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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 action.

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 recovery.

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 Thai Title.

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.

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