WCK Muay Thai Boxing results from Saturday, October 2nd

Opening bout of Saturday night's Muay Thai Boxing event at Pala Casino featured Takuma Sugimoto versus Phil Nunez.

You often hear a colleague brag how they saw an action packed fight card while in Las Vegas or wherever, but believe me nothing tops the WCK Full Rules Muay Thai Boxing show I saw at the Pala Casino Events Center on Saturday night. With the hauntingly appealing music of the Javanese Clarinet in the background, the boxers used everything in their repertoire to finish off their opponent.


Opening match, Bout #1, featured super-lightweights Phil Nunez,

Takuma Sugimoto jumps for joy after learning he has won his bout over Phil Nunez.

with his fashionable mohawk, taking on Takuma Sugimoto. After measuring his distance, Sugimoto, the better kicker, was off to the races and soon opened up a mean cut over Nunez’s right eye. The most effective punch in his arsenal turned out to be his overhand right. At the end of this three round war, Sugimoto was awarded an unanimous decision.

Bout #2 With 10 bouts on the docket, I was surprised by the placement of the next match which featured the current IKKC International Super Lightweight Title holder, Justin Greskiewicz, defending his title versus the ever dangerous Byoung-Ku Park of South Korea.

Referee Jose Cobian raises both Byoung-Ku Park (left) and Justin Greskiewicz's (right) hands after their bout was declared a draw.

Greskiewicz, who often color coordinates his hair with his elastic ankle guards is the perennial show man. If interested, the gentleman from Cool Hearts Muay Thai (Daddis Fight Camps Philadelphia) wore lavender on Saturday night.

Before the bout began, Greskiewicz walked from corner to corner doing a ritual to pay homage to the Thai instructors who came before him. He ended his “I fear no man” walk by kneeling in the center of the ring.

From the opening bell, it was hands and fists flying. You could hear Greskiewicz’s coach hollering over the cheers of the crowd. He not only coached his fighter, which is not usually permitted, he tried to influence the judges by shouting, “Beautiful J!” every time Greskiewicz landed a kick or a punch.

Round one was difficult to score, since both fighters landed on the canvas. In round two, Park made the mistake of grabbing a hold of Greskiewicz’s leg, and his opponent made him pay by landing a spirited left-right combination. Although many fighters have difficulty fighting while backing up, Greskiewicz demonstrated that he’s a master counter puncher.

In the third round Greskiewicz was cut over the right eye after one of the many furious exchanges. On and on the battle raged with its momentum swings. Even though Park was the aggressor throughout, he was the one getting tagged with the cleaner, more crowd pleasing, deliveries, especially Greskiewicz’s devastating uppercuts.

Then came a momentary stoppage in round four after Greskiewicz sustained a thigh bruise. With his opponent hurting, Park became even more aggressive and in round five had Greskiewicz backed in a corner to unload some telling combinations.

When the scores were announced 47-47, 47-47 and 48-46 for Greskiewicz, it wasn’t a surprise to either corner. This was one of those bouts that screams rematch. Greskiewicz was impressive early but Park finished the fight.

Referee Jose Cobian raises Tiffany Van Soest arm after she defeated Gabriela Lemus to retain her IKKC Muay Thai U.S. Featherweight Title.

Bout #3 had Gabriela Lemus (2-0) of San Antonio, Texas, challenging Tiffany Van Soest (8-1) of San Diego for her IAMTF Women’s U.S. Featherweight title. Following Lemus’ introduction, Van Soest and her troupe made an impressive walk to the ring with Van Soest wearing a Mongkol, the ancestral Muay Thai headband. After her entrance, Van Soest went from corner to corner stomping her feet; but no stomp was as menacing as the one she made in front of Lemus’s corner. To her credit Lemus did not appear affected by the display of force.

After the opening bell, Van Soest went quickly to plan B which involved an all out assault to overwhelm Lemus. She used high kicks and punches from every angle. Early in round two Lemus became pinned in a neutral corner. After taking four unanswered blows to the head, referee Jose Cobian stepped in and called for an early stoppage.

Referee raises Joey Pagliuso's arm in victory after he defeated Sean Dizay (right).

Bout #4 featured welterweights Joey Pagliuso of Riverside, CA. and Sean Dizay of Las Vegas, Nevada. Before they began, Mr. Pagliuso took his shot at disrespecting Dizay by quickly skipping about from corner to corner pounding the top of the post. Of course this chicanery only riled up his opponent who came out smokin’.

Setting aside any semblance of defense, the two gentlemen went at one another like clashing windmills and ended like trains heading in the same direction to knock each other off the track.

After getting the worst of it for the first couple rounds and being knocked off his feet twice, Dizay decided to open up his own can of whoop-ass by defying the rules. He hit Pagliuso in the back of the head and then successfully head butted him in the nose. The end couldn’t come soon enough for Dizay who couldn’t slow Pagliuso down.

Bout #5 featured a WBC Muay Thai Super Middleweight Bout

Jack Thames (left) has his arm raised in victory after getting the win over Eric Utsch (right).

between Jack Thames of One Kicks Gym/LA Boxing in Las Vegas, Nevada and Eric “the Hooligan” Utsch of Allentown, Pa.

Like the child who makes faces, sounds out ‘Grrr!’ or bites down on their tongue to scare another infant, the childlike expressions on Thames’ face were an attempt to intimidate Utsch. They didn’t. Utsch scored repeatedly with his stinging jab and followed with solid right hands. He was making Thames eat his gloves. He also put Thames on his back.

After Utsch’s brilliant defense, his brilliant countering, the many strikes that wore his opponent down, Thames got lucky and landed a stinging elbow to the left side of Utsch’s forehead. After the fight doctor inspected the inch and a half gash, he called for an early stoppage which awarded Thames the TKO victory.

Tecia Lyn Torres (left) has her arm raised in victory after defeating Woo Yeon Park (right).

Bout #6 featured Tecia Lyn Torres of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. challenging the current bantamweight champion, Woo Yeon “Dark Angel” Park of Korea for the IMTC Women’s International Bantamweight Title. On first sight, it looked like a mismatch. The Korean Champion had more experience, she was much taller and had a tremendous reach advantage. What she didn’t have was a bigger heart.

Torres gained her advantage by getting inside Park’s defenses and peppering with short punches to the face. Even before the final round, before the scores were tabulated, it was a foregone conclusion that Tecia Lyn Torres Moncaio would win become the new IMTC Women’s International Bantamweight champion.

Bout #7 featured Dave Nielsen (11-1, with 4 KO’s) of American

Worried about the fighter he has knocked out, Dave Nielsen (left) hangs close to see if there's anything he can do for Frank Bamford who is still stretched out on the canvas.

Boxing in Pacific Beach (San Diego) versus Frank Bamford (14-3-1) of Orange County doing battle for the IAMTF U.S. Cruiserweight title. From the outset, Nielsen landed the cleaner shots, harder kicks and seemed immune to anything coming his way. Seconds before the first round ended, Bamford went down but survived the round. A short time into the second round, Nielsen was back landing the big blows and then it came, the front kick knockout that had Bamford bleeding and unconscious.

Paulo Da Silva (center) receives a 10 count from referee Jose Cobian after being knocked off his feet by Romie Adanza (left).

Bout #8 was for the IKKC Muay Thai International Super Bantamweight Title, between the champion, Romie Adanza of Orange County and Paulo Da Silva, who was born in Portugal and grew up in the UK. It was the fourth time the fighters had met in the ring. Adanza took the decision in the first match, Da Silva earned a referee stoppage in the second, and Adanza took the third meeting by TKO.

The first round of Saturday’s contest was a feeling out round. Round two likely went to Adanza who was busier. Round three featured a fierce exchange that ended with the first knockdown. After landing a left hook to Da Silva’s midsection, Adanza scored his second knockdown. A third knockdown came after Adanza grabbed Da Silva’s flailing foot. By round four Adanza had established his superiority and started landing upper cut after uppercut wearing Da Silva down. By the fifth round, Da Silva had nothing left. Adanza won the bout by unanimous decision to retain his IKKC International Title.

Bout #9 featured Denis “the Pirate” Grachev of City Boxing, Downtown, San Diego,

Denis Grachev (right) is shown unloading one of his devastating kicks against Fernando Gonzalez in their WCK Super Fight, October 2, 2010.

CA. (a native of Chaykovsky, Russia) going up against the very popular Fernando Gonzalez who is from nearby Temecula, CA.

Despite all the cheering for the hometown favorite, it was clear from round #3 on that Gonzalez was no match for the taller Russian champion who systematically wore him down. What was surprising was the amount of punishment that Gonzalez was able to take from the undefeated professional boxer who kept landing hard knockout punches to his midsection and head. Despite the numerous knockdowns, Gonzalez stayed in there until the end.

Luis Bio (left) awaits the judges decision after his TKO victory over Harris Norwood (right) on Saturday, October 2, 2010.

Bout #10, the final bout of the evening, featured Luis Bio of Ensenada, Mexico, the current Mexican Middleweight champion, mixing it up with Harris “Smallville” Norwood, a natural welterweight from Norcross, Georgia. Norwood, who is slight of build, was in the match either for the payday or he’s a bit masochistic. Norwood mentioned that he stuffed his pockets with cell phones and the like just to make the added weight.

Midway through the final round, after maybe the fourth or fifth knockdown, Norwood sat on his keister looking up at the referee. After the ref decided to end the match, Norwood objected, “What!” He then looked to his corner to protest. After Saturday’s pummeling Norwood’s professional record stands at 6-15-1. Bottom line, Bio won the bout quite handily by TKO in the fifth round.

Instead of facing his opponent on Saturday night, Harris Norwood decided to sit facing the audience.

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