Written by Emma Southwell.
Saturday saw the Lincoln Fight Factory host a major kickboxing tournament. With two ISKA title fights and numerous other champions lined up, the night was set to be a crowd raiser before it started.
After two fast amateur bouts between debutantes, the night begun to heat up with fight number three. Paul Regan, representing Mick Gym held strong against Ash Fretwell in a scrappy few rounds, resulting in Fretwell being warned for swinging punches. Round two saw Regan up his game, landing frequent body punches and keeping his opponent against the ropes. The fight ended when Regan throws a right hook, and Fretwell is out for the eight count.
The first title fight of the night featured two young yet very talented kick-boxers, Jack Deakin and Ben Exley. The crowd was bouncing as Deakin lands a solid spinning back kick in the first round, with Exley responding with a fast paced series of hand combinations.
As the rounds fly past, Deakin picks his opponent off with kicks, using his much longer reach to his advantage. The fight seemed to be going in his favour, yet Exley used speed to move into the inside of Deakin. The final round saw fast and strong punches from Exley, but it was Deakin who stepped up to receive the ISKA Junior British Title.
Next, a short fight between Alex Cox and Nick Lough- Scott. Cox was the stronger contestant from the start, and the fight was stopped just short of the first round after Lough-Scott was knocked down by a heavy right hand to the head.
Shawn Burton stepped into the ring for the next fight, representing his own club, Lincoln KBA. After a disappointing turn around for the event organiser last year, he was determined to take home a win.
The first three rounds saw both fighters using heavy hits, and Burton’s fighter, Bettison, forces his opponent onto the ropes. However, in round three Burton came back with a vengeance, and after landing numerous heavy body shots, Bettison was knocked down three times.
One round short of full time, and Burton throws a hefty back roundhouse into the body, and takes the victory after the referee calls an end to the fight.
By this time the crowd was electric, and are on their feet for fight number nine. Representing the females, Stacey Parker and Céline Carrere took to the ring for a well-matched five rounds. Carrere kept to the outside of the ring whilst Parker kept her distance for the first four rounds, catching her opponent with unexpected kicks.
In the final round, the pace picked up with close bodywork and a number of strong punches followed by roundhouse kicks from Parker. The decision was unanimous on points, and Parker won yet another fight on her way to the world title. Holding a number of titles already, including the ISKA European, Parker took this international victory with pride.
Speaking about her fight, Stacey said: “I think fights are an important aspect of kickboxing if you want to push yourself.
“I’m passionate for it because of the challenge it presents me. After eight weeks of training, I believe that the fight was fairly matched and that it went well.
“If I was describing tonight, I would say that it was tough, a lot of hard work and strategic.”