DAMIEN ‘Kid Dynamite’ Duddy was crowned ISKA Amateur Irish champion after a thrilling display at Strike’s K1 show at Longtower Youth Club last Saturday night.
The impressive 17 year-old defeated Ben Clarke of Blackrock, Co. Cork to secure a third major title for Bay Road club, which opened its doors just last year as he followed in the footsteps of Eamon Deane (Pro/Am ISKA 5 nations title) and Tomas Logue (WKU N.Ireland champion).
It was Strike Martial Arts Academy’s first K1 kickboxing promotion as four times world professional champion, Daniel ‘Pinta’ Quigley made the successful transition from fighter to promoter.
Such was its success, ‘Pinta’ has already started preparations for his next show to be announced in the coming weeks.
It was a fantastic showcase for local kickboxing talent, however, the main event didn’t exactly go to plan for the Derry club.
The exciting 20 year-old talent, Eamon Deane gave the attendance their money’s worth with another memorable entrance and a fast paced ‘war’ with Naas Kickboxing club’s Dawid Blaszke for the Irish pro. K1 title.
Unfortunately, following a deciding fourth round, Deane came out the wrong side of the judge’s scorecards much to the disappointment of the large home support.
The Creggan man claimed he wasn’t overly disappointed in his performance on the night having delivered an ‘exciting fight’.
And he’s already returned to training this week as he begins to negotiate his comeback.
“I’m not in anyway annoyed about the fight,” said Deane. “I gave the people what they wanted - a good, hard hitting, exciting fight.
I’m not disappointed at all in my performance. At the end of the day a fighter should never leave it to the judges. So it’s my mistake but I’ll learn and grow and progress as a fighter.Eamon Deane
“They got their money’s worth and had a good night,” he continued. “I’m not disappointed at all in my performance. At the end of the day a fighter should never leave it to the judges. So it’s my mistake but I’ll learn and grow and progress as a fighter.
“Thanks to my right hand man, Daniel Quigley for training me and giving me the opportunity to be a part of such a great team.”
Also on the bill, Strike’s Tomas Logue lost out in the final of the 79 kg Last Man Standing, four man tournament to the hard-hitting Jakub ‘Kuba’ Poczatek (Naas Kickboxing).
‘Kuba’ defeated Liam Gray on his way to the final while Logue’s opponent pulled out at late notice through injury, presenting the Derry man with safe passage into the decider.
Despite a brave effort from the Strike member, Kuba proved too strong and emerged victorious. Immediately following the fight, WKU N.Ireland champion Logue announced his retirement from kickboxing.
“Thanks for everyone’s support,” said Logue on his Facebook page. “My legs went like jelly well before I went into the ring and I was sloppy from the start. There was no buzz in my performance. Thanks Daniel Quigley for your support and training and the opportunity to fight.
“I think I might call it a day in kickboxing,” he added. “Too old and need to work and don’t make classes. Tonight is a sign I need to be more committed. For the foreseeable future I won’t be fighting in kickboxing . . . time for maybe a new adventure.”
For show organiser and Strike owner and coach, ‘Pinta’, it was a ‘fantastic night of K1 kickboxing’. And he was delighted with the performances from his fighters on the night.
“Congratulations to the new ISKA amatuer Irish K1 champion Damien Duddy,” said ‘Pinta’. “It was a controlled professional performance, he has achieved so much already at only 17 years old and he has the world at his feet.
“It’s another title for our club and it’s only been a year since we opened our doors. It’s a brilliant achievement for such a young club. We have a fantastic club atmosphere and everyone is welcome to come join our team.”
‘Pinta’ praised the performance of Deane who was involved in what he felt was one of the best K1 fights he’s witnessed.
“Unfortunately Eamon didn’t bring home the gold this time but his fight was one of the best K1 fights I have ever seen, going to a sudden death round.
“I’m so proud of Eamon, he is only 20 years old and has a massive future ahead of him. I believe he will go all the way.”
ISKA K1 director, Paddy Clint, who was present on the night, was impressed with how everything went on the night which can only mean good things for any future Strike promotions.
“Our next show isn’t far away,” confirmed ‘Pinta’. We have a massive stable of fighters from amateur to professional, all ready for a busy year.”