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Article From Canada vs USA Fights

team usa kickboxing

From InsideHamilton.com. To read the full article, click here.

Kevin Nagel, Post sports editor
May 05, 2010


Canadian kickboxers pleased the hometown crowd by winning four of five championship bouts at Saturday’s Night of Champions.

The amateur card, held at the Sherwood Forest Park dome, featured U.S. and Canadian champion kickboxers vying for individual and overall team titles.

The only bout the Americans won was the fifth and last of the night, when veteran U.S. kickboxer Chris Cichon won a split decision over Oakville’s Marco Capobianco in a five-round fight for the North American light middleweight full-contact championship.

Cichon, from Madison, Wis., at 31 was a dozen years older than Capobianco.

“I never figured him out all night,” said Cichon after earning the decision. “My hats go off to him. He’s an awesome fighter.”

Canada’s string of four straight wins started in the opening match, when Adam Hensen of Hamilton stopped Atlanta’s Tony Lester in the North American middleweight low-kick championship. Hensen’s strong left jab in the second round sent Lester to the ropes, but it took until the end of the third round before the referee stopped the fight.

“I had to be careful because he packed a good punch,” said Hensen, who like the other Canadian kickboxers all train under Muzammal Nawaz at Burlington’s Bay Area Athletic Club. “If I had opened up too much, he could have clipped me and it could have gone the other way. I kind of had to bide my time.”

Welterweight Brian Dickson of Burlington followed with a unanimous decision over Chicago’s Aaron Swenson in a bout the veteran Dickson said came down to longer combinations he inflicted on Swenson.

“It was very, very close,” said Dickson, who won the NA full-contact championship with the decision. “The few flurries where I had five, six or seven punches, that sealed (the win). He was throwing ones and twos, and that was it. Although I was as well, I mixed in a few flurries. We were very well matched, though.”

His coach, Nawaz, felt Dickson won the fight because Swenson was tagged with a couple of holding infractions in the fifth and final round.

The only female fight on the card featured Oakville’s McKenzie Wright taking care of Chicago’s Myra Ramirez in one round, after which it was stopped by the referee for the safety of the fighter. Wright exploded out of her corner at the start of the bout and within 30 seconds sent Ramirez reeling with a punch to the head, effectively ending the fight.

It turned out that an opening kick by Wright broke a rib, forcing Ramirez to protect her body, leaving her head exposed.

“I don’t remember if it was a kick or a punch,” said Wright. “My strategy was to go all-out from the start.”

Nawaz said the diminutive fighter is always surprising opponents with her power and determination.

“And she’s a very good student,” he added. “At practice, whatever you want her to do, she does, no questions.”

With the win Wright won the North American bantamweight full contact championship.

Canada’s fourth win was a unanimous decision in favour of Oakville’s Ross Mylet over hard-hitting Patrick George of San Jose in a full contact lightweight bout for the North American championship. Mylet piled up the points throughout the fight and in the fifth and final round stunned George with a spinning kick to the ribs that garnered a 10-count from the referee. George landed a few big punches after that, knowing he needed a knockout for a win, but his late strategy failed.

Notes: Nawaz was encouraged by the crowd of 700-800 who took in the fight, and plans to continue presenting kickboxing cards at the dome. He’s considering bringing in more U.S. champs or the best from countries such as Austria, Turkey and England.

Dickson’s win over Swenson and Cichon’s victory over Capobianco were the highlights, according to Nawaz.

“In both those fights, which we split, the U.S. fighters were defending world champions,” said Nawaz. “Both were very close, entertaining fights.”

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