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East Lancs fighters triumph in their clash with Best of the Rest
5:51pm Tuesday 5th March 2013 in Sport
IT was billed as East Lancashire against the Best of the Rest and the biggest kick boxing competition ever to be held in the area.
A total of 63 bouts were held at a packed out Audley Sports Centre in Blackburn – with Commonwealth, English and area titles up for grabs as well as local pride.
The event was a joint venture between leading kick boxing clubs across East Lancashire with Billy Battrick from Fit to Fight, Jaff Ali from Ali MMA and Paul Ramsey of Ramsey Kick Boxing Club in Blackburn all combining their know-how to put together an unforgettable evening of non-stop action.
Jason Curtis’ Kokoro Club from Accrington, Phoenix Kick Boxing and Alf’s Black Belt Academy from Stacksteads were also all flying the flag for East Lancashire.
They were up against fighters from Birmingham, Blackpool, Liverpool and across the Midlands.
And it was the local fighters who emerged triumphant when they showed they could kick it!
On a night to remember, the East Lancashire contingent won 37-26 and, probably more importantly, edged it in the title fights up for grabs – winning six of the 10 belts on offer.
Now Battrick is hoping to make the competition an annual event.
“We have held them before but this is the biggest we have staged and it went really well,” said the Accrington-based coach. “Audley was a great venue and I think this was one of the biggest kick boxing events of its kind to be held in Lancashire.
“We will definitely be looking to hold this again next year and hopefully make it an annual event.”
Top of the bill and fight of the night was Hamayoon Kasser’s Commonwealth title clash with Birmingham fighter Luke Jones of Platinum Kick Boxing Academy – but there were plenty of highlights elsewhere.
Junior fighters from across East Lancashire set the tone for the success that followed with some impressive performances.
All the local gyms showed just how strong martial arts are in the North West with some very good wins over some bigger gyms from across the country. The juniors were in outstanding form with the girls from Fit To Fight and Phoenix in particular producing some impressive victories.
Jake Whittaker was also another youngster to shine in their earlier bouts.
The 12-year-old from Phoenix Kick Boxing Academy won the Inter Club semi final title.
The junior fights proved to be the perfect for title fights main course which began later in the afternoon.
As expected there were some real tear-ups and each contest was evenly match – none more so than the English title clash between Danny Clarkson of Fit To Fight and Nathan Buckley which ended as a draw.
Chris Garratty, sporting a shock of green hair, of Ramsey’s Kick Boxing Club won the boys’ English title against Danny Parker in a very good match which saw both boys give their all.
Lauren Roberts of Phoenix was involved in a real war in a tough five round contest with Loren Garbett of Birmingham on her way to winning the Ladies English title.
For Saqib Baige of Ali MMA, all the hard work and dedication finally paid off when he won the WKA Area title after beating Zach Livesey.
The 17-year-old, who has trained at the Accrington gym for the last two years, displayed a full range of skills and impressed against a fighter looking for the knockout with attack.
But Saqib boxed well and landed some hard front kicks keeping the power punching Zach away and scoring well to come out on top with a hard fought win.
And there was another title for the all-conquring Alf’s Black Belt Academy with Shannon Bacon adding another British title to her collection.
The evening culminated with the Commonwealth title showdown between Kasser and Jones – and the exciting fight won by Kasser was a fitting finale to a fine evening.
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