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ISKA Championship Muaythai

Date: 18 October 2008

Location: Leeds Town Hall

ISKA World Bantamweight title 55.5kg MT
Andy Howson (England) v Funitaka Fujiwa (Japan)
Winner Andy Howson points decision
ISKA non-title Supefight Super-lightweight 62.3kg MT
Liam Harrison (England) v Masaru Ito (Japan)
Winner Liam Harrison points decision
ISKA non-title International Super-lightweight 62.3kg MT
John Delucca (USA) v Danny Hadfield (England)
Winner Danny Hadfield points decision
ISKA British Super-heavyweight title +96.6kg
Craig Burke (Fight Unit) v John love (Taz Gym)
Winner Craig Burke points decision
Supporting bouts:
Anna Zuccelli (KO Gym) def. Sarah McCarthy (Bad Co.) Pts.
Davy Mac (Bad Co.) def. Joey Brincatt (Eagles, Wales) Pts.
Kyle Fella (Bad Co.) def. Scott Dixon (Team St. Helens) Pts.
George Berry (Bad Co.) def.  Anth Shelton (Phoenix) Pts.
Luke Turner (Jai Muay Thai) def.  Ian Robinson (Hanuman) Pts.

Contact: Richard Smith - 0113 368 0811

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Poster for ISKA Championship Muaythai

Event report

Epic Battle for ISKA Bantamweight title

Bad Company promotions in association with Showsport International staged a World Championship card at the prestigious Leeds Town Hall on the 18th October. European and Intercontinental Champion Andy Howson form the Bad Company Gym in Leeds faced Japanese Champion Kunitaka Fujiwa form Osaka Japan to contest the vacant ISKA World Bantamweight title under Muaythai rules.
Judging by the pace of the first round, these two experienced fighters had never heard of the first round feeling out, it was ferocious from the start and both lads landed heavy low kicks and left body hooks. Interesting technical point, the Japanese lad stepped in closer to land his body hooks, turning the fist up as well as in, a better technical boxing punch, but it left him open to right hand and elbow counters which Andy later capitalised on. The second carried on where the 1st left off with both lads trading shots, Andy was looking the stronger and the Japanese lad was starting to tire.  The third round started off flowing backwards and forwards with both lads being spun around from punches, Andy edged ahead as he kicked the Kunitaka off his feet twice.
Into the fourth and no sign of the pace slowing, Andy was scoring very well with left body kicks when from nowhere he was caught with an elbow which put him on the floor.  He bounced straight back up so no count, Kunitaka advanced but Andy had recovered well and the two went to war, Andy coming out of that exchange the stronger.  Despite the flash “knockdown“ Andy won this round as he was a long way ahead in the round before the knock down, there was no count and he still landed more scoring shots after the “knockdown.”
Into the fifth and final round and Andy went to war, he opened up with everything, turning the Japanese lad in the clinch and both kneeing and elbowing him, he even landed some good knees to the head.  With less than a minute to go Andy was well ahead, but despite his corner urging him to grab and knee, something which his opponent had no answer to, Andy decided to carry on trading hand and elbow shots.  This could have been a disaster as he was cut with about 10 seconds to go and whilst it was right in the middle of his forehead, it was too high, to small and too late to have any impact on the verdict. The decision was announced and by unanimous decision the new ISKA World Super Bantamweight champion was Andy Howson from Leeds.  This was one of the best fights I have seen in England, a great technical war, which displayed the best and worst of Andy Howson, the great, clever fighter and the lad who just doesn’t quite know when it’s not that good an idea to mix it

WMC World Champion Liam Harrison faced Japan’s Masaru Ito in a non-title Superfight.
Masaru started the first round fast, on his toes dancing around and trying to catch Liam with fast hand and low kick combinations.  He actually caught Liam with an uppercut elbow in the first round which opened the smallest of nicks on Liam right eye.  Liam was totally unfazed by anything Masaru could throw at him.  In the second Liam picked things up, catching Masaru’s leg and kicking him to the floor, right at the end of the second round Liam landed a right elbow which opened up a long cut behind Masura’s left ear. The 3rd, 4th and 4th rounds were a master class from Liam.  He hit Masura with everything, left hooks and right hands to body and face, right low kicks, which looked strong enough to break a horses leg, left body kicks, high kicks with both legs.  Another elbow opened up another cut on Masura.  The most impressive thing from Liam though was his clinch and knee; his off balancing techniques were sublime and some long knees so strong.  Masura was tough as old boots though, he was hit with one knee that seemed to propel him half way across the ring, he was bent double when he hit the corner post, but then just stood straight back up.  In the last round it looked as though Liam was thinking about trying the cartwheel kick he had promised everyone, but decided against it.  At the final bell Liam was a landslide winner.
Much is made of Liam Harrison and in my view quite rightly so.  In the last couple of years Liam has matured as a fighter, adding so much to his game.  A naturally tremendously strong lad, I actually think his best attribute is his timing.  All great sports people, not matter what their sport, seem to have lots of time to do what they want to do.  If you watch Wayne Rooney play football, he seems sometimes to have so much time to make his mind up what he is going to do.  Liam has this ability as a Thai Boxer.  He read everything the Japanese lad was trying and dealt with it accordingly.  Some of the shots he pulled of he shouldn’t have been able to, but has that ability to do things ordinary people cannot do!
All in all, another great show at the Leeds Town Hall.  The performances across the board show that in some places UK Muay Thai is defiantly going in the right direction!

Supporting bouts:

George Berry v Anth Shelton
Anth started very fast in round one, catching George’s kicking leg and kicking him of his feet three times in the first round, George replying with some reasonable knees.  It was the same in the second round as Anth again caught George’s leg and kicked him to the floor twice. At the end of the second it looked as though Anth may be starting to tire. The third round saw George start to come back into the fight but was a more even round, both lads catching each other with good techniques, Anth looking very strong with his hands, especially the left hook to the body, George Kneeing and kicking well.  The fourth round started with a good exchange of knees, one of George’s seemed to hurt Anth and he spent a lot of the round on the back foot, George was starting to look the fitter and stronger fighter now.  As the bell went for the last round George was urged on by his corner to take the fight to Anth, a fairly even start to the round, but George took over landing some good knees and a couple of very hurtful Body kicks.  At the bell the crowd showed their appreciation for a cracking fight from two young lads who had given their all.  The winner, George Berry by unanimous decision.

Ian Robinson v Luke Turner
The traditional feeling out first round ended with Luke Turner trying to off balance Ian out of the clinch.  The second was Luke’s as he landed a couple of good knees and body kicks, and this time succeeded in throwing Ian to the floor from the clinch.  In the third it was obvious that Ian was really struggling to come to terms with Luke’s additional reach and was not finding his range, Luke scoring well throughout the round including another high scoring throw from the clinch.  As the fourth started it was clear Ian was behind and had been told by his corner he had to do something extra to get back into this fight, he started well and was forcing back Luke.  Luke however soaked up the pressure and was able to score again in the latter half of the round with yet more knees and a good high kick to top it off.  At the start of the last round Ian was pressing looking for the knockout, which would appear to be the only way he was going to win.  Luke was tiring, but Ian just could not find the shot and Luke Turner was winner by unanimous points decision.  Another good fight from two inexperienced guys (relative at least to other fighters on the show).

Kyle Fella v Scott Dixon
Again two young lads being given their chance to impress on one of the UK’s biggest shows.  The fight was the same throughout, Kyle Fella showing great balance and timing to totally control his opponent with strong boxing and great teep’s.  A brief rally in the fourth was never going to be enough and Kyle was a runaway victor.

Davy Mac V Joey Brincot
A very cagey affair, neither lad seemed to get going, Joey was quick to go into the clinch but didn’t really do anything when he got in there, Davy scored a couple of body kicks and front kicks in the latter half of the fight.  Joey rallied in the last, but his kicks had little power and didn’t bother Davy.  Davy winning on points.

Sarah McCarthy v Anna Zuccelli
Anna was taller than Sarah and from the off it was obvious she was well schooled in how to use this to her advantage.  Throughout the first three rounds Anna used her teep and long knees to keep Sarah at bay.  Her knees didn’t look particularly strong but they were very accurate and were preventing Sarah from throwing her own customary hard knees and strong clinch.  Having seen all Sarah’s previous fights it has to be said she did not look herself, her timing was off and she was nowhere near as strong as normal.  She did press hard in the last two rounds, she caught Anna with some heavy shots, and whilst Anna tired she still managed to knee back and caught Sarah with several front kicks to the face.  At the bell Anna was a split decision winner, a rematch would be another good fight!

Craig Burke v John Love
This fight was for the ISKA British Heavyweight championship (oriental rules)
John Love took this fight at a weeks notice after being out of the ring for two years.  At only 19 years old he was giving away a lot of combat experience against Craig Burke, a former knockdown Karate champion as well as Thai Boxer.  The fight followed the same pattern throughout.  Craig used a god side kick to keep John at bay pushing him across the ring several times.  In the first and fourth rounds Craig also landed several good right body kicks.  John was showing some ring rust, his timing and accuracy was a little of and he never quite landed the big knockout shots he is known for.  Up close neither lad used the knee much, John tried some in the fourth but went to the head and they had little power by the time they got there.  Both big lads tired in the back end of the fight, but Craig was teeing off with right hands in the last round and even tried a couple of spinning kicks.  Craig took the fight unanimous decision.

Mark Da Luca v Danny Hadfield
I almost felt sorry for the two lads who had to follow Liam.  Last time out Mark had looked superb against Alex James.  Danny is not that well know, but has spent time in Thailand training and fighting.  His dad, Mark, was actually one of the first English people to train and fight in Thailand.  The first two rounds were cagey, with Mark showing some good timing and Danny not quite getting his distance right.  In the third things picked up and Danny landed a spinning elbow which put Mark down.  Mark jumped straight back up, so no count, but Danny pounced on Mark landing good boxing knees and elbows.  Mark was in trouble and the ref stepped in to give him an eight count.  A big round to Danny.  In the fourth Mark tried to get back into the fight and pressed, but Danny dealt with what Mark threw and still scored well with some good knees in the clinch.  The fifth was the same and mark was showing the effects of the third round and then having to force the fight, not his normal style.  Danny was unanimous points victory and a good win for him.