Mari's Minute

World Championship Muay Thai Recap

"Hot Summer Fights"

July 7, 2006

Hollywood Park Casino

3883 West Century Blvd.

Inglewood, California

 

 

Saturday was THE lucky day, 7-7-7, and indeed it was for the thousands in attendance who were lucky

enough to witness another night of Great Muay Thai fights put on by Dennis Warner & In Sync

Productions at the Hollywood Park Casino in Inglewood, California. The last fight started after midnight but

the nonstop action, great match-ups kept everyone in their seats with no regard of the time. Here is how it all

went down.

 

- Fight 1 - After three exciting rounds, Shane Obonolski won a unanimous decision over Federico Lopez

  with the judges scoring the bout 29-28, 30-27, 30-27 for Obonolski.

 

  Round One - They touched gloves and Obonolski was first to strike with a low kick. Obonolski concentrated

  on the kicks for a bit, then came a brief exchange with punches that excited the crowd. They separated for

  a moment and once again, Obonolski pressed forward, connected with more leg kicks, followed by a flurry

  of knees and strikes to Lopez’s body. Lopez was able to grab and hold Obonolski close and work a little on

  the inside, finishing the round. Obonolski benefited from his height advantage - it allowed him to connect

  well with his kicks and keep some distance.

 

  Round Two - Lopez came out strong and connected with clean punches to Obonolski’s face - That slowed

  Obonolski down a bit. Taking his corners advice, Lopez was able to work the inside and strike to the face

  as Obonolski tried to connect with his knees and kicks.

 

  Round Three - The final round was to be the deciding round. Lopez was first to connect with a straight

  punch to Obonolski’s face. Obonolski was stunned and stumbled back and then down to a knee. The

  crowd went crazy as they cheered for Lopez. Obonolski got up and kept working the knees though,

  connecting to the body. Lopez continued to press with his punches but it was not enough, losing the

  decision.

 

 

- Fight 2 Chris Minor won a unanimous decision over Gil Ramos with the judges scoring the bout 29-28,

  29-28, 30-27.

 

  Round One - The round started with an even exchange of strikes. Ramos was able to connect with a

  couple of kicks as Minor connected with punches to the face. Both went at it but Minor’s punches

  appeared to lack some power. The round ended with Ramos connecting with punches.

 

  Round Two - Minor appeared to have changed his strategy as he started using his legs. Minor now

  throwing knees in-between his punches appeared to connect with more accuracy. Ramos was able to

  counter as well and still pressed forward during the round.

 

  Round Three - Minor missed with a roundhouse kick and also attempted a back fist that was blocked by

  Ramos. Minor showed his frustration and started getting a little sloppy with his wild punches as Ramos,

  still fighting with composure, connected well. I thought it was a tough fight to call as Minor was more active

  but Ramos showed better accuracy but all the judges were in agreement with the unanimous decision win

  for Minor.

 

 

- Fight 3 - Scott Clark won a majority decision over Brandon Banda with the judges scoring the bout

  47-47, 50-44, 49-45. Clark is now the new IAMTF North American Light Heavyweight Champion.

 

  Round One - They touched gloves and Banda started the round with a high kick blocked by Clark. They

  tied up in the corner with each connecting with knees. Clark’s knees to the body appeared to have hurt

  Banda in that round.

 

  Round Two - Banda started the round with a kick, punch combo that was partially blocked. After an

  exchange of low kicks, Clark was able to connect with an additional low kick and punch to the body that

  backed Banda to the corner - they tied up for a moment. They fought out of it and then Clark got warned for

  an accidental low blow. The back and forth action made it an even round in my book.

 

  Round Three - Clark pressed forward and punched but Banda was able to connect well on the inside and

  punched through the clinch. Clark did well using his legs as he connected with knees and low kicks that

  appeared to do some harm.

 

  Round Four - Banda started off with some jabs but Clark once again worked the legs and connected with

  punches. Clark still put on the pressure and it appeared to be working well for him. Clark continued with his

  low kicks and knees and connected. Banda tried to connect with kicks of his own but was more successful

  with his counter punching.

 

  Round Five - Clark's beautiful work to the body and legs appeared to have done some damage to Banda.

  Banda was unable to find his striking range. Clark takes the majority decision victory.

 

 

- Fight 4 - Denis Grachev won by TKO at :27 of the third round over Mason Gibson - Referee stopped the

  fight due to uncontested strikes and simultaneously, Gibson’s corner threw in the towel.

 

  Round One - They touched gloves and Gibson missed with a kick. Grachev appeared to be waiting for an

  opening and he got it. Grachev connected with a powerful roundhouse kick to the body and knocked the

  wind out of Gibson, who fell to his knees for an eight count. Gibson was able to continue but was obviously

  hurt. Grachev was able to connect once again with a roundhouse but Gibson hung in until the end of the

  round.

 

  Round Two - Once again, Gibson went down for another eight count due to a kick from Grachev. Grachev’s

  powerful kicks appeared to have done harm - Gibson just can’t get in to his rhythm.

 

  Round Three - A frustrated Gibson rushed in and started the round with strikes that were blocked. As they

  tied up, Grachev connected with consecutive knees that hurt Gibson. Simultaneously, the referee stepped

  in and stopped the fight as Gibson’s corner threw in the towel.

 

 

- Fight 5 - Maria Morales won a unanimous decision over Nataly Jerez with the judges scoring the bout

  29-28, 30-27 and 29-28.

 

  Round One - They exchanged kicks and that started off the round. Morales, with an obvious height

  advantage, was able to connect with more kicks to the body. A feisty Jerez didn’t seem to let the height

  disadvantage bother her as she connected with a high kick and then stretched high for some punches to

  the face. Morales did a great job countering with strikes of her own and kept Jerez close - connecting with

  some knees.

 

  Round Two - Morales was able to use her legs and connected with some clean kicks to the body that

  appeared to slow Jerez down in this round.

 

  Round Three - They circled the ring and Morales was able to connect with a front kick to the body that

  put Jerez down on her behind. Jerez got up quickly and connected with a few clean shots to Morales’ face.

  The round ended with Jerez connecting to the face but it was too little, too late.

 

 

- Fight 6 - Chris Benjamin won a unanimous decision over Yamato Miura with all the judges scoring the

  bout 29-28.

 

  Round One - Miura immediately threw a couple of kicks to the body but didn’t appear to do harm as

  Benjamin continued to press forward. Miura was able to connect well with punches to the face and also

  worked the legs. Benjamin still pressed forward - able to connect with a few punches to the face.

 

  Round Two - They tied up immediately and after an exchange of strikes, an accidental low blow by

  Benjamin leads Miura to take a moment to fix his cup (protective gear). They went at it again and Benjamin

  was able to connect with more strikes that slowed Miura down for a moment. Miura countered with a kick

  that dropped Benjamin but got up immediately.

 

  Round Three - The warriors went back to work and gave it their all in this round. Benjamin came to win this

  fight as the nonstop action brought the fans to their feet. Benjamin let his hands go and punched away,

  connecting most of his punches. Then Benjamin worked the body with kicks and Miura looked like he was

  in trouble. They tied up a couple of times and that gave Miura a moment to recover but he was obviously

  exhausted. Benjamin continued with strikes and overpowered Miura but Miura was able to hold on until the

  round ended.

 

 

- Fight 7 - Toby Grear won by TKO over Joe Sarkissian - The referee stopped the bout in the second

  round as Sarkissian was unable to continue due to cut above his left eye.

 

  Round One - Sarkissian struck first but Grear countered and connected well...actually, both connected

  well during the round with lots of back and forth action.

 

  Round Two - Grear dominated this round. Grear was able to connect well with punches and knees that

  appeared to have hurt Sarkissian. Sarkissian, now bleeding from a cut above the eye, got the referee’s

  attention. The referee stopped the battle for a moment to have the ringside doctor look at cut and then

  indicated the fight was over - Sarkissian was unable to continue.

 

 

- Fight 8 - Freddie Medrano won a split decision over Artem Sharoshkin with the judges scoring the bout

  29-28 Sharoshkin, 29-28 Medrano and 30-27 Medrano.

 

  Round One - They touched gloves and immediately exchanged strikes. Both fighters throwing an even

  amount of strike combinations - Medrano working more to the body as Sharoshkin connected with better

  punches.

 

  Round Two - Medrano started off with punches to the face and then connected with kicks to the body and

  inner leg. Sharoshkin kept pressing forward and throwing punches that connected to Medrano’s face. A left

  high kick by Medrano blocked by Sharoshkin ended the round.

 

  Round Three - A low blow by Medrano early in the round gave the fight a small break. The nonstop action

  once again resumed and Sharoshkin connected well to the body and then to the face. Medrano was able

  to connect with punches and knees to the body before the round ended.

 

 

- Fight 9 - Caley Scott won a split decision over Jared Lara with judges scores of 48-47 Scott, 48-47 Lara

  and 49-46 Scott. Scott is the new Super Middleweight Champion.

 

  Round One - They touched gloves and they started off exchanging low kicks. Scott was first to strike as

  Lara was looking for an opening to counter. Scott was more active but Lara was able to counter well.

 

  Round Two - Scott still took the initiative but once again, Lara connected with his counter punching. Scott

  connected with a couple of jabs but Lara moved in and countered with a strong hook that stunned Scott.

 

  Round Three - Scott faked a knee and connected with a punch to the face. Lara countered with a left, right

  punch combo. A low blow from Scott slowed the rhythm for just a moment. Lara worked on Scott’s leg as

  it appeared to be working in his favor. A couple of low kicks from Lara ended the round.

 

  Round Four - Powerful punches and kicks connected to Lara’s body and face. Scott connected with kicks

  that also slow Lara down. Towards the end of the round, Lara connected with a couple of kicks of his own.

  Scott appeared to have forgotten about the pain in his leg as he was able to come back in this round with

  kicks and strikes.

 

  Round Five - They tied up against the ring and exchanged knees. They picked up the pace - exchanging

  blows. They felt each other’s power in an exchange of low kicks. As we saw throughout the fight, Scott

  initiated the striking as Lara waited to counter. A more aggressive Scott took the round and in my eyes,

  the fight as well...as did the judges awarding him the decision.

 

 

- Fight 10 - Nate Smandych won a unanimous decision over Travis Garlits with judges scores of 48-47,

  49-46, 49-46. Smandych becomes the new IAMTF North American Jr. Welterweight Champion.

 

  Round One - A brief exchange of kicks started the round. Garlits was able to connect with a punch to the

  face before an accidental low blow stopped the fight for a few seconds. Smandych was able to connect

  with a couple of low kicks.

 

  Round Two - Garlits connected with straight jabs clean to the face and followed it up with a front kick early

  in the round. Smandych was looking for an opening but Garlits did well defending. As they tied up,

  Smandych connected with a couple of knees.

 

  Round Three - They started with an even exchange of strikes early in the round. Garlits was able to

  connect with a flurry of jabs but Smandych countered with punches of his own.

 

  Round Four - Smandych pressed and connected with combo punches that appeared to take Garlits off

  balance. They tied up again and Smandych once again connected with a couple of knees to the body. The

  referee separated the fighters and Smandych pressed again with combo punches that connected giving

  him the round.

 

  Round Five - Smandych continued pressing forward, then threw a couple of punches and moved in - They

  tied up and exchanged knees to the body.  Smandych ended the round with a knee to the body and

  picked up the win.

 

 

- Fight 11 - Joe Schilling won by TKO over Neil Chatchaiyan - referee stopped the fight at 1:36 of round

  four due to uncontested strikes.

 

  Round One - Chatchaiyan threw the first punch and they tied up against the ring. Schilling connected with

  a few short elbows before getting separated by the referee. Chatchaiyan continued to press forward and

  they tied up again and exchanged knees. Schilling threw a high kick but Chatchaiyan beat him with a

  straight punch that sent him down to the mat. Schilling immediately stood up and the battle continued.

  Schilling was able to work the short elbows well as they tied up on the inside.

 

  Round Two - They tied up immediately and the referee separated them. Schilling was able to connect

  with a punch to face and followed it up with a couple of knees. They separated for a moment and

  Chatchaiyan smiled as though he was saying that didn’t do any damage. Schilling once again connected

  with a right and left high kick that got the fans to a roar. They exchanged strikes but Schilling was able to

  connect with another right high kick to the face followed by a left elbow that got the fans cheering - and

  loud.

 

  Round Three - Schilling missed with a roundhouse kick early in the round. Chatchaiyan still pressed

  forward and Schilling appeared to have given it all in the last round as he seemed to be gassing out.

  Chatchaiyan worked the legs and appeared to hurt Schilling. Things looked to be turning around for

  Chatchaiyan as he started connecting most kicks and punches he threw. The round ended with a gassed

  Schilling connecting with an elbow to Chatchaiyan’s face.

 

  Round Four - The warriors battle it out in this round. Chatchaiyan connected with some strikes but

  Schilling beautifully connected with a left high kick to Chatchaiyan’s face that sent him back for just a

  moment. Just when it looked like Schilling had gassed out, out of nowhere, he came back with a final flurry

  of strikes that connected one after the other - punches, elbows and kicks drop Chatchaiyan and the

  referee stepped in to stop the fight. Schilling’s all or nothing last spur gave him the win.

 

 

- Fight 12 - Michael Mananquil wins a split decision over Fabian Zuniga after five rounds of nonstop

  action with judges scores of 48-47 Mananquil, 48-47 Zuniga and 49-46 Manaquil. Mananquil is now the

  IKKC Muay Thai World Welterweight Championship.

 

  Round One - They touched gloves and Zuniga was first to strike but missed. Mananquil connected with

  a nice low kick but that didn’t stop Zuniga in connecting with strikes of his own. They circled the ring

  looking for an opening and Mananquil connected with a couple of punches and an elbow to the face. Zuniga

  countered with a punch of his own ending the round.

 

  Round Two - Mananquil connected with a kick to the body and Zuniga countered with a right hook to the

  face. A left high kick from Mananquil connected with Zuniga’s left glove. Once again, they circled the ring

  looking for an opening and after a couple of missed jabs from Zuniga, Mananquil connected with an elbow

  but it didn't do much harm. Mananquil now pressed forward, connecting with a couple of kicks.

 

  Round Three - The fans cheered - “Michael, Michael, Michael” as the round began. Mananquil connected

  with a spinning back fist/elbow that got his fans cheering at the edge of their seat. But Zuniga immediately

  came back and connected with a series of strikes. They go toe to toe in an exchange of elbows. After a

  brief separation, Zuniga was able to connect with another flurry of punches. The round ended with

  Zuniga connecting with power punches.

 

  Round Four - A left high kick from Mananquil started the round. They tied up in a corner and Mananquil

  was able to connect with knees and other body shots. They separated and once again, they had a brief

  exchange of strikes with Mananquil connecting to the legs with low kicks and Zuniga with punches to the

  face.  Towards the end of the round, both fighters missed with elbow attempts.

 

  Round Five - Another “Michael” chant from the fans and Mananquil went to work connecting with kicks to

  the body and legs. As the fight progressed, Mananquil connected with low kicks and Zuniga with punches

  to face. Zuniga was again able to connect with elbows and punches to the face. Mananquil appeared to be

  hurt but didn’t give up and was able to come back with strikes of his own. What a battle! The referee

  separated the fighters as Zuniga was now cut and the ref had the doctor look at cut. After a brief look, the

  battle was allowed to continue. They went at it again. Zuniga was able to connect with better punches and

  elbows. These warriors went to war and the fans got louder and louder as the fight went on. A few more

  punches connected by both warriors even after the bell had rung to end the fight. The fighters received a

  standing ovation by the crowd and it was well deserved. Mananquil wins the title.

 

Until next time,

Mari

 

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(7/9/07)