WKA Canada VS U.S.A Results
When: 10/4/2003 - 10/4/2003
Where: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
The 2003 WKA North American Muay Thai / Kickboxing Championship was as many
spectators put it, "absolutely awesome". Every fight was a nail biter
in its own way, be it in style, desire, technique, or heart. The event took
place in Calgary's newest sports and entertainment venue, The SUN CENTRE. "My
goal is to see The SUN CENTRE become known as 'the' fight venue for Calgary",
said President Keith Crawford. " Muay Thai, Kickboxing, MMA (in an octagon
cage), and Professional Boxing are a few of the fight sports that will be highlighted
monthly at the facility." The promoters were very happy with the attendance
on the first event in the facility, 1600 people came to witness the bouts. "I
am very happy with the amount of people who came out to support the event considering
it will take some time to educate the public where the SUN CENTRE is,"
said Mike Miles.
The event featured a chosen team of participants who won their respective
divisions in the WKA Nationals in either the USA or Canada. "I am happy
it was a fixed line up. We had ten fights plus one Superfight, and honestly
that was a long evening. For our next event, I plan to keep it to eight solid
fights only," said Mike Miles. Professionalism was showcased throughout
the event courtesy of the athletes and coaches involved. Thanks go out to Brian
Crenshaw, Phil Nurse, Kwame Stephens, Nigel Balsamico, Bertina Lee, Shayne Morgan,
Lyle Cheney, Brad Wall, Lee Mein, Frank Lee, Trevor Smandych, Scott Clark, Jason
Jillain, Erin Linley, Mike Miles... and the list goes on.
The event opened with both teams as well as the two principles of the Superfight
stepping into the ring to have the national anthems sung. At the completion
of the anthems, it was time for the fights to begin and the audience was wound
up for action. They were not to be disappointed. The first two fights were women's
bouts, and were fought under Kickboxing rules (low kick). They were outstanding
to say the least and a great way to get the audience involved by supplying explosive
First up was the North American Flyweight Kickboxing Title which was contested
between Team Canada's Carla Hopkins and Team USA's Alisanne Casey. Casey displayed
crisp technique and very good power, delivering some powerful body punches interspersed
with some very heavy Thai influenced round kicks to the ribs of the Canadian.
Many others would have folded under the power of these shots, but Hopkins proved
she is a fighter to the bone. A few body shots made Hopkins wince in pain but
she refused to take a step backwards. She kept in Casey's face for the majority
of the bout and proved she has earned her nickname which is 'The Energizer'.
Casey was to out kick Hopkins with a very high success rate in blows landed.
The fight was very close as the two fought tooth and nail for the win and the
title. At the end of the fight, the bout was awarded to Alisanne Casey who won
the 2003 WKA North American Flyweight Kickboxing Title for her efforts. "Alisanne
is a very strong fighter! Making it worse (for her opponents) she is a southpaw!
I know she is hoping to fight Erin (Linley) and I feel that would be a very
good fight," said Mike Miles. Ms. Casey was also to win the award for the
'Best American Fighter of the Tournament'. Congrats to Ms. Casey and Ms. Hopkins
who did Canada proud!
The second, and only other female bout of the evening featured Team USA's
Janice Johnson battling against Team Canada's Sandra Bastian for the North American
Lightwelterweight Kickboxing Title. Bastian was a replacement for Jessica Gladstone
who had to pull out due to the event's one week delay. "After watching
the skill and desire Janice displayed when she fought Rayelene (Kellock), I
knew Sandra was in for the hardest fight she has yet had," said Mike Miles.
When the bout started, Johnson seemed at home in the ring and it seemed she
effortlessly initiated attacks that Bastian seemed a little hesitant to answer.
Midway through the round, Bastian seemed to have gotten over some jitters and
was starting to answer. She landed some good low kicks to answer Johnson's attempts
and successes. Bastian delivered some right hands to the body of Johnson but
they seemed to have no power. Johnson was to answer with a heavy right hand
that immediately got Bastian's attention. Towards the end of the round, Johnson
stepped in with a quick jab, and Bastian came over top with a very fast and
heavy right hand. It landed squarely on Johnson who was out before she hit the
floor. "What a right hand! Sandra will understand but all b----ing and
complaining while training her really paid off. That has to be one of the hardest
right hands I have seen delivered by a female athlete in person," said
Mike Miles. Bastian became the North American Lightwelterweight Kickboxing Champion
with a first round KO. Janice Johnson is a true warrior and we wish her a speedy
The remainder of the fight event was to be fought under modified Muay Thai
rules (not allowing elbow attacks and not allowing knee attacks to the head).
WKA North American Lightweight Muay Thai Title: Team Canada's Darren Robson
stepped into the ring against Team USA's Stephen Strotmeyer. This was to be
a very hard fought bout filled with action from start to finish. In the first
round Strotmeyer seemed to take the edge by delivering more shots and Robson
seemed to take his time trying to figure out his foes style. There were some
heavy exchanges particularly in the clinch. Towards the end of the round Strotmeyer
rushed in and delivered a fly kick which caught Robson and hurt the Canadian.
The bell was to save Robson. To quote one spectator, "Robson quickly developed
attitude from the next round on." As the bout progressed Strotmeyer started
to see his endurance starting to wane while Robson tried to pick up the pressure.
Robson was starting to get the better of his foe in the clinches with knee attacks.
Strotmeyer was to get warned for several judo take downs (over the hip) during
the bout. The two athletes were taking turns pitching each other to the ground
during the clinch. In fact both athletes were to tumble over the ropes during
one exchange. Robson seemed to pick up his pressure and consequently his success
rate in landing blows improved as each round progressed. Strotmeyer was to hang
in there very competitively. At the end of the bout, Canada's Darren Robson
was awarded the win and the WKA North American Lightweight Muay Thai Title.
"Darren proved he had heart here. Stephen provided competitiveness for
every minute of the encounter. I would love to bring him back to fight up here.
Maybe he could fight Canada's Kim Morris," said Mike Miles.
WKA North American Lightwelterweight Muay Thai Title: Justin Tavernini (Team
Canada) stepped into the ring against Greg Ardon (Team USA). This fight was
to see a lot of ebb and flow with each athlete continually taking turns to attack
the other. Tavernini was to try and provide consistent pressure while Ardon
was to take his time, making his foe miss many times and countering. The clinch
was to be fought with each athlete only finding their opponents leg available
as the target for the majority of the time. Ardon was to try and dump the Canadian
many times while they clinched but was unsuccessful with Tavernini having a
strong background in MMA fighting. As the bout progressed, the youth and endurance
seemed to factor in favor of Tavernini who was to win the WKA North American
Lightwelterweight Muay Thai Title.
WKA North American Welterweight Muay Thai Title: Canada's Levi Kump squared
off against the USA's Michael Reno. From the get go Kump provided hard and consistent
pressure to the American. In the early go, Reno tried to work the clinch and
to Kump's credit he even dumped his foe on the canvas. Kump was to land some
blistering low kicks which took a lot of steam out of Reno who changed his game
plan and moved around the ring to avoid the Canadian's attacks. By round three
Kump was not as successful landing and when the two would fall into the clinch,
Reno would land some very quick and telling knee's to the Canuck. Until the
end of the fight it was Kump pressuring on the outside and landing some punches
and kicks while Reno would land some counter punches and score in the clinch
with the knee. The bout was extremely close with each athlete landing about
the same amount of strikes. Reno was to land the higher scoring knees more consistently
towards the end of the fight. Michael Reno was to win the WKA North American
Welterweight Muay Thai Title by a split decision. Both athletes provided a very
good and enjoyable fight for the audience to witness. "Kump is getting
better all the time, Reno was very smart in this fight. Congratulations to both
fighters for their superb efforts," said Mike Miles.
WKA North American Lightmiddleweight Muay Thai Title: This was to be a highly
spirited bout. "This bout was worth the price of admission alone!,"
said Mike Miles. Canada's Darren Snell was to battle the USA's Joe Sampieri.
In the first two rounds, Sampieri was to initiate and do the majority of the
clean scoring. Snell was to charge in with his head down. The two were to fall
into a clinch and Snell would take several head butts which left him with a
couple of cuts across the forehead. Sampieri in no way head butted on purpose,
but the clashing of the heads was the result of Snell's head down charges to
get inside. "Snell was lucky they were not deep cuts and he had horse shoes
because the referee gave him the benefit of the doubt to continue," said
Mike Miles. The first two rounds went to the American hands down while the last
two rounds went to the Canadian who through sheer desire and determination,
outworked the American in the clinch. "Sampieri seemed to shift down in
the mid to late rounds and he had a difficult time dealing with Snell's constant
pressure," said Canada's Trevor Smandych. The bout was to go unanimously
to Snell who walked away with the WKA North American Lightmiddleweight Muay
Thai Title. "It was close and I have offered to bring Joe Sampieri back
for another go with Darren Snell in the near future," said Mike Miles.
WKA North American Middleweight Muay Thai Title: Canada's Jason Cutbill was
to be very disappointed when American Chris Romulo did not make the event as
he was very sick a day before leaving the US. Cutbill was to take the title
by walk-over and the two have been tentatively matched to fight on November
1st in Canada. We will keep you posted.
WKA North American Lightheavyweight Muay Thai Title: This was to be the second
disappointment of the tournament. At the weigh in the day before, American Rigel
Balsamico came in a little too heavy for the division and he was to lose a couple
of pounds to make the weight. He did so. Unfortunately for him, but at the call
of the Calgary Boxing & Wrestling Commission, Balsamico was to fail the
pre fight medical an hour before the event was to begin due to extreme dehydration.
Canada's Jason Primmer was to win the North American Lightheavyweight Title
by walk over. Primmer was very disappointed in winning the title that way while
Balsamico was very disappointed in not being able to fight. No one was at fault
and the decision was made for the safety of the athlete. "I want to give
Rigel a chance to to fight Primmer in the near future and give Primmer the chance
to win the title by a fight between him and the American,' said Mike Miles.
WKA North American Cruiserweight Muay Thai Title: Team Canada's Trevor Hardy
stepped into the ring as a last minute replacement. He was to square up against
Andrew Glessner who represented Team USA. Glessner was to provide stiff competition
to the shorter but physically stronger Hardy. In round three Hardy was to land
a telling roundhouse kick to the head of Glessner. By the end of round four,
Hardy had worked Glessner's ribs hard and the American was not to come out for
round five. Trevor Hardy was awarded the WKA North American Cruiserweight Muay
WKA North American Heavyweight Muay Thai Title: Luke Spicer stepped into the
ring against Carlos Zevallos who represented Team USA. This was an interesting
fight to watch. The two exchanged some excellent Muay Thai technique. Zevallos
was to catch Spicer's kick and kick out the supporting leg and Spicer was to
return the favor a second later. Spicer was to look quite at home in the clinch
(considering most of his experience is under Kickboxing (low kick) rules). The
two exchanged some big bombs and shook each other. However towards the end of
the fourth round Spicer was to land a right hand which was to shake and hurt
Zevallos badly. Unfortunately for Spicer he was not to cut the ring off and
he spent the remainder of the round chasing the American rather than pinning
him in the corner. Spicer was awarded the WKA North American Heavyweight Muay
Thai Title with his win over Zevallos.
The last fight of the evening was a professional Superfight. Squaring off
with each other was Canada's Sokhim 'The Machine' Or against Barbados athlete
Kirk Bovell. As the bout began, Bovell was to fire fast punches and kicks that
Or would shell up from and attempt to counter. The shorter Or was not as successful
making contact until about half way into the round. The two athletes fell into
a clinch and Or outworked his foe with the knee. Bovell was to back up and try
avoid the knee and clinch. Or faked a strike and Bovell was to rush in and attempt
a counter. Or sat low in his stance and delivered a crisp and devastating cross
which was to put Bovell onto the canvas and unable to get up before the ten
count. Or was to win this encounter with a KO win at 1:38 of the first round.
Congratulations to Or. "The drama leading into this fight was great. These
guys looked fit and showed great speed and skill. I am happy Or won but I was
hoping it could have lasted longer, considering the skill levels of these two
athletes," commented a spectator.
Up next, Mike Miles Productions will be promoting the XFC 'Battle at the Base'
on November 8th. A great line up is featured on this televised TSN fight event.
Stay tuned for more.