KICKBOXING professional Andy “The Black Panther” Sam is hoping this year will be his time to shine starting with the Mt Wilhelm Cup in Kundiawa, Simbu province next month. The event is classed as an international tournament with fighters from Australasia expected to attend.
Sponsored by Kundiawa-Gembogl MP Sir Joe Mek Teine, the tournament will involve all of PNG’s top tier kickboxers such as John Kwiwa, Jeffrey Daka, Gabi Leana, Laurie Hanku, and Sam along with up and coming fighters.
Sam, who has eight fights as a professional with seven wins (two by KO) and one loss is like a predatory cat, restless and keen for more fights after nine months without strapping on the gloves.
His most recent bout was against Australian Jim Dury in Port Moresby last April when he knocked out the game Aussie midway into the fourth round of a scheduled six.
The only loss on the 25-year-old middleweight’s (72kg) record came against an experienced Melbourne-based Turk Urkan Yildiz who out-pointed Sam in a thrilling match-up in 2008 at Sir John Guise Complex.
Sam hopes this year will be his opportunity to make it into the lime-light and possibly out of PNG fight icon Stanley Nandex shadow.
“I’ll be in Simbu for the Mt Wilhelm Cup next month which will include some international fighters so it will be a challenge and after that over the next three months I’m scheduled for some fights in Australia.