Information for this page was created for
by their site webmaster, Mr. Henry Ascasio and the website owner, Mr.
Tom McKay. The site can be found at cliffmagicthomas.com
"The Black Knight Of Kickboxing"
Cliff With His Fifth World Title
Belt (At Right)
7-Time World Champion (1980-2003)
Starred On NBC and ESPN
"152 Stitches Etched Across His Chest In The Form Of A
Cross Became An Asset-Not A Burden."
Under instructor Robert Nava in El Paso, Texas, Cliff
earned his Blackbelt back in 1977. He has since earned a fourth degree black
belt in Chinese Kenpo Karate and a fifth degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. His
Sifu in Dallas is David Mason. Kickboxing instructors of note were Demetrius
Havanas, Joe Soto and Ishmael Robles. His primary boxing coach was
Rocky Galarza. Other boxing coaches that were instrumental in Cliff's
career were George Simpson Villa, George Mason and Ralph Ruiz.
Assistant coaches were Johnny Ybarra, Tom McKay and many other
coaches in Dallas and El Paso.
Managers And Promoters:
Hilary Sandoval and Tony Sandoval (deceased). These two
brothers were also the founders of Battlestar Karatica.
- August 8, 1980: TKOs Gordon Franks in third round to
win the PKA Super Lightweight World Championship.
- January 24, 1981: Defeats Richard Jackson in an exciting
twelve rounds to retain world title.
- April 18, 1981: KOs Albuquerques Gary Ortiz in
- July 24, 1981: Defends his title by TKO over Paul Vizzio
on NBC Sports World; dedicated fight to Demitrius Havanas, his trainer,
and co-manager Tony Sandoval, both killed in a plane crash en route to
the scheduled bout.
- May 31, 1982:
Defeats ranked contender, Tony Lopez, by decision for Lightweight Title
shot. The PKA changed the weight divisions and that was devastating for a while
to the 510 Thomas because he would have to lose weight to
obtain a rubber match with Vizzio.
- August 14, 1982: TKOs Norris William in the tenth
round, becoming the PKA Lightweight World Champion. With the victory, he became
the first fighter in PKA history to win world titles in two separate weight
- November 27, 1982: Retains Lightweight Title by defeating Tony
- August 22, 1983: After losing a questionable decision to Tony Rosser
in March of 1983,
Cliff retains the Lightweight Championship in an exciting match whereby
he decked Rosser three times. The Rosser victory made Cliff
a three-time world champion.
- February 16, 1984: Cliff defends title with a third round
knockout of highly ranked and dangerous Robert Visitation.
- April 6, 1984: In a bout Cliff was really primed for, he
chewed up Tommy Williams and stopped him in the eighth round to win the
Light Welterweight World Crown. That made him the first kickboxer to win a world
title in three weight divisions. He also became the first and only kickboxer of
that time to become a four-time world champion as well as the only kickboxer to
hold two titles simultaneously.
- April 8, 1984: The PKA had a rule preventing a kickboxer from
holding two titles at the same time. So, Cliff retired his Light
- August 26, 1984: Cliff defends his title by knocking down
England's Nick McClellan five times before stopping the Brit in the
- November 3, 1984: Cliff takes out George Sorrell in
- March 2, 1985: Cliff defends his Lightweight Title over
Kevin Hillhouse by knockout in the seventh round.
- June 8, 1985: Cliff defends his title again, knocking out
Gary Garner of Florida in the seventh round.
- October 2,1985: The Magic Man disposed of Byron
Robinson by KO in the fourth round. With the victory, Thomas had
successfully defended his title against eight of the top-ten rated opponents in
his weight division.
- March 14,1987: Cliff won his fifth world title, the ISKA
Light Welterweight Championship by knocking out Thomas Chesterfield in
the ninth round and later, repeated the knockout in the eighth round at Chesterfields
home turf in Murfreesburo, Tennessee.
- August 12, 1988: Cliff defended his light welterweight
title by KOing Eric Melton in the fourth round.
- May 25, 2002: After semi-retirement, Cliff returns to KO
Canadas Thomas Downing in the fifth round to win the KICK
Middleweight World Championship. Cliff had now won world championships
- September 29, 2002: Forty-five-year old Cliff Thomas knocks
down North American Champion Michael Corleone eight times to win another
KICK World Championship.
- Finally, after nearly twenty years in the ring, Cliff retired (We
Cliff had two tough fights with Davy Johnston. In the first
Cliff won a decision and in the second fight, a championship in Las
Cliff won by TKO in the fifth round. However Johnston could
punch and broke Cliff's nose in the first match.
Cliff Thomas won sixty-nine (69) bouts lost five (5) and drew three (3).
He was never officially knocked down or knocked out. More importantly, he never
ducked a contender.
Cliff Magic Thomas was Kickboxings first
three-time world title-holder, four-time title-holder, five-time title-holder,
six-time title-holder and seven-time world title-holder.
Magazines And Publications Featuring Cliff Thomas: Sport Karate
Magazine, Official Karate Magazine, Karate Illustrated Magazine, Inside Karate,
Today USA, Today Fighting Stars Magazine, Stars And Stripes, New York Times, El
Paso Times, El Paso Magazine, Ft. Worth Star Telegram.
Books: Featured in Arthur Ashes book on famous black
athletes. The Original Martial Arts Encyclopedia. The Black Knight of
Kickboxing, Magic, Magic, Magic by Thomas McKay, 2004.
Movies: Lone Wolf McQuade starring Chuck Norris. Key
Witness, Paper Dragons.
Achievement Awards: World Karate Union Hall Of Fame, 2004. Texas
Martial Arts Hall Of Fame, 2000. El Paso Athletic Hall Of Fame, 1999. El Paso
Boxing/Karate Hall Of Fame, 1994. El Paso Cliff Thomas Day Established 1985
Special Achievement Award, 1980. Kickboxer Magazine award.
Cliff makes apperances now and you can also e-mail him at
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