Davids takes out King in the Ring Qualifier
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Photography by Nicole Randall - RAW Photography

On Saturday night, King of Kings 8 at the Foundry Bar in Christchurch featured a 4-man K1-rules tournament at 90kg in which “Hollywood” Cole Davids reigned supreme, defeating both his opponents on the night to cement his spot in the upcoming 86kg King in the Ring 8-man tournament.

SEMI-FINALS

In the first semi-final, Riverside Fight Club's Celapa Halangahu faced Lucky 9 Gym's Damien Fraser in a closely-fought battle. Halangahu the shorter fighter used a kick-heavy style and took the fight to Fraser, who was unbowed and returned fire with heavy hands, landing a brutal set of clubbing body rips which appeared to hurt Halangahu in the first round. Halangahu recovered, though, and stuck to his game plan, ripping the body to setup slashing low kicks and using slick head movement to avoid the counter, on his way to a unanimous decision victory to earn him a spot in the tournament final.

In the second semi-final, Cole Davids of Universal Vale Tudo / CFC made short work of EFC's Vin Jones, stopping him in the first round. Davids was calm and collected from the outset, lurking outside Jones' range like a viper ready to strike. As Jones would surge forth on the attack, Davids would slide just out of range, with a teep early which sent Jones to the canvas. Davids' patience paid off, as Jones again advanced on the offensive, only to walk straight into a devastating leaping scissor knee which hit him in the ribs like a sledgehammer, folding him to the canvas unable to answer the 8-count. A flawless performance from Davids as he advanced to the tournament final.

FINAL

In the tournament final, Davids showed masterful range control to keep the vicious Lapa Halangahu at bay. Halangahu found himself on the end of the jab of the taller Davids, who was calm as he carried out his game plan, peppering straight punches and low kicks and walking down his opponent. After losing the first round, Halangahu came out for blood early in the second, advancing forth and slinging with murderous intent. Davids' range control was on point, however, as he largely avoided the brawl which Halangahu tried to draw him into.

In the third and final round, both men were weary from the wounds of battle sustained throughout the night. It was Halangahu who took this round in 2 of the judges' eyes, beckoning Davids on with murder in his eyes and looking for that one-hitter-quitter. It was to no avail, though, as Davids was too slick and polished, with superior accuracy and timing earning him the unanimous decision win.

The victory proves that Davids belongs amongst the other elite kickboxers in New Zealand, and cements him a spot in the illustrious King in the Ring 86kg tournament to take place this September. He may be the King of Kings, but will he be the King in the Ring?

Written by Harry Greenfield

Harry Greenfield is New Zealand Fighter’s Executive Editor. Residing in Christchurch, he has a passion for combat sports, especially MMA, and is our man on the scene down south.

Promoters wishing to contact Harry can reach him at: harry@nzfighter.co.nz