Derry kickboxers set for 'biggest professional show Ireland's ever seen' at Everglades
ALMOST 600 blood-thirsty fight fans will flock to the Everglades Hotel in Derry this Saturday night for what's been billed as the 'biggest professional kickboxing and K1 show Ireland's ever seen'.
Mayhem Promotions has joined forces with the prestigious Super Fight Series which makes its Irish debut on the exciting 'It's Showtime 7' event, and those lucky enough to get tickets are certainly in for a treat.
Topping the show will be a professional 72kg four man tournament with a staggering £2,000 prize fund up for grabs. The winner will also progress to become the first ever Irish representative at the popular Super Fight Series in London's York Hall which will be televised by Sky Sports. So the stakes are high and it's a mouthwatering line-up!
While Derry's own professional K1 champion, Eamon Deane was forced to pull out for personal reasons, four of the best fighters in the country will go toe-to-toe for the superb cash prize and the golden ticket into the Super Fight Series.
Robby Drought from the highly respected Cork club, Siam Warriors, became an instant internet sensation when producing a spectacular counter kick on his way to a TKO victory over Mark Frazer last February. He lines up against former Hungarian soldier and an ex- Mayhem Promotion champion and ISKA title challenger, Gergö Bodis and Dublin based, Emmanuel Aliphon from Mauritius who is coming off the back of a first round KO victory in Limerick last February. And completing the four man line-up, local fight fans will be fully aware of 'The Beast from the East, Lithuanian, Vaidas Natkus - a former ISKA K1 champion and regular on the Derry and Donegal fight circuit.
It's a fascinating mix of styles including K1, professional MMA and experienced Muay Thai fighters and any one of the contenders are capable of walking away with the title on the night.
If that wasn't enough to get the pulses racing, there will also be a stacked professional and amateur undercard headlined by what is arguably the biggest domestic K1 contest in Irish history as Creggan man, Brian Houston locks horns with former European champion, Colly Murphy.
Houston is making his comeback following an unsuccessful challenge for the ISKA world super-heavyweight title in Belgium last January against Mamadou Keta. It was the sole loss in the promising career of one of the hardest hitting fighters in the Mayhem Martial Arts and Fitness stable. He certainly doesn't shirk a challenge and he'll have to be at his very best to see off the top ranked Colly who comes into the fight unbeaten in 19 K1 contests.
Mayhem promoter and coach, Kevin Anderson has been working around the clock matching the fighters in the build up to this fascinating show and he's in no doubt it will be worth all the blood, sweat and tears in the end.
"It's going to be worth all the hard work," he said. It'll be a professional show. The guys fighting in the four man tournament are the best four fighters in Ireland besides, Eamon (Deane).
"It's the biggest prizemoney we've ever offered for a four man tournament in Ireland. In fact this is probably the biggest kickboxing and K1 show Ireland has ever seen.
"There's seven professional fights which is unheard of on a bill. Usually there's only two or three on any given show. There's three Mayhem titles as well so it's going to be a class night.
"We have possibly the biggest ever domestic K1 fight in Ireland ever between Mayhem's Brian Houston and Colly Murphy who is 19-0 in K1 and is a former European champion. That's the headline fight. They are sparring partners as well and know each other pretty well. Brian would go up to spar with him because Colly is the best in the UK undoubtedly.
"Brian is feeling up to the challenge. He knows what it's going to take to beat him as he's done hundreds of rounds with him. This will be his hardest fight to date and will be a lot harder than his world title fight in my opinion. But Brian is better on his home turf and when the crowd get behind him. "
There will also be three Mayhem Promotion titles on the line with Mayhem’s Ronan O’Kane defending his title against the current ISKA Irish champion, Steven McNutt. Mayhem’s Declan Houston will take on Dublin’s Nail Tucker for the 77kg title and Horis Muay Thai’s Liam Hand - who has been touted as the 'next Conor McGregor' will face fellow Dublin man Sean Higgins from Coleman Combat in defence of his Mayhem Promotion belt.
"Graham Doherty is also making his K1 debut," added Anderson. "This is his first K1 fight and he's fighting a guy, Lee McKibben (Langka Muay Thai) who has fought all around Europe.
"Jim Ramsey is fighting Phil Townley (Predator Muay Thai) who is a professional boxer, kickboxer, Muay Thai and MMA fighter. I always make them the hardest fights and they rise to the challenge.
"It's going to be the hardest fights for Mayhem to date but everyone wants to see the best fighters go at it."
And it's not just about the experienced fighters with lots of amateur action on the night. Mayhem members have been putting in the hard yards in training for the past 12 weeks and Anderson is excited about seeing the club's debutantes duck between the ropes on the night.
"The young guys are training with the professionals and doing as much work as the professionals. They're going for their first fight and training every bit as hard."
There are a limited amount of tickets remaining for the event and no pay at the door option for adults. Tickets are £20 or £12 for U16s which can be purchased on arrival. Adult tickets are available at X-Fit gym at the Glenaden Complex, Trench Road or can be bought from any of the Mayhem coaches or fighters.