Nieky Holzken on World Boxing SuperSeries semi-final against Callum Smith: “Now I’m gonna get what I deserve”

Earlier today, former GLORY Kickboxing champion, Nieky Holzken, successfully weighed-in for his World Boxing SuperSeries (WBSS) semi-final bout tomorrow against, WBC Diamond champion, Callum Smith in Nuremberg. Holzken is a late replacement for Jurgen Braehmer who, was unable to recover in time from influenza for tomorrow’s big fight.

Speaking to James Helder of IFL TV, Holzken recounted how he received a phone call from WBSS promoter, Kalle Sauerland, two days after defeating, Viktor Polyakov (on February 3) by second round TKO; having broken two of Polyakov’s ribs in the process and being offered this huge opportunity to step in as a “substitute” against Smith.

Smith has been undefeated for the last five years in 23 fights as a professional boxer and has far greater experience in the “Sweet Science” than the Dutch Kickboxing legend. However, Holzken is under no false-illusions about the challenge facing him tomorrow night and conceded that Smith “will be a difficult fight”, however, “everything can happen in the fight”.

“The Natural” is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest welterweight kickboxers of his time. Although his recent run of form includes three straight losses under GLORY kickboxing rules, Holzken’s boxing career has flourished in-comparison, seeing him go undefeated in all 13 of his professional boxing bouts since March 2013.

Holzken

Photo credit: James Law/Glory Sports International.

The winner of Smith vs. Holzken will fight George Groves in the final of the WBSS super-middleweight tournament on June 2, 2018. However, the event may need to be rescheduled after Groves dislocated his shoulder in the final round when retaining his WBA (Super) super-middleweight title againstChris Eubank Jr via unanimous decision to qualify for the WBSS final.

How to Watch the World Boxing SuperSeries semi-final: Callum Smith vs. Nieky Holzken LIVE

Coverage of Callum Smith vs. Nieky Holzken will be broadcasted live from the Arena Nürnberger Versicherung in Nuremberg on February 24, 2018 by ITV Box Office online via the ITV website for £9.95 & via Sky (channel 493) and Virgin Media.

How did Nikey Holzken perform in a boxing ring in his last fight?

Holzken won his most recent boxing bout by second round TKO against, Viktor Polyakov – Watch the full fight video below:

“Like” K1ANOOP on Facebook & Subscribe on YouTube for more independent and insightful Kickboxing & MMA coverage, interviews and mini documentaries.

GLORY 50 Chicago: Murthel Groenhart vs. Harut Grigorian post-fight results and roundup

GLORY 50 Chicago delivered a memorable night for GLORY‘s first main event of 2018 with, Harut Grigorian dethroning Murthel Groenhart for the GLORY welterweight title in the headline bout; Benjamin Adegbuyi won the Heavyweight Contender Tournament in dominant fashion; and Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong retained his lightweight crown via unanimous decision against, Christian Baya at the UIC Pavillion.

The third instalment of Groenhart vs. Grigorian was cut short from a first round referee stoppage that some may say was “karma” (after Groenhart’s controversial victory at GLORY 42 Paris) but others questioning if the fight may have ended too soonThe trilogy between both welterweights now makes it one win for Grigorian and two previous victories for Groenhart – all by stoppages for the hard hitting rivals.

Harut Grigorian punches Murthel Groenhart down to the canvas in Chicago

Twitter outrage over referee’s first round stoppage of Murthel Groenhart by Harut Grigorian

The fans didn’t react too well to how referee, Chris Wagner, stopped the fight between Groenhart and Grigorian in the first round:

https://twitter.com/sari__1993/status/964738449449172994

Comparisons were even made with the controversial ending of,  Artem Levin vs. Simon Marcus at GLORY  27 which, happened two years ago in Chicago.

Could a a third rematch be on the cards in the near future between Groenhart and Grigorian?

https://twitter.com/Bamboo_mic/status/964737515176517633

The reason why referee Chris Wagner stopped Groenhart vs. Grigorian in the first round

However, referee Chris Wagner, explained his first round stoppage of Groenhart vs. Grigorian to US based reporter, Michael Stets Steczkowski and that it was to prevent Murthel Groenhart “from getting hurt even worse”.

Benjamin Adegbuyi reminds everyone why he’s still one of the best heavyweight kicboxers

The 4-man heavyweight contender tournament was won by Benjamin Adegbuyi who, emphatically KO’d D’Angelo Marshall, in the first round of their semi-final and then went on to win by second round TKO against, Junior Tafa, in the final.

The victories put Adegbuyi back in-contention for possibly another title-shot against, GLORY heavyweight champion, Rico Verhoeven, after a disappointing and controversial decision loss to, Guto Inocente at GLORY 43 New York. Adegbuyi will be eager to return to GLORY Kickboxing action as swiftly as possible no doubt, after being inactive for six months since GLORY 43.

However, Guto Inocente had actually defeated Junior Tafa in their semi-final on the night via unanimous decision but GLORY would then confirm that “due to a cut suffered in the semi-finals”, Inocente was not able to fight against Adegbuyi in the final and so, Tafa would replace Guto, despite the semi-final result.

The decision by GLORY for Tafa to replace Inocente in the final of the GLORY 50 Contender Tournament against Adegbuyi was best explained by Steczkowski as below in-light of, Haze Wilson vs. Anthony McDonald  being cancelled (earlier) on the GLORY 50 SuperFight Series card (as potentially a reserve bout for the tournament if anyone was injured).

Sitthichai successfully retains GLORY lightweight title for a third time

Since defeating Robin van Roosmalen for the GLORY lightweight title at GLORY 31 Amsterdam in June 2016,  Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong defended his championship for a third time in the headline bout of, the GLORY 50 SuperFight Series card against, Christian Baya via unanimous decision.

Kickboxing fans and enthusiasts online were all in-agreement that Sitthichai was the dominant of the two for all five rounds. The question that remains unanswered is as to who, can GLORY now bring in, to pose a serious risk to Sitthichai’s continued dominance as GLORY lightweight champion?

Full results for both GLORY 50 Chicago & GLORY 50 SuperFight Series are as below.

GLORY 50 Chicago – Results:

Harut Grigorian def. Murthel Groenhart by Rd1 TKO – For the GLORY welterweight championship

Richard Abraham def. Malik Watson-Smith via unanimous decision (UD)

Heavyweight Contender Tournament:

Benjamin Adegbuyi def. Junior Tafa by Rd2 TKO – Tournament Final

NOTE: Inocente was replaced by Tafa in the final due to injury/cut.

Benjamin Adegbuyi def. D’Angelo Marshall by Rd1 KO – Semi-final

Guto Inocente def. Junior Tafa via unanimous decision (UD) – Semi-final

GLORY 50 SuperFight Series – Results:

Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong def. Christian Baya via unanimous decision (UD) – retains GLORY lightweight championship

Haze Wilson vs. Anthony McDonald – Cancelled on medical grounds

Omar Moreno def. Casey Greene via UD (extra round)

Omari Boyd def. Daniel Morales via split decision

Diego Llamas def. Justin Houghton by Rd1 TKO

ONE Championship Kickboxing sign Giorgio Petrosyan, Fabio Pinca, Regian Eersel; promotional debut in Mainlla, April 2018

ONE Championship have set-up their own Kickboxing organisation and have announced singing multiple world champions:  Giorgio Petrosyan, Fabio Pinca & Regian Eersel; and are set to feature in some capacity on, the ONE Championship Kickboxing promotional debut in Manilla on April 20, 2018 at the ONE: Heroes of Honour event.

The news was broken overnight by ABS-CBN News including, the signings of both Yodsanklai Fairtex and Sam-A Gaiyanghadao for ONE Championship Kickboxing too.

One Championship Kickboxing’s promotional debut set for April 20, 2018

Giorgio Petrosyan will make his promotional debut on the ONE: Hero of Honour card in Manilla against another Lion Fight world champion (in-addition to Eersel’s ONE debut) in, Jo Nattuwat who, was born in Thailand, but living in the USA whilst fighting for Lion Fight.

However, with ONE Championship Kickboxing signing the likes of, “The Doctor” along with Fabio Pinca & “The Immortal” Regian Eersel, more fuel will undoubtedly be poured on the fires of speculation over the uncertain futures of all three men in the world of Kickboxing and Muay Thai.

Petrosyan

Photo credit: James Law/Glory Sports International

It is understood that the contracts for the above three are not exclusively binding to ONE Championship Kickboxing and allow for either of them to pursue MMA  careers via ONE Championship. Both Pinca & Eersel have made it no secret that they have been training for quite some time in the grappling arts and are open to fighting MMA in the near future.

How John Wayne Parr influenced the changing future of Muay Thai & Kickboxing

Interestingly, ONE Championship’s owner, Chatri Sityodtong, added a unique selling point to the promotion’s kickboxing future:

“ONE Championship is dedicated to giving fans an authentic martial arts experience. We are proud to announce that the absolute best strikers in the world have chosen to continue their professional careers under the ONE banner. Fans will be treated to the most exciting kickboxing matches where the best face the best inside of both our ring and our cage.”

“Some matches will be under standard international kickboxing rules in our ring, and other matches will be under modified hybrid striking rules in our cage. This is a game changer in the world of martial arts, and I am excited to kick things off this April.”

Parr

Photo credit: Image via Muay Thai Grand Prix

Since 2012, Muay Thai legend, John Wayne Parr, who currently fights for Bellator Kickboxing, has been promoting Muay Thai fights in a cage under his own promotion, Caged Muay Thai (CMT) in Australia which, has grown in popularity. CMT has regularly featured international fighters, despite some Thaiboxing purists accusing the living legend of, “bastardising” the sport. However, five and a half years on, “The Gunslinger” has become quite the influencing pioneer for the striking arts being showcased in a cage and not in a traditional boxing ring.

One Championship have certainly ‘broken a few eggs to make an omolette’

However, despite the exciting news about the launch of ONE Championship Kickboxing, the promotion’s MMA ventures haven’t always been smooth sailing since their inauguration in 2011, especially when dealing with fighters from the western world.

For example, the promotion’s well publicised fall-outs with both James McSweeney and heavyweight rival, Chi Lewis-Parry who, were both previously signed to, ONE Fighting Championship and were being lined-up to fight each other; only for both fighters to be controversially released by the promotion after both men dramatically fell out with ONE Championship (at different points in time) over a variety of allegations including, mistreatment.

Vera

Photo credit: Image via ONE Championship

Nevertheless, the marquee signing of two-time K-1 World Grand Prix champion, Giorgio Petrosyan, is undoubtedly the biggest name in western combat sports to join ONE Championship following on from, former UFC heavyweight, Brandon Vera, in July 2014.

Since then the promotion have obviously hit some turbulent times (like many others including, GLORY Kickboxing) but now seem to have restrategised themselves from a much wider business marketing perspective, embarking on a more positive direction and signalling their serious intentions for future growth, in both MMA and world kickboxing.

K1ANOOP will report again on further developments as more fighters from both Europe and the UK are expected to confirm signing for ONE Championship Kickboxing.

“Like” K1ANOOP on Facebook & Subscribe on YouTube for more independent and insightful Kickboxing & MMA coverage, news, interviews and mini documentaries.