King in the Ring 86 Trans-Tasman Preview
Jason Suttie and the crew at Elite Thai Kickboxing continue to go from strength to strength when the increasingly popular King in the Ring kickboxing series continues with their latest instalment of their cruiserweight tournament this Saturday, 11 April 2015 at the ASB Stadium, Kohimarama.
The Elite Thai Kickboxing juggernaut has long been the premier showcase of kickboxing in this country and shows no signs of slowing down.
King in the Ring 86TT features a Trans-Tasman tournament consisting of 8 of the top 86kg kickboxers from Australia and New Zealand as well as four super fights.
Returning King in the Ring champion Israel ‘Style Bender’ Adesanya (41-2-0, 21 KOs) brings his resume over 40 professional fights back against a tough field of recognised title holders.
The WKBF New Zealand Cruiserweight Champion, WKBF New Zealand Light-Heavyweight Champion and IKBF New Zealand Super 8 Champion was the first Kiwi to compete on kickboxing’s biggest stage when he lost a decision to Belgian Filip Verlinden at Glory 15 in Istanbul last April.
He also sent a minor shock through boxing circles last month, from being granted a wildcard spot to winning the Super 8 Cruiserweight title in Christchurch with a split decision win over American journeyman Brian Minto.
Adesanya’s electric style sees him lead the New Zealand squadron of; New Zealand WKBF Cruiserweight champion Pati ‘The Arsenal; Afoa (27-12-1, 3 KOs), IKBF Pro Light Heavyweight World Champion Zak ‘Fearless’ Fatamaka (15-5-1, 4 KOs) and IFMA Gold medalist Zane ‘Hybrid’ Hopman (17-2-0, 6 KOs).
The contingent know each other all too well as Adensanya stopped Afoa during last year’s tournament King in the Ring semi-finals while Pati scrapped past Fatama during the quarters. Pati also took a close nod in a WMC and WKBF cruiserweight title fight against Hopman.
The Australian contingent consists of former WKA Australian Light Heavyweight and WKBF NSW Light Heavyweight, and Knees of Fury 8 Man Champion, Kim Loudon (32-11-0, 22 KOs), WBC NSW Champion Simon ‘Mayhem’ Maait (12-3-0, 6 KOs), WBC Queensland Cruiserweight Champion Kurt Pegoraro (31-8-0, 7 KOs) and Mark Timms (10-4-2, 4 KOs).
Maait previously came up short against Afoa, being stopped brutally in the fourth round of their King in the Ring 72III super fight last November.
The card also features four super fights including middleweight King in the Ring Mike ‘Blood’ Diamond (30-10-0, 10 KOs) facing off against tough Sydney based Filipino “Dirty” Sanchez (13-5-0, 6 KOs).
Two time lightweight King in the Ring Sone ‘Arch Angel' Vannathy (52-17-1, 10 KOs) will also attempt to settle the score with Pumipi ‘Ceazer’ Ngaronoa (30-9-0, 3 KOs), against whom he previously suffered an upset loss.
The Porirua based Laotian Vannathy’s athletic style has consistently made for entertaining fights.
Heavyweight Nato ‘Hard Knox’ Laauli (27-9-0, 5 KOs) will have his first out since relocating from Porirua to ETK HQ in Auckland against Hasting’s Pane ‘The Punisher’ Haraki. (27-9-0, 5 KOs).
Chris ‘Cobra’ Eades (9-8-0, 2 KOs) and Jordan ‘Sniper’ Syme (13-5-1, 0 KOs) are set to open proceedings
King in the Ring Trans-Tasman 8 Man Tournament
Team New Zealand
Pati Afoa [ETK, Auckland]
Israel Adesanya [CKB, Auckland]
Zak Fatamaka [GRizzly Thai Boxing, Auckland]
Zane Hopman [Fortitude Thai Boxing]
Simon Maait [Bulldog Gym, Castle Hill]
Mark Timms [Bulldog Gym, Manly]
Kurt Pegoraro [Corporate Boxing Gym, Brisbane]
Kim Loudon [Extreme Muay Thai, Sydney]
Mike “Blood” Diamond [City Kickboxing] - “Dirty” Sanchez [Full Force Gym]
Sone ‘Arch Angel’ Vannathy [Arch Angel Muay Thai] - Pumipi ‘Caezar’ Ngaronoa [Dannevirke Bulldogs]
Pane ‘The Punisher’ Haraki [Hastings Fitness Centre] - Nato ‘Hard Knox’ Laauli [ETK]
Chris ‘Cobra’ Eades [ETK North Shore] - Jordan ‘Sniper’ Syme [Grizzly Thai Boxing]