Today, the third day of competition saw a number of shock underdog wins but also the progress forward for some of muaythai’s biggest names including Patricia Axling , Andre Kulebin, Dmity Varats, Komsan Tantakhob and Bediha Tacyhildiz. Mexican Ivan Molina took one of the last bouts of the night to great applause.
By now the athletes are used to tropical surroundings, with everyone relaxing or training in the mornings before the afternoon of competition at the Grand Oasis resort in Cancun. And of course the beach goes someway as a consolation prize for those who miss out on medal opportunities.
In the women’s bouts two-time champion Patricia Axling faced Australian champion Rebecca Rooney. Although a relative new-comer to the international scene, Rebecca held her own with long-distance teep kicks, but Patricia took a clear points mainly down to her trademark knees, combined with fast hand combinations.
Bediha Tacyildiz also advanced, as did Russian champion and European silver medalist Maria Klimova. Defending world champion Suphisara Konlak defeated Singapore’s Cheryl Gwa Wei in an exciting bout, unlucky for Cheryl to meet the champion in only her second bout at their tournament,
In the men’s divisions the muaythai powerhouses of Ukraine, Russia, Thailand and Kazakhstan didn’t have things all their own way. Hungary’s Norbert Speth took a shock points win against The World Games 2017 champion Serhii Kuliba of Ukraine. Peru’s Ian Esuza put up a huge defense against Andrei Kulebin but could not swing it in the end, while Ukraine’s Oleh Huta lost on points against Komsan Tantakhob after an epic battle, especially in the opening two rounds.
Three other The World Games medal winners – Ali Dogan, Turkey, Igor Liubcheko Ukraine and Yelaman Sayassatov did make their way forward for the next round of competition.
And the final cheers of the night went to home-favourite Ivan Molina taking a tough points win agasint Russian champion Gadzhimurad Abdurakhmanov. Ivan is a brave fighter and that paid off tonight.
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