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Siam Warriors Gym presents Muay Thai Super Fights Neptune Stadium 
At 4.30pm on October 6th, 2012, CMAP arrived at Neptune stadium for the 3rd annual Muay Thai Super fights. Martin Horgan, event organiser, greeted us and in answer to our question, told us that yes everything and everyone was ready for the night ahead. We asked if there was any match he was particularly looking forward to on this massive fight card. Diplomatically he answered that with so many great fights to choose from it would be too hard to pick just one. The atmosphere was already testament to the great night ahead; Martin could feel the excitement already building, fighters would be expected to really excel themselves with many styles competing against each other, so great matches assured. We wished him luck with what was set to be a great night. Next we spoke to Seamus Cogan from Spartan Muay Thai, Ballincollig, whose fighter Dominic Kelly was on the card to make his debut with the first fight of the night. We asked Seamus what he believed was the match to look out that evening. He answered, without a doubt, Aaron O Callaghan from Siam warriors vs. Andy Houston from Bad Company, England, as they would be fighting for the intercontinental title. 6pm and the doors opened to the public, now the anticipation was palpable, we had a quick chat to David one of the main sponsor, Red FM's red patrollers. He was looking forward to the night and made it clear that Red FM was delighted to be a sponsor for this great Cork based event. Soon it was time for the first match of the night to begin. Match 1-The first fight on the undercard-Dominic Kelly, Spartan Thai, Ballincollig vs. Kevin Murphy, Dundalk Thai. Two young fighters stepped into the ring in front of a packed stadium. From the outset both fighters worked hard. Dominic knocked his opponent with strong shots twice in the first round; both times the referee gave a standing 8 count. The referee stopped the match in the second round.  Winner by TKO Dominic Kelly. Match 2-Ian O Mahony, Cobra vs. Christopher Whittle, Manchester.  The exchange of shots within the opening seconds put Ian in the lead with a right hook that dropped Christopher to the canvas. This might have disheartened another fighter, but Christopher got up with a smile, it was almost like he took it like a wake-up call, get ready for action. The bell went; both fighters went to their corners. At the start of the second round, both fighters were working to the best of their ability, during their exchanges, Ian landed a head kick, and for the next thirty seconds it looked as if the course of the match was changing in his favour. Christopher under sustained pressure stepped up to the plate, and with focussed determination took aim, and landed a leg kick that finished the match. Manchester is victorious. Match 3- Mark O Mahony, Siam warriors vs. Damian Dolan, Fermoy. This was an all Cork affair, the two Cork men started slow, kick for kick, punch for punch, no-one wanted to make a mistake both fighters were even on the score cards going into the second round. The Fermoy man came out like a Cork hurler going for all Ireland gold in Croke Park, only to be dropped with an overhand right by his fellow Cork man. That was the only knock down of the fight; they continued on working toe to toe, this match went to the judges in the end, with all three judges giving the nod to the Siam warrior. Match 4-Killian Bushe, Siam warriors vs. Shane McConkey, Dublin Thai. This Cork vs. Dublin match was highly competitive, Killian sent his Dublin opponent to the canvass with a hard body shot, seconds later Shane returned the favour knocking Killian to the ground. Round one even, the second round started with both men working from the clinch. Knee for knee they went, with the Cork man landing the best shot, with a knee to the head. It was evenly matched going into the third round, but perhaps during the break, Coach Martin Horgan gave some inspirational words to his fighter, for at the start of the third round the Cork man landed three unanswered body kicks and a flying knee. In the end the fight went to the judges, but all in the crowd knew the result, another win for cork. Match 5- Conor O Keefe, Siam warriors vs. Romano Duin, Team Simpson, Holland. A bruising affair to say the least, the first round gave us a top class show of boxing skill from both fighters. In round two, as if both men had heard me call them boxers, they came out kicking-low kicks, body kicks, head kicks, from the left leg, from the right leg. Both were displaying great feats of strength and flexibility, but it looked like the edge went to the Cork man.  The third round sent the victory very firmly in the same direction, Cork. Match 6- Wayne Sheehan, Siam warriors vs. Marcus McCallig, Warriors, Dublin. Another Cork vs. Dublin match and from the start the taller Cork man rook charge, the Dublin Warrior just ran out of ideas, because of the reach advantage of the Cork man. Match 6 was four in a row for Cork, and this brought us triumphantly to the end of the undercard. Match 7 marked the opening of the full Thai rules, and to the introduction of the delightful ring girls; Kelly and Jessica Buckley, these lovely sisters would display round numbers for the now five round matches. Johnny Sheehan, Siam Warriors vs. Eamon Hennesy, Muay Thai Eire Siam, Limerick. From the start Cork man, Sheehan, totally controlled the first round, by the second round the Limerick man began to look like he didn't get the memo, this Cork man was here for a fight, we had to wonder if the Limerick man had believed he was here for a training session. At the start of the third round the Cork man came out to finish the match, and he did so with a spinning back elbow, followed by a flying knee. It seemed like the Cork man was throwing everything he had at his Limerick opponent, including the kitchen sink, he was here to win. The referee stepped in to save the Limerick man from annihilation, no surprise that Johnny Sheehan gained another win for Cork.
Main sponsors - Cork's Red FM
Match 8-Shane O Niell, Cork Thai vs.  Solomon Wickstead, Manchester. In this full Thai rules match the crowd went mad as the Cork man entered the ring. Undaunted by the home crowd support the Englishman held his nerve, and both men had a steady first round fight with an even finish. The second round was a clinch match, a good exchange of technique and blows, but no winner so far. Visiting fighter Solomon does seem to look the better so far, but it is too close to call. The third round of flash techniques included the English fighter landing some head kicks, but missing too high with others. Not to be outdone the Cork man was throwing spinning back elbows, but again lots of flash moves with not a lot of landing on the mark. Round four was the Cork man all the way, he seemed to pick off his opponent at will, but by the fifth round it seemed that the visiting fighter had done enough over the five rounds, and was now playing for time to go to the judges. Close call, win to UK. Just before the next fight got under way, the guest of honour entered the arena; WBO, world boxing champion, Mr. Gary 'Spike' O'Sullivan, who recently secured his second world title.  Match 9- Irish Light Weight Title- Seán Clancy, Siam warriors vs. Mike Poszowski, Wild geese, Dublin. Cork came out strong to control the first round scoring two knock downs, but the referee didn't think much of them, beckoning the fighter back to his feet to continue the match. In the second round both fighters stepped up a gear, the Cork man again knocking his opponent, but this time the Dublin fighter got his own back with a great left hand foot catch, followed with an overhead right, as he slammed the cork man to the ground. The third round had it all, both fighters went for it blood sweat, and maybe not tears, but coach Martin Horgan jumping the top rope like a scene from a rocky movie might have brought a lump to the throat of the more sensitive spectator, if he wasn't thrown back out of the ring by the referee who was still counting out. The cork man had landed the match winning shot. Match 10-Super prestige bout; Anthony Kane, Team Simpson, Holland vs. Craig Jose, Newcastle.  Jose took the title. Match 11-Eoin Mac, Siam Warriors vs. Phillip O Rourke, Dundalk Thai Boxing. This was the Cork man's fight all the way, the visiting fighter looked out of shape, but kept in the match for the first two rounds. At the beginning of round three, the Cork man seemed to decide he was not going to the judges, as he really seemed to increase his level. As the Dundalk man came back to the ring from a referee's standing 8 count, the Cork man let go a volley of punches, only to register a moment later that there was no response and immediately he realise that his opponent was in fact intending to touch gloves. In a great show of sportsmanship, the cork man stopped took a step back from his opponent and apologised, though he was perfectly entitled to continue and the Dundalk man had been slow to make his intentions clear, they touched gloves and continued. This did not change the outcome as only seconds later the ref stepped in to stop the match.  Another Cork win. Match 12-Irish Middle Weight Title; Dave O Brien, Siam Warriors vs. Karl McCallig, Warriors, Dublin. Was this the next instalment of Cork v Dublin grudge matches? I don't know if there was bad blood between these fighters, but the fight started before the bell and I couldn't believe we made it to the second bell. Both men went for a first round knock out; this was the most intense start of a match we had witnessed. After the break the second round continued at the same level, however this time the Cork man looked like he had given his all in the first round, but he was still standing, until his younger opponent stepped up a gear, and the ref stepped in one minute into the round. A very hard fought victory for Dublin. Match 13-Elaine McElliot, Middleton Thai vs. Sheila McCormac, Muay Eire Siam, Limerick. Both fighters displayed an extremely high level of ability, with Sheila coming out the stronger in the opening exchanges, and Ellen holding her own towards the second half. Overall, an even first round between the two fighters. The hard work and determination of the Middleton woman shone through with a second round TKO from a big right hand. As an addition to the programme we were entertained by the 'Republic of Telly' stars Damo and Ivor. Not only managing to sing the crowd to a standing ovation with their comedy genius, but displaying serious sham dance moves and more jewellery than Keane's display. 'Brilliant craic,' is the unanimous review from the entire audience, no I didn't take a vote I just did a quick consensus. This very entertaining interlude was followed by the official welcome of the event's special guest, Gary 'Spike' O Sullivan, to the arena by Martin Horgan the event organiser. Match 14- Super Prestige Bout; Liam 'The Hitman' Harrison, England vs. Angelo 'The Devilman' Campoli ,Italy. Round one was The Hitman all the way from the first kick to the last kick, someone had ordered a hit on the devil and he was going down. The Italian's left knee starts to swell, as low kick after low kick lands on the exact same spot of his left thigh. There was no surrender from this devil angel, he was fighting on one leg, it was clear that the other leg was no longer working, as he continued to fight hopping on one leg. The referee eventually had to step in and stop the fight. A win  for England, and a few new fans of the devil. Match 15-Barry O Connor, Sparten, Ballincollig vs. Dagen Vickers, Warriors, Dublin. Round one was a very even match with good punches from both sides. A nicely timed sweep kick from the Cork man was the only mark of distinction in the first round. The second round went to the Cork man, but went to Dublin in the esteem of the crowd for his assortment of spinning high kicks. Match wise however, the spectacular kicks did not land, and the third round went the distance, but was a Cork victory all the way, Match 16-Steve O Mahony, Siam Warriors vs. Mike Egan, Mike Fury Gym. Round one would not be noted for technical prowess, but rather for the sheer heart and determination of the fighters. They threw tactics out of the match and replaced it with big swings for the win. Round two was full of the same wild energy, with both fighters really chasing that outright triumph.  Round three came and no surprise, both fighters looked like they had given everything for their respective gyms, it went to the judges, with a slim margin taking it for the Siam warriors of Cork. Match 17-Paddy Douglas, Dublin Thai vs. Dale Hughes, Frank's Gym, Manchester. The Cork crowd showed great support for the Dublin fighter, for that night he was an honorary Cork man. It was certainly a tough fight, but that extra support from the crowd helped Paddy cross the line to victory. Match 18-Intercontinental Title; Aaron O Callaghan, Siam warriors (nephew of Martin Horgan) vs. Andy Houston, Bad Company, England. We had already been told to look out for this match as a 'one to watch.' Would it live up to the promise? Round one Aaron landed the first shot, a front kick from the back leg straight to the body. All in all it proved an even round, both fighters perhaps checking each other's abilities. Round two, both fighters were ready to do battle, Aaron once again lands the first shot, the same kick, opposite leg, straight to the body. With neither fighter giving anything away, it was a tough round for both. Bring on the third! The beginning of the third started with the same opening shot landed by Aaron, it continued with big shots landed by each fighter, both showing that their training and conditioning was certainly up to par. Round four begins and Aaron throws the first kick to the head section, as if feeling his opponent would be expecting the body shot. Andy went to cover the head shot and Aaron quickly moved in for his almost now expected body kick. This round the English man upped his game to take the win in a low kick battle, with Aaron responding in kind to take dominance in the body kicks, punches, and elbows category. The fifth round started, and  Aaron landed his almost now infamous first kick to the body of his opponent. Both fighters know that the entire match now hinges on this last round, the crowd are on their feet as both fighters lay everything on the line, there is no holding back, no next round, it's going to be last man standing. Both these fighters know that one shot could win the title. To the disappointment of the crowd the bell sounds! Round over, match over, but who has won? I don't know, the crowd doesn't know. The coaches don't know. Each of the 3 judges know their own score, but they also do not know the outcome of the match. The ring announcer tells us we have one judge victory for red, one judge victory for blue. It really is down to the wire, these fighters gave us everything they had, and the excitement of such a close call is immense; the result is winner by split decision one point in the difference, RED corner. A Cork win for the intercontinental title, the crowd are thunderous in their applause there are suddenly more people in the ring than can be counted. And not such bad company at all if you ask me, well done Andy. What a match! Aaron O Callaghan has done the Siam warrior's proud. How do you follow that? The Final Fight of the night-Irish Welter Weight Title; Darren Cashman, Siam Warriors vs. Robert Ng, Muay Eire Siam, Limerick. First round an even fight from both sides, with two very distinct personalities on show in the ring. From the observers point of view a focussed and determined ready for business Cork man vs. an exceptionally talented, but wrapped up in a less composed persona. Robert seemed to be the joker in the ring, but he had met his very serious match. Into the second round, and from the two or three kicks we have seen so far the Limerick man looks to be the better kicker. Realising this, the Cork man is staying inside, closing the distance and so covering the kicks intelligently. Round three and there is an even exchange of techniques with both sides finding themselves on  the canvas s a number of times. The referee warns the Limerick man for illegal tripping. His rugby tackle style wasn't quite in keeping with the Muay Thai required. The south paw Cork man stepped in with a left cross that rocked the Limerick man, rocked him and knocked him in one fell swoop. It had been an even match to this point, but this strong point separated them. At the beginning of the fourth round in an amazing one for one volley,  the Limerick man split his Cork opponent just above the eye with an elbow strike, and with the very next shot the Cork fighter split the Limerick fighter's eye with a kick to the head. With both fighters very much bloodied and bruised the Limerick man resorted to his illegal tackle once again, and very much against the clear instructions of the referee, who now stopped the match and minuses a point from all three judges. In reflection of the match this may have cost the Limerick man the victory, the last round had arrived, no messing from the Limerick man now, both men toe to toe and the crowd on their feet once again, what might have been an anticlimactic event following the tense excitement of the previous match was proving to be just as memorable. To the delight of the home crowd the Irish title went to Cork. What an excellent way to finish this incredible Cork event! Martin Horgan's response to our question at the end of the night is the quote that sums it all up nicely so we'll leave it here 'A fantastic night! The full capacity crowd, great matches from start to finish, lots of heavy hits, and all of my guys did very well. '
Paul Manning ITF World Championships Ottawa
Siam Warriors Gym - Super Fightnight 06.10.2012
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