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Report on the Comber event.

Sponsors of the event, The Days hotel Belfast Lee Madden (Left) And  Martin Colburn of Budget Windows Bangor - flank Eddie Salmon centreBUDDING promoter and kickboxer Eddie Salmon was warned by his coach that juggling the two disciplines is not good for one's health! Well there were no signs of that as the Ards man won by a first round TKO in front of his adoring fans
Salmon, a long-term student of Murray's Prokick Gym in Belfast launched his first event in Comber (Sunday August 20th) and what a success it was.

But Murray, who has been promoting and fighting for over 25 years, said: "I've had a lot of fighters come through the ranks who move on to becoming promoters of their own shows but it's a big undertaking when the same promoter is actually fighting on his show, Eddie handled the stress really well. I tried to take as much of the promotion on but he rolled his sleeves up and got stuck right in."

Evidence that the stress of running an event can show in a competitor's performance, didn't today - Eddie was busy putting final touches this morning, acting as Master of Ceremonies then got in and topped the bill of his own show - and won by overwhelming Derek Murphy from Kilkenny.


Comber Fight report in brief

Junior Demo Bouts ‘The Fab Five’
David Bird (Lisburn) - Alex Clarke (Dublin)–
Tony & Joel Amos’ (Belfast) - Dean Jones (Dublin)
First up fight fans were thrilled by the fab five a new generation of up-n-coming stars to the sport of kickboxing. It was a round robin affair with a new fresh man or woman in every 30 second, this thrilled the audience as the action was none stop but controlled. Well done to all who entered.

Cruiserweight -
Craig Challis (Larne) Vs Niall Mullen (The Loup) (Winner)
The Prokick fighter Craig Challis didn't have the return that he was planning after three months out of the ring with a nose injury. The popular Larne man was up against Mid Ulster's Niall Mullen in a cruiserweight contest over two rounds. First round was pretty even and with both kickers knowing what they have to do to get a victory - it was the Golden Dragon man from Mid Ulster who came out on top and landed some heavy shots that had the referee administer a standing count to the Larne man. At the final bell it was Niall Mullen on points on all three judges cards.

Gary Hamilton (left), James Kennedy and Tommy QuinnBantamweight
Stewart Ferry (Dungannon) Vs James Kennedy (Kilkenny)
James Kennedy Win by Walk over as Stewart Ferry phoned in on the day, ruled out by a tummy bug. This is a match for the future. Gary Hamilton stood up to the line and gave James Kennedy a work out of his life just at 15 years old he can say that he shared the ring with the WKN featherweight world Champion. After the demo bout Gary presented James with a trophy to commemorate his travel to Comber Co Down.

Robby Kirwan (Kilkenny ) Vs Warren Betts (Dublin)(Winner)
This was a closely fought fight with both young men giving their all. Two great kids to watch out for in the future. Thanks to both camps for travelling all the way from the south of Ireland for this match.

Super Heavyweight
Stephen Allen (Belfast) Vs Gary Mcleary (Scotland)(Winner)
This was a battle of the big men. Stephen Allen weighed in at 140 kilo and Gary McCleary weighed in at 120 kilo. Scotland's Gary McCleary wasn't afraid of Stephen Allen's reputation of being a heavy hitter. McCleary took the fight to the Belfast man and landed some heavy high kicks. At the end of the first round Allen's corner pulled him out as he had some difficulty breathing and seemed to be in some distress after having a low blow earlier in the fight. Although Stephen didn't want the fight to be stopped, safety is paramount and he'll just train a bit harder and I am sure he will be back for more soon.

Ken Horan and Darren Dougan thrill the Comber audienceDemo Bouts:
Super middleweight
Darren Dougan (The Loup) Vs Ken Horan (Galway)
Two champions in their own right came together at Comber Leisure Centre. One of world champion status and the other a Celtic Nations champion and both in the same weight division. The all Celt affair had the kickboxing audience on the edge of their seats, the three rounder was part of a training warm up for fights in the future. Thanks again to the pair for travelling so far just to get a couple of rounds sparring.

Gary Hamilton, Barbara Delaney and Aubrey TarrLightweight - round robin
Aubrey Tarr (Belfast ) Vs Gary Hamilton Vs Barbara Delaney
Takes three to tango and that's exactly what happened when three of Irelands top kickboxers came together it was like a dance or as some said at ringside it was like poetry in motion. Gary Hamilton and Aubrey Tarr worked the dubliner hard in an all action style sparring. Barbara Delaney showed why she is one of the toughest women on the kickboxing circuit.

The Kids ‘ProKick Says’ competition
This was shorter version of our normal kids monthly competition this was really organised just to show the general public what the kids in the gym are getting up to. They went through shadow boxing, basic moves and multiple kicks competition which is as many kicks on one leg without falling down or setting the other foot down.

Winner Gary JessHeavyweight
Gary Jess (Saintfield)(Winner) Vs Peter Murphy (Kilkenny)
Debutant Gary Jess answered the call when he took on hard man Peter Murphy from Kilkenny. Murphy is no stranger to the Prokick fighters as he fought on the Bash 'n' Mash at the start of the year in the Hilton Hotel. Jess took the fight to the Irish man by not allowing him to work his hooks and boxing technique in the inside. The Saintfield man kept him on a long leash using his kicks to great effect. When the finally bell sounded the judges went in favour of the Prokick fighter Gary Jess.

Super welterweight
Brian Hannaway (Newry)(Winner) Vs Scott Brian Hannaway gets the nod from the judgesStrachan (Scotland)
Novice Brian Hannaway was under pressure in the first round of his battle with Scott Strachan. The Newry southpaw was under strict instructions in round two to keep Scotland's Strachan at long distance, and that he did by landing a clinical left round house kick across the Scot's mid section leaving the referee no option but to give Strachan a standing count. In the closing seconds of round two Hannaway fired a high kick that wobbled the brave Scot and the referee jumped in just as the bell sounded at the same time Alexander White (Coach) threw the towel into the centre of the ring. Well done to both boys.

Light middleweight
Eddie Salmon (Ards)(Winner) Vs Derek Murphy (Kilkenny)
The Ard's man Eddie Salmon was joint promoter, MC, Kids organiser and guess what... fighter too. Salmon was caught hook line and sinker with the Eddie Salmon lands a hard body shot to Derek Murphysport of Kickboxing in his first fight two years ago, however couldn't compete again because of work commitments and a hand injury.
Salmon topped the bill at the packed Comber Leisure Centre where he took on Kilkenny's Derek Murphy in a scheduled three rounder. The Ard's man piled the pressure on in the opening round sending Murphy to the canvas in the opening minute of round one. The tough Kilkenny fighter under the direction of Tommy Quinn fired back with some good stiff jabs. In the closing seconds of round one Eddie went for gold after pinning Derek in the corner and unleashed a barrage of heavy shots sending Murphy to the floor. Referee Robert Masterson counted the Kilkenny warrior out. The Comber Leisure centre ceiling nearly lifted off with the sound of the packed hall.

Thanks for everyone who travelled to make the show possible. The sponsors the Comber Leisure Centre staff and everyone who made the show a great success.
Bye for now, until we do it again next time.

Event co-coordinator - Fran Spence
MC Eddie Salmon & Billy Murray
Robert Masterson, Robin Stewart, Gary Longridge,
Robert Lyttle - Time keeper
Kick counter -Julie McCluskey & Andrea Hamilton
Photographers – Graeme Bolton & top female snapper Fran-tastic
First Aid - Doctor Michael Mullen, St John’s Ambulance
Billy’s Helpers - Ian Young , James Gillen and Adrian Clarke
Runners – Lisa McAlees & Kerry-Ann McCleneghan
Sound – DJ Colin ‘in Da House’



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