© Copyright – 2018 – Victoria Sports News

The fight card dubbed Friday Night Fights took place Friday, April 6 at Eagle Ridge Centre in Langford. The evening was to feature 11 kickboxing bouts, capped by two world titles that would include local athletes that train at Peterec’s Kickboxing Gym and Victoria Martial Arts.

The scheduled main event was to feature Victoria’s Tim “Pacman” Packer (9-2) and Daniel Strahan (9-0) of Los Angeles in an International Kickboxing Federation (IKF) featherweight-class (127-pound) bout, however, Strahan simply did not show up.

Packer, the current Canadian champion, is the only athlete to twice win the Dillon Brown Trophy as the most exciting fighter of the night.  He won the Canadian title in his most recent fight that took place at Western Speedway at Summer Slugfest VII on Friday, Sept. 8, 2018.

Victoria’s, Rob Doerkson (13-2-0) with VMA was to take on Bowman, Ontario’s Jake McKenzie who sports a record of 42-6-0. He fights out of the club, Redemption Ontario. Unfortunately, he was apparently hit by a bus in Toronto. Ring announcer Ken “Hurricane” Himes quipped over the public address system, “apparently he would rather be hit by a bus than by Doerkson’s fists.”

Both Packer and Doerkson were seen working the corners for other fighters throughout the night.

So the main event became the Canadian title fight between Victoria’s Landon Larson (VMA) and Coquitlam’s Jimmy Nguyen.

Larson entered the ring, sporting a record of 3-1, while Nguyen with a 5-1 record was representing Team Titan MMA.

There was much posturing in the ring before the fight, with Nguyen repeatedly taunting Larson by flashing kicks and combinations at him.

“He was really cocky before the fight,” said Larson. “I went over to his corner to say something and he didn’t want any part of it. I felt I had to shut him up a bit. I didn’t like his attitude.”

Larson dropped Nguyen to the canvas shortly after the bell rang and continued to pummel him after the fight resumed. Larson knocked him to the canvas at least three times with powerful punches, within the first minute. The fight was stopped by referee Mark Pennington at 1:13, as Nguyen stumbled in his corner.

Opening the fight card were a pair of rookie combatants in Aleks Nojszewski fighting out of Peterec’s Kickboxing, she fought Marlene Noel with Team Bastion out of Campbell River. Both fighters entered the ring with a 0-0 record.

Nojszewski won by unanimous decision. She repeatedly threw straight right hands that found pay dirt, bloodying Noel from the nose and left eye. Noel, did land several punches, but in the end was not enough.

Adam Braidwood, the WBU heavyweight champion made an appearance in the ring to announce his upcoming fight against Simon Kean of Trois Rivieres. He knocked out Mexican Jesus Manuel Paez at 2:15 of the first round last week in Montreal.

The second fight of the night featured Chris Henrion with Crusher Combat of Langford (0-0) who took on David Callbeck with Fight Farm of Fort Saskatchewan, AB. Friday Night Fights was his second fight (1-0). The super middleweights battled hard, but the fight was stopped at 1:58 of the second round, as Callbeck cornered Henrion and clearly had the upper hand, hitting repeatedly with both hands.

Shawn Hill fighting out of Peterec’s (2-0) took on Victor Egda (1-0) of VMA.  The super welterweights battled hard during the first round, with the edge going to Egda as he got in a few extra leg kicks and landed a few right and left hands, however, was loose defensively and gave up a couple of right hands himself.

The fight was plagued by equipment issues for both fighters. Both experienced issues with their headgear. The fight was delayed at one point as Hill’s was replaced. In the end, the judges scored the fight unanimously 30-27, 30-27 and 30-27 for Egda.

The third bout of the evening pitted Matt Goodwin (4-0) of Port Alberni against Jordan Giebel with CBK Victoria (6-5). The two fought in the 140-pound weight class. The first round was even, with a slight edge to Giebel, however, both fighters landed several good kicks. The second round could be considered a draw – both fighters went toe-to-toe but ended up as victims of their own lack of defence throwing hard punches and leg and body kicks.

The two started the third and final round a little more tentative, but soon engaged just as aggressively as before. Giebel appeared to have a small advantage in general fitness. He ended winning by unanimous decision.

Jason Szakal with Peterec’s (4-4) and Bruce Khadem out of WKX in Surrey (6-5), weighing in at 165 pounds, fought.

Off the bell, Szakal had an advantage and took the first round, with his very aggressive style. The second round was Khadem’s; both fighters were aggressively throwing punches again sacrificing defence while making for an exciting fight.

Khadem also took the third round, his fitness was superior. Szakal was fading late during the third but appeared to come out for the fourth round recovered. Again he faded late in the round but did manage to throw some sharp kicks that landed, but his punches became telegraphed late, which made it easier for Khadem to see them coming.

Asked if he noticed that he had a little more fitness Khadem said, “yeah, he put up a good fight, but I did notice that he faded a little late and I took advantage.”

The fifth round was similar to the fourth, with a good start for Szakal, and a late fade. In the end Khadem earned a unanimous decision winning the Canadian title.

Jordan Kinnard of Campbell River fought Nicholas Smeader in a 142-pound lightweight fight. From the outset it was clear that Smeader, representing Martial Art Unlimited in Victoria, brought superior fitness to the ring. Kinnard put up a good fight however, was edged out in the execution of combinations.

Kinnard did come out for the third round and improved his chances as Smeader began to fade, paying for his early effort. By fight’s end, it was evident that Kinnard could have made it a more even fight on another night – perhaps if the efforts between the two fighters were more even at the outset. Judges scored it unanimously 30-27, 30-27 and 30-27 for Smeader.

Michigo Shew representing Peterec’s in her first fight took on Matilda Chiu of WKX Surrey (1-0). They fought a three-round bout. It was an even battle however, Shew, at age 45, fighting a 20-something opponent apparently took its toll during the latter portions of each round.

Shew won with a split decision. She landed several mid-kicks and ended each round with a small edge in poise and execution.

As for Larson, he has no immediate plans, “I am just going to rub my Canadian title belt,” he said with a smile, holding the title belt over his shoulder. “And go celebrate with my friends.”

His friends had filled the ring shortly after his win and chanted “VMA” for several minutes.

Peterec’s Productions will put on another Slugfest event, Slugfest Viii sometime during the summer.

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