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Weekend Results: Chaibi Tops Bovy, Beljaards Victorious

nickbeljaardsA few notables were in action this weekend. In Villeurbanne, France at Fight Zone 5, French notable Hichem Chaibi topped the experienced Thai Bovy Sor Udomson on points. Also on the card, Abdallah Ezbiri knocked out Filipo Solheid to become the new WKN European K-1 Champion in the 66.7kg division. Also in France, Karim Ghajji and Thomas Adamandopoulos both won on points at Urban Boxing United.

In the Netherlands, Nick Beljaards won on points against Yassin Lahmidi at the Bari Gym Gala. Beljaards will have a quick turn-around and fight at It's Showtime's May 21st event against Mo Ben Nasser. At the event "A Night To Remember," Khalid Chabrani defeated Errol Koning by 5 round decision. Koning will be facing Murthel Groenhart on June 11 for It's Showtime in Warsaw, Poland.

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Howson stopped on cuts; Retirement of the champ ends an otherwise great event in Leeds

By Daniel Fletcher

Every champion falls, every great fighter declines, and every star burns out or fades away. It is the nature of the beast; as inherent and inexorable a fact as that the Earth orbits the Sun, that grass is green and that Michael Schiavello will scream "Goodnight Irene!" during a fight broadcast when a fighter gets sparked. To get proverbial, what goes up must come down, and as a promising young fighter embarks on his career, the ageing warrior must one day reach the point where the journey must end.

Andy Howson lost his ISKA world title last night, and subsequently announced his retirement. He was cheered by a raucous following, and hugged by the friend that had just relieved him of his championship belt. The show was over.

After 13yrs, he admitted that the young had usurped the (comparatively) old, and that his time was done. "After 13yrs, a lot of hard fights and a few world titles" was his own way of putting it, but he neglected to mention the respect of his peers, the support of his friends and his team, and the fact he went out being cheered. Hey, home town or not, even legends get booed at the end... just ask Nigel Benn. Going out to cheers and applause is a pinnacle.

As for the fight itself, it was a counter-striking technician against a shorter, more brawling orientated scrapper in Andy. Dean James used his range well, and though he initially showed Howson a great deal of respect in a cautious opening round, he turned it up a notch in the final minute of the second. A standing elbow landed precisely, arcing down onto Howson's head and cutting him open. The blitzkrieg was expected from the defending champion in the third, but it was this round that the downfall continuted; while Andy pressed, James began to pick him off and avoiding the inside work, landed another elbow from the clinch. Wobbled, Howson was forced back to the ropes, and a short elbow from the clinch dropped him. He survived the round.

(Photo courtesy of http://muaythaiphotos.com)

Howson cut

The fourth round spelled the end. As one fan put it, Howson "went crazy as only he can", and tried flurrying to turn the contest into an all out brawl. James complied to some extent, and should be credited for not playing an overly cautious technical game in his victory; this was an exciting contest. Alas, it had to end, and after allowing the bout to continue following a check up, the referee called another halt as the two head wounds spat blood, some of which was running down into Howson's eyes. An audible groan went round, as Dean James was declared the new ISKA World Bantamweight champion, and Howson's reign was ended.

Ultimate respect to Andy Howson, one of Leeds, Yorkshire and England's best Muay Thai fighters, and a very likeable guy.

Jordan Watson did not compete on the card, as his recent title defence over Cedric Mueller of France was still reminding his body about it. He did, however, speak very candidly with me about the 70kg MAX division he competes in, and there will be more on that in my next upload. Stay tuned.

Howson's retirement and Watson's non-participation didn't entirely cast ill-omen on Bad Company at the event, and they had their moments of triumph too. Lee Mundin outpointed Jo Boffey, thanks to a Herculean comeback in the final two rounds. Boffey had nudged ahead on the scorecards leading into the fourth, but Mundin earned a win for Bad Company in handsomely outlanding and outworking Boffey and taking the decision victory.

Also a victor was "Nice Guy" Eddie Long. The unassuming 78kg fighter has a peculiar hunched stance, his chin tucked and hands held outwards Remy style. It led me to ask his sparring partner, "The Myth" whether or not Long had a glass jaw that needed protecting at all costs. Not only the answer he gave, but the fight in question proved that he certainly didn't - Lee Keegan was unable to hurt him, and struggled to deal with the leg kicks dished out by the Bad Company man. At the end of the first round, his right leg was visibly wilting, with redness showing at the back of his thigh, and the expected finish came soon after. Despite his outward calm, Keegan backed into his corner and was more focused on blocking Long's leg kicks as opposed to dishing out his own offence, and after one too many right lowkicks, he buckled, and was unable to beat the count.

Off to a winning start for Long, who will look to compete at a forthcoming HGH Promotions or Bad Company promoted show. Who says nice guys finish last?

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Fight Code Budapest: The Quick and Dirty

Fight Code held yet another event today, in cooperation with Wako-Pro who held a Croatia vs. Hungary tournament on the undercard as well as placed Bob Sapp in the main event. The Fight Code portion of the event aired live on Fight Code's website and if you for some reason missed the action, the fights are up for your viewing pleasure.

The Super Fights were interesting to say the least, with each bout set to feature a certain fighter for the upcoming Rhinos tournament. Vitali Akhramenko squared off with Gyorgy Mihalik. Mihalik was able to hold his own throughout a good portion of the first two rounds but had a lot of trouble in the third, just barely surviving the fight. Akhramenko was simply too powerful and technical for Mihalik and the bout was clearly to feature him.

Timhar Brunner was given a dubious task of fighting Miladen Brestovac. Brestovac was able to easily walk right through Brunner within mere moments. Honestly, Brunner was not in the game at all for this bout and was completely out-classed.

Freddy Kemayo, a name that many know quite well from It's Showtime got a victory for himself, getting himself some great forward momentum for the Rhino Series tournament. Corneliu Rus was his opponent and he put forth a valid effort, but against a tried-and-true competitor like Kemayo, swarming him early on with only a select few shots landing is not how you fight him. Kemayo has been around the block a few too many times and simply weathered the storms while covering up and taking minimal, if any damage. Rus was then caught off-guard and knocked down by Kemayo and stumbled back to his feet. Freddy just moved in and one lone punch sent Rus into the ropes before crumbling for good, not knowing where he was.

If for some reason you are interested in Bob Sapp, he was destroyed by Tivadar Kunkli after being knocked down three times.

As for the Dragon's Series Tournament, it was not without early controversy. Norbert Balough clearly outworked Luka Tomic before the bout was declared a draw. This simply set a fire under him as he took Tomic down in the extension round with a head kick. In the second of the tournament bouts, Yuri Bessmerty put on a bit of a show against his opponent, Selmedin Didic. He essentially just worked him over for three rounds while taunting him but never went in for the kill. In the third bout, Halim Issaoui pulled off an interesting upset over British Muay Thai standout Simon Chu. Chu looked confident early on before getting dropped in the first, held on for the second and did his best to rally in the third, but it was not enough to secure him a victory.

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Weekend Results: Zambidis, Saenchai, More

Mike Zambidis W5 Grand PrixResults from the international kickboxing scene this weekend:

Mike Zambidis took home the title at the W5 Grand Prix event in Moscow, although it wasn’t an easy road. In the semi-finals, Enriko Gogokhia provided a tough challenge, taking the fight into the extension round before Zambo could score the decision win. In semi-final #2, Dzhabar Askerov took a decision against William Diender, setting up Zambidis vs. Askerov 2 for the final. The two men once again went to war, and once again it was Zambidis claiming the win via unanimous decision. With that win, Zambidis has won 7 of his last 8, with the only loss coming against Giorgio Petrosyan. Prior to this run, he was on a 2-4 streak, and looked like his days at the top could be finished; it’s been great to see the veteran fighter make this resurgence. Also at W5: Vladimir Mineev won over Vitaly Shemetov by doctor stopage at the end of round 1, Alexandr Stetsurenko def. Vasily Tershonok by decision in the extension round, and Roman Mailov def. Ramil Novruzov via decision.

Evolution 23 took place in Australia on Saturday. As always, the Australian Muay Thai show delivered, with a number of exciting fights. In the main event, one of the scene’s big names, Bruce “The Preacher” Macfie dropped a unanimous decision to Franki Giorgi. Giorgi had defeated Macfie by stoppage at the last card to set up this rematch, and while the Preacher went the distance this time, reports indicate the result was never in doubt.

Elsewhere in the card there was some controversy in a fight between Eli Madigan and Jason Scerri, which Madigan won. Post-show, Scerri’s corner has been very critical of Madigan and Evolution, claiming that when they agreed to the fight, they requested there be no elbows used, as Scerri no longer fights under full Muay Thai rules. According to Scerri’s camp at Jabout Gym, both Evolution and Madigan’s team agreed to this, however when the fight started, Madigan used numerous elbows to cut open his opponent. Scerri’s corner threw in the towel as they felt they were being cheated. Bit of an ugly situation there.

One final note from the show – much credit is due to Glen Purvis, who came in on very short notice to face the tough and experienced Dane Daddy Kool when Dane’s original opponent had to bow out. Taking a fight against a fighter at that level on just a few days notice is impressive. Even more impressive? Purvis is only 16 years old. Hats off to him for stepping in there.

Full results from Evolution 23 in the complete entry.

And finally, top Muay Thai fighter Saenchai Sinbi (the former Saenchai Sor Kingstar) was in action in England. Saenchai faced top ranked UK Muay Thai fighter Liam Harrison. Reports say this was an excellent fight with Harrisoin giving it his all, but in the end, Saenchai was too much and took the unanimous decision win. He’s now 2-0 against Harrison after a 2009 decision victory. If you’re unfamiliar with Saenchai, get to YouTube and check him out – truly one of the most gifted athletes in the world in any combat sports discipline.

 

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