BRIAN ‘Bam Bam,’ Houston claimed there was only ever going to be one outcome when he got his chance to fight for the ISKA world super middleweight title in front of his home support.
The Bishop Street Kickboxing Club fighter was supremely confident he would win and so it proved as the richly talented 18 year-old produced a scintillating performance to clinch the vacant belt at last Saturday’s superb ‘Domination’ show in the Templemore Sports Complex.
It’s been an unforgettable 12 months for the 6ft 4’’ Creggan lad who has burst onto the kickboxing scene, winning everything in his sights.
After claiming his first Irish Senior title, he went onto win the ISKA’s Commonwealth and then European title in quick succession.
Earning his shot at a world title, the quiet and yet confident middleweight produced arguably his most assured display with a masterclass victory over Spaniard, Daniel Sanchez, in front of an estimated 800 fight fans.
And he couldn’t hide his excitement when his hand was raised in victory in front of local boxing legend, Charlie Nash who won his European title at the same venue back in 1979.
“It feels unbelievable,” said Houston. “I’ve been working towards this for four years. I’m over the moon.
“I was a bit nervous but once I got into the ring, I knew this was my time and nobody was taking that belt away from me,” he added.
“It was one year last week when I won my first title and now I’m world champion,” he laughed. “When I started kickboxing I would’ve been happy to go and win an Irish title but now I’m sitting here with a world title.”
There was an obvious difference in class from the opening bell as the classy Houston picked off his older opponent with a variety of kicks and punches which he landed at will.
And he stunned the Spaniard early in the first round with a powerful kick to the temple. Unable to take advantage of his opponent’s unsteady feet, Houston showed great composure to hold back and wait for another chink in the Spaniard’s armour.
He slowly moved through the gears and went on to win a fully deserved unanimous decision.
And the Creggan lad believes the win is the beginning of something special.
“To be honest I had another gear in me but just didn’t get into it,” he claimed. “You’ll see that in the coming months.
“Saturday was just another day at the office. I caught him in the first round and started to run at him, trying to knock him out but when I realised I wasn’t going to get the knockout I decided to take it down a gear and, in the end I got the result.
“I’m absolutely buzzing. I’ve never felt like this in my life. I’m world champion!
“I’ve won four senior titles and I’ve only turned senior a couple of months ago. I’ll move into K1 now and I’ll make it to the top of that!” he claimed.
Houston has been fighting out of Bishop Street Kickboxing Club since he was 15 years-old and he was full of praise for his coaches, including Brian Crossan, Jim Ramsey and Kevin Anderson for their dedication and support.