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January 28, 2011

Friday Night Fights
New York, NY

This Friday marked another great night of fights for the long running Friday Night Fights NYC series by promoter Justin Blair. Blair has an uncanny ability for finding and bringing in new talent while showcasing some of New York and New Jersey’s finest Thai fighters. This card featured three pro fights with one being for the WKA Professional Regional Men’s Muay Thai Super Lightweight (-63.5 kg) Title.

The title fight matched Sitan Gym, NY’s Omar Ahmed, former WKA Amateur champion, with Cool Hearts/Daddis Fight Team’s Justin Greskiewicz. This was a much anticipated fight, as both fighters had well-established amateur careers, fighting mostly in WKA events and both turning pro within months of each other. The fight was set for five three-minute rounds and was the co-main event of the fight card. Round one started with both fighters trying to find their distance and establish themselves. For the better part of the round, Greskiewicz used his jab, low kicks, and foot jabs to try to keep Ahmed at bay while Ahmed tried to score with single hard kicks and overhand rights. The pace picked up in the second round, with Greskiewicz putting punch to low kick combinations together, with Omar trying to counter with the overhand right. Ahmed missed a hard overhand right on several occasions, wowing the crowd but allowing Greskiewicz to counter effectively with a long knee. Round three saw Ahmed utilizing multiple kicks numerous times, such as one occasion where he threw two low kicks followed by a head kick. Greskiewicz changed his strategy a bit to focus more on body punches as Ahmed began to check his low kick. The round ended with a good overhand right by Ahmed. Round four started with a good left body kick by Ahmed, but the trend of the round seemed to have Ahmed throwing single techniques against Greskiewicz’s hand-to-kick or kick-to-hand combinations. The round ended with Ahmed throwing a good head kick. The championship round had both fighters bringing their A-Game with Ahmed continuing to throw low kicks and head kicks while Greskiewicz seemed to find his distance and timing with good long knee and jab-to-long knee techniques. Both fighters seemed to recognize that this round could make the difference and gave it their all but left the decision to the scorecards. Greskiewicz became the new WKA Pro Regional Champion by unanimous decision (46-49, 47-48, 47-48).

In the co-main event, very popular New York fighter Chris Romulo out of CROM Martial Training took on Robert Blake of Blake’s Muay Thai Academy, Indianapolis, a former student of WKA champion Raul Lopez. Blake’s only loss as a professional was to Khunpon; however, in this five three-minute round Muay Thai bout against Romulo, he had a bit of ring rust to knock off, as he had had a layoff in competing while opening his own school. Blake came out with hard single kicks, trying to find the right distance and timing against this long-time veteran of FNF. Romulo controlled both the pace and distance with his accurate jabs and foot jabs. Romulo also followed up with several left hook-to-low kick combos and ended the round with a second cut kick, knocking Blake to the ground. Early in the second round, Romulo forced Blake into the corner and cut loose with a body cross to hook, followed by a flying knee, which seemed to overwhelm Blake. Romulo continued with the cross and cross-hook-low kick combinations, for which Blake had no answer. In the third round, Romulo came out looking eager to finish the fight, throwing low kick to head kick combos, backing Blake into the corner once again. A strong knee sent Blake to the canvas for an eight-count. Romulo kept his opponent in the corner with both crosses and hooks to the body, then his clinch and knees and hard kick dropped Blake to the canvas for another eight-count before the bell rang. Romulo was awarded a TKO, as Blake was unable to answer the bell for the fourth round.

The first professional fight of the night had two fighters making their pro debut, Rick Screeton from Deth Co Sin Gym (San Diego, CA), and Chris Kwiatkowski of Church Street Boxing Gym, New York. Kwiatkowski was a member of the 2009 WKA US National Team and traveled to Spain, where he won the WKA Amateur World Championships in Huelva, Spain. He also has not only trained at Church Street Boxing but has also been coached by one of Thailand’s most seasoned fighters, Coban Lookchaomaesaitong (270 fights, with 90 wins via KO). People will remember Coban and his famous series of matches against Holland’s Ramon Dekkers. Coban was also present at the event and cornered Chris Kwiatkowski. The fight began in the ordinary fashion, with both fighter testing each other with kicks and punches. However, toward the end of the first round, Kwiatkowski threw a hard kick-punch combo, dropping Screeton for an eight-count. Shortly after that, Kwiatkowski struck again with a hard right cross, stopping the fight via KO two minutes and thirty-two seconds into the first round.

 The rest of the card was made up of five solid open class amateur fights.

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