. Her challenger, Caren, could either increase her amount of losses or add
to her title history. Here is a brief “Tale of the Tape”:
Caren Nilsson: 60,2kg / 133lbs – 39 years old. Her fight record: 12 wins (1 by KO) / 3 losses / 0 draws
2003 WIBF European Champion (Boxing) and 2004 Swedish Kickboxing K-1 Style Champion.
Haruka Misaki: 59,7kg / 131lbs – 23 years old. Her fight record: 21 wins (6 by KO) / 0 losses / 3 Draw
WMC World Champion since 2003.
The audience hushed momentarily. Roughly about half of the fans roared their support for Caren Nilsson when her name was called out
by the announcer. She was garbed in a short, hooded, and pink robe with white trim, white top trimmed with blue, blue shorts trimmed
with white, black gloves, a yellow foot wrap (right), and blue wrap (left) that recalls the Swedish flag. She strode calmly and ominously
with her gloved fists swinging slowly and rhythmically and with her hood covering most of her eyes.
Caren climbs over the blue ropes, goes to her corner and slips out of her robe, retaining her serious attitude. A few seconds later,
the champion emerges from the other locker room, showing her respect as the other half of the fans chant her name;
nevertheless, she has a serious expression too.
She climbs over the ropes, walks to her corner, and takes off her white robe with blue trim to reveal a more muscular body than Caren’s.
She is in a white top with Japanese lettering on her left breast, red gloves, white skirt with a black trim and a tiger on the front,
blue-and-white striped headband, and orange and yellow ankle bands. Haruka performs the Ram Muay, the respectful ring ritual.
She then strides back to her corner, removing her headband. The announcer announces the match and both fighters walk toward the
center of the ring to listen to the referee’s rules.
Both ladies nod, tap their gloves together, and return to their respective corners. They stare deeply into each other’s eyes across the ring,
neither one retreating from the other’s glare. With both warriors showing such resilience, this will definitely become a great match!
The bell clanged, calling for the first round to begin.
Round One - Caren is constantly on the defense in this round while her opponent shows the same ferocity as the tiger on her skirt.
Haruka rapidly attacks the black-gloved defense of her opponent with red fists. After several unsuccessful attempts, the Swede finally
lashes out with a powerful right hook to the Japanese champion’s unprotected chin, pushing her back a few steps. However, she quickly
recovers and strikes out with a right kick to Caren’s head, who barely dodges it.
Seeing the other fighter off-guard, Haruka charges forward and feints a left jab. The Swede swiftly raises her gloves to absorb the punch,
but also receives a strong left kick to the back of her knee.
Weakened by the kick, Caren wobbles briefly and Haruka takes the opportunity to give a push kick to her abdomen,
which drives her backward into a corner. Expecting another kick, the Swede raises her knee, but the Asian sends a barrage of lefts and
rights to her stomach instead.
The round ends, leaving a relieved Caren to return to her corner, where she is encouraged by her trainer to take the offense.
Both women glare at each other again. Caren bares her yellow mouthpiece and Haruka returns the expression with her black mouthpiece.
Round Two - The second round begins, this time with the fans seeing a more aggressive Caren Nilsson. As the champion shoots a right
hook, Caren dodges and bombs Haruka’s chin with a mighty right jab, baring her teeth through her mouthpiece.
Haruka stumbles backwards, the dragon tattoo on her back seeming to retreat. Seizing the opportunity, Caren darts forward, plunging her
gloves into her opponent’s abdomen. The Asian fighter clutches her stomach and, taking another chance, locks her gloves around Haruka’s
head. She continues to work on the sore area of the champion with vicious right knees. After a few of those painful attacks, she tries
to block them with her red gloves.
Once she regains her breath, Haruka pushes Caren’s back into a corner while her opponent still has her gloves locked around her head.
Her body against Caren’s, she knees her in the abdomen a couple of times with the intensity equal to her opponent’s before. She also sends
powerful right hooks to the Swede’s chin and pushes her back into the ropes.
With less than fifteen seconds left in this round, Haruka continues the fierce assault against her challenger with more rights and knees.
Again, Caren is pleased for the bell to ring for the round to end. The two weary fighters walk back to their corners, glad for rest.
Round Three - The fans watch Caren dominating this round. She scorches her opponent with flurries of left and right gloved fists.
A powerful right explodes on Haruka’s left cheek, pushing her backwards. The champion regains her balance and releases a strong left kick,
just as Caren moves forward with a slow left hook. The kick accidentally flies below the belt and strikes Caren in the groin.
Although it was purely unintentional, Haruka may lose some points for this round, depending on whether or not the judges thought it was
deliberate. As allowed in the rules, Caren is able to request a break, which she does take, to regain her strength. She resumes the match
after about thirty seconds and sends a barrage of swift punches at Haruka, driving her backwards against the ropes. The Japanese lady tries
to regain dominance and sinks a knee into the Swede’s abdomen and receiving a strong left, which jerks her head violently to the left.
Caren stumbles back a few steps. Attempting to recover from the knee, she waited for her opponent to come to her. Haruka walked
forward, attacking with a left hook, which misses its target as Caren leans backwards to chop the upper left side of the Japanese fighter.
Quick as lightning, Caren locks her opponent’s head with her gloves and clinches. Knees are allowed during clinches in Muay Thai,
so Caren repeatedly plunges her left knee into the champion’s abdomen until Haruka hooks the left leg with a left arm.
Both tired and sweaty boxers struggle to gain the upper hand. However, neither of them does because of each other’s unwillingness
to give up. The relieving bell signals the end of the round. They trudge back to their respective corners to replenish their strength
before the next round.
Round Four - Caren and Haruka are in their corners, both mostly recovered from the previous rounds thanks to their excellent trainers.
A Hooters waitress walks across the ring, holding the card signaling the beginning of the fourth round.
The two boxers surge forward to greet each other with more blows. Haruka runs into the Caren’s strong right jab,
jolting her head backwards.
Caren pursues her opponent, hoping to score victory in this round. Believing that her adversary was severely weakened by that punch,
she was unaware of the hidden reserve of strength and will within. She walks straight into a fast, punishing right kick to the face, uselessly
raising her knee too late.
The Swedish woman falls to the ring mat. The referee begins counting and Haruka was sure she had scored a knockout. Little does she
know of the will and strength that forces the stunned Caren back up by the count of three. Hardly able to believe her eyes, she stands there
amazed as the rejuvenated warrior charged forward and puts her in another clinch. Solid right knees spring up into the face of
the champion, who manages to block a few of the blows with her gloves.
Another knee rockets up and hits the guard, glancing Haruka’s face. Although it barely hit her, it was enough. The champion slumps
forward, dazed. Caren goes to a neutral corner as the referee begins to count her adversary out. By the count of seven, Haruka manages
to get to her feet, fueled by her inner power. Caren rushes forward to continue the salvo of knees, but Haruka is ready. As Caren tries to
deliver a left knee, the champion catches her in a clinch, holding the left leg with a right fist, hooks her left leg around her foe’s right leg,
and pushes her down...
...causing Caren to stumble and fall, which is legal.
Caren rises almost immediately, without an eight count because it is a simple fall caused by a regular stumble. Trying to gain vengeance
for the fall, she loops a solid, right hook around the red defense of Haruka.
This would have been one of many more punches, but just 10 seconds after, the fourth round ended, saving Haruka from further
Round Five - Caren sits on her wooden stool in her corner, with her trainer in front of her. Her trainer stretches his fighter’s skirt and
rests her legs on his hips, allowing more air to reach her lungs. He reinserts the yellow mouthpiece as the last round is about
to commence. She begins to show marks from the battle, bruised and swollen cheekbones.
Haruka’s trainer holds back her hair and holds the water for her to drink from as she readies herself for the final round as well.
In an attempt to conserve her energy, Haruka backs Caren into a corner and into a clinch. She blocks a right knee from her opponent
with her own right knee.
Caren slips out of the clinch and pushes Haruka back. Due to her extreme weariness, Haruka stumbles backwards to the center of the ring,
retaining her balance. Caren aims a powerful low kick on Haruka’s lower thigh, avoiding her opponent’s futile block.
Haruka falls, but there is no eight count because this is a simple fall caused by a low kick.
Haruka gets to her feet and is immediately hit by a right kick to her left side, unable to block it with her left knee.
Once Caren’s foot touches the mat, Haruka launches her own right kick to the left side of Caren’s face.
Seizing the opportunity, Haruka clinches with Caren, turns her around, and pushes her into a neutral corner. Caren tries desperately
to push Haruka away and win this crucial round.
The Swedish warrior manages to push Haruka away to the center of the ring. She unloads a swift left and right jab combination
on the champion’s cheeks, causing the cheekbones to swell instantly.
With only about fourteen seconds left in this round, both exhausted warriors clinch and wrestle, trying to score more points with
the last bits of their strength.
Haruka and Caren await the decision. After such a close and grueling ordeal for both, Caren jumps up in the air once the announcer
announces her win by Unanimous Decision and the referee raises her left gloved fist into the air.
Haruka, now former champion, looks crestfallen, but shows good sportsmanship. Both athletes hug and exchange kisses as the Hooter’s
waitress adorns Caren Nilsson’s waist with the WMC Lightweight World Title.
Caren and her supportive trainer smile and pose for the DCL camera. Behind them, the large screen shows the fight’s highlights
and acknowledging her as the new WMC Lightweight World Champion. All around them, her fans celebrate her victory.
there be a rematch between Haruka Misaki and Caren Nilsson in an attempt
to regain the title?