Young fighters surprise experienced kickboxers

Normal, Sports

The National, Wednesday October 9th, 2013

 THE Ox & Palm kickboxing heat four for the highlands regional selection attracted 120 fighters last Saturday in Goroka.

Wabag, Enga, took part for the first time in a kickboxing event.

They  scored four wins, including a female competitor in Jessie Gonopa, who displayed great talent and skills to win the 70kg division.

In the men’s division, elite and international fighters like John ‘The Rock’ Kwiwa, Laurie ‘The Destroyer’ Hanku, Jonathan ‘The Explosives’ Tuhu and Kaupa ‘The Flame’ Omena brought the auditorium alive.

Their challengers did not give them an easy contest.

Kwiwa, who has been out of competition for more than a year, performed impressively to beat his opponent from Momase on points in the 94 kg grade. 

Laurie lost to Nathan Joe of Chimbu on points after drawing twice in the 84kg division. Laurie, who has had international exposure, allowed Nathan to control the fight using his height advantage to win the match.

Jonathan Tuhu was knocked out in the first round by a junior fighter from Eastern Highlands.

“I am really impressed with the performance, especially the junior fighters who displayed classy techniques, particularly the fighters who challenged the international fighters,” Stanley Nandex said. 

Nandex said the elimination rounds were over and the quarter-finals had been scheduled for October 31 in Port Moresby. “This draw card will attract the top 10 fighters from each weight division representing each region to challenge for the quarter-final.”

He said the semi-finals were scheduled for November 30 in Lae and the grand final would be held on December 13 in Port Moresby. 

Nandex thanked Eastern Highlands MPs Benny Allan and Bire Kimesopa and sponsor Hugo Canning Company for the support they had been giving the sport.