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Kaoponlek vs Diego Calzolari

Hello, people. Here's a short highlight of a knockout for you all. I'm pretty sure this fight happened recently in Italy.

Calzolari is a regional fighter in Italy and has fought recently against Namsaknoi, Kem, and Sudsakorn, among others. Kaoponlek fought at a very high level in Thailand before moving to Europe, holding Lumpini and Rajadamnern titles. I'm not sure where he lives these days, but I'm fairly certain he's overseas.

This video is only a short clip, but it certainly gives a sense of how a "dramatic" KO looks. Kaoponlek wears golden shorts, Calzolari blue.


Must See Muay Thai Fight: Muangthai vs. Amata

Proof that you don't need to be on a grand stage to have a great fight, here is an unknown fight from a few weeks ago in Thailand that is absolutely a must see.

What you have here is a match in the 46kg (101 lbs) division at the Channel 7 Stadium in Bangkok from February 6.  In the blue is Muangthai Sor Boonyeeam, a 17 year old fighter with a record of 40-18.  In the red, Amata Por Tongboran, age 20, 40-20.  Two very young fighters, neither of whom sports an amazing record, but the end result is simply spectacular.

No joke, you should watch this:

What starts off as a relatively normal Muay Thai opening round picks up immediately at the start of round 2 as Amata comes out fast and furious.  He spends almost the entirety of this 2nd round landing punch after punch, absolutely rocking Muangthai to the point that many refs would have stepped in and called a down.  In the 3rd, Muangthai rallies, connecting with his own shots before landing one of the most beautiful elbow KO's I have ever seen.  Both men show a huge variety of technique here, using elbows, knees, kicks, and punches to show off the full range of what makes Muay Thai so special.  But it's the changes in momentum and the heart shown by both that really sets this fight apart and makes it something special.

We've got a long way to go before the year is done, but don't be surprised if this one shows up on the Fight of the Year ballots when the time comes.


Badr Hari vs Ruslan Karaev 2007

Now that we know Badr Hari is returning to action against Tony Gregory for It's Showtime on May 14th, I thought this would be a good time to show one of my all-time favorite fights. When you read that either Badr or Ruslan will be involved in a fight, it's sure to be exciting. Put them both in the same ring and you get fireworks.

In their first meeting, Ruslan knocked out Badr with a right hand in the early stages of the first round. Although they would rematch just five months later, it must have seemed like an eternity for the mighty Moroccan as he surely had revenge on his mind. Badr came into this contest riding a two-fight win streak while Ruslan was coming off of a KO loss to Glaube Feitosa. The timing was just right for Hari to avenge that demoralizing defeat and prove that it was just a fluke.



Remembering Masato's Awesome Career, New StillWill Highlight Reel

Our good friend Will, known as StillWill has made yet another of his highlight reels. You might remember his Badr Hari, Gokhan Saki or Melvin Manhoef videos. Well, this time around it is the retired, yet incredible, Masato. Masato was the kingpin of the K-1 MAX division since the inception of the division. The division was actually created with him in mind, a conglomeration of TBS and FEG, knowing that they had a huge star at their disposal by the way of Masato.

Masato was a rare combination of raw talent, skill, refinement, looks, charisma and just being a likable guy. Masato was a cultural icon in Japan; he appeared in films, television shows, newspapers, advertisements, everything. When Masato changed his hair, every major television personality had to follow suit, emulating his look. Masato was a trend-setter, really. Then there was his kickboxing career, as he is truly one of the greats in the 70kgs division. Many would argue the Greatest of all Time, and I'd be hard-pressed to argue that right now.


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