The world of kickboxing has a rich history to fall back upon so we here at LiverKick figure, why not? Why not give a glimpse into some of the fights from the past that have made up this wonderful sport and tie it all in to the present. The kids on the Instagram and Twitter like to call Thursdays "Throwback Thursdays," I'm just going to say that this is a LiverKick Throwback.
Today we are going way back to the 90's and taking a look at an English fighter who was miles ahead of the game, Ronnie "Machine Gun" Green. Ronnie Green was known for his quick footwork, nasty left hook and hard low kicks. He was one of the very few foreign fighters to go to Thailand, beat the Thai's and be considered a Master now that he has retired. Outside of the ring Ronnie is a very quiet, polite and humble man. He will never brag about being a multiple time world champion in 3 different weight classes, to be honest he would probably never even mention kickboxing, but when you watch him fight his skills are remarkable. I have watched him since I was probably 5 or 6 years old and I feel that he is one of the best fighters of all time, if he was in his prime now he would still be at the top of his weight class that's how far ahead of his time he was.
In this fight Green is fighting Joao Vierra, a very tough dutch trained fighter with an aggressive and powerful style. Vierra even knocked out a very young Ramon Dekkers back in 1988 with a right hand so he was definitely no slouch. Ronnie was just too slick for Vierra's style though. His foot work, his head movement, he was just never there for Vierra to land anything. These two fought three times, and Ronnie had Vierras number and won them all.
GLORY competitor Wayne Barrett has been making a lot of waves since he joined the promotion in 2013, his kickboxing career has been on the rise and he's been one of the young American stars to be on the lookout for. He recently competed in GLORY's Last Man Standing tournament where he had a strong showing, defeating Bogdan Stoica before dropping a contested decision to rival Joe Schilling.
Barrett inks his first big sponsorship deal with American sports apparel brand adidas, with the future looking bright for the young athlete.
“When I started to fight, the biggest thing that drove me was being around those that have been through the fire and still stood tall. When adidas offered me to chance to be part of the family, I knew that this was a company that would stand by me as an athlete,” said Wayne “Afro Samurai” Barrett. “Remaking yourself and staying ahead of the competition is what a fighter has to do in order to be on top. adidas has long been a force behind the world of combat sports and martial arts and continues to stay on top of its game. I plan on doing the same.”
I feel like the world of fight sports has been afflicted with some really, really awful press of late. Right now there is just so much negative press out there, a lot of it based around the whole War Machine/Christy Mack story that just won't go away. So I'm happy to see that Romanian kickboxing promotion SuperKombat is actually doing something positive, they are giving back to their community. Two weeks ago there was flooding in Valcea County in Romania. This flooding affected many of the over 400,000 residents there.
Valcea County was the first place where SuperKombat held an event in 2011 and they looked to give back yesterday when staff members and fighters took part in a humanitarian effort to deliver food, drinking water and clothing to those who were affected by the flooding. Residents are still recovering from the floods and it's nice to see a promotion like SuperKombat giving back.
It's not unheard of that fighters of a specific principle want to try themselves out in a different style. Mirko CroCop, Tyrone Spong, Dustin Jacoby to name a few, have all dipped their feet and crossed the boundaries of their chosen sport. So why would it be any different in other parts of the world?
For many years the 193 cm tall (6'3"), 104 kg (230lbs) physical phenom Zsolt Zathureczky was one of the most sought after fighters in Hungary when it came to MMA shows. Despite his young age (Zsolt will be 26 this December) it was unthinkable to organize an event without him being on the card.
At Age 17 Zsolt hit the gym and chose Team Pit Bull at Soroksár (a district of the capital, Budapest). In two weeks he was competing. And he never stopped since.
His results speak for themselves. Amongst countless MMA, Kempo and even street fighting tournaments he won:
After some hiatus he recently participated in a well-known tournament series in Hungary, Fight Club's 12th event. The 8 man tournament provided quality production and fights to the fans in K-1, Muay Thai and MMA rulesets. Zsolt beat all three opponents and won the tournament by finishing his last with a powerful bodyshot.
Q: - Hello Zsolt! First of all congrats for winning the 8 man tournament! Apart from this how's 2014 so far?
A: - Thanks, yeah Fight Club 12 was an awesome experience because of many reasons. It was very well organized and I was really happy that I had this opportunity to show my standup game. Because of my history with MMA people usually think that I'm more of a ground fighter. When I accepted the invitation my opponents seemed a bit way to eager to accept it as well...
Q: - Do you think they were looking at you as a heavy underdog?
A: - Well they must've thought that they're going to have a big advantage over me simply because of their background (K-1, Muay Thai) so I think I've managed to suprise them big time when my combinations and knees started to land.
Q: - How do you like K-1 rules by the way? Do you feel comfortable competing under such rules?
A: - I'm missing the clinch. My knees are one of my main weapons and I like to land them from there you know. YOu have to work around it otherwise you get separated quickly.
Q: - Is it safe to say that this was the biggest challenge then in fighting under K-1 rules?
A: - Yeah, I think my first fight was kinda rusty if you know what I mean. The second fight was way better and when the third came I was really feeling it and managed to finish with that body shot. It was a great test for me to see where my striking and cardio at and I was really happy as I felt fresh through the very end.
Q: - So was this your favorite KO maybe?
A: - To be honest this was my first time I managed to get it in a fight but I really liked it. I've caused painful moments with body shots before in sparring but I hope I'll get it again soon in an actual fight.
Q: - How does training look like nowadays?
A: - We put the plan together with my brother, set goals and a strategy which we follow. There are always things we focus on like the things we feel as weak links and we attack those until it gets fixed. He's helping me a lot with getting information, reading up on articles, translating for me and so on. We are truly a team so when I get to the gym I have nothing else on my plate just training.
Q: - What's next for you? DO you have any plans for the remainder of the year?
A: - Yes I have a fight in Germany in the Winter but I'd like some fights in the Fall too. I'm focusing a bit more on opportunities abroad and I'm trying to get as many fights I can.
Q: - You seem to be ready all year round..
A: - I have to. I don't have to be that strict with my diet but still I have to pick things. I need a lot of energy for my training. It's really easy to lose from cardio for example.
Q: - How can you coordinate and put everything together - traveling, training, fighting with your personal life and work?
A: - This is something extra you have to be able to do as a pro athlete. I meet my limits every week, every day and I have to confront them so I can grow beyond them with will and a lot of work. This is a lifestyle for me. Something that I chose. Certainly being a bit ascetic helps but you'll need the right partner as well to support you. Luckily I have all this. Sometimes it is hard but you know how it goes: "victory is reserved for those who are willing to pay it's price".
Many thanks Zsolt! Best of luck with the upcoming fights!