WEYMOUTH Martial Art Centre’s King Tiger Thai-boxing can now boast three Total Full Contact world champions.
Cruiserweight Darren Anstey and heavyweight Lee Grinrod have joined super-middleweight king Jo Edwards in the club’s ever growing list of champions.
First up was Grinrod, fighting on Stuart Davis’ TFC Night of Champions show in Weston-sup-er-Mare, and challenging Welsh knockout specialist Liam Ronin in what proved to be an explosive fight between two big-hitters, Within 10 seconds of the opening bell, both fighters simultaneously landed huge left hands, which sent both men crashing to the floor.
The huge crowd were in shock as the two fighters staggered to their feet and the referee administered an eight count to both at the same time.
However, it was Grinrod who recovered better, backing Ronin up across the ring before un-leashing a barrage of punches and knees to drop him for the full count to send the crowd wild.
With the contest over in just 50 seconds, it will go down as one of the quickest world title knockouts ever.
Next up, it was British Thai-Boxing and European Kickbox-ing champion, Portland’s Darren (Dynamite) Anstey’s turn to make his world title challenge on Joe Hallet’s Full On TFC show at Westlands Leisure Centre.
The opponent was the vastly more experienced Roma Da Silva fighting out of the world famous Mike’s Gym in Amsterdam but none of this fazed Anstey, who in front of his huge army of travelling supporters, took the fight straight to his opponent.
Pushing him on to the back foot with a huge punch, kick and knee combinations, he did not allow his experienced foe to settle.
To begin with, the second round followed the same pattern but then Da Silva started to get through with his huge low kicks to Anstey’s legs, which slowed the Portlander down but a huge overhand right hand followed by a knee to the head opened a large cut over Da Silva’s left eye forcing him to go for the knockout in the third round or risk the contest being stopped.
Anstey had to dig deep but was up to the task, matching his opponent punch for punch, kick for kick and knee for knee as Da Silva desperately tried to stop the challenger.
However, his attacks couldn’t stop the relentless Anstey’s march towards the title and it was no surprise when his opponent failed to come out for the fourth round because of eye damage, which led to wild celebrations from the Portlander’s corner.
Earlier in the evening, the club’s Dan Curtain made it two wins out of two as he scored a come-from-behind knockout win over his Blandford opponent.
After a very hard first round, Curtain had to really show his mettle, unloading a barrage of punches to leave his opponent face down on the canvas 20 seconds into the second.
King Tiger coach Tom Ashe said: “These were two fantastic nights for the club, both of which will be shown on Sky TV.
“Both lads performed amazingly against two top-class fighters and showed what hard work and dedication can do. “They’re both local lads who have come a long way since joining the club. Darren is really proud to represent the island and become Portland’s first ever kickboxing world champion.
“He would like to thank his sponsors Auto Accident, Dorset Fire Engineers, the Lopen Raj and Bengal Fusion for their continued support.
“We’re one huge family down at Weymouth Martial Arts Centre and all our victories are down to everybody who trains there, be it sparring, holding the pads, training alongside or coming to support the fighters on their big nights.”
The three champions will all next be in action on November 1 at the club’s Fight Night 7 show at Weymouth Pavilion along with some of the other fighters in what promises to be the biggest Fight Night show yet.
Anybody interested in training, whether to compete or for fitness/self defence, can contact Ashe on 07812140950.