By JACK AMI
THE inaugural Muay Thai Kick Boxing Papua New Guinea National title belts showdown on Saturday featured promising local fighters.
In Port Moresby, the PNG National title belts, sanctioned by World Kick Boxing Federation in conjunction with Team Flash Muay Thai (PNG), raised the art to the next level with four champions in their respective divisions.
Two former amateur boxers Alex Warogop and Mack Hiari quit boxing several years ago to try out kick boxing and that mixture of skills paid dividends when they beat their opponents.
But for Warogop, it was huge task overpowering an equally-determined Anthony Ugla, who he eventually outclassed and floored on the canvas thrice, as with referee Jamuga Stone and the judges scored.
The East New Britain man punched and wrestled Ugla to the canvas, putting pressure and restraint on his opponent, who was much fitter and stronger. Known as “The Ripper,” Warogop was serious about the win over Ugla.
Warogop said after the victory that discipline and commitment paid off in the end.
“This is due to the fact that PNG Muay Thai champion Lee Henry Garap’s fight on the cards for a WKBF title belt pushed us and put us on edge to train twice as hard and this is the outcome of that,” Warogop said.
In the other event, Thomas “Spider” Kagili, with his powerful left and right shots to David “Wigman” Lawe, split open a gash below the eye and referee Stone called off the fight and awarded it a technical knockout in the first round.
Southern Highlander Mike Martin won on split decision over Chimbu’s Sine Otto while John Ake also proved a step ahead of Alphonse Kauga also on a split points decision.
Team Flash Muay Thai owner and founder Garap plans to expand and promote the combat in the city and country.
“This is why he had the approval of World Kick Boxing Federation to endorse the PNG National Muay Thai title belts in the country for local fighters to be prepared and recognised for international events in future,” Warogop said.
“Garap winning his WKBF welterweight title fight is a boost for PNG Muay Thai as it paves the way for the code’s progress in the country.”
By JACK AMI