Iman wins seventh Enfusion world title as Muay Thai Assassins star on big stage

Iman Barlow gets the ticker tape treatment after her win in Newcastle EMN-180615-111137002
Iman Barlow gets the ticker tape treatment after her win in Newcastle EMN-180615-111137002
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Thai boxing sensation Iman Barlow made more history as she made it a magnificent seven Enfusion world title belts with a top-of-the-bill win.

She was one of four fighters from the Melton-based Assassins Muay Thai gym to compete on the high-profile show, staged by the Dutch promoters in Newcastle, the biggest of its kind to be held in the city.

The Assassins team played a full part at the big show staged by Dutch international promoters Enfusion EMN-180615-111126002

The Assassins team played a full part at the big show staged by Dutch international promoters Enfusion EMN-180615-111126002

While Iman headlined, her brother Thai and clubmate George Griffiths also secured impressive wins, but Darum Hassan suffered his first career loss.

Defending her title for the seventh time - the most Enfusion defences by any Thai boxer, male or female - Iman faced Spanish champion Lara Fernandez.

The opening round saw Iman land hard rib kicks while using her movement to stop the Spaniard from landing any serious blows.

Fernandez was hurt in the next, but kept pressing forward as the Assassin continued to connect with kicks and knees.

No Thai boxer has won more Enfusion workld title belts than the Pretty Killer, Iman Barlow EMN-180615-111147002

No Thai boxer has won more Enfusion workld title belts than the Pretty Killer, Iman Barlow EMN-180615-111147002

The pattern was repeated in the final three rounds as Iman won all five, but could not quite finish off the Spaniard.

Darum came up against home fighter Gary Richards, and didn’t follow the advice of his corner.

He kept himself in the fight, but didn’t do enough to win and was defeated on points.

George produced another emphatic performance to see off British K1 number one Christian Jopling who had struggled to make the weight.

A typically fast and frenetic three-round contest played into the hands of the Assassin gym, and George’s fight plan soon made inroads.

The Melton fighter took Jopling off his feet in the first round with one of several telling low kicks, and kept the pressure on in the next to force a standing count of eight.

Now in complete control, Griffiths forced his opponent into another standing count in round three before he was awarded the bout on points.

Thai headlined the undercard and, like his big sister, faced a Spanish opponent in Alex Riva.

After Riva failed to make weight for the 55kg contest, coming in at 56.3kg, Thai had to give weight away for the fight to go ahead.

A great contest followed between two skilful fighters, with Riva preferring to use his hands, while the Englishman opted for kicks and knees.

Thai caught Riva with several jumping knees to the face, but after three hard-fought rounds the judges awarded a draw to set up an extra fourth round.

This time the Melton fighter picked up the pace and sealed an emphatic win.

* The following day, three Assassins travelled to Kettering, where Skylar Moulds was first up for the Melton gym.

She won a tough bout on points by using her power in the clench to throw her Kettering opponent several times.

Cerys Hirst faced a Bedford girl in just her third fight, but performed like a champion.

Listening well to her corner, she used her kicks well to outscore her opponent and win on points.

Last on for the Assassins was heavyweight Nathan Donovan who also faced a home fighter.

Nathan kept calm as the Kettering man used lots of energy in a frenetic opening, keeping him at bay with long punches and big kicks to the ribs.

Already tiring in the second round, his opponent was given two standings counts and retired at the end of the round to give the Assassin a technical knockout.

For training for fitness, visit the Assassins Muay Thai page on Facebook.