famous sporting son - world champion kickboxer Ken ‘The
Hitman’ Horan thought he was seeing double last
week after a bizarre twist that saw him fight, and defeat,
two different international stars with the same name.
The strange double header started in Kilkenny when Horan,
who now trains out of the respected ProKick Gym in Belfast,
successfully defended his WKN Super middleweight crown against
France’s Julien Pinel.
He took the fight on points, largely because of a never say
die attitude from Pinel who was on the canvas several times
in the five round encounter.
Almost as soon as the fight was over, Horan jumped on a flight
to Switzerland where he took part in the hugely respected
Villars invitation event in the shadow of the Alps.
At that show, he again met Frenchman Pinel – though
this time it was Alain. Though no relation to the fighter
Horan beat in Kilkenny, the outcome was the same and the Hitman
“I couldn’t believe it,” said Horan of the
strange coincidence. “I thought I had seen off Pinel
Ireland. When I was invited to Switzerland I didn’t
think twice – even though it was just four days after
my title defence. The man I was supposed to fight was forced
to pull out because of injury, but what are the chances of
another Pinel coming in instead! I can tell you this –
I fought even harder just to make sure Pinel would not rise
His coach, former four-time world champion Billy Murray said
he felt for the second Pinel.
“When I told Horan the name of the opponent, he was
a little confused. I think for a second or two he thought
he was being stalked by someone looking for a very quick rematch!
So when he got into the ring, he was determined to win in
an even more emphatic manner just to be certain there was
no more Pinel. And my, did he go some,” he said.
“Ken is a great, tough fighter. It takes a special sort
of man to regain focus so soon after a world title defence
and have the physical strength to head out and fight again
within a week. He’ll be champion for many years to come.”
What a way to cap a triumphant week
- at a party with the worlds top Ambassadors:-
To cap a triumphant week, Horan was one of Murray’s
party who were invited to the British consulate in Geneva
for a lavish reception. The event, hosted in Murray’s
honour to mark his ongoing work in Northern Ireland by British
Consulate General Susan Gregory, was also attended by a select
band of diplomats and keen business and civic leaders in Switzerland
including US Ambassador to Switzerland and the Irish Ambassador.
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