Newly-crowned Thai boxing world champion Thai Barlow showed his versatility by dispatching British number one K1 kickboxer Kristian Haynes on Saturday night.
The Melton teenager’s bout against the Welshman topped the bill at the Muay Thai Assassins Gym show at the Market Tavern and was roared to victory by a sell-out 350-plus crowd.
Barlow landed two early head kicks, the second wobbling Haynes, and used body kicks to stop the Swansea fighter getting off his punches.
But it was a stinging right-handed punch which did the damage, opening a cut on the eyelid which forced the fight to be stopped and earned the Melton fighter a knockout victory.
Barlow’s sister Iman, a multiple Thai boxing world champion, had yet another late change of opponent and turned her hand to boxing, beating Norwich opponent Sofi Forbes with a second-round stoppage.
The night also featured several England versus Spain contests, the first of which saw Assassin fighter George Dryland meet Andy Reyes.
Both opened with a barrage of punches, but Dryland used his knee to good effect, cutting the Spaniard around the eye and forcing the referee to stop the bout.
The ever-improving George Griffiths also delighted the home fans with a powerful display against Spanish-based Danny Brody, using his strength to dominate his opponent and earn a third-round stoppage.
Anastasia Butler, from the Double K Gym, in London, defeated Noelia Rueda in another international showdown, but the Spanish did chalk up a win when Alexis Garcia got the better of Luke Kauffman, from the Fortitude Gym, in Liverpool, in an exciting full-blooded fight.
The last Anglo-Spanish encounter saw Fortitude’s Megan Carwell use low kicks to stop Victoria Lomax in round two.
Prior to this, Assassins fighter Tyree Stevens opened the main bill against Brandon Arnold, from the TMA Gym in Swindon, and used his speed and power to earn a dominant win.
Two up-and-coming Assassins Samantha Cully and Naomi Blankley opened the show with a demonstration before home fighter Taylor Bishop and Australian Kobi Carter both showed heart and skill in their Assassins debut.
There was also a debut for Lexi Peters who was given the judges’ verdict thanks to her work rate against Kettering opponent Jenny Eastland after a tight contest.
Mkaylin Kneeland faced a late change of opponent for his first decision bout, but again work rate helped the Assassin edge the decision his way after a fast and furious bout with Birmingham’s Lewi Hughes.
Shaydon Burt saw off a more experienced fighter as his aggressive approach paid off with a points win, but Australian Logan Carter was held to a draw as stamina let his opponent back into the fight in the third round having performed well in the opening two.
Saxon Nugent secured another excellent points win for the Assassins against tough fighter Frank Mulley, from the Double K Gym, with both fighters showing impressive skills.
Nugent’s sparring partner Billy Hammond also showed good scoring techniques to earn a well-deserved win in another high quality bout against Fortitude’s Thomas Harvey before Jason Perks (4) and Imani Baldwin (6), son and daughter of Assassin instructors, performed a demonstration.