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April 16, 2012

Und1sputed success
Abdallah retains his WKA title, Irr & Gibas victorious at Kenan pro fight card Saturday night

By John D'Onofrio Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

LOCKPORT — If Saturday’s “Und1sputed” professional kickboxing fight card proved anything to the thousands attending at the Kenan Center Arena, it’s that Lockport fighters are undisputedly worth their weight in blows.

Light heavyweight Amer Abdallah of Lockport successfully retained his World Kickboxing Association United States championship belt, beating up on T.J. Gibson of Duluth, Minn. in their 10-round main event.

Other winners include Lockport’s Kyle Gibas and Brian Irr, making for yet another loud, happy hometown atmosphere at the sold-out Kenan Arena.

Abdallah (12-0), who has fought more than a half dozen times at the Kenan in his pro career, was in control throughout his title fight, pounding Gibson with a consistent left leg-right hand combination to the head that found their mark throughout the 10-round battle.

Gibson’s thundering right hand was negated by Abdallah’s superior ring movement, as the Lockport gym owner and trainer sidestepped the attacks, then countered successfully, keeping the powerful Gibson off balance and unable to deliver a balanced blow.

Abdallah seized control of the fight only seconds after referee Joe Pagan started it with his trademark thundering leg kicks. The fighters exchanged some light blows, then Abdallah delivered his first impressive left leg-right hand combo that got the large crowd going.

“We were thowing a lot of different things at him to see how he reacted and we found that there two elements that he couldn’t figure out. My lead leg roundhouse high and the straight right hand,” Abdallah said.

“They became our tools. He adapted well and he’s used to taking punishment.”

Gibson, a former international kickboxing champion, took more punishment in the second. A wicked left leg-right hand dropped the Minnesotean. Pagan gave him an eight-count and the fight rolled on. Abdallah cruised through the middle rounds with better combinations and fluid movement, but Gibson was a warrior and kept coming.

“I hurt my hand in the sixth round,” Abdallah said. “I hit him on the top of his head and felt it crack. I shook it for the rest of the round and thought I might have broken it, but we had x-rays done after the fight and it’s just badly bruised.”

By the 10th round, the fight was already decided, but Abdallah went for the knockout and almost got it. Gibson tried a spinning kick and Abdallah labeled him with a left leg, then moved in and hit him with legs and fists as the final bell rang and the fighters embraced.

“Our game plan was to be able to pick him off and turn him. We didn’t want to stand in front of him. He was

tough, strong and durable. We knew it would be a war.”

The judges awarded Abdallah the fight by scores of 98-89, 99-91, 99-92.

“I feel good. I’d do it again, where ever he wants,” Gibson said. “I think I should have thrown more kicks, but I got tired in the legs a little. He hit me with some good solid shots, but I just kept battling.”

Heavyweight Gibas was impressive in his three-round 30-27, 29-28, 28-29 major decision victory over Jesse James of Ontario.

Gibas came out as the aggressor, but James landed a couple of good blows in an even first. A strong right leg by Gibas was followed by a couple of good right hands by Gibas in the second and the former football and wrestling standout at Starpoint finished with a flurry in the corner as the bell sounded.

The third was another close round with both fighters clenched a lot of the time, but James finished with a bloody nose and Gibas walked away with the close win to improve to 3-2 in his career.

“I felt good. Comfortable,” Gibas said after the fight. “I feel good about the changes I’ve made, working with (Lockport MMA trainer) Corey Webster now. It’s a family atmosphere and you get a lot of help.

“I get a lot of sparring time now, which I didn’t get before. Jesse was strong, maybe 10 to 20 pounds heavier than I am, so I didn’t want to slug it out with him. I tried to be patient and not be wild — which is when I start dropping my hands and make dumb mistakes. I felt a lot more patient tonight.”

Irr, fresh off another impressive karate performance at an international tournament in Las Vegas last week, was noticably fatigued, but dug down deep to slip past Sean Connor of Jamestown, 39-36, 36-37, 39-37 in their four-round light heavyweight matchup. Irr improves to 3-0 as a professional and is trained by Eric Hill at Lockport’s Seishin Kan Karate School downtown.

“I’m just happy to be here. I’ve been away the last two few weeks and fought a lot of fights. I definitely felt a little tired out there,” Irr said.

“But it was a great matchup. He’s tall like me and we fight the same style. We like fighting from the outside.”

Hill added, “It was a long week with Brian talking gold and silver in Las Vegas. He had several fights over six days and he did well. I liked the matchup. They have similar styles and similar features, but above all else Sean’s a good kid and that’s what we look for.”

Other fight night winners included Muzzamal Nawaz of Burlington, Ontario, who claimed the WAKO Inter-Continental Middleweight Championship with a 10-round, unanimous decision win (97-92, 97-93, 96-92) over Shannon Hudson of South Carolina.

The fight ended on a sour note, with Hudson walking away in disgust at the three judge’s ruling and Nawaz doing damage control with a microphone trying to calm Hudson’s supporters down.

In other fights, Pat Thompson of Buffalo scored a 30-27, 27-29, 30-27 major decision win over A.J. Babour of Ontario in a three-round cruiserweight bout, Tom Marlat of Ontario earned a 30-27, 30-27, 29-28 unanimous decision win over Brian Macinanti of Connecticut in a three-round light heavyweight

battle and Justin Holden of Ontario posted a 38-37, 40-36, 37-37 major decision win over Kassine Omar of Buffalo in a four-round super middleweight contest.

In the night’s only knockout, welterweight Kevin VanNostrand of Liverpool, N.Y came away with a technical knockout win over Chris Greig of Ontario. VanNostrand was in control throughout before the fight was stopped with at 1:37.9 to go in the fourth round.

The event was sponsored by Local Edge Media, with co-sponsors All Metal Works, Executive Landscaping, Papa Leo’s, Finnan’s Sports Bar & Grill, CentiMark, Wittlin, Cain & Dry and Sparks Monroe Heating & Cooling.

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