AK has some new tools! – Chris Bradford Interview

At Powerplay 40 Chris Bradford entered a contest that most punters are referring to as the biggest rematch of the year and that’s crazy to think given we have only just hit March. Even though the year will no doubt produce some other cracker contests, Bradford v Boobyer II has the ingredients to be one of the all time greats.

First, back to Powerplay 39, the initial epic contest between these two warriors wasn’t even meant to be. However as fate would have it, Chris’s original opponent was pulled at literally the final hour and Joe stepped up. It’s a gutsy move to accept a new opponent with basically no time to prepare; however it was a decision that Chris did not hesitate to make:

“I wasn’t really to fussed with the change and the record of his, I have a job to do and I take it seriously. It’s the same as every other time I step into the ring. I’ll fight anyone they put in front of me, no matter how big a record, how big an opponent, how big of a name…
I’ll… fight… anyone”

True to his mantra, Chris entered the unknown like he has some many times before and confronted the challenges that presented themselves. He’s new opponent had a different style, different stance, different approach; none of it really mattered at the end of the day. Whether it was 8 weeks notice or 24 hours notice Chris approaches the contest as only a true professional does:

“To be perfectly honest I had three days notice on the change. The biggest thing was going from a southpaw to an orthodox fighter and the changes I have to make considering I’ve been training for so long for a southpaw. Yet a fight is a fight, and if you’re experienced, you should have the ability not only physically, but also mentally also to make the changes. Who knows when you will get a phone call for a big stage fight at late notice! A challenge is something I love and keeps the blood flowing rapidly through my veins”

Chris Bradford v Joe Boobyer

Now the short notice opponent change was difficult for Chris, and on the other foot taking a fight on a couple days notice was incredibly difficult for Joe. Having said that, Joe really had nothing to lose going into the first fight given the circumstances that presented themselves, that in itself can put extra pressure on Chris to get the job done:

“None whatsoever [extra pressure], with him almost having double my fights, there was no pressure on me whatsoever….  everything to gain and nothing to loose. One thing I love about this, it’s the rush of an underdog. You should loose on paper, all the stats are against you, until you see in person the power of the underdogs bite!”

So the circumstances surrounding the first fight have been discussed in great length, and when the dust settled and crowd got their collective breaths back, Chris was awarded a much-deserved Unanimous Decision victory. From the commentary position Chris looked clinical; he picked his shots well, attacked the body and controlled the fight. Chris himself however was a far harsher critic:

“7/10 to be honest… I won’t go into what I wasn’t happy about cause we are fighting again, he’s tough and strong for sure, but I’ll say this…. AK has some new tools, some new angles and some new drive to finish this fight, properly”

Chris Bradford v Joe Boobyer

Anyone who read the piece pertaining to Joe will no doubt recall Joe’s summation of the body shots that Chris delivered on that faithful evening. From this writers perspective, words like pinpoint and brutal immediately come to mind, and the strategic nature was also recognised given the vulnerable state of his opponents preparation and associated gas tank. Chris epitomises what it is to be a strategic fighter, and the tactics at Powerplay 39 underpin that:

“I feel I have a good knowledge and ability to adjust in a fight. My mind is always comfortable with being hurt at any one time, so it helps me compute situations quicker in real time and not panic. I just seen an opening and made it a target in the muscle memory bank. They where big shots for sure and Joe did well to get up from them, however I’m even stronger now so who knows what will happen”

The power and positioning of the body shots forced Joe to the canvas on multiple occasions, and to the amazement of those in attendance Joe was able to rise on every occasion. Although an impressive victory at the end of the day, Chris was unable to land the finishing blow and put Joe away. Even for such a consummate professional, this had to be frustrating:

“Yes a little upset to be honest, I’m angry at myself, but at the same time I won’t take away his heart and strength to get back up. I would have done the same if it was reversed, and same as he would, he’d be upset that I didn’t execute a plan to finish it”

Chris Bradford v Joe Boobyer

No highlight reel finish, but a win is a win and after 5 gruelling rounds Chris’s hand was raised much to the appreciation of the respectful yet ruckus crowd in attendance. Given the all time great heavyweight contest that he’d just participated in, the feeling was very satisfying for Chris:

“I don’t feel there was any ruckus, just his support crew, who where awesome and loud in the crowd, just cheering him for his valued effort in taking the fight. In my head, never write me off, never think I’m done, never think I can’t win… I’ve proven people wrong before and I’m always a chance to do it again”

On March 23 Chris will again stand opposed to Joe in a rematch that has the collective mouths of combat sports fans watering. Given the very different circumstances preceding this fight, Chris is expecting a very different opponent:

“Joe will be fitter and stronger; he will feel more confident. That’s good for the crowd and paying spectators…I’ve been working hard on new ideas, the legend Sam Greco has been working with me a little also, Tom Smith my pad holder has me tweaked on the pads, so the package I deliver on the night will be new, strong and definitely damaging”

Chris Bradford v Joe Boobyer

Given on this occasion Chris has had plenty of time to prepare for the fact that Joe will be standing opposite him in the ring, he’ll also have the opportunity to actually prepare for the man that he’ll face. That in itself will provide Chris with the opportunity to change things up a little and ensure he’s ready to go come March 23:

“Last time we fought, for the whole 8 week fight camp, I sparred 2 times. This time I’ll have a lot more sparring under my belt and being active time in the ring. Injury is reasonably low so far, so I am going to be well prepared for this one!”

Adding even a little more spice to this one (as if it needed it) is that fact that a World Title will be on the line and should Chris get the job done as he plans he’ll earn the right to have that belt draped over this shoulder. The title would be oh so sweet, but when it’s all said and done Chris fights for so much more:

Belts are great, and being titled those things as champions are a great thing and very good on a resume. 
Yet, for me, it’s bigger…. 
I’m a fighter, my honor and reputation of being a fighter and someone who fights anyone, is something I value so highly because of its truth. 
I didn’t have a Mum or Dad running me to training every day, I didn’t have a role model to look at or up to. I was brought into fighting at an early age, and not inside the ring. My purpose was all on me. 
All I have now and what I have built, is from my desire to fight, my hunger for stability in my life though fighting professionally, and respect when you meet me to know I’m actually a nice and gentle human. My drive and hunger brought me good fortune, which was then topped of successfully and ever thankfully, by people who stuck by me and believed in me to this day, and didn’t walk out on me in hard times”

“World champion is great! 
Yet…. Being called a humble bloke, a good fighter and nice person, is even better” 
#StandTallWalkForward 
AK

Chris Bradford v Joe Boobyer

Thank you to those that support me in my professional fight career, and stand by me.

 ‘Aaron McCurdy Concreting’
‘Your Style Rendering’
‘JTM Electrical”’
‘Bloom Venue’
‘Scope Australia’
‘Strong lift wear’
‘Culture Kings’
‘Versatile Windows’
‘IL Matto Pizza & Bar’
‘Breakwater Shed Cafe’
‘Wise Monkey Tattoos’’
‘Hotondo Homes’
‘Spartan Supplements’

Article by Josh Warner

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“I’m a Fighter, and Fighters Fight!” – Joe Boobyer Interview

Under some genuinely unexpected circumstances, the clash between Joe Boobyer and Chris Bradford back at Powerplay 39 produced arguably one of the best Full Thai Rules Heavyweight fights this Country has seen. Now, with a full training camp, Joe and Chris are set to lock horns again this time with a World Title on the line.

Joe’s journey to this rematch, in fact his journey through martial arts in general is full of trials, tribulations and of course huge amounts of success. Most would not understand nor appreciate how tough it actually is to make it in this sport, and Joe’s journey is testament to that:

“I started out boxing at age 14, and was all about that until I hit the age where we’d go out and party at bars and clubs, that cost me about a year but then I got back to training when a friend started MMA and I went along for a session, after a handful of amateur MMA fights and padded stand up fights it was clear I enjoyed striking more! Focusing on Muay Thai and kickboxing I had a few more fights in England before heading off to Thailand in 2011 for a six month training holiday, where I had a string of successful performances and had my first taste of the big stage fighting in a stadium in China in front of thousands of people! After arriving back in England I got a message from one of the guys I met on that trip offering me a sponsorship at a gym he and a friend had taken over, so I flew back and spent the next few years fighting full time. The biggest challenge was always finances; the sport is tough and pays peanuts, especially in Thailand. I lived in the gym with the other fighters and we’d literally be fighting to eat. The benefits of that lifestyle were the solid team we built and the approach to fighting. When you train full time most of your fights will be on a week’s notice, and you often don’t know who you’ll be fighting until you arrive at the stadium. I won a world title at heavyweight in Bangkok which was pretty cool, but even in the local stadium I’ve fought world champions for 6,000 baht ($260aud). I think my ultimate accomplishment would be winning 11 straight fights with the 11th being for the title in Bangkok, or on a personal note training in Thailand at a gym where Steve Mckinnon was a special guest and I was just a kid training, only to fight him years later. Kind of surreal!”

Joe Boobyer PP40

With much hype pertaining to Chris Bradford’s fight at Powerplay 39, his Thai opponent pulled the pin at the last minute and literally on a days notice, Joe stepped up and took the fight. With the utmost respect to Joe, one must ponder why anyone would want to get in the ring with Chris period let alone on a days notice, but from Joe’s perspective the answer was simple… fighters fight! Having said that, the months prior to Powerplay 39 were less than ideal:

“It had been a pretty rough couple of months for me! Those who don’t know I spent a couple of weeks in jail in Bangkok in a small cell shoulder to shoulder with 121 other people eating boiled cucumber and rice twice a day, so I had a fair amount of uncertainty going forward after that! Back to England to see the family and friends, then the long trip back here to Melbourne. When Demi called and told me they needed somebody I called a couple of friends to see if they were available, they weren’t. ‘I’m a fighter, and fighters fight’ I said to myself.”

To put is simply, Joe exhibited ‘testicular fortitude’ incomparable to most, however when the dust settled, he still had to fight Chris on a days notice. No time for training camps; no time for game plans and no time for mental preparation, however strangely enough the thought of the unknown was not that foreign to Joe:

“I’ve fought almost all of my career in Asia, where you rarely know your opponent before fight night, you just train to fight, go out and do what you do. I was a scrappy kid too, if somebody started a fight with me in the street I wouldn’t try to make a plan of attack, there would just be a fight. That mindset doesn’t leave you, if you don’t believe you can beat anybody in the world you have no business fighting”

Joe Boobyer PP40

The factors going against Joe were numerous and have been discussed in great detail, but none the less Joe stepped in and literally fought his heart out for 5 of the most entertaining rounds in the sports history. From the commentary position this writer called it the best fight I have called across any martial arts discipline, and I suggest many of the fans in attendance agreed. Upon reflection, Joe enjoyed the ‘good ol’ scrap:

“It was fun! I fought scrappy and sloppy but it was entertaining, I landed some good shots in the exchanges and went 5 very long rounds haha, felt like the good old days just punching on because you enjoy it”

As Joe mentioned he landed some very clean shots on Chris, as did Chris on Joe. The body shots landed by Chris were on another level and as a result Joe found himself on the canvas on a few occasions. Anyone who has had the infamous pleasure of taking a flush body shot will tell you how badly it hurts, something that is not dissimilar to Joe’s experience:

“Ever been hit in the liver? You don’t know if you’re gonna be sick or sh#t yourself”

Joe Boobyer vs Chris Bradford

Thankfully on that faithful evening Joe did neither! What he did instead was get up and continue to ‘punch on’ as he so delicately put it. Not a single person in the building would have blamed Joe for staying down given the circumstances at hand, however clearly this is not in Joe’s DNA. So why did Joe continue to get up…?

“Just to see if I could! Nah, I’ve knocked bigger guys out with single shots before, so I always know I’m one shot away from winning, all I have to do is land one clean … that and coach Toohey in my corner screaming at me hahaha”

Joe Boobyer vs Chris Bradford

The ‘extra man’ in a fighter’s corner is often underestimated and underappreciated. Although Joe didn’t have a huge amount of direct support on the night as his quick inclusion left him no real ability to get his friends to come along, he won a lot of fans based purely on the heart he demonstrated over 5 rounds. The noise was deafening, and although hurting, Joe was no doubt lifted by the support he received:

“They were awesome! Given I was out drinking beers with my Mrs. the night before, I hadn’t sold many tickets so all the support I got was won on the night! The crowd really do make a difference”

The epic contest at Powerplay 39 will forever be etched in history, however now Joe must look ahead to Powerplay 40 where he will again stand opposed to Chis Bradford. This time around however the preparation and planning will be different, hell Joe might even get a few crunches in:

“I hadn’t trained in months before the first one and with the circumstances leading up to it I’d been malnourished, unconditioned, then on the pi$s with mates after the Thailand “adventure” was over. I’ve done a few sit ups this time”

Joe’s preparation will occur at one of the premier martial arts gyms in the Country under the guidance genuine Muay Thai royalty. With a gamut of excellent sparring partners and world-class coaches, Joe will no doubt enter the ring on this occasion in the best condition possible:

“I’m training out of Absolute MMA with a strong stable of fighters from 80kg state and national champs/former champs up to 110kg full time pro’s. I have some good guys here under the guidance of Toohey, Tao and Simon”

Joe Boobyer vs Chris Bradford

As each day passes, this epic contest gets closer and closer and with that comes an opportunity for redemption. In addition to evening the score, should Joe bring home the chocolates he’ll also earn the right to be called a World Champion. Having a title strapped around his waist would be a perfect start to what Joe hopes will be a prosperous year:

“Belts are always cool, now I’m in the process of moving to Australia it’s a great way to kick things off!”

Article by Josh Warner

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He’s Going to Feel My Power That’s for Sure – Aaron Goodson Interview

Coming off an emphatic victory at Powerplay 39, the wave of momentum that Melbourne’s Aaron Goodson continues to ride now better represents a tidal-wave of momentum. The tidal-wave however is going to run straight into a concrete wall come Powerplay 40 when Aaron stands opposed to kickboxing sensation and multiple time World Champion Steve Moxon. Only time will tell if the tidal-wave will be strong enough to break through the concrete and continue on its devastating path.

But first back to Powerplay 39 where Aaron took on the unquestionably durable Tyson Turner. Aaron’s victory on that evening can be described as nothing less than decisive and although satisfied, Aaron was definitely complimentary as to the toughness of his opponent:

“Tyson Turner was one tough fighter! I didn’t find him hard to fight he just had very hard head…”

Based on Tyson’s toughness, Aaron was unable to find the finish albeit he threw everything at Tyson, including the kitchen sink, in order to do so. For those who watched Aaron apply his craft, it was clear that he controlled the centre of the ring and diversified his combinations leaving Tyson guessing all fight; a perfectly executed game plan it would seem:

“My plan was to let him feel my power & take control from there and I did just that”

Ever since that victory, Tyson has been carefully rejuvenating his body in preparation for whatever challenge presents itself next. A consummate professional, Aaron is all too aware that taking care of his body post fight is the initial key to success in the next, even if it means confronting the torturous ice bath over and over again:

“Yes, I love an ice bath! Recovery & rest is just as important as training! I try to have an ice bath after every intense session”

The next test for Aaron however will be far more intense than any ice bath he has experienced in the past, and that test will come in the form of Steve Moxon. Giving up a wealth of experience Aaron will have to overcome a multitude of barriers if he is to conquer the mountainous challenge ahead:

“Steve’s had nearly triple the amount of fights I’ve had. His fought some of the biggest names on the planet… this will be a huge step up for me but at the same time it’s time to step up and start fighting the big guns and for a world title it’s even greater”

Aaron’s run of impressive victories coupled with some spectacular performances has rendered him one of the brightest prospects in the sport. Many observers, including this writer, would share that perception however it’s probably safe to say that Steve doesn’t agree. In fact, Steve feels that Aaron may be a bright prospect in Nth Melbourne but that’s it, a comment that Aaron has really brushed off:

“Lol I respect Steve, I actually used to look up to Steve and thought really high of him. I’m looking forward to fighting Steve; I’m a fighter, I’m here to fight this is what I do. I believe I have what it takes to beat him and take my fighting to another level”

Even though Aaron has been through numerous fight camps, preparing for a fighter as experienced as Steve may require him to slightly adjust some elements so as to ensure he covers all bases and ticks all the boxes. These adjustments however will remain within the inner sanctum until the plan is implemented on fight night:

“I have always took my fights serious but I have tweaked a few things this time round”

This particular fight camp of which will have such a huge influence on the outcome of the fight, will be overseen by familiar faces whom for a long time have assisted Aaron to ensure he is physically and mentally prepared for whatever Steve brings on fight night:

“I have a great camp & an awesome bunch supporting me and pushing me through some elite training & different training methods. My key coaches for this fight will be my main coach Joe Nader, my strength & conditioning coaches Ned Vrselja & Judd Reid; sparring partner & UFC champion Jake Mathews & my stable brothers from Powerplay Fight Club”

Both combatants encompass an arsenal of weapons to which they each believe will be the defining factor in this fight as it applies to earning a colossal ‘W’. In Aaron’s case, he believes his power will be the difference; power that will inevitably break Steve:

“[I’ll] keep him at range & [my] power, he’s going to feel my power that’s for sure”

Regardless of the stage and status of one’s career, a world title is a big deal and brings with it validation that you are one of the very best in the sport. The winner of this much anticipated contest will earn the right to have that title draped over their shoulder, and for Aaron that is something that would be a true honour:

“Yeah for sure a world title is huge it means a lot! Another stepping stone to being up there with the big names & that would be an honour. Can’t wait for March 23!!

“Also a Big shout out to my major sponsors:”

  • NED & ANTON – high rise carpentry
  • JUDD REID – chikara martial arts academy 
  • MICHELLE REEVES – (MRT) body transformations
  • JACK & JOHN MCLEAN – Mclean civil
  • ROB – Westside sealants
  • IVAN – Parkside construction
  • GLEN – mask excavations

Article by Josh Warner

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Everyone is hittable! – Steve Moxon Interview

At Powerplay 40 on March 23 two of the very best K1 fighters in the world will battle it out with a World Title on the line! On this faithful evening Steve Moxon will face Aaron Goodson in a bout that has fight of the year written all over it.

A talented athlete, Steve’s journey to kickboxing supremacy started in a small country town where he first held a footy and cricket ball long before ever lacing up a pair of gloves. Who would have thought that stepping foot in a tiny gym would lead to a potential hall of fame career?

“I started kickboxing when I was 18 years old out of a small gym in a shed. This was purely to try something different and for fitness. Before that, I didn’t do any martial arts. In Ballan where I grew up I played Football and Cricket as that’s what everyone did growing up in a small country town”

After only a short period, Steve’s hunger for the sport rapidly developed and before he knew it he was sparing and immersing himself in opportunities in which to prove his worth. Training with and competing against some of the best fighters in the world at the time allowed Steve to confirm in his own mind that he was just as good as them and belonged in the land of kickboxing giants:

When I started kickboxing, the classes were just on each Monday and Wednesday night. I was really enjoying the training and watching the couple of fighters in the gym training extra hard. I began sparring and got beat up every session, but I kept coming back for more. I kept losing weight and was getting better and better each week. I got offered by my coach if I wanted to fight (after just 8 months of training) which I didn’t hesitate to say yes!”

“I was a promoters dream as I would bring a whole town of support to each fight. I won my first fight, loved it and kept going from there. After a few fights I realised that the better the opponent, there was an opportunity to make a couple of hundred Dollars. So I wanted to take on the best. I went 16 fights undefeated, with my first loss coming on a Dutch reality TV show that I got selected to fight on and represent Australia in Koh Samui Thailand called Enfusion Fight Series 2010”

“Although I lost the fight against Pasi Lukana from Finland with 75 fights experience, I was on the show and got to witness the best fighters in the world such as K1 Champ Gago Drago, Thai Champ Pugansuk, and Italian champ Armen Petrosian. I realised that these guys are the best fighters in the world, they trained just like me, got nervous just like me and I could hang with the big boys in the fight world”

Steve Moxon at Powerplay 34

Every great fighter inevitably has an experienced coach and/or mentor who provides the guiding light and influence required to compete and prosper at the highest level. In Steve’s case, relocating to Sydney allowed him to work with one of the biggest icons in Australian combat sports:

“In 2009 I moved to Sydney to further my fight career and train with some of the best fighters in the country such as The Chief Peter Graham. A multiple Heavy weight World Champion of Karate, Kickboxing and MMA, he taught me to take every opportunity, never say no to a fight and to always be professional”

The next chapter in Steve Moxon’s story will see him take on Aaron Goodson at 77kg with a World Title on the line. Although quite a bit heavier than what Steve would usually compete, he is comfortable being the ‘smaller’ fighter and believes his experience and wisdom will assist him to navigate past a very dangerous opponent:

“Aaron is a very good kickboxer, he has great technique and has had a lot of fights. I am a 70kg to 72kg fighter and was the smallest fighter on the world scene behind Mike Zambidis. I have taken this fight at 77kgs against a good fighter in Aaron, but I always believe that I have the knowledge and experience to win”   

After an array of impressive finishes, including a one sided drubbing back at Powerplay 39, Aaron is on a genuine tear right now and is rightfully considered one of the hottest prospects in the sport. Well this may be the opinion of some including this writer, however it is definitely not the opinion of Steve Moxon:

“Is he? He is one of the hottest prospects in the North Melbourne Kickboxing scene, that’s about all”

Steve Moxon at Powerplay 34

Clearly not intimidated nor impressed by his opponent, the wave of momentum Aaron is currently riding is not a consideration to Steve who feels as though he’ll find the holes in Aaron’s game and exploit them accordingly. So as far as Steve’s plan for Aaron goes, his mindset is simple:

“Everyone is hittable!”

Powerplay 40 is now a mere 7 weeks away and as such Steve is in full preparation mode so as to ensure he is in peak physical condition to launch an aggressive attack on his opponent once that bell sounds. Steve relies on familiar surroundings as well as an element of diversity as it applies to his training camps:

“I am training out of my gym that I own in Geelong – The Training Room Geelong, I have some great young fighters in there to help me out. And on weekends I travel to different gyms for some extra training and sparring”

Steve Moxon at Powerplay 34
Steve Moxon vs Aaron Goodson - Powerplay 40

A fighter’s corner is a pivotal element of success and as such those people are often trusted advisors, mentors and practitioners able to share wisdom. In Steve’s case, he has all of these boxes ticked across the board:

“In my corner will be – My #1 coach, training partner, mentor and mother of our son (Tyson), is my amazing girlfriend Lena. I will have Dave Ashmore in my corner for this fight for his fight mind and he has been by my side when I have fought all over the world on the big shows. I will also have my right hand man at my gym James; who helps me out with pad work, extra conditioning and sparring. He is so fit, so I have to work hard to just keep up each day”

World Title opportunities don’t come around every day, and although Steve has been lucky enough to win multiple World Titles along the journey he is buoyed and excited by the prospect of having another strap placed around his waist:

“World titles for me are a great tool to market my gym better and to boost my profile. This adds some more prestige to the already great fight it will be”.

Steve Moxon at Powerplay 34

Article by Josh Warner

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Kim-Alina Baldacchino – No Bad Blood, Just Bad Intentions

At upcoming Powerplay 39, Kim-Alina Baldacchino will step back into the ring and look to avenge a questionable defeat when she throws down with the hard hitting Jacinta Paskalidis. The road back to the Powerplay ring has been wrought with challenges and what sometimes seemed insurmountable barriers, however Kim-Alina is back and ready to do what she loves:

“I love the mental and physical challenges that kickboxing has. I love how I am continually learning and pushing my limits. I love being able to put all my practice into play in the ring”

In what has been an exciting career thus far, Kim-Alina has fought on Powerplay 3 times and continues to enjoy the learning experience one achieves when fighting on the premier K1 promotion in the Country. From Kim-Alina’s perspective, the fourth iteration will be no different:

“It will be my 4th fight on Powerplay I always gain lots of experience fighting on Australia’s leading K1 show” 

Kim-Alina Baldacchino

Kim-Alina’s road back to Powerplay commenced earlier this year when she had the distinct honour of competing in front of the one and only Arnold Schwarzenegger. Although Arnie is an unquestionable presence, he was no distraction to Kim-Alina who simply went about her business and got the job done:

“After 3 years out of the ring it was great to be back in there. I was there to do a job and it didn’t make me fight any different with having him there ringside my focus was on one thing and that was my opponent” 

Up next is a familiar opponent in the form of Jacinta Paskalidis. Kim-Alina and Jacinta have been opponents turned training partners turned opponents again which is somewhat of a unique blend. Regardless of the history, come fight night Jacinta is simply another opponent standing in the way of Kim-Alina achieving her ultimate goals:

“In the past it was such a struggle finding opponents so to be matched again I’m happy. And our last fight a few years back went her way for some reason so will be good to avenge that loss. We have sparred not long back as she helped me prepare for the last fight so there is no bad blood between us. She is just another opponent standing in my way so it’s all business on the night”

Kim-Alina Baldacchino

Given the relationship between the combatants this rematch is not inclusive of the stereotypical bad blood that rematches can typically produce; but alas that won’t stop Kim-Alina from trying to put her opponent away in highlight reel fashion:

“No bad blood just bad intentions lol”

Kim-Alina Baldacchino

Based on the history that these two have, one may ponder the fact that they would know each other’s games incredibly well. Often, thinking too much about your opponent’s strengths or game plan can deter from the real focus which is oneself. Given Kim-Alina’s experience however, she is not wasting any time or energy thinking about what strengths Jacinta will bring to the ring on November 24:

“She will bring all of them, I’m not bothered what she brings I just listen to what my coaches ask of me”

As Kim-Alina prepares for this important rematch, she will do so in familiar territory which familiar faces pushing her to her limits. Most wouldn’t understand nor appreciate the grind a fighter must go through in preparation for fight night; the juggling act balancing prep with the normalities of life can often be more difficult than the fight itself:

“I will be training out of The 44 Gym with my husband Steven Baldacchino and a lot of my training will be done in Melbourne at North Melbourne Boxing Gym with Sam Greco. A typical day for me is up at 4:30am train then off to work at my full time job and then travel 2-2.5hrs one way to training in Melbourne. I travel to Melbourne 3-4 times per week

As Kim-Alina mentioned, her husband and fellow martial arts standout Steve Baldacchino is a critical part of her team at both a personal and professional level. Steve’s knowledge of the sport ensures he performs critical functions as it pertains to coaching, training and motivating. His general presence also provides a sense of calm when engaged in battle:

“Steve is my best training partner. It’s great to train with him, we feed off one another and his always there for me. He always motivates and pushes me. It’s great to have him in my corner as he knows me best”

Kim-Alina Baldacchino

With all of the intricate elements coming together Kim-Alina is confident she has the ultimate recipe for success which will inevitably bring her the redemption filled ‘W’ at Powerplay 39. Above all the biggest advantage Kim-Alina feels she will have is quite simple:

“Having the best team and support in my corner”

So now the K1 community will eagerly await this much anticipated showdown and if Kim-Alina has anything to say about it, it’s going to be one hell of a fight:

“It’s going to be packed full action with the awesome match ups to finish off the year” 

Powerplay 39

Article by Josh Warner

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Aaron Goodson Interview

“I WILL GIVE TYSON TURNER THE FIGHT OF HIS LIFE”

At Powerplay 39 on November 24 Aaron Goodson will look to increase his ever broadening KO ratio when he battles the rugged Tyson Turner in a contest that has ‘epic’ written all over it.

Aaron has marvelled at the sport of martial arts for a majority of his life, an obsession that spawned from his later father. Having been surrounded by legends of the sport for so long, it’s no wonder Aaron is dedicating his life to becoming the very best martial artist he can be:

“As a kid I would to go to the gym with my late father he who was a trainer of champions… He trained the likes of Stan ‘the man’ Longinidis, Sam Greco, Lester Ellis & Joe Nader who I now train under just to name a few. I loved the sport that much every day off I had from school I would be at the gym with my dad watching him train his fighters which led to being around these legends of the sport everyday was my only interest in life to be like them! My father passed away when I was 12 years old and it wasn’t until I turned 20 when I knew what I wanted to do with my life! The first gym I went to was Powerplay to train with Joe Nader who I have been with since”

The relationship between a fighter and their trainer will often dictate the heights they are ultimately able to reach. The evolution of this relationship results in the fighter putting their entire trust in their trainer to lead them down the appropriate course to success. In Aaron’s case, his relationship with trainer and mentor Joe Nader represents that of a father and son:

“My biggest influence on my career would by far be my trainer & father figure Joe Nader; being with him from a “pup” he has been my guidance to every success & where I am today”

Aaron’s time with Joe Nader, the Powerplay gym and Powerplay promotions has led to a huge amount of success; and as importantly it has intricately shaped the man that Aaron is proud to be today:

“Fighting out of Powerplay I have won Victorian, 2 x State, South Pacific, Commonwealth & 2x World titles… Not only have I won multiple titles & be known as a champion I have become a man & most of all a better person”

On November 24 Aaron will look to continue his winning ways when he meets the tough Tyson Turner. Although Aaron is not overly familiar with Tyson, he is very cognisant of the fact that Tyson will bring the fight to the Melbourne Pavilion and Aaron will be all too happy to oblige:

“My next opponent Tyson Turner the only thing I know about this boy he has had 26 fights for 21 wins & from what I have heard he is tuff & is coming to fight which any fighter should so I’m looking forward to a good hard fight. I can & will adapt to what he has to bring November 24th”

As has been the stringent routine for some time now, Aaron will prepare for battle at the Powerplay Gym under the watchful eye of head trainer Joe Nader. Aaron’s commitment to his preparation is evident by the amount of time he spends in the gym continually refining his craft and evolving. As a consummate professional, Aaron is also conscious of the role that condition plays in this sport and will prepare to ensure he has cardio for days:

“I am preparing for this fight at Powerplay gym where I prepare for every fight 5 days a week. I go to another gym we call SHOP 1day every Tuesday for my strength training. My key trainers are my main trainer Joe Nader & strength & conditioning coaches Ned Versaljer & Judd Reid”

So as Aaron prepares to enter this fight in which the key strengths of his opponent are somewhat an unknown, Aaron will reply on his own strengths to ensure his hand is raised when this one is all said and done. With that in mind, there are no real surprises at it applies to what Aaron believes will deliver that ‘W’:

“I feel my key advantages in this fight & every fight will be my leg kicks & strong hands (boxing)”

So in just 6 short weeks Aaron Goodson will enter the Powerplay ring and do exactly what he loves to do. All of the preparation, the hard the work, the blood, sweat and tears will ensure a fit and focussed warrior will put on a show as his continues his path to greatness.

“After all my hard training Powerplay 39 will finish up with another W next to my name & I will give Tyson Turner the fight of his life! Osu”

Article by Josh Warner

Photos by Matt Bottos

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Powerplay 37 – Preview

Powerplay Promotions returns to the Melbourne Pavillion for the second time this year with an intriguing matchup between the heavy-hitting Steve McKinnon (53-6-0) and Geelong-based Chris ‘AK47’ Bradford (22-11-0) for the International World Kickboxing Federation (IWKBF) Heavyweight title.

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Dutch Coup planned for Powerplay 36

Think of Dutch kickboxing and you think of some of the greatest fighters ever produced; Peter Aerts, Ernesto Hoost, Remy Bonjasky, Albert Kraus and the legendary Ramon Dekkers (amongst many others). Whether it be the coaches, the weather or just something in the water, the Netherlands certainly have a knack for producing high-level kickboxers.

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Powerplay 34 Recap: Riddell squares ledger with Moxon

The Melbourne Pavillion was once again the centre of combat sports in Victoria last night as it played host to the long awaited rematch between New Zealand’s Brad ‘Quake’ Riddell and ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Moxon at Powerplay 34. Riddell confirmed why many in the industry had picked him as the favourite, getting the best of Moxon over five rounds to take the fight via unanimous points decision.

After freely admitting that the last time the two met in centre ring back in 2014 that he had not performed to his expectations, Riddell was looking to set the record straight and confirm his place as one of the top middleweight kickboxers in the region. With the fight taking place over five rounds, both fighters played a patient game early on looking for any small weakness that could be exploited. With two world-class fighters like Riddell and Moxon the difference between winning and losing is not always how many punches you can throw or how hard you can hit, but the smaller elements and tactics such as footwork, range, timing and head movement. Riddell showed early on in round one that he had vastly improved since the two last met and as the opening round came to a close it was Riddell with the cleaner of the exchanges and a higher work-rate that set him apart from Moxon.

Not to be outdone however Moxon continually pushed the pace and gave little room to Riddell to be able to use his reach. Riddell seemed to find his range later on in the second round and picked his shots, rarely over-committing to any attack and landing himself in a bad position. Trademark heavy hands from Moxon had Riddell on the back foot at times in the third round, but Riddell’s precise footwork largely kept him out of any major trouble.  As the third round went on, Riddell continued to work the body of Moxon, peppering him with both step-up knees and his signature body rips.

The later rounds of the fight again proved to those in attendance that they were watching two high-classed professional athletes in the ring as both men gave it their all while still maintaining an air of composure and strategy. As Riddell pushed forward with a serious of strong high kicks, Moxon answered back with an increase in volume and accurate boxing combinations.

The opening of the fifth round saw Moxon land a clean hook flush on the jaw of Riddell who brushed it off and continued with his game plan seemingly unphased. As the fight drew to a close, it was clear that Riddell had done more than enough and just looked the more polished on the night taking the win and evening out the records between the two. With no love lost between both fighters in their, at times, tense post-fight interviews, it was confirmed in the ring that a third and final fight would be held at a later date to determine a series winner.

Back into the ring after a four-year layoff, former two-time world champion Aaron Goodson appeared to have never left the sport in his fight with New Zealander Alex Redhead in the night’s semi-main event. Looking strong and opening the bout with some great combinations that had Redhead on the backfoot, Goodson kept the pressure up for most of the first round. Speed certainly didn’t leave Goodson during his time off and his leg kicks and follow-up boxing were more than enough to give him the round quite cleanly.

That was all until Redhead picked his moment just before the bell, waiting for Goodson to drop his left hand slightly before landing a perfectly timed high right roundhouse kick dropping Goodson to the canvas. Unable to answer the referees call and be saved by the bell, the fight was officially stopped at 1:59 seconds into the first round via TKO giving Redhead the upset win of the night.

With the World Kickboxing Federation (WKBF) Commonwealth Title up for grabs, the crowd in attendance was treated to an absolute war between 46 years-young Roberto Minniti and Indigo Boyd over five rounds. Minniti had a distinct advantage early on with the fight taking place under K1 rules, his preferred rule set compared to Boyd’s muay thai. Both fighters opened the fight with a serious of powerful punches, but it was Boyd who landed a telling right hand to Minniti’s jaw as the bell went at the end of the first round. Both were looking to time their attacks to perfection and not waste too much energy, and in the second round it was Minniti who was able to stay more composed and chip away at Boyd. The strike of the round went to Boyd as he landed a crisp spinning back fist on Minniti who was momentarily stunned but recovered quickly.

As the fight went on it was evident that Minniti’s jaw was rock solid and while Boyd had the higher work rate and more accurate punches, there was only a slim chance those punches were going to result in any kind of knockdown. Toughness is a word thrown around far too much in combat sports, but Minniti showed despite his age he can still mix it with the best in the ring and be a formiddable opponent for many. The fourth round saw Boyd switch his attacks to Minniti’s legs as he began to slowly pick up the pace as the fight went on. The left hook of Boyd was key later in the fight and he continually landed it clean while Minniti seemed to drop down a gear in the fifth round. As the fight drew to a close both fighters went looking for the big finish, with neither taking a backwards step. Boyd continued to rally and was able to take the title via a unanimous points decision.

Coming into his fight with Moulay Bekkali on less than one week’s notice, Sydney-based Dimitri Iliev was never able to establish himself following the opening bell and looked to be wobbled early on with a high head kick landing for Bekkali. Not fully recovered, Bekkali landed a subsequent head kick dropping Iliev who was unable to convince the referee that he could continue,  resulting in a TKO win for Bekkali 58 secs into the first round.

Results

  • Brad Riddell def Steve Moxon via Decision (Unanimous)
  • Alex Redhead def Aaron Goodson via TKO, Rd 1
  • Indigo Boyd def Roberto Minniti via Decision (Unanimous) WKBF Commonwealth Title
  • Moulay Bekkali def Dimitri Iliev via TKO, Rd 1
  • Tristan Papadopoulos def Salvatore Signorino via Decision (Unanimous)
  • Mini Nachar def Rob Morgillo via Decision (Unanimous)
  • Jayden Wright def Glen Brown via TKO, Rd 2

Article by Chris Quirk

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Powerplay 33 Recap: Victor Nagbe captures world title

A new World Kickboxing Federation (WKBF) champion was crowned on Saturday night at the Melbourne Pavilion with Victor ‘Hot Chilli’ Nagbe winning a unanimous points decision over Elliot Compton in a five-round war on Powerplay 33.

With solid fight experience behind both fighters, the start to the main event saw a slow and composed pace with both using the round to gauge distance and look for weaknesses in each other’s defence. Boxing combinations flowed cleanly from Nagbe, catching Compton on several occasions before Compton began firing away strong roundhouse kicks to try and keep some distance between Nagbe who was intent on walking forward. On more than one occasion in the second round both fighters were warned by the referee for catching kicks, a technique which is not allowed under K1 rules. Great footwork from Nagbe provided him an edge in the second round as he continued to land a series of punches on Compton.

The third round saw Compton pick up the pace and begin to challenge Nagbe with some quick footwork and accurate boxing of his own. Both fighters remained patient and aimed to land clean shots looking to provide style over substance in what was a tight matchup between two warriors. Compton seemed to have trouble under the K1 rules with the referee deducting a point following several warnings not to catch his opponent’s kicks. Nagbe took advantage of this and begun switching his attacks, landing a series of strong knees to the body. Ultimately it was Nagbe who took the initiative on the night, doing more than enough to secure him the world title with a unanimous decision over a tough-as-nails Compton.

Powerplay 33 Replay

In the night’s semi-main event New Zealand fighter Brad Riddell was able to beat Adelaide-based Thai Janrob Strong Heart in a five-round fight that saw the Thai unable to adapt to the changing rule set with the fight taking place under K1 rules. Removing some of the traditional weapons that accompany muay thai, Janrob was unable to really challenge his opponent and the first half of the fight saw Riddell landing strong attacks including several well-timed body shots. These were set up with a series of stiff jabs and powerful hooks, none of which seemed to slow the Thai down significantly but scored highly in the eyes of the judges.

Janrob was able to batter the arm of Riddell later in the fight with constant round kicks, but this did little to stop Riddell moving forward landing heavy punches to the body. The solid chin and tough exterior of the Thai helped to keep him in the fight as the body shots continued to land with an audible thud heard throughout the venue. In the end it was Riddell’s ability to adapt to the K1 rule set and his picture-perfect boxing combinations that were the deciding factors with all three judges scoring it 50-45 in a unanimous decision to Riddell.

In his post-fight interview Riddell announced that he would be travelling to London in May to fight British veteran and former two-time World Boxing Council (WBC) Muay Thai World Champion Steve Wakeling.

Earlier on the card local Melbourne fighter Tristan Papadoplous put his undefeated record on the line against Sydney based Alireza Badragheh in a five-round fight for the WKBF Australian title. The early stages of the fight seemed to go the way of Badragheh who dictated the pace and constantly pushed forward on Papadoplous who seemed overly tentative. It was the third round that marked the turning point in the fight as Papadoplous was able to string together cleaner sets of combinations with a much higher work rate. Badragheh searched for the single knockout shot, but was unable to find an opening, Papadoplous taking the title with a unanimous decision.

After the main event, promoter Joe Nadar announced a 4-Man K1 tournament for the return of Powerplay 34 on Saturday July 22nd. Confirmed already are Elliot Compton, Victor Nagbe and Brad Riddell. Also invited to the event is well-credentialed international fighter Dzhabar Askerov. His participation is yet to be confirmed.

Results:

  • Victor Nagbe def. Elliot Compton via Decision (Unanimous) WKBF World Title 70kg
  • Brad Riddell def. Janrob Strong Heart via Decision (Unanimous)
  • Moulay Bekkali def. Josh Fitzroy via Decision (Unanimous)
  • Keith Azzopardi def. Steve Baldacchino via Decision (Unanimous)
  • Tristan Papadopoulos def. Alireza Badragheh via Decision (Unanimous) WKBF Australian 59kg Title
  • Ramesh Habib def. Oliver Hale via TKO, Rd 3
  •  Chris Nguyen def. Albert Xavier via Decision (Split)
  • Roberto Minniti def. Ramen Habib via Decision (Unanimous)
  • Jayden Wright def. Francis Kombukon via Decision (Unanimous)
  •  Richan Vischer def. Robert Majhen via Decision (Unanimous)
  •  Ajay Gurung def. Anthony Kwok via Decision (Unanimous)

Article by Chris Quirk

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Powerplay 26 – another captivating show by Powerplay Promotions

The 2nd of May saw Joe Nader of Powerplay Promotions again put together another captivating show, hosted at the stylish Melbourne Pavilion venue. The final two main event fights had the spot light on them as two exciting contests were on the card to battle it out.

The much anticipated semi-main event fight which consisted of,  two of the brightest young Muay Thai talents that Australia has to offer, Moulay the ‘rockin morocan’ Bekkali and Ramesh ‘headhunter’ Habib. The contest had every member of the audience at the edge of their seats, with the fight failing to disappoint its huge expectations. The atmosphere from the crowd was as loud throughout the whole night, as the two exciting young talents showcased their skills. Both fighters didn’t waste any time in stamping their intentions on the fight, with both Moulay and Ramesh exchanging heavy blows as leg kicks and punches were thrown by both men.

Though as the fight progressed into the second round of a scheduled five round fight, it was Moulay that had the fans shouting his name as he asserted his dominance on the battle, with a deadly mixture of combinations of kicks and punches dropping Ramesh. From there Moulay was able to continue his dominance, preventing Ramesh to use his renowned acrobatic head kicks which has contributed to his successful record of 16 wins from 22 fights. Though on this occasion it was Moulay that stole the show as the ‘Rockin Morocan’, walked away victorious with a close unanimous points win, taking his record to 17 wins from 20 fights.

The Main event fight had all the ingredients for another fascinating battle with the fight consisting of Mike ‘300′ Demetriou and the exciting young star Victor ‘Hot Chilli’ Nagbe. Mike seemed to have the slight advantage between the two as his 180cm frame compared to Victor’s 175cm saw him have a favourable height and reach advantage. Though this wasn’t to be seen in the fight, as Victor’s acrobatic fight skills came to the forefront which helped counter against Mike Demetriou.

The battle, started slow with both fighters getting a feel of the tie, though eventually developing into a momentum swinging contest, with Victor showcasing his acrobatic style kicks and punches. Mike remained effective with his use of quick combinations of kicks and punches.

Mike was doing well to avoid Victor’s acrobatic skills as he was able to limit their influence on the tie, which even saw Victor miss a spinning back kick which sent him over the ropes and outside the ring. With both fighters wining a share of the rounds, it was always going to be a close, but tough decision for the judges, though on this occasion it was the exciting ‘Hot Chilli’ Nagbe who was named victorious with a point’s decision.  Earlier in the night, Powerplay Promotions 26 saw victories to other fellow fighters, Andrew Van Der Poel, Tristan Papadopoulis, Dean Vujic, Quan Trink, Alexi Petroulias, Yann Sandie and a knockout blow which saw Luktum Tunza claim victory. Crowd favourite Rob Minniti found himself in a split draw with Tumay Hamza after a thrilling encounter which saw both fighters, exchange heavy blows, resulting in both fighters being dropped at various stages of the fight.Overall it was another successful night for Joe & Demi Nader of Powerplay promotions which again can be added to the increasing list of successful and exciting fight nights that fulfil all expectations. Now the wait is back on for the next fight night, with Powerplay Promotions 27 confirmed for Mid-August later this year.

Main Event

Victor ‘Hot Chilli’ Nagbe vs Mike ‘300’ Demetriou

Andrew van der Poel vs CHRIS ANDERSON

Trista n Papa Dopoulis vs Fatih Kaya

Dean Vujic vs Lachlan Da rt

Quan Trinh vs Ben Paul

Rob Minniti vs Tumay Hamza

Alexi Petroulias vs Mael Lemarchand

Abbas Ahmadi vs Ya nn Sandie

Luktum Tunza vs Sing Siri

Moulay Bekkali vs Ramesh Habib

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Powerplay 25

RESULTS

Tristan Papadopoulos (W – UD) vs Mitch Smibert

Rain Patrick Barry (W – UD) vs Mark Sondo

Timmy Tse vs Chris Nguyen (W – UD)

1st Elimination Bout
Michael “BAD ASS” Badato vs Brad “QUAKE” Riddell (W – TKO)

2nd Elimination Bout
Maseh “Massive Attack” Nuristani (W) vs Jason “Mauler” Scerri

WKA Victorian Super Lightweight Title
Nathan Carrol vs Nathan Gamble (W – TKO)

WKA Victorian Lightweight Title
Roberto Minniti (W – UD) vs Chris Fogas

WKA Australian Super Welterweight Title
Simon Coutsouvelis (W-UD) vs Brent Dames

Tass Tsitsiras (W – KO) vs Laurie Hanku

Main Event: Final Of 4 Man Eliminator
Maseh “Massive Attack” Nuristani vs Brad “QUAKE” Riddell (W-UD)

 

 

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