Coverage by Goldyn Belgarde – Photos by Derwin Joza
This past Friday night saw the return of GLORY kickboxing to the Big Apple as GLORY 48, co-promoted with Lou Neglia, left many jaws open at Madison Square Garden.
The headline bout for the Interim Featherweight Title between Kevin Vannostrand and Anvar Boynazarov should go down in the books as the personification of “don’t blink.” Just seconds into the first round, Boynazarov landed a counter-punch that put Vannostrand down, setting the pace of the fight. Soon after, Vannostrand came back with a perfectly timed knee that set up a body shot, sending Boynazarov to the mat and unable to compete. Vannostrand, the newly crowned champ, continues his GLORY streak of 4-0.
UFC veteran Thiago Silva made his kickboxing debut against the former Oklahoma City college footballer, John King, who also made his GLORY debut. Silva controlled the majority of the first two rounds, putting pressure on King, who maintained decent defense. King came back in the third round, picking up speed and serving several left hooks and body shots that rocked Silva but ultimately were not enough to snag the W, and Silva emerged with a unanimous decision. Oh, and did we mentioned that he just fought in MMA barely two weeks ago at ACB 74, knocking out Daniel Toledo?
If that wasn’t enough, the card also featured a Middleweight tournament for a shot at the title along with a dope trophy. In the first round, Mike Lemaire took on Matt Baker, which saw the strong kicks by Baker answered by powerful combos from Lemaire, leading the judges to call for a fourth and decisive round. Lemaire shined in the overtime round, serving multiple combos that advanced him to the finals. In the other first round fight, Wayne Barrett took on Robert Thomas, starting with a close first round. Barrett stood out in round two serving high kicks, hitting and moving on angles and connecting with great strikes. Round three saw Barrett get knocked down early in the round by a left hook from Thomas, which Barrett recovered from towards the end of the round as he delivered multiple combos, putting Thomas in trouble by the bell. Ultimately, however, Thomas advanced to face Lemaire. In the final matchup, the question was how much would fatigue affect the performances of Lemaire and Roberts, which in the first round, seemed like a lot. Thomas woke up in the second round with a spinning backfist and series of uppercuts that puts Lemaire in trouble going into round three. Then, in a classic “HE GOT ROCKED” Joe Rogan moment, Thomas delivered a front kick followed by a right hand, sending Lemaire down for a TKO. Thomas won the tournament and definitely shook up the division, as well as the crowd at the Garden that night.
Now here comes the cherry on-top – the Superfight Series. Tiffany Van Soest lost her Bantamweight title to Anissa Mekksen in a close five-round bout between two of the game’s finest. The ‘Timebomb’s” heavy strikes were countered by Mekksen’s leg kicks, which ultimately earned the judges’ favor for a unanimous decision.
Former UFC middleweight, Chris Carmozzi, made his kickboxing debut in a hard-to-watch match against Kyle Weickhardt. Carmozzi dominated early in the fight with great combos and an epic spinning-back elbow. The second round saw a bloody nosed-Weickhardt struggle going into the third round when his corner throwing in the towel for a technical TKO and a great debut for Carmozzi.
Lightweights Elvis Gashi and Nate Richardson went head to head in a bout that saw Gashi dominate, dropping Richardson early in the fight and continuing to put pressure on him for three rounds. Gashi came out on top in a unanimous decision and continued his undefeated streak. Ivan Galaz defeated Paul Banasiak in their middleweight fight, landing a multitude of strong punches and kicks. Justin Houghton started strong in his match against Itay Gershon, delivering lots of high knees, but ultimately Gershon’s precise strikes and spinning back-kicks nabbed him a unanimous decision by the judges.
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Glory 48, Glory Kickboxing, Ne York Fighting