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March 16th TaKe-On Promotes Muay Thai at the Theater at MSG

  • Written by Dave Walsh

Take-OnThere is really something to be said for the Muay Thai scene in the United States that has really begun to carve out its own niche for itself over the past few years. Kickboxing was once a thriving sport in the United States, but corruption broke the trust of the networks who were airing it and K-1 never truly caught on in the United States thanks to them only promoting for Japanese audiences and never trying to understand what Americans wanted.

TaKe-On in New York has been doing a lot of good things for Muay Thai alongside MSG Sports, and promoting at the Theater at MSG. Read the press release after the break.



FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2012




New York, NY (February 9, 2012) - TaKe On Productions, New York’s premiere Muay Thai promotion, and MSG

Sports announced today that “Muay Thai at the Mecca”, a professional and amateur Muay Thai kickboxing event, will

take place at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Friday, March 16th. This historic occasion

will mark the first-ever Muay Thai kickboxing event in the renowned history of Madison Square Garden.


“Muay Thai at the Mecca”, the biggest event ever sanctioned by the WKA in New York, will feature an explosive fight

card including the best professional and amateur Muay Thai fighters and two WKA Title fights. The Finals of the 8-

man “Rising Stars” Lightweight Tournament will feature Andrilo Juarez (3-0; American Killer Bees) vs. Freddy Cheung

(2-1; Sitan NY) and Prairie Rugilo (3-1, 1KO, Girl Fight MMA), the only amateur female to ever score a KO in the TaKe

On ring will face the very tough Angie Babel (3-0, Five Points Academy).


Tickets go on sale Monday, February 13, and start at just $35. Tickets will be available at ,

all Ticketmaster locations, the Garden box office, and at Muay Thai and MMA gyms throughout NY, NJ, and PA. TaKe

On VIP ticket packages will also be available via, along with the full fight card, fighter

information, and other exciting content.


One of the most anticipated fights of 2012 will headline the 24 bout card when Rigel “Cool Heart” Balsamico (Cool

Hearts Muay Thai) takes on UFC veteran Ryan “The Lion” Madigan (Evolve MMA). Balsamico, a native of Ireland, is

a veteran of 30 professional Muay Thai fights (24-6, 11 KO’s). He lived, trained, and fought out of Thailand for many

years before coming back to the United States to open his Muay Thai gym in Philadelphia. Madigan is a seasoned

combat sports veteran with UFC experience, having fought at UFC 96 in 2009. Now focusing his professional career

on Muay Thai kickboxing, he holds a professional record of 26-6.


"Following up on the success of our partnerships with MSG Sports on ‘Battle at the Beacon’ and ‘Battle at Bally's’,

TaKe On Productions is elated to achieve our dream of bringing a Muay Thai kickboxing event to MSG. Through these

brand extension efforts, the TaKe On name has become synonymous with an intense evening of non-stop action

filled with highlight reel knockouts" stated company CEO Mike Gasparski.


"We've all experienced thrilling moments at MSG as the 'Mecca of Boxing'. I always believed someday our beloved

sport would make MSG the 'Mecca of Muay Thai' as well. On March 16th, that day will have arrived" added company

President Eddie Cuello.


"Madison Square Garden has been home to some of the biggest moments in boxing history. After successful Muay

Thai kickboxing events at the Beacon Theatre and Bally's in Atlantic City, we are thrilled to bring Muay Thai to the

Mecca for the first time on March 16," said Scott O'Neil, president, MSG Sports. "This event will deliver world-class

stand up battles for local combat sports fans as we all anxiously await the sanctioning of Mixed Martial Arts in New



Other marquee names featured on the “Muay Thai at the Mecca”, which will include representatives from a total of


23 premiere Muay Thai kickboxing gyms, are:


Jarrel “Big Baby” Miller (3-0, 1 KO Muay Thai/Kickboxing, 10-0 Pro Boxing) (Pin Point Muay Thai) is known as “The

Future Heavyweight Champion” and has defeated UFC star Pat Barry in a Pro Kickboxing match in the WCL.

He is also a sparring partner for WBA/IBF/WBO Heavyweight Boxing Champion Wladimir Klitschko and K-1

superstar Jerome LeBanner. Miller is set to face WKA Amateur Heavyweight Champion Brian Collette (14-0 Amateur

Muay Thai) from Eastern Academy in Norfolk, Virginia. Collette will put his impressive undefeated Muay Thai record

on the line in his long awaited TaKe-On Pro debut.


Sean Hinds (16-5, Mushin MMA) trains at Mushin gym alongside UFC Fighters Georges St-Pierre and John Cholish,

and pro MMA fighter Erik Owings.


Jay Matias (2-0, Sitan Gym NY) trains under World Champion Muay Thai coach Aziz Nabih, and is one of the country’s

top 5 amateur fighters. He is the WKA North American Lightweight Champion, and was recently named 2011’s top

Muay Thai prospect by "Muay Thai Is Life" & "".


And many others including: Brett Hlavacek (The Wat), Andy Singh (Pin Point Muay Thai), and Anthony Demaio

(Staten Island Muay Thai). Their official fight announcements will be made in the immediate future.


Visit for the full fight card, highlights from past events, fighter features and more.


The Madison Square Garden Company

The Madison Square Garden Company is a fully-integrated sports, media and entertainment business. The company is comprised of three business segments:

MSG Sports, MSG Media and MSG Entertainment, which are strategically aligned to work together to drive the company's overall business, which is built on

a foundation of iconic venues and compelling content that the company creates, produces, presents and/or distributes through its programming networks

and other media assets. MSG Sports consists of owning and operating sports franchises, including the New York Knicks (NBA), the New York Rangers (NHL),

the New York Liberty (WNBA), and the Connecticut Whale (AHL). MSG Sports also features the presentation of a wide variety of live sporting events including

professional boxing, college basketball, track and field and tennis, as well as MSG Action Sports, an action sports and lifestyle division. MSG Media is a leader

in production and content development for multiple distribution platforms, including content originating from MSG's venues. MSG Media consists of the MSG

Networks (MSG, MSG Plus, MSG HD and MSG Plus HD) regional sports networks and the Fuse Networks (Fuse and Fuse HD), a national television network

dedicated to music. MSG Entertainment is one of the country's leaders in live entertainment. MSG Entertainment creates, produces and/or presents a variety

of live productions, including the Radio City Christmas Spectacular featuring the Radio City Rockettes. MSG Entertainment also presents or hosts other live

entertainment events such as concerts, family shows and special events in MSG's diverse collection of venues. These venues include Madison Square Garden,

Radio City Music Hall, the Theater at Madison Square Garden, the Beacon Theatre, the Chicago Theatre and the Wang Theatre. More information is available at


TaKe On Productions

TaKe On Productions came onto the fight scene in 2009, and rapidly became the top Muay Thai fight promotion company in New York. TaKe On has brought

fight fans many exciting Professional and Amateur Thai boxing events, including the legendary Battle at the Beacon, and the $10K Pro Tournament where 8 Pro

fighters competed in a one night to take home the title and the prize. TaKe On events always showcase the best local, national and international talent, from up

and coming prospects to seasoned veterans of the sport. More information is available at

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