1 of DECEMBER 2008 . BELFAST . NORTHERN IRELAND

KICKBOXING MANIA 6 : SIMPLY THE BEST !

The WKN kickboxing world descended on Belfast for the December 1 KICKmas event that’s when some of the sport’s biggest names faced each other at the kickboxing event of the year. The KICKmas 2008 show at the Waterfront Hall saw a host of titles up for grabs in the biggest concentration of World and European contests held anywhere in Ireland. The man they call Mr ‘Perfect’ Ernesto Hoost, a four time winner of the Japanese K1 was ringside at KICKmas in Belfast to watch and commentate on the action for television.

Fight Report By Billy MURRAY

The event was overseen by the WKN (World Kickboxing Network) President, Mr Stephane Cabrera along with other word directors at ringside.

The top of the bill clash between local hero Gary Hamilton and English rival Mary Cox Jnr was sensationally aborted seconds before the first bell when Cox went over his ankle in the warm-up and was forced by doctors to sit the bout out.

“It’s infuriating, but that’s sport,” said Hamilton. “I was desperate to take that world lightweight title and add it to my featherweight crown, but it wasn’t to be. Marty could have just said he didn’t want to hear the Belfast roar or face the Hamilton punch!”

Cox hobbled into the middle of the ring to offer his apologies to the fans when it became clear he couldn’t make it. He was greeted very warmly. However, Hamilton said there was one bright note from the night. He said he wouldn’t be bringing the curtain down on his kickboxing career as there was still “unfinished business.”

Northern Ireland’s new amateur world champion says he’s still in dreamland after this week’s victory. Football hero turned ring legend Ian Young reached the summit of kickboxing by taking his long dreamed-of world title in Belfast on Monday night (December 1).

The Saintfield slammer took out much fancied Corsican Ange Moriconi in a largely one-sided WKN Thai-Style light middleweight contest. The ref stepped in to save the Corsican from anymore damage in the third of a scheduled five rounds. By that time, Young had already dumped his opponent on the canvas at least three times in a devastating display of power, precision and sheer title hunger.

But with such highs on the night it was inevitable there would also be incredible lows.

Brave Stuart Jess fell in his attempt to claim the amateur world Light middleweight Full-Contact title. The battling warrior had aimed to take the vacant world title and dedicate it to the memory of his tragic son Callum who died in a cot death earlier this year. But Jess just didn’t have enough in the tank to unseat European champ Bruno Carvalho from Portugal.

His corner ended it in the fifth and final round. “Stuart is heartbroken,” said Murray. “But he shouldn’t be. He did himself and everyone else proud. He says he’ll be back and he’ll get this title. Everyone at ProKick wishes Stuart and his partner Heidi all the best during what will no doubt be a difficult Christmas for them.”
In Other bouts on the night

Lisburn’s Mark Bird took the British light welterweight (freestyle) title, Mark has been dubbed the next big thing in kickboxing for Northern Ireland, whilst Mark’s younger brother David shared the spoils with England’s Hayden Walker, some ringsiders along with Bird’s coach Murray thought the same but the two young lads show that kickboxing’s next generation have a good handle on the sport.

Galway’s Ken Horan narrowly lost on points in his super middleweight amateur world title clash. Ken Horan is Prokick’s adopted son from ROI Galway. The Galway based fighter travels sometimes twice a week by car and has done for years. He was the super middleweight world champion and was defending against up-n-coming star Simon Was from Poland, a junior world champion who is now in the senior division. Many thought Ken did not deserve the loss, as when a fighter is champion the challenger must convincingly take the title and Was’ did not do that. The fight was muted one of the best on the night with non-stop action . This will make a great rematch and let’s hope it can be in Galway.

For many fans in the hall, the all action encounter with Poll WAS’ was the fight of the night. “It was a remarkable kickboxing tie,” said Murray. “It’s one of the best I’ve seen for a long time in Belfast. Ken was disappointed, but he’ll be back. And by golly, WAS knew he was in a scrap.” Meanwhile, unlucky heavyweight James Gillen couldn’t quite make it over the line to claim the winner-takes-all heavyweight four man K1 Style competitions.
White Cocky Alexander White is no more – he is Alexander the brave, the young Scot put up a brave challange against one of the toughest Featherweight Full contact fighters in the business – Patrick Kinigamazi. Patrick a Rwandan fighting out of Switzerland had White on the canvas a total of six time over five round before the referee stopped the fight. ‘ Kinigamazi a class act!

The sponsored Schwarzkopf and Belfast City Council’s event aired on Setanta sports and various other networks across the world. If you missed any of the action at KICKmas – re-runs can be found here very soon on ProKick.com along with the latest kickboxing News