Ulster Hall Belfast - Decmeber 19

'It was a festive feast of fists and feet'
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Despite his defeat to the world class Mohammad Samir on Monday, Belfast man Gary Hamilton received the seal of approval from boxing legend Marvelous Marvin Hagler, who told him to “go and retain” his WKN featherweight kickboxing title.

Hamilton gave up the featherweight crown to jump two weight divisions in order to meet Samir and light-welterweight.
But Samir proved too strong, catching Hamilton with three telling kicks to the rib in a dramatic fourth round at the Ulster Hall in Belfast.
Hamilton was leading after three all-action rounds, during which Samir was clearly unprepared for the challenger’s approach.
There will be no-rematch of Europe’s top two talents after both camps agreed that it was too difficult for both acts to share the same ring all over again.

Stephane Cabrera, President of the World Kickboxing Network and Samir’s manager, said: “I would not like to go through this again. The people wanted Samir and Hamilton and they got it. The fight has taken place and it will not happen again.
“I am too close a friend of Billy Murray (Hamilton’s coach and promoter) and I do not like to put my champion in with his.
“Hamilton is world class and a true champion but I would prefer that he never fights Samir again and that they both continue to reign at their respective weights.”

Marvelous Marvin Hagler, who was guest of honour at ringside on Monday, said the clash between Hamilton and Samir, was “pure class” and he believes Hamilton will rule again.

His coach, Billy Murray, will ponder Hamilton’s next move in the weeks ahead but it is likely he will target the WKN featherweight title once again.
“Gary showed his bravery in stepping up two divisions to meet Samir. It was a major fight that attracted the attention of the world and although Gary was stopped in the fourth round, I believe that Samir was really tested for the first time in many years.”

Hamilton said: “We had a game plan that was going well until he caught my floating rib three times in succession. People who spend time with me in the gym know that I can take a hit but Samir hits better than anyone I’ve ever been in the ring with.
“I’m not too disappointed with the defeat because during the first three rounds I was in control and had Samir under pressure. That gives me more encouragement for the future. I’m only 25 years of age and I will retain the featherweight belt if that’s what my coach wants me to do.”

Belfast girl Lydia Braniff did leave the Ulster Hall with a world title to add to her Irish, British and European belts.
The diminutive postie stopped Poland's Marta Ulanska in the second round to become a world champion after just 12 professional bouts.
“I knew there were few in Britain, Ireland and Europe who could touch Lydia,” said coach Billy Murray.
“The time was right for her to go for a world title and she pulled it off in great style. In 2006 we plan to defend the title a number of times and I am confident Lydia will become a great champion now that she is on top of the world.”

Former soccer star Ian Young had to share a Celtic title with Scot Ziggy Ferguson after a tough four-rounder. Murray added: “It was a big move for Ian to fight for an important amateur title after just four fights. It was a good learning experience for him and I am keen to see how he responds. He remains undefeated and that’s the most important thing. He will step up in 2006 and with his dedication to training, he will take on title challenges with no fuss.”

North-Belfast man Mark Hennessy was most impressive his in low-kick style win over Germany’s Marcel Tratnik.The more experienced Tratnik was expected to leave Belfast with another win to his name but could not get the better of the much taller Hennessy, whose jab and uppercut consistently unsettled the German.

Galway’s Ken Horan once again was forced to share the honours with old foe Farid M’laika.
The pair drew two year’s ago and judges could not separate them again at the Ulster Hall.
Horan, who fights out of the Black Dragon club in Galway, said: “I thought I’d won the fight and so did a lot of people in the hall. But at least I didn’t lose. I know I performed well and, who knows, maybe we will get another chance to finally settle with a winner.”

In one of the most eagerly awaited bouts of the KICKmas BOX III event at the Ulster Hall, Dubliner Barbara Delaney and French-Italian model Chantel Menard did not disappoint.
However the Belfast crowd aired its disapproval of the outcome, Menard winning by a mere half-point on the scorecards.
Menard, a former world champ who entered the ring with an unblemished 33 fight record, was constantly under pressure from Delaney but her class shone through when she floored Delaney with a kick to the head.

Menard’s camp said following the fight that there would be no re-match. A spokesman said: “Chantel does not need to fight her (Delaney) again. She is planning to move on and up.”

Karate star Cathy McAleer made a successful switch to kickboxing at the Ulster Hall, enjoying a points win over Scotland’s Adele Steinbeck but Alexander White did return home to the Bonnie land with an impressive win over Belfast’s Aubrey Tarr.

The pair had shared points when they met in Aberdeen last month but this time 18-year-old White stopped Tarr in the second round, leaving his opponent with a cut to the nose that forced referee Bob Hunter to call a stop to the bout.

Results for the KICKmas III

WKN World Light welterweight Full-Contact Title 12x2
Gary Hamilton (N. Ireland)) Vs Mohamed Samir (France) Winner3rd KO

International Prestige Bantamweight kickboxing match 4x2
Chantal Ménard Winner points (Italy) Vs Barbara Delaney (ROI)

International Lightweight Full Mauy-Thai match 5x3

Sudsakorn Sitjaipetch Winner points (Thailand) Vs Robert Storey (England)

International Prestige middleweight Full-contact match 4x2

Ken Horan (ROI) Vs Farid M’Laika (Switzerland)

International middleweight Kickboxing Low-Kick match 4x2

Mark Hennessy Winner points (N. Ireland) Vs Marcel Tratnik (Germany)

International Flyweight Full Mauy-Thai match 5x3
Phamai Sitjaipetch Winner points (Thailand) Vs Paulo Da Silva (Portugal fighting out of England)

'The top class undercard was a show on its own'

WKN Amateur World Atomweight title 5x2
Lydia Braniff Winner 2rd KO(N. Ireland) Vs Marta Ulanska (Poland)

Celtic Light middleweight Title 4x2

Ian Young (N. Ireland) Vs Ziggy Ferguson (Scotland)

Full-Contact Bantamweight match 4x2
Cathy McAleer Winner points (N. Ireland) Vs Adele Steinbeck (Scotland)

British lightweight title 7x2

Aubrey Tarr (N. Ireland) Vs Alexander White (Scotland)Winner2nd KO

Press Conference for KICKmas

Hamilton Vs Samir