SUNDAY, November 17th, 2002, AT 1:50 AM, PT
History Has Been Made!
Success Is Too Small A Word For The First Ever
IKF North American Amateur FCR Championships!
History has been made and those involved will be remembered forever! IKF North American Championships Promoter Ray Thompson (Left) finally took a moment to rest his feet as he sat along the wall of the venue and watched part of his Iron Spirit Promotions Team picking up chairs and cleaning up after their event tonight. He had the look of success and contentment in his eye that twinkled like someone who just took on the world and won, and he did!
Thompson's Team from his Upstate Karate School in Simpsonville South Carolina were the hosts to one of the greatest Amateur kickboxing events we have ever been a part of and with it, have set the standard as to what will follow with more IKF Championship Tournament events for the years to come. No, there were no fighters from Canada or Mexico there for this "North America" Championship event, but no worries. No offense to them but hey, they weren't needed to make this a great event. This was all USA tonight and the fighters who "Walked the Walk" this time knew the prize was higher and showed it in their performance as well.
We saw some wars tonight that made the crew from Charter Communications proud to be a part of IKF Kickboxing. Charter was so pleased with the event that they are now going to show the event on their South/East sports channel which includes all the south eastern states of the USA. In addition, the show may be released nationally to other Charter affiliates. Simply put, this event was the start of something big! Not just for the North American Tournament system but for the major plan of IKF Kickboxing events on TV!
Sometime event reports tend to brag a bit too much about sellout crowds when there are clearly seats available. Well kickboxing fans, if you were there, you were witness to a TRUE sellout, standing room only crowd. If you weren't there, well... simply put, you missed out BIG!
There were a total of 7 IKF Amateur North American Championship Bouts accompanied by 2 woman's exhibition bouts. We'll be writing more on this event later in the week but for those who are eager for the results lets get to them.
Due to several no shows at the weigh-ins there was only 1 prelim bout for the event that took place Saturday morning. It was in the Light Cruiserweight division between Stephen Thompson of Simpsonville, South Carolina, USA, (23-0/13) and John Scanlon of Chicago, IL, USA (3-2/1). In the bout, Thompson won by head kick TKO at 1:37 of round 1 to advance to his night time championship bout against Bill Jardine of Mondovi, Wisconsin, USA, (8-0). We'd like to point out the heart of a lion in Scanlon. With only 6 amateur kickboxing bouts he's had 3 loses. Two of them now have come from Thompson and the 3rd from National Tournament Champion Kevin Engle (14-3/8) in 2001. Our point is, is that while these other fighters "No showed" for this event, here's Scanlon, matched up against probably the best fighter of the tournament (Record wise at least, if not overall) and he shows up as promised. Talk about "Walking the Walk!" Lets give a round of applause to Mr. Scanlon who knew what he was getting into, but stayed strong as he faced Thompson's storm as long as he could. This is what makes Warriors out of men.
NIGHT EVENT: Before the night's Championship bouts 4 women fighters put on a show for the crowd in 2 exhibition bouts. In the first exhibition Andrea Zalas of Mauldin South Carolina sparred with Lisa Advent of Fountain Inn, South Carolina. In the second exhibition bout, Nicole Hess, Alexandria, Virginia showed why she is the 2002 IKF USA National Junior Girls Flyweight Champion with a strong sparring session against Rachael Preacher of Simpsonville, South Carolina. When the ladies smoke cleared the ring it was time for the men to take the stage and what a performance they gave. Here's the nights results...
BOUT 1: 1. Lightweight - 128.1 lbs. to 132 lbs.: Kicking off the night was Brent Hess of Alexandria, VA, USA (5-0/2, 131, 5'7", 17, 6-25-85, Mike Hess) Vs Joseph Balkis of Robbins, IL, USA (9-7/4, 128, 5'5", 33, 6-28-69, Glenn Hudson) Hess was this years 2002 IKF USA National "Junior Division Featherweight champion at ages 16-17 Year Olds. At the nationals he successfully defended his 2001 National title by defeating Jason Adam of Ean Claire, WI, by TKO at 1:20 of round 1. Balkis was this years 2002 USA Nationals Featherweight runner-up when his bout was stopped due to a cut over his eye at :50 seconds into the 1st round giving the title to Billy Byrd of Aurora, IL. In tonights bout, there was no early stop but plenty of strong action, and most of it all from Hess as he took the title easily by the score of 50-44, 50-43 and 50-42 to become the first "Fighting" IKF North American Amateur Champion. We say "Fighting" because remember, 2 fighters, Light Welterweight Doyle Gayler of Kaufman, Texas, USA and Heavyweight Mike Marinoble of Fair Oaks, California, USA won their titles by forfeit when their opponents were no shows at the weigh-ins. After the event Marinoble announced he will now be turning pro which will make the title vacant again.
BOUT 2: Super Lightweight - 132.1 lbs. to 137 lbs.: This was a straight across rematch from this years 2002 IKF USA National Championships between 2002 IKF USA National Super Lightweight Champion Robert Elledge of Roseville, CA, USA (10-0/3, 136, 5'9", 17, 7-28-84, Dave Marinoble) Vs Justin Pickett of North Augusta, GA, USA (8-1/3, 136, 5'5", 18, 8-18-83, now training with Ray Thompson) These two are currently ranked 1 and 2 in this division. At the 2002 IKF USA National Championships, Elledge won by split decision, 29-28, 29-28 & 28-29. Previous to the final though Pickett had to earn his way there by defeating Joe Surack in the opening round by unanimous decision, 30-27 on all 3 judges cards. Surack was scheduled to be here at the North American Championships but had to withdraw last week when his trainer informed him he could not attend. With the stage set, the two were ready to rock. It was in round 1 that made the scoring difference in this bout as Elledge forced Pickett to a standing 8 count giving him a strong 10-8 advantage on the score cards. From there out the two traded rounds but in the end Elledge would be awarded the belt by unanimous decision, 49-45, 49-46 and 48-46 to claim the IKF North American Super Lightweight title.
BOUT 3: Welterweight - 142.1 lbs. to 147 lbs.: This title matched up Jarett "JP" Perelmutter of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, USA (AKB: 3-0/2, AKB: 3-0/2, 147, 5'6", 27, 4-5-75, Mike Hess) Vs Neil Halmstad of Wrenshall, Minnesota, USA (10-5/0, 152, 5'10", 27, 2-9-75, Self) This was the height and reach of Halmstad (4 inches taller) against the strength of Perelmutter. Coming into the bout ranked number 7 in the super lightweight division Perelmutter had a strong desire to prove he should be ranked higher. As far as Halmstad, at the 2002 IKF USA National Championships he was registered in the light middleweight division where he first defeated Lucus Larson of Mondovi, Wisconsin USA, by unanimous decision 30-27 on all 3 cards but lost to eventual champion Anthony McGaughey by unanimous decision 30-27 on all 3 judges cards. For this event he moved down to a more natural weight for him which was a smart move as far as being crisp on his kicks and punches but at the lower weight, lacked the punching power he had when heavier. Halmstad set the pace early winning the first 2 rounds on 2 of the 3 judges cards but in rounds 3 and 4 he seemed to play into Perelmutter's inside fight game instead of using his reach which cost him dearly as Perelmutter took rounds 3 and 4 on all 3 judges cards. This one came down to who had what in the final round and in the end Perelmutter took the round on all 3 judges cards and with it, took home the belt with a unanimous decision win, 48-47, 48-47 and 49-45.
BOUT 4: Light Middleweight - 153.1 lbs to 159 lbs.: When it comes to winning, Anthony McGaughey of Norman, OK, USA (20-0-1/14, 159, 5'11", 24, 9-27-77, Scott Mincey) may not know how to. McGaughey is the 2002 IKF USA Light Middleweight Champion. At the nationals he successfully defended his 2001 National title by defeating Neil Halmstad by unanimous decision 30-27 on all 3 judges cards. Across the ring was a very game Shaun Gay of Valdosta, GA, USA (3-6/3, 159, 6'1", 23, 5-6-79, James Corbett) Gay is currently ranked number 9 in the super welterweight division. Like at the national championships, McGaughey took his time getting started against Gay and although McGaughey forced Gay to a standing 8 count in the round, he allowed Gay to land some good shots. In round 2, McGaughey decided to turn up the heat and did so with precision which brought an end to this bout at 1:02 of the second round giving McGaughey the first IKF North American Tournament win by TKO. In his defense, Gay could have been like the other "No show" fighters when he read about McGaughey's fight record. But give him credit for being true to his word and showing up to "Walk the Walk" with one of the best.
BOUT 5: Middleweight - 159.1 lbs to 165 lbs.: Have you ever been a judge and thought once a round was over you wish you could just toss a coin in the air to determine who won because it was so close? Well if so, you can relate to the action we all saw in the bout between 2002 IKF USA Middleweight Champion Peyton Russell of Minneapolis, MN, USA (26-4/6, 165, 6', 32, 9-11-69, C. B. Bunkholt) and 2002 runner up Shannon Hudson of Greer, SC, USA (9-5/4, 165, 5'8", 22, 10-11-79, Kevin Hudson) At the 2002 USA Nationals Russell successfully defended his 2001 National title by defeating Travis Buchlolz of Eau Claire, WI, by unanimous decision 30-27 on all 3 judges cards. Hudson was the 2002 USA Nationals runner up in the super middleweight division. At the Nationals in round one he first defeated Brett Crosby of Clinton, MD by TKO at 1:34 of round 3. In the final he lost to Kevin Engle of St Louis, MO by unanimous decision 29-28, 30-27 & 30-27. Hudson choose to move down in weight for this event since no one else registered in his division. It was probably the best move he's made in his fight career. At this weight he was quick, strong and aggressive and his energy level seemed to never go away. On the other hand, remember who he was up against... Peyton Russell has been around the world in his career and has come home a winner 26 of 30 times. Many thought Russell would be too strong for Hudson but to the surprise of many, Hudson turned out to be the strong one. This was yet another great battle between two warriors with strong hearts and plenty of skill to go to war with. We can't tell you what bout one judge was watching who gave Russell all 5 rounds scoring it 50-45, but the other two judges saw the fight we saw. One judge gave them each 2 rounds and couldn't come to an answer in round 3 giving them both 10 for an ending score of 48-48. The third judge forced himself to a decision and it was the small difference that gave the bout to Russell by majority decision with a score of 48-47 Russell. With the question of the one judges scoring in mind (50-45), do all of you hear what we hear in the echoes of our heads..."Rematch... Rematch..." What a GREAT FIGHT!
BOUT 6: Cruiserweight - 186.1 lbs to 195 lbs.: Adam Sylvia of Alexandria, VA, USA (11-0/8, 194, 5'11", 28, 11-5-73, Mike Hess) is a 2 time IKF USA National Amateur Champion. At this years nationals he fought one of the most memorable and classic kickboxing wars we can remember against Tim Mazurkiewicz of Beloit, WI, USA (16-3/13, 190, 6'1", 30, 5-4-72, Pete Hetrick, Butch Elliot). This bout could have gone either way and on this night, the odds favored Sylvia as he walked away with a majority decision victory, 30-26, 30-26 & 28-28. Tonight he faced across the ring a fighter we've seen for several years now come up just short of attaining a deserving title, Adrian Turpin of Anderson, GA, USA (6-6/0, 192, 6', 34, 1-4-68, Ben Turpin) At this years nationals, Turpin had lost to in the opening round to Mazurkiewicz by unanimous decision 29-28, 30-26 & 30-26. The odds makers had Sylvia way ahead to win this bout and win it quick, but on this night, there would be a new Turpin who showed up for the show that would surprise and even at times, confuse Sylvia with his hear, desire and some strong kicks. As expected, Sylvia took rounds 1 and 2 on the cards, but not by much. Turpin hung tough and toe to toe all the way through them. The surprise came in round 3 where Turpin took 2 of the 3 judges scores. Although he hung tough, tough wasn't enough as Sylvia picked, jabbed and sliced his way to the end to take home the title with a unanimous decision win 48-43, 49-45 and 50-42. NOTE: Our prayers go out to Adrian's father who was put into the hospital last night and is in critical condition. We can only hope for him to recover soon.
BOUT 7: Light Cruiserweight - 179.1 lbs to 186 lbs: Can you say "MAIN EVENT?!" This was the bout the hometown crowd had been waiting for. It was champion against champion and neither had ever lost a bout. Between them they had 31 wins but in the end, someone would have to lose and with it, experience their first ever kickboxing loss. 2002 IKF USA National Light Cruiserweight Champion Bill Jardine of Mondovi, WI, USA (8-0/0, 186, 6'3", 24, 9-22-77, Michael Lind) had no plan to see that 1 loss on his fight record, but than again, he never faced Stephen Thompson of Simpsonville, South Carolina, USA (23-0/13, 179, 6', 19, 2-11-83, Ray Thompson). They call Thompson "The Wonderboy" and well, you just have to see him face to face to know why they dare to call him "Boy" but after you see him fight, you'll see where the word "Wonder" came from. Thompson was this years 2002 IKF USA National Light Heavyweight champion and had registered for this event in the light heavyweight. However, his only challenger was the same person he beat in 44 seconds of round 1 to defend his Nationals Title (A title that he's held for 3 years in a row) this year, John Scanlon. No offense to Scanlon but Thompson knew he wanted to be challenged more so he moved up to Jardine's weight bracket and Scanlon followed him. As mentioned, above, Thompson had to face Scanlon in a prelim bout and defeat him again before moving on to face Jardin, which he did.
For Jardine, at this years 2002 IKF USA Nationals he first defeated Scott Christopher of Cudaley, WI by unanimous decision, 30-25, 30-26 & 29-25. In his championship bout he defeated Jason Ross of Southaven, Mississippi by unanimous decision 30-27 on all 3 judges cards to win the National title.
When the bell rang, the two went to work and Jardine saw a different level of competition then he had ever seen before. Although he has a champions skill, Jardine encountered something usually seen by opponents of pro IKF Heavyweight Champion Dennis Alexio. When your on the ropes and Thompson starts a combination, he doesn't quit until you either move, throw a successful counter or, as happened in this fight, have a referee like Dan Stell step in to give you a deserved 8 count. Although he was strong in round 1, Jardine had no answer to Thompson's non stop punch and kick attack in rounds 2 and 3 forcing referee Stell to give him standing 8 counts in both rounds. Still game with heart to match, Jardine had no plans of stopping early as he entered round 4 with his eyes wide open. However Thompson just gets stronger the longer he fights and by now he was just warming up. He was too much for Jardine who fought like a warrior, but this night belonged to Thompson as referee Dan Stell stopped this one at 1:26 of the 4th round giving Thompson the title and Jardine his first loss.
As we close this story we need to say something to all of you. We have "NEVER" see such heart, such effort and such passion in the ring as we saw tonight for not just those who won, but for those who didn't. Fighters we thought may be stopped early fought to the end and made us all respect them more as warriors for it. We are "PROUD" to be associated with such a great cast of fighters as we were tonight. Fighters who kept their word and "Walked the Walk" to fight for the IKF Brass! For those who won, congratulations on your accomplishment tonight. For those who didn't, may we remind you that one fight does not dictate your career. It's not that you lost but how you learn from your loss that will be the important lesson of your life. As the martial arts saying goes, "Fall down 6 times, get up 7." Any trainer knows, you can always improve a fighters skill, but you cannot teach HEART, PASSION and DESIRE. These are things we saw from EVERY fighter we saw today. Were sure to see you all again and maybe next time, we will see the IKF Brass around your waist.
On behalf of Ray Thompson's Upstate Karate and Iron Spirit Promotions Team, Charter Communications, Foothills Ford of Simpsonville South Carolina, the officials, the IKF and of course, kickboxing fans around the world, we bid you goodnight from yet another great night of IKF Championship Kickboxing from Simpsonville, South Carolina, USA!
For more information on this event please Upstate Karate, Inc. Ray & Gloria Thompson or Rebecca Preacher at (864) 967-3930, Cell (864) 505-4237, e-mail- firstname.lastname@example.org.
For Event Info Please Contact Event Promoter Ray Thompson at (864) 967-3930 Fax (864) 967-8957 or by e-mail by Clicking HERE!
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