More news from the ever-busy It's Showtime - this time it's a new show added to their 2011 schedule. On May 21, the company returns to The Sand in Amsterdam for It's Showtime 48, and there is already a solid partial line-up announced.
In a Heavyweight fight, It's Showtime HW champion and top 10 ranked Hesdy Gerges will face Chris Knowles. Knowles is a well regarded English Muay Thai stylist. He was originally set to face Rico Verhoeven for IS late last year, but was forced off the card due to travel difficulties. He's a good pick up for It's Showtime, and will make a strong addition to their Heavyweight ranks, although he definitely has a tough task ahead of him here. Gerges will be coming in off his career high win over Daniel Ghita, and will look to continue his rise through the ranks.
The fight that most has my attention is a 70kg bout between Mohamed Khamal and Robin van Roosmalen. Khamal made the jump up to 70kg last year, and promptly made an impact, winning the K-1 West Europe GP, knocking Artur Kyshenko out of the MAX GP, and putting on one of the best fights of 2010 in his defeat of Mosab Amrani. He has quickly established himself as both a dynamic fighter, and a real force in the Middleweight division. van Roosmalen is in almost the exact same position as Khamal was not long ago. The young fighter is currently on a five fight win streak, including defeats of William Diender and an impressive win over Chahid Oulad el Hadj. Like Khamal, he is a rising fighter, and is poised to be one of the break out fighters of 2011. This will be a rematch, as the two men met in the semi-finals of last year's 2010 K-1 MAX West Europe GP - Khamal took that fight via 2nd round KO en route to claiming the tournament crown. With two exciting, young, hungry fighters, this has all the ingredients to not only steal the show, but be a highlight fight of 2011.
One other fight to note is Anderson "Braddock" Silva vs. Jamal Ben Saddik. Saddik is the fighter who scored a surprise KO win over Rico Verhoeven at It's Showtime 46 last month. If he can score back to back win over Verhoeven and Silva, he will have immediately established himself as a serious challenger, and a name to watch. Silva is a tough challenge though, as he holds some big wins over the likes of Hesdy Gerges and Freddy Kemayo, who he KO'd with a spectacular head kick to close out 2010.
The full line-up announced so far:
HESDY GERGES vs. CHRIS KNOWLES
ROBIN VAN ROOSMALEN vs. MOHAMED KHAMAL
ANDERSON SILVA vs. JAMAL BEN SADDIK
MOHAMED MEDHAR vs. HAFID EL BOUSTATI
AMIR ZEYADA vs. SAHAK PARPARYAN
JASON WILNIS vs. LAURENT ATRIFFI