Katana 2 - Scotland
Friday 1st April 2011
The Hilton Grosvenor, Glasgow Scotland
At the weigh in, young prokick fighter David Bird and his opponent Aaron Towns both tipped the scales at 58.1kg a piece.
Both the young fighters, extremely talented in their own right delivered nothing short of a mesmerising opening fight for Airlie James and with the Scottish opponent having a far more versatile fight history and having held both British and European titles to his name, it was certainly not going to be just any old fight for the extremely talented young Lisburn fighter. From the opening bell, both young men went straight on the front foot, fiercely taking the fight to one another. Bird concentrating on his hand speed and low kicks whilst the tough Scot showing off his tenacity and form with various high kicks and ring craft. It was tit for tat in the first 2 rounds, David finding it difficult on occasion to find his reach as Town was the taller of the two. It wasn't until the final round that David was able to devise a strategy to work his way in past the guard of the talented Towns and lame some punishing low point kicks. At the end of the tough battle however, it was the Scot whose hand was lifted as the victor. All involved in the event described both the young men as "Two real talents for the future and no doubt they will cross paths again."
Fight number 3 of the card was that of ProKick's own Darren McMullan against David Roger from Duncan Airlie James' Glasgow based gym. McMullan hit the scales at a trim 73.1kg and his opponent 71.9kg. The bout was scheduled to be fought under 'Katana' rules at under 75kg.
Opening round, both fighters were fast out of the blocks. David Roger concentrating more so on hard low kicks whilst the Belfast based fighter concentrated on his hand speed and accuracy. McMullan opened up the round with a tremendously accurate four punch combination which gave the referee no choice but to deliver a standing 8 count to the tough Scot. Smelling victory, Darren pushed further forward and after a frantic exchange of blows, landed some extremely tough shots, knocking the scot through the ropes. Experienced referee John Blackledge chose not to continue the count but to call a halt to the fight and immediately called in the ringside medical team. After a few minutes of strict medical supervision, the scot was back on his feet. This result was a sheer testimony to Darren's training regime and resilience at the ProKick gym. Just 3 weeks ago, at the sold out St Patrick's Day Bash he stopped Swiss fighter Jeremy Jossi in a stunning 3rd round KO.
The sixth fight on the card was that of up and coming ProKick fighter Johnny Smith as he faced Robert Conroy from Cumbernauld TKD, North Lanarkshire. Conroy weighed in at 71.9kg, Johnny weighed in at 70.6kg.
Conroy comes from a Taekwondo background and has a lot of experience in this respect. At the start of the fight Conroy scored well with his high kicks and it took the Belfast based fighter a bit of time to work out a way around the southpaw. By half way through the first round, Johnny closed Conroy down and capatlised with his knee strikes and low point kicks. it was a very competitive first round for both fighters with Johnny decidedly taking the edge. in the second round, very similar traits were shown, however it was Smith who forced a standing 8 count with a precision knee strike that greatly hurt the Scot. In the 3rd it looked as if Johnny could stop Conroy but the tenacious Scottish fighter came back with his own kicks to keep him grounded in the fight. Johnny pushed hard to the final bell and at the end of the bout, took a uninamous points decision. An excellent fight for both fighters. This was a hat trick win for the East Belfast fighter as he has now rattled up 3 wins from 3 fights, also having fought every weekend for the past 3 weeks.
Co-topping the bill was rising star Mark Bird from Hillsborough as he took on Steven Laverty from Highlanders Muay Thai. Mark weighed in at 62.2kg as his opponent weighed in at 61.9kg.
This was the semi-main event fought under Katana professional rules (no headguard or shinguard) included knee strikes to the head and spinning back fists. Even though it was under professional rules, Bird still maintains his amateur status as no money was crossed hands. The match was scheduled for 3x3min rounds. Mark's opponent was the experienced Steven Laverty, a former Thai boxing champion who was making a return to the ring after a 2 year absence. Laverty found out to his peril that the young Hillsborough fighter was not the right opponent to come back to as the powerful and hungry fighter demonstrated further that he is nothing short of world championship form. Laverty started quick and caught Bird flush with a right hand, forcing him back onto the ropes but it wasn't long before Bird found his range and regained his composure and set up his own offensive. A few precise and prefectly timed punch and kick combinations were landed by the young prokick fighter and after finishing yet another flash combination, landed a sweet left hook which forced the referee to deliver a standing 8 count. Tough laverty continued and feklt the full wrath of Bird's power and spped with and kick and punch combinations from every angle, eventually sending him to the canvas yet again. This yet again left the referee no choice but to call a halt to the bout in favour of Bird. Mark will now go into full preparation for his upcoming challenge in cyprus for the WKN light welterweight K1 oriental rules world title this June.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank Duncan and all his team for a well organised and well received event. The ProKick team were well looked after from start to finish. Duncan's second event is at the Mariott in June in Glasgow for "Katana 3" and hopefully more prokick fighters will be invited to compete.
Video and photographic footage to follow...
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