THE 12TH ANNUAL BATTLE INTERNATIONAL KICKBOXING AND MUAY THAI CARD - November 1 (Calgary)
One of Canada's most prolific promoters, Mr. Mike Miles put on one of his best shows of the year on Saturday, November 1st to end the 1997 fight card season in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
1400 spectators paid and entered to watch Team Canada take on Team Korea, Team Russia and other Canadian opponents. An estimated 900 people were turned away at the door with many resorting to buy tickets from scalpers. It is estimated that around 400 phone callers were told the event was sold out. Promoter Mr. Miles had this to say, "In Calgary you never know how a sporting event is going to be perceived. This is a hockey and (American) football town. Finally, after years of hard work and sweat, events are selling out and I have some very interested parties with big money wanting involvement in these events and the only way to go now is forward."
The Main Event featured Canada's Trevor "T.N.T." Smandych (Miles - Calgary) taking on Korea's "Tiger Boy" Yun Kyung Il for the WKA Lightweight World Muay Thai Title. Smandych entered the arena to exploding confetti bombs, spotlights and grinding rock n' roll music that proved he was ready and raring to go for the title. Several days earlier leading into the event, the Korean had looked very good in his training sessions and there was concern how well the Canadian would fare. Tonight however, Smandych had the proverbial "Eye of the Tiger" as he entered the ring and his performance totally proved it. In the first round Smandych was a little too eager to finish the Korean, and he threw strong blows which just missed connecting cleanly. In between the first and second round, Smandych's coach Mike Miles told him to settle down, find the correct range and set up the opponent for a kick to the head. Smandych did this and 30 seconds into the second round T.N.T. landed a picture perfect right roundhouse kick to the neck of the Korean putting him out for ten minutes. This has been a very successful technique for Smandych in his last 10 bouts having knocked out some of the best fighters from around the world with his thunderous kick. Congratulations to the new WKA World Champion from Canada - Trevor Smandych.
The semi-main event featured Canada's Patrick "Pitbull" Bowsher (Miles - Calgary) battling against Korea's Asian Champion Kim In Sik for an IKF Intercontinental Light Cruiserweight Muay Thai Title. The bout proved to be disappointing in its outcome. The Korean came to brawl (judging by his workouts leading up to the event) and Bowsher was ready for his battle plan. In the first round the Korean delivered a heavy cut kick which Bowsher blocked with his knee and the Korean went down in pain. Upon getting back to his feet it was obvious the Korean's shin was damaged but he stood up and managed to survive the first round. In the second, Bowsher went to work on the Korean's legs and Kim went down just from blocking with his damaged shin. While rolling in intense pain his corner threw in the towel and Bowsher won the bout by second round TKO.
A special exhibition bout was scheduled to take place between three time professional World Champion Mike Miles and Martial Arts Legend Bill "Superfoot" Wallace in a Full Contact demonstration (above the waist kicking only). Unfortunately, Mr. Wallace had injured his leg a day before the event and could not step into the ring. When Mr. Wallace apologized to the audience he stated, "This is the first time in 35 years that I have not done what I said I would do. I apologize to you, to Mike (Miles), all the fighters, and you the fans. Hopefully I can get back up here again soon and we (Mike Miles and I) will put on a great show for you." The Superfoot was given polite applause and no one complained about the special exhibition not taking place.
The undercard featured Calgary's Vanessa Bellegarde (Miles - Calgary) taking on Winnipeg's Una Truscott for the WKA Canadian Bantamweight Full Contact Title. The opening round had both girls moving quickly and testing each others defenses with fast kicks and punches. In the second round, Bellegarde settled down and started applying strong pressure to Truscott who had no choice but to back up into the ropes and absorb the onslaught. Bellegarde was landing strong combinations at will and Truscott went down. Truscott had great determination and it was very surprising when her corner threw in the towel. Bellegarde won the title by 2nd round TKO.
Several International Prestige matches took place and the outcomes were as follows: Muay Thai matches under international rules (no knees to the head and no elbow attacks)
Jason Jillain (Miles - Canada) vs. Kim Hyo Jung (Korea)
This was a very exciting match up. Both athletes had similar styles and both would bridge the gap quickly from kicking range to punching range and then finally ending up in a clinch. Jillain was scolded by his coach for being slow to the knee when falling into the clinch. As the fight progressed Jillain corrected this error. He gave the Korean a lot of grief on the inside from his solid knee attacks. The knees started taking their toll on the Korean's stamina in the third round. Jillain kept getting stronger each round and he started landing powerful punches and kicks on a very tired Kim. These blows finally sat the Korean down in the middle of the fourth round. Kim could not get up after the final onslaught and Jillain won by TKO.
Jason Fenton (Miles - Canada) vs. Kang Il Kyu (Korea)
Fenton has had a year of increasingly difficult matches. This bout promised to test Fenton and his desire to continue as an athlete in the sport of Muay Thai or to have him hang his gloves up. The bout opened with both fighters calm and collected probing each others defenses with fast kicks. Though neither had the upper hand, the Korean decided to start pressuring the Canadian. As he did, a blistering and lightning fast left roundhouse caught the Korean on the right side of the head. The Korean stopped for a moment and then went down in agony. The doctor was called to inspect the fighter and it was found that the kick had ruptured the Korean's ear drum. The fight was stopped by the doctor and Fenton won the fight in the first round.
Kerry Dell (Miles - Canada) vs. Igor Zanoviev (Russia)
The Russian athlete much to everyone's (promoter, Canadian fighter and audience) surprise is a NHB fighter. Upon finding this out (the day before the match), Dell and his coach figured the best place to stay was at striking range and not in clinching range, figuring that the Russian would rush in to bridge the gap and use his strengths in close. To everyone's surprise, the Russian came out and delivered excellent Muay Thai technique at a distance. When the two fighters did end up close, the Russian muscled the Canadian effectively in the first round. This seemed to frustrate Dell as he could not seem to pull the trigger and deliver techniques faster than the Russian. In the second round listening to his coaches advice, Dell delivered a thundering right hand which caught the Russian as he was advancing in and sat Zanoviev cleanly on his fanny. The Russian was barely saved by the bell but even so, refused to come out for the third round giving Dell the win.
Kickboxing matches allowing kicks to the legs
Paul Sukys (Miles - Canada) vs. Abrahim Namery (Egypt)
Namery stepped into the ring cocky and confident of a win. He was not going to let himself down. Though his fight skills appeared rough, he chased Sukys around the ring dropping the Canadian to the canvas numerous times. Several times Namery protested the referees warnings for hitting on the break, unknowingly buying time for Sukys to try and recover from the swarming. In the second round Sukys came back cutting the Russians lip with several high head kicks. This did not stop Namery who came out full bore in the third round and after dropping the Canadian three times, the bout was finally ended in favor of Namery with a win by TKO.
The results of the Team Canada fighters against other Canadian athletes are as follows:
Nick Ring (Miles - Calgary) vs. Andrew Frazer (Winnipeg)
This bout was awarded the honor of being the "Fight of the night" and with good reason. The taller Frazer (6 ft 4 in.) easily dominated the first round. Frazer delivered several vicious face and body kicks which scored full force. Undaunted, Ring came back more determined and counterpunched everything his foe had to offer. By the third round, the pressure was too much for Frazer and Ring punched his foe around the ring to win the bout.
Jeremy Rempel (Miles - Calgary) vs. Steve Shultz (Winnipeg)
Shultz came out looking for a quick end to his encounter with the timid looking Rempel. The end was not to come, at least not the way Shultz was looking for. Rempel provided strong resistance in the first round and by the second round, Shultz was physically drained. Overwhelming counterpressure from Rempel had him win the remaining rounds and the bout.
Keith Crawford (Miles - Calgary) vs. Guiseppe Denatale (Winnipeg)
This was a brutal scrap between two very large athletes, both of which ended up with broken noses. In the first round Denatale overwhelmed Crawford with a strong right hand that broke Crawford's septum (in his nose). This ignited the flames of desire to win in Crawford who though physically tired chased, cornered and pounded on his opponent with everything but the kitchen sink. The bout was very close with the first going to Denatale and the second going to Crawford. The third round could have went either way but the decision went to Crawford for his constant pressure.
Gord Anderson (Miles - Calgary) vs. John Kelly (Winnipeg)
Anderson though not powerful in this his first fight, used constant pressure, probing shots and counters to snatch the victory away from Kelly. It was a bout where neither had the opportunity to knock the other out, but desire and determination clinched the victory for the hungrier Anderson.