By Daniel Fletcher
Harrison, Gordon & Howson @ Future of Muay Thai 1
The main event had more sizzle than a boiling saucepan, and it duly spilled over in the third round. Kyle Fella of Bad Company (Leeds) was known as a talented youngster with a dash of impetuous recklessness, and this was clearly demonstrated in a Badr Hari/Hesdy Gerges style end to his tilt at the ISKA British title.
Fella looked the sharper of the two in the opening round. He caught a body kick early, and responded with a counter right over the top and a teep that forced opponent Loz Reilly back to a neutral corner. He almost dropped him with a sweeping low kick soon after, and dumped Reilly on his back several times throughout the opening round. A spinning elbow and flurry of punches in the corner only sealed a strong 10/9.
In the second, Reilly’s timing was much better, and he blocked more leg kicks and found the mark with straight punches down the pipe. He looked more composed, and for his part, Fella’s strikes did not carry the same snap and venom as in the first round.
The third was calamity. A clinch near the ropes caused Reilly to become unbalanced, and he fell back into the centre of the ring. As he pulled up and sat on his haunches, trying to rise quickly to his feet, Fella rushed forwards and threw a kick. Like the phantom punch of Ali in the Liston rematch; did it land? Did it graze? Or was there an element of “Bonjasky-ism” in the reaction to the kick? Either way, it was an illegal blow, and it handed the ISKA British Super-Featherweight title to the prone Loz Reilly.
Ah well. Hesdy Gerges defended his It’s Showtime World Heavyweight title against the top ranked Daniel Ghita after winning it in the same manner. There is no reason Reilly cant prove he is a worthy champion either with a solid defence.
Fella comes from Richard Smith’s highly respected camp, and with such team-mates as Howson, Harrison, Jordan Watson, Lisa Smith, Richard Cadden and James France, he will surely show some bouncebackability and recover from this slight career setback.
More after the break.
Kyle Fella vs Loz Reilly, ISKA British Super-Featherweight title:
The ISKA Super-Heavyweight “K-1 rules” (kickboxing) English championship was up for grabs too, in an enjoyable slugfest between Glen Crosthwaite and Alex Forman. The true fight fan loves a technical chess battle between skilful technicians, but just about everyone loves a good tear up between two big fellas intent on knocking seven shades of shite out of each other, and that’s what a Super-Heavyweight K-1 rules bout always delivers!
Glen enjoyed vociferous hometown support. The big man from Mike Tobin’s gym has been British champion before, and fought on the big stage. He landed a head kick in round one, showing surprising nimbleness and a little more predictably, threw down leather with his Scouse opponent. The first was dead even, with the Leeds man potentially edging it, but in the second he began to wilt. His hands dropped, and he appeared to be breathing heavy. Still, he showed remarkable durability, taking heavy shots and smiling in response in the standard machismo way of the fighter. ‘Yeah, you got me. But it didn’t hurt, pal. Try again.’ Unfortunately for Glen, he did try again. Unable to get his gears going in the final third, he dropped a unanimous points decision, and immediately announced his retirement. Forman is the ISKA Super-Heavyweight K-1 rules English kickboxing champion.
Ben Lucas is – for some reason – nicknamed “Pig”. This did not prevent him from stopping a brave Karl Stoddart in round 2, with some mean looking punch flurries. The first round was largely spent in a clinch, with both men trying to assert their will on the other with knees to the body and throws. Forcing his way out of the corner, Lucas scored a few clean punches to the head, and it would be clean strikes that won him the fight in the next round. Forcing Karl to his own corner, Lucas found the gap in his guard and tagged his chin with a straight right, and smelling blood, whaled away until the referee mercifully called a standing eight count. Despite being on wobbly legs, Stoddart was allowed to continue, and walked right into another flurry that again failed to drop him. Lucas showed accuracy in his punches, and with Karl all but out on his feet, thankfully the stop was called. Stoddart is a tough young fighter, and there was no need for him to go on taking punishment that could damage him. He will live to fight another day.
Luke Greenshields of Team Fearless scored an impressive stoppage over Mike Edwards of Hanuman Gym via leg kicks. The bout was at 67kg, and while Edwards started out sharp, landing kicks and backing Greenshields up, the tables turned and the Fearless fighter tenderised his legs to the point of being unable to continue.
Ste “The Myth” Smith (alternately known as “Jab’s Too Stiff” Smith) is a prospect. If only he gave up the Bacardi Breezers! The 6’3” Leeds lad somehow gets himself down to a lean 76kg, and gave a performance that was in part Cosmo Alexandre, part Tank Abbott. His opponent was John Walker from Jai Gym.
Steven took the first two rounds, using boxing and his lead leg, and looked en route to at least a decision victory, but that’s when he went from Cosmo the 77kg MAX champ to Tank Abbott the fat guy who trains for his professional fights in the bars of Huntington Beach California, with the gas tank and punching style to prove it. Round 3 was the midway point when Ste had the chance to either cruise and conserve himself, try to consolidate his points lead, or go for broke and take Walker out. He chose the latter option. The result was the same as when Bob Sapp passes the twenty-second mark in round 1 – heavy breathing, and the decline of both offence and defence. Walker took rounds four and five comfortably, as the tiring Smith went into survival mode. So the decision hinged on perhaps one factor; which way the judges saw round 3.
Walker got the nod.
Smith with more cardio and more controlled aggression would be a definite force between 70-85kg in the English Muay Thai scene, but that possibility may be a couple of years off the sauce away. Time will tell.
Here are the full card results:
Koby Mcnamara (Golden Team) Vs Cory Mclachlan (Eclipse) 30kgs
Winner Cory points.
Luke Imeson (Badcompany) Vs Jonny Chappelow (Hanuman) 64kgs
Winner Jonny points.
Kieran Jessop (Golden Team) Vs Mcauley Coyle (Coventry) 52kgs
No contest due to un intentional knee to the head.
Nathan Ghundoo (Hanuman) Vs Amrit Kumar (Team Fearless) 67kgs
Winner Nathan points.
Marcin (Badcompany) Vs Pete Bailey (Skemerdale/Sapphire) 69kgs
Winner Marcin points.
Danny Harrison Little (Chokdee York) Vs NongB Stevenson (Hanuman) 69kgs
Winner Danny KO.
Bailey Roberts (Badcompany) Vs Bradley Newlands (Griphouse) 46kgs WKA British title.
Winner Bradley points.
Karl Johnstone (Jesters) Vs Paul Henderson (Sapphire) 75kgs K1
Winner Paul points.
Steve Smith (Badcompany) Vs John Walker (Jai Muay Thai) 76kgs
Winner John points.
Mike Edwards (Hanuman) Vs Luke Greenshields (Team Fearless) 67kgs
Winner Luke stoppage.
Karl Stoddart (Jai Muay Thai) Vs Ben “PIG” Lucas (Liams Gym) 67kgs
Winner Ben “PIG” stoppage.
ISKA SUPER HEAVYWEIGHT ENGLISH TITLE
Glen Crosthwaite (Mike Tobins Gym) Vs Alex Forman (Masda)
Winner and ISKA ENGLISH CHAMP Alex.
ISKA SUPER FEATHERWEIGHT BRITISH TITLE 5X3’S FTR
Kyle Fella (Badcompany) Vs Loz Reilly (Hanuman) 59kgs
Winner DQ Reilly
I look forwards to seeing what HGH Promotions and Bad Company do next. There is a big market in Yorkshire and England itself for Muay Thai, and I would love for its popularity to grow as rapidly as MMA's has in recent years.