With only six professional fights under her belt, against limited opposition, 25-year-old Justine Lallemand was considered the underdog on Saturday night, October 28, when she challenged for the World Boxing Federation (WBF) Womens World Light Flyweight title against French compatriot and reigning champion Anne Sophie Da Costa.
But, on a show promoted by CSNA Boxe at the Salle Polyvalente de Mon Idee in Auvillers Les Forges, Lallemand appeared unfazed by any pressure and boxed a near perfect fight against the much more experienced and accomplished titlist.
With fast combinations to both head and body, and some perfectly timed uppercuts, Lallemand at times made it an uneven fight. However, Da Costa (35) had no intentions of giving up her world title without a hard fight, and gave it everything she had despite the onslaught coming her way.
Da Costa had some good moments in rounds five and seven, but in the rest of the fight she was struggling badly and at times appeared hurt and unsteady on her legs. Lallemand was just far superior, and made and extraordinary impression as she gatecrashed the world scene.
As the bell sounded to end the tenth and final round, there was no doubt that the crowd had witnessed a changing of the guard. Judges Bertrand Chagnoux and Mohamed Hireche agreed on 98-92 scores in favour of Lallemand, while Judge Christophe Hembert had it slightly closer at 97-93.
The new World Champion extended her unblemished professional record to 7-0 (1), and there will unquestionably be many more outstanding performances to come from Justine Lallemand in the future. Da Costa, also a former WBF World Strawweight Champion, drops to 24-3 (11).