World featherweight champion Gary Hamilton cruised to a comfortable
victory in a title defence warm-up in Kilkenny last week.
The Belfast man was taken the distance by handy Swiss journeyman
Patrick Kinigamazi in their five round contest. But he was
never in any danger and showed the sort of form that he hopes
will see him retain his crown at the Kickmas Box in the Ulster
Hall on December 17.
"It felt good to be back in the ring," said Hamilton.
"Exhibition fights aside, it’s been several months
since my last competitive fight. A certain amount of ring-rustiness
builds up and needs shaken. I was fighting outside my weight–
I moved up to lightweight and Kinigamazi was a level up again
at light-welterweight. My coach and I decided it was the best
way to test myself by pitting me against a heavy, hard hitter.
But he didn’t trouble me and I’m feeling confident
and hungry for more."
Geneva-based Rwandan Kinigamazi was a last minute substitute
for a fighter who pulled out with just days to go.
Kinigamazi is a good fighter who gave Gary a tougher work-out.
He was a champion in conventional boxing and had a long fight
record. In the end, the original fighters withdrawal worked
in our favour.
"I was very happy with the way Gary performed, especially
his kicking which was sharp and mean. We’re going to
have one more warm-up before the title defence."
Meanwhile, a new force in the professional ranks announced
himself at the event in O’Laughlin Gael’s GAA
club in Kilkenny. Local light middleweight Vinny Di Ruscio
convincingly won his first professional fight against the
much more experienced Norwegian Daniel Nordas. He took a unanimous
points victory after the five round affair and showed the
leap from the amateur ranks – where he held the world
title – was not a difficult one.
Well done to the promoters of the event,
'Top-Pro Kilkenny kickboxing club' -, good job guys keep the
great work up!
In related news, tickets to see Hamilton at the second annual
Kickmas Box are now sale.
Priced £15-£25 and £40 for a family ticket
(two adults and two under 16s), they are available from the
ProKick 24 hour ticketline on 02890 651074.