The Gladiators Conquest
June 25, 2006 Brooklyn, New York
In The Strike-Zone
|Photos by Felix Ozertsovski & Nikolai Komissarov|
|Commentators and speakers of the night were Brooklyn’s own Kru Luis Maisonet Jr. of the famous Maisonet's Muay Thai Gym and Shihan Jonas Nunas of the International Kickboxing Federation of New Jersey, both veterans of previous Strike events. Entering in to the circle of speakers for the first time was Kru Phillip Nurse of the Lugsitnarong Thai Boxing Gym. These guys rounded of the night very well as they roused the audience with bouts of education and rallying participation.|
|Before I go on, all of the spectators who have been to Strikes events of the past few years will have noticed an amazing change in the young Simon Yus, the MC of the events. Simon has really grown up and has developed a talent for rousing the audience right at the very beginning where it counts. His introduction of the fighters into the ring can be compared to the announcements made in K1 events in Japan - with great force and personality His coaching or training is beginning to pay off. Just smooth off a few of those rough edges and he will be almost perfect…. Almost…..|
|Before I begin, I gotta give the ref a slap on the back, Joel Bekker did a hell of a job despite having a pinched nerve that was playing havoc with him. I for one know all about that so I can acknowledge the effects and the discomfort. His judgment may have been at issue on several small or mute points to some, but when speaking with him later on these points, his explanations were quite valid from his angle of view. We all want to be the referee when we are sitting down in our seats looking up into a ring.|
|Our angle of vision is definitely not the same as the referee, and he can see what we cannot see or would like to. A tough job when everyone wants to win. ‘I’ll give you an simple example’, Place a coin in the center of the ring, and tell me which side is up, heads or tails? Who has a better chance to see this you, the audience sitting in seats looking into the ring or the referee standing in the ring..? My bet is on the referee.|
|To start the night was special guest Mr. Ron Anthony, Those of you in the know , will have heard Ron's voice on many a sound track by sung by legendary singer the Late great Luthor Vandross. Well Ron’s voice was right up there next to him. Ron was one of Luthors backup singers. Ron Anthony, a native of Brooklyn was at the event and gave an inspiring version of the Star Spangled Banner. Brings tears to my eyes every time I hear that tune. If you want to know more about Ron Anthony, go visit his website at www.ronanthony.com or better still buy his CD.|
OK Fight fans here we go…..
Bout One; first fight of the night, standing in the Blue Corner 16 year old Konstantin Tkeshelashvili weighing in at 117 Lb. coming out of the Professional Club Bars against the Red Corner, 16 year old Valentin Ostarchov weighing118Lb from Borodin’s Muay Thai Gym. All I can say was Nice…!!! Very nice..! A climactic start to the night’s bouts. These two whippets went at it like there was no tomorrow. Punches were flying kicks were swinging. A great start, but someone has to win and to the judges Young Valentin of Borodins Gym laid claim to that victory.
|Bout Two; was to be no exception, as both fighters looked like they wanted to copy bout one, as 130 lb 17 year Old Niko Tsigaras of Lions Club of Brooklyn fighting out of the blue corner who went up against the 16 year old 130lb Vlodimir Strelnikov of Borodin’s Gym, also for Brooklyn New York in the red corner. This was a good fight, both fighters exchanging knees, and punches, with some nice kicks thrown in for good measure. There were several sweet take-downs, clinches and kicks which resulted in another win for Borodins Gym.|
Bout Three; was interesting as this was the first of the ‘International Invitational’ fighters of the night who had travelled all the way from Kazakhstan, Russia. Fighting out of the blue corner 21 year old Artyom Zherebnenko who weighed in at 130 Lb. from the Art Boxing camp. Artyom was going to pit his skills against 17 year old 138 Lb. Ildar Munnarov from Lions Club of Brooklyn. The fight began with both fighters testing each other out.
|The unusual pant like shorts of Ildar must have slipped past the officials who are pretty tight about Thai shorts for Muay Thai. Anyway, the fight got a little strappy when Ildar hustled and almost suplexed Artyom to the ground. This caused Artyom’s coach to begin to raise his voice a slight octave. In Muay Thai hip twists and twist take-downs are part of the game. After several more times of lying on the canvas, a few good punches and well landed kicks it was Iidar who took the point, with a win for the Lions Club of Brooklyn.|
|Bout Four; was one of those fights that you had an idea was going to be good, but then if you have ever seen young Turan Hasanov fight, then it goes without saying. I have been watching Turan for several years and have seen a remarkable growing up in him. Tonight young Turan was fighting out of the red corner against a student of another great Kru, Master K of New Jersey. His fighter was 119lb Leander Igot fighting out of the blue corner. Turan “The Tornado” Hasanov of the Strike Zone camp always produces a nice rendition of the Ram Muay which draws the crowds applause. Turan does not look like the snapping turtle that he is, but once he steps into the ring….|
|Turan he put a pounding on Leander, who I feel also under estimated Turan for his clean boyish looks and slight build. Leander got pummeled around the ring making the referee Joel Bekker work for his pay. Leander found out why Turan was called Tornado… Leander fought back gallantly with kicks and punches and began to tie up Turan in clinches, but it was to no avail, Turans flurry of punches kept Leander on the turn and on the ropes defending his self from Turnan’s onslaught. In the end Brooklyn's own Tornado took the prize with an outstanding win.|
|Bout Five; looked to be as exciting as the last bout with fighter 21 year old Ruslan Bukharin weighing in at 155 Lb., from Art Studio fighting in the Blue Corner against Strike Zones 20 year old Jaison Alvarado weighing in at 150 Lb. What a fight this was, both fighters right from the get go really went at it, making the audience shout for more. This pair of tough bulldogs would not budge an inch and pummeled each other none stop. In the last seconds of second round the fight got more exciting as clashes and tumbles to the canvas began to leave their marks.|
|Kicks and punches flew all around when one landed right above Jaisons right eyebrow, which opened it up. The referee rightly so, brought Jaison to the ring docs to check the cut and on their advise the bout was stopped. On asking the ring doctors why the bout was stopped he stated, “The safety of the fighter is priority on all USMTA sanctioned events and this is no exception, I felt that even if Jaisons corner men may have been able to stop the bleeding, but the cut was too deep in my opinion and another punch would have split the cut deeper causing more unnecessary damage. I take full responsibility in this judgment.” Referee Joel Bekker declared the bout a technical win for Rusaln Bukharin or (Cut Stopped The Fight). Still a great fight and no doubt we will see these two bulldogs clash again in the future.|
|Bout Six; Now this was between the big dogs in the house with Ultimate Gyms Heavyweight 210lb Zadie Morris fighting out of the blue corner against Heavyweight 21 year old Uri Posochov also weighing in at 210 Lb from Borodin’s Gym. The war began as both tanks came at each other not wasting anytime. Zadie, fresh from his win of the USMTA Inter-State Heavyweight championship was not about to discredit his title, even if it was not on the line. Both Zadie and Uri growled at each other and traded punch for punch, pound for pound, kick for kick.|
In the second round Zadie looked like he was just edging ahead, when a swift blow by him produced a cut to Uri’s forehead. This did not slow down the two goliaths, who still went at it only stopping to take a breath. The Ring Medic checked out the cut and said it was good to go. Round three began with these two giants thundering and pounding each other, but Uri’s cut seemed to have a psychological effect on him, where he seemed to back up more than attack. A move the judges must have surely noticed. T
|A fifteen minute intermission came just in time for most of us ready to sample the ice cold Baltica beer and food and lots of other goodies on sale at the event. I got to give a quick mention of the nights Disk Jockey, DJ Johnny Versace or DJ JV for short, was playing tracks that were rock on Man! He was pretty good with some novel hip and slick fighter entry themes.|
|Back to the fights….|
The next bouts were supposed to be part of the Inter-State Team Championship Cup series, between New York and California, but due to several unforeseen circumstances beyond the control of the promoters, several scheduled fighters from both sides were unable to make the final teams due to injuries and other unfortunate things. Both California and New York teams will battle it out later, maybe in August or September for the Inter-State Team Championship Cup. One bout on the nights card was to be between France and the U.S. in the first of the ladies Inter-Nations Championship belts. This bout was to be between North American Champion Keri Taylor from California’s World Team Muay Thai and French Fighter Alicia Sarahoui from Paris France’. This will be placed on hold until a later date.
Bout Seven; between 19 year old Ky Hollenbeck weighing in at 135 Lb. Ky was part of Team Muay Thai USA, San Francisco, California in the blue corner competing against Oleg Jerebnenko who weighed in at 135 Lb., from the Art Studio of Brooklyn for Team Muay Thai - New York in the red corner. Team Muay Thai USA of San Francisco, California captained by Kru Sam Phimsoutham of World Team Muay Thai from SF has some excellent fighters and it is always a pleasure to have our West coast brethren come visit us.
Ky and Oleg put on a great fight bringing many spectators to their feet cheering on the fighters. Both fighter countered each other with roundhouse kicks and flurries of punches. The got to grips in some tough clinches. This bout was as good as some of the top TV bouts I’ve seen. Ky began to press on Oleg who began to struggle to regain a foothold. Coming to round three was excellent and a strong round for Kys who’s youth and stamina began to take a toll on Oleg. In the end it was the Ky Hollenbeck of San Francisco that took the reign on a great bout.
|Bout Eight; between 22 Year old and 150 Lb. Phillip Colbert standing in the blue corner from Sinlapa Muay Thai Camp from San Antonio, Texas against well known fighter 25 year old 155lb, Mark “The Hyena” Beecher fighting in the red corner under Maisonet’s Muay Thai camp banner of New York. This fight was expected to be a great fight, and it was. Both fighters clashed together like battling ‘mountain rams’, you know the type, the rams that bash each other horns together. Well when Phillip and Mark locked horns there was no stopping them. Both fighter produced great kicks great blocking techniques and great clinches and knees.|
|They punched and boxed themselves around the ring and made the audience scream and shout their approval. It was an exciting bout, both fighters were still fresh and looking like the could go another set. Into the second round, mark began to show the advantage but Phillip held on like a bulldog. The third round began to show the Hyena’s skill and technical combinations with sets of kicks and punches, that began to make the Lone star State backup and protect himself, but he held on. In the end the as all ways, there is a winner and the Empire State took the flag from this great battle. The Hyena took the field.|
Bout Nine; Another great bout was expected from these two fighters. In the blue Corner Vishnu Gulati 140 Lb, 20 year old from Kru Sam’s California Team USA Muay Thai who was ready to do battle against New Yorker 140lb Miguel Rivera fighting out of Maisonet’s Muay Thai camp. Let’s say that if this bout was to end like it started, then what a great bout it was going to be. Both came out of their corners ready to battle like true warriors. Flying fists and feet made the audience feel like they were in Thailand.
|Just when the fight was getting into it’s stride, Vishnu put Miguel into a clinch and was about to hip twist him to the canvas, when they both fall onto the ropes and in true Muay Thai style, that I have not seen since I was last in Bangkok Thailand. The fighters began to topple over the top rope. Miguel, feet in the air went over the top rope and on to the canvas edge, then on to the judges table before falling between the table and the ring.|
|All hands tried to stop the fall, but were unable Miguel’s right ankle slammed against the center metal support of the ring as he collapsed to the ground unable to grab onto anything with the gloves on. . Miguel tried to stand but was unable to and had to have a cold pack put on the ankle by the medic to bring the swelling down.|
|Angered by the topple Miguel showed his disgust with himself, and not with Vishnu who had quickly come over to help his opponent. Miguel made it back into the ring by his team, and the ref, rightly so declared the bout a ‘No contest’ Vishnu assisted Miguel out of the ring in true sportsmanship and to the applause of the audience. We all hope to see these two fighters battle it out one more time just to see the what the final results would have been.|
|Bout Ten. Was the last and most anticipated bout of the night with local boy and favorite fighting out of the red corner 19 year old USKBA World Champion, Dima Shirganov weighing in at 165 Lb. from Borodin’s Gym. His opponent in the blue corner, 24 years old and also weighing in at 165 Lb, was Jonathan Camara all the way from Paris, France. Johnathan who trains out of the Fight Boxing Athismos Gym in Paris, was the first of the ‘International invitational’ to come and compete for a championship title. Both Dimi and Camara were fighting in the first of the USMTA’s Inter-Nations Championship Belts of 2006.|
The anticipation hung in the air around the ring, like the smoke that was belching from the fog machine sending up clouds of white smoke, as the fighters entered the ring. This was one of the most evenly matched bouts with each fighters build and fighting techniques balancing out the other. Jonathan who was slim, tall and dark and Dimi with his fair hair, steel blue eyes and strong build. Dimi with his powerful punches and low kicks and Jonathan Camara with his long reach and strong high kicks.
|Camara’s long legs and reach kept Dimi at bay most of the round, making it difficult for him to get in and connect. Where as Camara was gaining points using the ring and his reach to his advantage. Both fighters did get into clinches and threw strong knees at each other. It was in the second round that Dimi felt the power of the Frenchman’s punch as a beautiful punch almost sent Dimi toppling to the canvas.|
He managed to stop from going all the way down and the referee seeing this allowed him to get up and continue. Camara, took advantage of this and came into pummel Dimi who blocked well and escaped by the bell. However the judges had seen the point gained by the Frenchman, and it was struggle for Dimi to gain back that much needed point. He fought hard and valiant. But it was to no avail, Camara stayed his ground and kept up the pressure and kept out of the way.
|In the end the First of the USMTA’s Inter-Nation Champions was crowned. Paris, France had a new champion.Our hats go off to both fighters who did an excellent job, well fought but with a sad ending for the local crowd, who were hoping for a new champion in the neighborhood. Camara was the perfect gentleman, as he congratulated Dimi on a great fight.|
|We will see Johnathan Camara very soon as he will have to defend the belt in the near future. A re-match could be in the making…. All in all, this was a great event, very smooth, clean and exciting. Strike did a great job, the AMTJRA and the USMTA did a great job, the team were as always innovative to say the least and exacting to state a point.|
Copyright © 2006 USMTA Inc. All rights reserved. Revised: June25, 2006