Hosted by Dragon Power Promotions in conjunction with Cheftrapps, GrandWests' Market Hall found itself to be the setting for the annual South African Amateur Muaythai Fight Night. Saturday the 28th August saw three South African provinces offer up their best fighters to battle it out for the titles up for grabs.
With the Likes of Kwazulu Natals Mzamo Madlophe, Sihle Khuboni, Scelo Mavundla, Cee Khuboni; Bolands Albie Theron, Jave Hill, Chesslyn Baily, Craig Moyce and the Western Provinces' Wesley van der Bank , Travis Matodes, Kevin Pheko, Sobuntu Nxaci, Jarred Rothwell, Justin Sham, Daniel Marcus and Ruan Potts putting their best fight forward, there was never a dull moment from start to finish, Not a lifeless seat in this house.
Regretfully, the fellow fighters from the Eastern Province, Gauteng, and Orange Free state camps were unable to attend and compete due to sickness and injuries that had occurred but nevertheless with 10 fights scheduled for the night there was no lack of adrenaline and excitement in the hall. The masses had gathered to see their favourites compete and put on the show of their lives and boy oh boy did they deliver.
The reward they're all fighting feet, knees, elbows and fists for? The prestige of representing their division and country, in Bangkok, Thailand in this years World Championships held in honour of His Majesty the King of Thailand's 83rd birthday
After the crowd was rowled up by the MC, the ever charming Colin Moss, the first fight got under way. Wesley van der Bank of Western Province vs Albie Theron of Boland. Wesley taking a points decision over his opponent ensured him a spot in the finals of his division. Puting his best foot forward, Wesley would later go on to win his division with a convincing points decision against Mzamo Madlophe of KZN.
Sihle Khuboni of KZN dispatched his first opponent, Boland's Jave Hill in the second round, by TKO, and earned himself a place in the finals of his division. This brought him face to face with the Western Provinces Jarred Rothwell who was the only thing that stood between him and the title…and that is where he stayed. Jarred gave Sihle a run for his money with no shortage of support from the crowd. Determined to be champ, Jarred went in guns blazing and this didn't go without reward. In the end Jarred proved too strong for Sihle and won by way of TKO in the second round. The referee was forced to stop the battle between the two due to Sihle not being able to continue. Both fighters gave their all but in the end Jarred proved that he wanted it more.
A short break was filled with an encouraging pre-recorded video of Gary Trappler (Vice president of IFMA), Sifu Kru Quentin "Dragon" Chong and Madeleine Ross. They were not able to attend this event due to partaking in another event no less important, the inaugural 2010 Sport Accord Combat Games in Beijing where they were accompanied by a special guest, South Africa's Sports Minister Mr Stophile.
Soon after, the third fight started. Scelo Mavundla of KZN kept it short and sweet. Proving too strong for his Western Province opponent, Travis Matodes, Mayundla won a close points decision.
The next fight brought us the fighter of the night, Kevin Pheko. Bringing a new kind of beauty to Muaythai technique, he dominated his opponent Dumisani of KZN and wasted no time in making a win of it. TKO in the 2nd round and that was it! He came, he fought, he conquered…no more. no less.
After the intense welterweight fights it was time for the Light Middleweights to show what they were made of. It was a strong toe to toe battle from the get go, but Cee Khuboni', from KZN, displayed clearly how much experience he really has and came back in the second and third round leaving Sobuntu Nxaci of the Western Cape with no choice but to surrender and so leaving Khuboni with the win by TKO.
It wasn't long before the Middleweight division was underway. Justin Sham of the Western Province showed off his advanced strength and technique which ultimately resulted in an unsurprising win by TKO in the 2nd round.
Another break from all the intensities gave the Ubuntu Breakdancers the opportunity to show off their unmatched skills and talents. As they enthralled the crowd the last leg of the fighting was being prepared in the locker rooms…
Time came for the big boys to take to the ring and provide a heart racing finale, and as expected they delivered. First up was Daniel Marcus of the Western Cape displaying his experience and technique which lead to a well deserved win. The fight was won by KO in the 2nd round over Chesslyn Baily of Boland.
Then came the biggest fight of the night…literally. Next up was the super heavyweights. With electric energy surrounding him, Ruan Potts thundered down to the ring, the ground almost trembling with every focused and eager step. Both fighters looked ready to rumble but when it came down to it, Craig Moyce of the Boland was no match for the colossal masterpiece that is Ruan Potts. He won by TKO in the first round!
And so the night came to a buzzing end leaving the crowd filled with energy as though the fight night was just about to begin…a superb ending to a magnificent event…or is this the end? One thing is for sure "fans " will be watching and waiting more the next mind warping Fight Night and the fighters…they will never stop in their endeavour to perfect their art of Mauythai with a sense of their own flair. All in all it can only get better.