Dubai: The holiday crowd was treated to a top-class showdown in the 10-card inaugural BKK Kickboxing Championship with Turkey’s Serdar Eroglu winning the vacant light heavyweight world championship title at the Al Nasr Club’s Rashid Bin Hamdan Hall on Saturday.
The17-time Turkish champion Eroglu, who had prepared for this contest for the past one year, defeated Spaniard Ruben Lee by an unanimous decision on an action-packed night to claim the vacant light heavyweight title.
Eroglu, who had competed in the UAE before in Abu Dhabi at the World Championships but kept up his promise to his fans in his first battle in Dubai. “I feel very comfortable here in Dubai because the culture here is very similar to back home in Turkey.”
The Turkish fighter started strongly with both fighters sparing no effort to get the upper hand early in the contest, depending more on their kicks than punches and jabs. It continued in the second with both trying to get the big break. Still Eroglu kept adding points with several combinations to go ahead in the second, until Lee managed to bring the Turk down when the second round came to an end at that moment.
The Spaniard threw the kitchen sink in the third round but Eroglu went on the offensive towards the end. The Spaniard started losing steam in the fourth but kept trying hard to change the course of the contest, but in vain.
“I do not have to say too much – I will let my fighting do my talking for me,” said Eroglu, who improved his professional record to 29-2-1. The Turk added the title to his already impressive CV that includes IFMA Muay thai world championship crown and Wako Kickboxing world championship.
Fighters from Morocco dominated with three wins while Russia and Turkey had two each in the star-studded 10-fightcard that will featured 20 top fighters and multiple championship winners from around the world
The Uzbek Mavlud Tupiev was clearly the aggressor in the first round and produced a dominating display against Christian Adrian Mile, who started coming back towards the end of the second with a back kick. Despite taking the several pounding, the Romanian kept coming at his opponent in the third. But still Tupiev managed to keep his rival at bay to win by unanimous decision in the 70kg bout, paving the way for the headline act between Lee and Eroglu.
“I wanted to thank my family and friends to all the people of Uzbekistan and looking forward to my next fight,” said the Uzbek champion.
One of the headline acts of the 10-fightcard was the much-anticipated bout between Muhammed Shuhaib of India and Shakeel Abdullah Chandio of Pakistan. However, Shakeel Abdullah Chandio of Pakistan used a combination or left and right to floor Shuhaib towards the end of first round and brought an early end to the contest with referee stopping the bout in 4 seconds of the second round to bring huge cheers from the vociferous crowd.
The other high-profile clash, one of the main events of the night between
Saifullakh Khambakhadov of Russia and Turkey’s Furkhan Semi Karabag didn’t live up to the expections with the Russian knocking his rival Karabag early in the first round. The contest just lasted just 1 minute and 14 seconds with Khambakhodav winning fight in a technical knockout.
Crowd favourite El Mehdi Kakrami Bernoussi of Morocco didn’t disappoint his fans and maintained his perfect record with a win against Ferzan Cicek of Turkey, who entered the ring with a skeletaon mask, in an unamous decision. The Moroccon adopted a combination of jabs, punches and cross and used his higher reach to good effect to extend his unbeaten run to 10 contests.
Neck and neck
The ladies increased the tempo with a fight that going neck and neck in a close contest with both Funda Alkayis of Turkey and Chilean Francisca Belen Vera Lizama both believing that they had won the contest until the referee announced the unanimous decision in favour of AlKayis. Inflicted first loss on the Chilean in eight bouts.
“It’s a hard-fought win as my opponent was a very strong one. I put up a very strong show and happy to inflict first loss on Belen,” said AlKayis.
Bekmursev Temirlan of Russia extended his unbeaten run with a victory over Thai opponent Worawit Madadam. The Russian Temirlan has thrown a challenge to this Thai opponent by showing his keenness to fight him again in December. “Unfortunately, my opponent was injured and had to stop the fight. This fight is not over, will face him again,” the Russian said after referee stopped the fight in 33 seconds in round 2 of the 60-kg fight.
Mohamed El Boukhari of Morocco overcame a close challenge from Palestinian Mohammed El Mir, who made his moves in the third and final round of the nine-minute contest. El Mir’s aggression did not pay off El Boukhari won the contest in an unanimous decision in the 70kg contest.
Walid Ek Kehal of Morocco defeated Portuguese Fabio Reis in a one-sided contest in the 70-kg category with the referee stopping the bout in the first round.
Sabri Ben Henia of Belgium started on a winning note after forcing the referee to stop the contest in the second round against Abdullah Al Falouji of Syria, ending the hopes of the strong Syrian supporters.
“Dubai is home to many spectacular landmarks and we want to make sure our BKK Kickboxing Championship lives up to that image,” said Abdul Rahman Kallayil, Chairman of BKK Sports, who hold multiple portfolios across IT, Health and sports sectors.
Mavlud Tupiev (Uzbekistan) beat Christian Adrian Mile (Romania)
Saifullakh Khambakhadov (Russia) beat Furkhan Semi Karabag (Turkey)
Funda Alkayis (Turkey) vs Francisca Belen Vera Lizama (Chile)
Shakeel Abdullah Chandio (Pakistan) beat Muhammed Shuhaib (India)
El Mehdi Kakrami Bernoussi (Morocco) beat Ferzan Cicek (Turkey)
Mohamed El Boukhari (Morocco) beat Mohammed El Mir (Palestine)
Bekmursev Temirlan (Russia) beat Worawit Madadam (Thailand)
Walid Ek Kehal (Morocco) beat Fabio Reis (Portugal)
Sabri Ben Henia (Belgium) vs Abdullah Al Falouji (Syria).