KiTR 86IV tomorrow night in Palmy
The illustrious King in the Ring (KiTR) eliminator tournament returns tomorrow night for its fourth iteration in the 86kg weight class, this time at the Fly Palmy arena in Palmerston North. Eight elite fighters will meet in a one-night tournament to determine the champion.
The contenders hail from all over New Zealand, including the first ever KiTR 86kg champion T.Y. Williams, who fights out of Elite Thai Kickboxing (ETK) HQ in Auckland. A vicious boxer, "Lights Out" Williams won a K1 world title in 2014, defeating Ben Johnston to earn himself the WKBF Cruiserweight World Title. He is back this year to regain the KiTR belt.
Mandela Ale fights out of Beyond Muay Thai in West Auckland, and holds the WKBF New Zealand Light Cruiserweight belt.
Mose "Massacre" Afoa is a former 86kg KiTR contender, returning to prove that he is the best in New Zealand at 86kg. Afoa fights out of Bad Blood Kickboxing in Auckland. He defeated former KiTR competitor Davor Matarugic in 2017 to become the NZ IKBF professional champion.
Hayden "Tat North" Todd is an experienced with over 40 fights, stepping up from his usual class of middleweight, where he was a KiTR finalist, to take part in the cruiserweight tournament tomorrow night. Todd is known for his "brawl til we fall" motto, bringing a fearless and aggressive style, fighting out of The Pen in Auckland.
Cole "Hollywood" Davids fights out of Universal Vale Tudo in Christchurch and is well-known for his MMA prowess, having fought some of New Zealand's best in the sport. His striking is his strength, though, and he has transitioned to kickboxing with a flying start, winning a 4-man eliminator tournament to earn his spot in KiTR.
Stefan Harrison fights out of Morrinsville Thaiboxing and has competed once before under the KiTR banner, winning a superfight at 93kg against Jordan Mararoa. He currently holds the WKA New Zealand amateur belt, and plans to add the KiTR Cruiserweight belt to his trophy cabinet.
Geordie Bateman is a former contender in the 86kg and 92kg KiTR divisions, fighting out of South Island Lee Gar. He is known as the "Killer Gorilla" due to his dauntless fighting style. In the last 86kg KiTR he was defeated by the tournament winner, Slava Alexeichik, and is back for vengeance this time around.
Zeke "Babayaga" Thompson fights out of Rhythm of Combat in Taupo and is a KiTR newcomer. He boasts 20 fights' experience though and is keen to show that he belongs amongst the other elite New Zealand fighters in the tournament.
The pools have been drawn as follows:
Pool A: T.Y. Williams, Geordie Bateman, Hayden Todd, Mandela Ale.
Pool B: Zeke Thompson, Stefan Harrison, Mose Afoa, Cole Davids.
The quarter final bouts will be drawn tonight at the official weigh in. If you're in Palmerston North tomorrow night, don't miss this one!