April 16, 2012
Abdallah retains his WKA title, Irr & Gibas victorious
at Kenan pro fight card Saturday night
By John D'Onofrio Lockport Union-Sun & Journal
— 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
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.
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
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.”
Gibas was impressive in his three-round 30-27, 29-28,
28-29 major decision victory over Jesse James of
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
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.
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
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
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
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.