( Female Lightweight Titles )
The Women's South England Pub Fight Champion.
Sahara poses for photographs at the weigh-in.
The Midlands Pub Fight Champion
In a previous pub fight story, Portia lost to Mandy but according to Portia she didn't beat her fair and square. It was a friendly, so Portia's title was not on the line.
Mandy wouldn't give her a rematch, so the ambitious Portia texted Sahara and challenged her to fight at her pub ' The Cat and Fiddle ' with a date, offering £300 of extra sponsorship money on top of the £600 fight purse, with £500 to the winner plus their titles.
Sahara's manager had refused to agree the fight but Sahara was fed up, she hadn't had a fight for a month, after her win on home turf against Mandy.
Besides, the purse offered was substantial; not only that, but Portia was the Midlands champion, which was a title Sahara needed, to further her ambition to become the UK pub champion, so she sacked her manager and took the fight.
Always confident, Sahara haggled the purse and narrowed it to ' winner takes all.'
Only twenty deep-pocket sponsors were permitted to view the fight, ten from each pub, because of increasing popularity and there had been crowd trouble from previous fights.
The press gathering and the weigh-in was to take place on the night, the fight to kick off at mid-night.
Sahara and her sponsors arrived at the Cat and Fiddle where the atmosphere was tense, though the supporters were confident in their own girl; the weigh-in, though under the broader weight limits, was without incident: after all, it was a title fight.
The friendly discussions over the ale about the fight were the weight difference and the punching power and both these stats favoured Portia.
While Sahara's sponsors insist her staying power was by far the most telling factor and that she would prevail.
The press interview was under-way where Portia insisted she would win the fight, no matter the rules, and Sahara was not interested in speculation, saying it was business and she would do the business.
The committee discussed the rules of the fight until all seemed satisfied - a fight to the finish with taped fists , wearing only briefs and no biting. ( I like that committee.)
The girls stripped down there and then, entering the area in the pub cleared of tables with the crowd around them on three sides and sawdust on the floor.
Not much room to fight so it had to be a close encounter and for the first time I saw Sahara doubtful, arguing with the officials and I reckon she was not so happy at the disorganised space, losing the advantage of speed while Portia could plod and punch to her heart's content: Sahara's complaint was met with a shrug of the shoulders.
Sahara's supporters shout ' Fix.' They understood her dilemma.
Popping in their mouth-guards, the girls shake hands before their hands are quickly taped: the crowd growing excited from murmuring to increasing shouts of support.
Using her speed, Sahara repeats the tactic after another wild swing from Portia but this time after two swift punches to Portia's belly, a vicious little uppercut to Portia's jaw has her fans roaring, as she again dances out of reach, but with so little room, bangs into hostile supporters who push her into the path of Portia.
Off balance, Sahara is stunned by a left and right to her head and face. Portia's fans are cheering as Sahara shakes her head to clear her dizzyness.
Seeing the effect of her punches, Portia's fists move like pistons as she circles Sahara but her timing is not that good, missing more than she connects, allowing Sahara to recover.
Slip-sliding, darting in again, the swashbuckling Sahara grips Portia's short hair keeping close in to her side, ramming the heel of her hand upward forcing Portia's head up whilst kneeing her lower abdomen and thigh.
Portia loses her temper, swinging wildly as Sahara's fists beat a tattoo on her ribs, breasts and belly.
Portia angrily grabs hold of Sahara's flowing hair, pulling her close and cruelly breast punches her several times. ' How do you like it ' she screams.
Sahara squirms out of reach, obviously hurt, massaging her breasts but Portia crowds her, landing several half-decent face shots.
They exchange a barrage of punches, neither giving way as the skin reddens until Sahara releases a kick to to the inside of Portia's thigh.
Sahara is looking for a rest as Portia plods after her throwing punches and kicks.
Sahara looks for her rest, unbelievably hanging from Portia's neck, both feet off the floor, Portia takes the strain as Sahara encircles her waist with her legs.
Obeying shouts from her supporters, Portia's fists beat against Sahara's ribs, and continues to stand.
Sahara loosens her hold to escape the punches. Not a successful rest-break.
Testosterone levels increasing, the strained voices from the crowd on the verge of losing control in support of their girl.
Circling each other, looking for an opening, Portia lunges for the hair and Sahara bangs her forehead into Portia's face. Sahara uppercuts furiously, Portia's head bobbing up and down from the hits but she hangs on to Sahara's hair, unleashing a powerful front knee strike into Sahara's midriff.
Sahara is bent over and tries to back off but Portia, still gripping Sahara's hair, brings her head down against her rising left knee. Sahara reels back, her hands over her face, sinking to her knees as Portia follows through, swinging her leg to take a mount.
Twisting and turning frantically, ( knowing full well the danger from Portia astride and dominating her) Sahara releases herself from Portia's grip, in a panic, scrabbling to her feet out of Portia's reach.
Portia, her face now badly bruised and bleeding, stands more slowly, raising her arms at the success of the take-down with what seems to be a smile on her face: her supporters raise their arms and chant her name.
Blood running from her nose and mouth, Sahara groggily keeps her fists up, going through her boxing motion and Portia, feeling confident, closes in, throwing punches The crowd erupts as a solid right hand into Sahara's face knocks her to the floor.
Sahara is up after a few moments to her fans relief but blood is escaping from a cut above her eye .
Sahara ducks and throws herself into a sticky, wet clinch, her right hand finds Portia's short blond hair, a fierce, powerful tug shifts Portia's equilibrium, a further tug with both hands brings her to her knees.
Two fast elbow shots to cheek and nose leaves Portia looking helpless, her knuckles trailing the floor. The immediate turnaround appreciated by Sahara's relieved supporters.
Sahara backs away, looking for a brief rest from a dazed Portia, now bleeding from cuts to her eye, nose and lip.
Portia has half risen but Sahara doesn't waste a second, a right foot kick to her head, drops Portia to the floor.
Is it over?
The minute is being counted, Portia's crowd urging her furiously, to get up.
Portia desperately grabs Sahara's legs, bringing her down, where their sweating bodies tangle and writhe in the sawdust
Pulling hair, twisting heads they punch breasts, stomach and thighs, frantically.
Portia grips and squeezes the inside flesh of Sahara's thigh: Sahara yelps from the pain and furiously escapes to get to her feet, massaging her thigh.
A little slower, Portia rises.
Sahara yells " Is that how you want it ? "
A tired looking Portia beckons Sahara in.
Sahara's wild charge is met with a head punch and an uppercut. Sahara wobbles as Portia drives another solid right into her stomach.
The fist fight is clearly working well for Portia and Sahara seems determined to suffer and have it out with her.
Portia does not appear to have the knockout punch and some of her zing has now gone.
Sahara cannot resist, she feints and two wicked little knuckle shots to the ribs, force Portia into retreat, followed closely by a couple of face punches.
Backed up, weakly kicking out at Sahara's legs, Portia falls among the onlookers but willing hands pushes her back into the arena where the girls clinch.
Leaning against each other, their bodies bathed in sweat, mouths wide open sucking in air, while taking a breather. The crowd urges them on, hoarse with excitement.
Portia's head butt is avoided by a now confident and galvanized Sahara as they exchange short punches to the lower body and breasts mixed in with sneaky uppercuts: Portia finds difficulty keeping up.
The watching crowd in a frenzy, Portia grips Sahara's breast and squeezes hard forcing Sahara, in obvious pain, to knee upwards: hard.
The blunt knee to Portia's lower abdomen is powerful and too much, she folds over, her hair gripped and twisted by Sahara forcing her to the sawdust.
Gripping her hair, Sahara knees and kicks her furiously, her elbows slice wickedly into Portia's upturned, already bloodied face.
Sahara is on a roll, her supporters roaring her on and Portia is on both knees now: her supporters subdued.
Another vicious knee strike to the head and Portia is on her back: the minute count begins, her chest heaving to take in much needed oxygen. Her head moves from side to side, as if not understanding what has happened. Her supporters scream in agony for her to rise and fight.
Sahara looks shattered, the last frenzy of energy has taken it's toll.
Portia seems to realise where she is, hears her fans and struggles to her hands and knees, her face a mask of blood, her almost naked and bruised body looking so vulnerable but Sahara ( within the rules ) kicks Portia's ribs twice, grips her shoulders and knees her chin.
The tired-out Portia has had it, she is down again and looks beaten.
Breathing hard, Sahara waits, rocking on her feet, bloody and bruised, so tired, her fists on automatic attention and still at the ready but Portia is not going to move: she is counted out.
Her minder hurriedly escorts the exhausted champion from the fight arena, though she manages a quick wave, she will take time to recover, Portia was a tough fight.
Never under-estimate Sahara's stamina, she proved again she can undo the hopes of women bigger than her; mind you, she does take a lot of punishment to get her wins but it's her belief we follow and support, her will to deny her opponent victory, so far, unshakeable.
Sahara doubled her fan support and her championship belts that night.
Some questions remain: who's next?
And will the lovely Portia, stripped of her title, ever fight again? After that beating, I doubt it.