Baylon crusade ends in crown at King in the Ring 62IV
Elite Thai Kickboxings’s Joey ‘The Filipino Kid’ Baylon turned in the performance of his life to capture the King in the Ring 62IV title at the ASB Stadium, Kohimarama, on Friday night.
Baylon edged two-time King in the Ring 62kg champion Sone ‘Arch Angel’ Vannathy in a close final.
Vannathy’s patient approach seemed in direct contrast to Baylon, who threw in every fiber in his will to win the exchanges for the majority of the fight including landing a big right hand in the second round that looked to bother Vannathy.
Vannathy appeared to hurt Baylon in the final round however the former WKBF Lightweight champion hung tough for a unanimous decision in hoisting the King in the Ring 62kg strap.
The path to the final was torrid for Baylon, who also weathered a difficult quarterfinal bout against former ISKA New Zealand Featherweight champion David ‘Sanchai’ Aung, which he won in a barnburner of a fourth round after the bout was declared a draw following three.
The semifinal saw Baylon stop alternate Dayne Williams in the second round following reigning champion Alexi ‘Phet’ Serepisos’s withdrawal due to the concussion he suffered in his dogged quarterfinal unanimous decision win against King in the Ring South Island qualifier Nikora Lee-Kingi.
A spinning backfist was the catalyst for alternate Dayne Williams’s demise and, although Williams was able to beat the count, Baylon poured on the punches forcing the referee to step in.
The other side of the bracket included eventual finalist Vannathy scoring a second round knockdown in his quarterfinal decision win over former WMC New Zealand Welterweight and current WKBF South Pacific Welterweight champion Kayne ‘Insane’ Conlan.
Vannathy was then able to bloody Sam ‘Shank’ Hill and gain a unanimous decision during the second semifinal.
Although bloodied, Hill’s head would remain unbowed as the former WMC Light Welterweight champion fought with absolute ferocity, coming forward for most of the fight undeterred by Vannathy’s more accurate punches in the consensus fight of the tournament.
‘Shank’ earnt his semifinal place in spectacular fashion, detonating a right hand on Chris ‘Butcher Boy’ Wells in authoring a last second highlight reel knockout.
Reigning King in the Ring Super Middleweight champion ‘Slick’ Vic Mechkov added the WKBF World Middleweight strap to his collection after registering a second round knockout over Nick ‘Whiplash’ Ariel.
Ariel started the bout aggressively however a huge Mechkov left hand deposited him on the canvas in the second round.
Although still on shaky legs, the Australian ‘Whiplash’ bit down on his mouthpiece and stood toe to toe with Mechkov.
An accumulation of power punches left the referee with no choice but to stop the bout in Mechkov’s favour.
New Zealand world title machine Michelle ‘Pressure’ Preston put forward a powerful display in gaining a majority decision over Australian ‘Lil’ Kim Townsend in Trans-Tasman Flyweight superfight.
Preston was the stronger striker throughout, landing good right hands with Townsend fighting hard to keep resist her opponents advance.
Paulo ‘Barbarian’ Lakai used his size and strength advantages to overpower Ata ‘Smiling Assassin’ Fakalelu for a majority judges’ nod in a Super Heavyweight superfight.
A Lakai uppercut downed the ‘Smiling Assassin’ in the second frame however Fakalelu was able to use his movement to make it to the final bell.
ETK’s King in the Ring series has long been the type of event that all other domestic fight sports should aspire to put on and the Elite Thai Kickboxing crew deserves enormous credit for showcasing a sport which often and undeservedly sees itself on the backend of the perceived combat sport hierarchy.
Far away from the arena of complete mismatches, converted rugby and league players and reality television personalities drawing attention to themselves because, y’know, like, Instagram or whatever, ETK continues to blaze a righteous path.
King in the Ring 62IV Results
King in the Ring 8 Man Final
Joey ‘The Filipino Kid’ Baylon beat Sone ‘Arch Angel’ Vannathy by unanimous decision
King in the Ring 8 Man Semifinals
Joey ‘The Filipino Kid’ Baylon beat Dayne Williams by technical knockout in round 2. The two knockdown rule was induced. Time was 1:40.
Sone ‘Arch Angel’ Vannathy beat Sam ‘The Shank’ Hill by unanimous decision
King in the Ring 8 Man Quarterfinals
Joey ‘The Filipino Kid’ Baylon beat David ‘Sanchai’ Aung by unanimous decision. A fourth round was required after the bout the originally judged a draw after three rounds.
Alexi ‘Phet’ Serepisos beat Nikora Lee-Kingi by unanimous decision. Serepisos unable to continue due to a concussion and was replaced by Dayne Williams.
Sone ‘Arch Ange’ Vannathy beat Kayne ‘Insane’ Conlan by decision
Sam ‘The Shank’ Hill beat Chris ‘Butcher Boy’ Wells by knockout in round 3. Time was 2:59.
King in the Ring 8 Man Reserve Fight
Dayne Williams beat Nic ‘Ice Cream’ Aratema by Unanimous Decision
WKBF Middleweight World Title
Victor Mechkov (NZ) beat Nick Ariel (AU) by technical knockout in round 2. Time was 1:24.
Trans-Tasman Flyweight Superfight
Michelle ‘Pressure’ Preston (NZ) beat Kim Townsend (AUS) by majority decision
Super Heavyweight Superfight
Paulo ‘Barbarian’ Lakai beat Ata ‘Smiling Assasin’ Fakalelu by majority decision