DERRY kickboxer, Tomas Logue was crowned WKU N. Ireland Amateur K1 champion after a gruelling battle with his former sparring partner, Evolve’s Gerard Ward in Strabane on Saturday night.
Logue, representing Strike Martial Arts Academy, won the fourth and decisive round after the first three rounds were scored a draw by the ringside judges.
It was billed as the ‘battle of the gyms’ bout on the undercard of Strabane man Ciaran Boyle’s professional world title tilt, and it proved an intense, hard fought clash between the two fighters at St Patrick’s Hall.
It was the first title won by a member of the newly established Strike club and owner and coach, Daniel ‘Pinta’ Quigley believes it was a well deserved victory.
“Both fighters gave a great account of themselves on the night,” said ‘Pinta’. “Gerard Ward proved to be a very tough and awkward fighter and it took Tomas a while before he could work out his strategy and figure out which way to fight him.
“Gerard was constantly on the front foot, pressing forward and keeping Tomas on his toes.
“When Tomas landed his shots he landed them with power and in the third round he dropped Gerard to the canvas with a spectacular head kick.”
After fighting three intense rounds the judges scored the fight a draw and therefore K1 rules state a fourth and final round must decide the winner.
And ‘Pinta’ believes Tomas’ superior fitness proved decisive in the end.
“Tomas’ fitness shone through and for the final round he pressed forward, landing some big shots to the delight of the big Derry support which travelled to see the bout.
“Tomas is now the Amateur K1 WKU N. Ireland champion at 85kgs and this is the first belt for Strike Martial Arts Academy.”
Logue’s stablemate, William Duddy was also on the bill as he was contesting for the N.I. title against Ken Turner (Top Ring).
However, the Strike member failed to register the win in his first ever title fight.
“At 14 years of age William showed great heart stepping up into a big arena to fight for his first title,” said ‘Pinta’.
“He bravely battled through each of the 3x1.5 minute rounds but in the end his opponent got the deserved win.”
Meanwhile, in the main event on the night, Boyle of CB Martial Arts, Strabane lost his professional world title bout against England’s Scott Taylor.
Also on the undercard was Westbank Kickboxing club’s Micahel Morrow who lost to Kori Fox (England) in a British title fight. Morrow had taken the fight at just four days notice but put in a brave effort on the night.