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Muay Thai - The Gqathering II - Judgement Day 12.10.2013
Elaine McElligott from Middleton Muay Thai was representing Cork in the ladies light weight title vs. Dublin's Kelly Creegan from Bridgestone gym. This was an incredibly entertaining fight with great exchanges between the two. The inside story on this fight is that these two ladies have been friends for several years, regularly working together and advising each other on fighting techniques. In testament to their professionalism they were happy to put their friendship on hold, and kept nothing back in the fight. Ireland's first female A class fight was an electric experience in Neptune Stadium. Though friends for years they had no issue with getting in that ring, and being prepared, in Kelly's own words 'to beat the absolute crap out of each other.' When it was over the ladies genuinely congratulated each other on a cracking fight. Our new female A class Irish Champion Elaine McElligott from Cork, was victorious in the end, but what an outstanding match we witnessed, thanks to these great fighters.
Sat 12th Oct. 2013 at Neptune Stadium the doors opened for 5.30pm on Judgement Day, which ran 6pm to 1am, yes you read that correctly, 1am. With such a superior night, and a lengthy list of undercard fights and titles, it is difficult to mention all, but here are a few of the CMAP highlights. Firstly, just for your information, there was a minimum of 21 fights on the cards, now that's what I call a fight night. Not only was it a top night for Cork Thai boxing it can also be counted as one of the biggest events in Ireland. The two stars of the evening Pornsanae Sitmonchai and Rungravee Sasiprapa travelled all the way from Thailand for the event. These fighters hold numerous titles between them, but just to give you a taste of the high calibre of their talents we'll mention a few; Pornsanae is Raja Champion and Thai National Champion and Rungravee holds the title of Channel 7 Stadium Champion Thailand and Muay Thai Warriors World Champion. These world class fighters, along with the many others called to judgement day, made this a world class gathering.
'The battle of the rebels' was the title given to the full Muay Thai rules fight with the Irish light welter weight champion against the Irish super welter weight champion. This was an amazing fight between two world class Cork fighters; Darren Cashman of Siam Warriors vs. Shane O Neill of Cork Thai. The excitement in the stadium was palpable with Siam Warriors own Darren ready to take to the ring against his worthy Cork opponent Shane.
Darren is recovering well, and pointed out to CMAP that his opponent has kept in touch after the match to ensure that he was fully recovered. We love reporting stories of such good sportsmanship. Cashman's coach Martin Horgan tells us that 'Darren has consistently pulled off some of the most memorable and entertaining fights that I have cornered in the last ten years.' We look forward to seeing Darren back in the ring with the continued training from his coach Martin, whom Darren said 'always believes in me.'
The excitement reached a crescendo when an elbow from Shane, connected so precisely that it won him the title by a knockout.
To finish, I have reserved my commentary on the top fight of the night between Pornsanae Sitmonchai and Rungravee Sasiprapa. I can't comment on the feelings of the cork crowd, but from what I witnessed they gave a standing ovation and cheering section equal to what has been seen in Thailand, to welcome these two world champions to the ring in Neptune stadium. It would seem to be a good indication of the positive expectations of all of us in the crowd, and we were certainly not to be disappointed, as the precision shots began and punch for punch, kick for kick and elbow for elbow the heavy exchanges came. The judges could relax; their services would not be required to score this match, as one fighter went down by another sensational knockout of the evening. This time it was Rungravee Sasiprapa on the ground and Pornsanae Sitmonchai victorious. Pornsanae immediately showed his great admiration for his fallen opponent by kneeling to his side. He demonstrated his concern for his opponent, as well as his great respect with this gesture. Rungravee was very obviously weakened by the knockout blow, but his strength of honour was still on high alert. While the highly concerned first aid stadium team tried to stretcher him, or at the least split the ropes to help him out of the ring more easily, he summoned all of his strength of will to take his now weakened body out of the ring with honour. As Rungravee stepped out over the ropes he showed all of Neptune stadium what it means to be a Muay Thai Warrior. We at CMAP can categorically assure you that this is a night of entertainment and high calibre sportsmanship that is a 'must see' for Cork. If you want to witness the greatest combination of strength, discipline, honour, friendship and world class combat make sure you get there next time. Well done to Martin Horgan, all at Siam warriors, and everyone else involved, for putting Cork on the World map once again.