Bash ‘n’ Mash Awards
Saturday 23rd February 2008
“It was a wonderful, triumphant night,” said Billy Murray, Prokick founder and the man known simply as Mr Kickboxing by the cognoscenti in Ireland. “It was wonderful to see so many fine, dedicated kickboxers gathered to pay tribute and respect to the best in their field.
"There were many honoured, but most pleasing for me was seeing so many young and rising competitors in the audience. It showed how buoyant this sport is and what talent is knocking on the door, ready to move towards bigger things.”
The ProKick Gym has had unparalleled success in recent years. It is currently home of four world champions, several European champions and a number of national title holders. Several of these were honoured at Saturday’s awards – including Ian Young who was named Fighter of The Year – and some of the emerging talent.
Some of the biggest cheers of the night were reserved for some of the most popular, and long-standing, talents. Lydia Braniff, who this year announced her retirement from the sport while reigning world champion, was presented with an outstanding achievement award while Gary Hamilton, WKN Featherweight full contact kickboxing champion of the world and veteran of more than 60 bouts, was presented with his second dan black belt by governing body the WKN.
As ever, the champ was humble in his acceptance.
“It’s a real honour to be recognised at any time and particularly so when it comes from the sport’s ruling body,” he said. “I want to thank the WKN and also Billy Murray and ProKick for giving me everything in my career. It’s been a wonderful journey – and it’s not over yet.”
There was also a Lifetime Acheivement Award handed out to kickboxing living legend Ernesto Hoost. The Dutchman, nicknamed Mr Perfect, travelled to Northern Ireland for his first ever trip to pick up the award.
“I’m delighted Ernesto could be here, I’m delighted he was given such a welcome and I’m delighted that while here he got to see one of our events and said he hopes to be back in the future.,” added Billy Murray. “I want to thank our host Joe Lindsay. I want to thank many of our visitors, including Dr Carole Presern from the UN and I want to thank the kickboxing family for making this a night to live long.
“Here’s to the next 12 months.”
For a full break down of winners – Check back here tomorrow (Monday) on Prokick.com
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