Muay Thai takes over Grandwest Arena

World Muay Thai International welterweight champion Pasquale Amoroso defended his belt against South Africa’s Ncedo Gomba in a five-round thriller during a Thaiholics Fights Promotions (TFP4) event at the GrandWest Arena on Saturday. Picture: Steffin Fray, MzansiMMA

Cape Town fight fans were treated to a night of Muay Thai entertainment following a successful event hosted by Thaiholics Fight Promotions (TFP4) at a packed GrandWest Arena, on Saturday.

TFP4 was headlined by Cape Town’s Ncedo Gomba, who challenged the World Muay Thai International Welterweight champion, Pasquale Amoroso, from Italy, for the title.

It was all down to the wire for the two experienced fighters following five rounds of thrilling Thai Boxing.

The world number 19 ranked Gomba started off well. He dominated the first two rounds of the five. He controlled the movement of the ring and added some good kicks to the ribs, arms and legs of the Italian.

From the third round right until the final round, the number 11 ranked Amoroso had seen it all, he began to take initiative. While Gomba was going for a solid blow the majority of the time, Amoroso had combinations of four to six straight shots that effectively worked in his favour as the judges ruled the unanimous decision to his advantage.

Gomba’s coach, Shaheen Price said Amoroso’s physical appearance added to some of the difficulty Gomba had in reach and range during the fight, however, his fighter’s heart and determination enabled him to fight on the inside, using lightning knees to the ribs.

The fight card was packed with bombs, earlier a new professional-amateur SA champion was crowned after Iron Tiger’s Michael Bezuidenhout beat Durban’s Sibonelo Ntombela via a unanimous points decision in three rounds.

The last time the two fighters fought, Ntombela’s physique, kicks and takedowns played an instrumental role over the smaller Bezuidenhout. But in Saturday’s fight, Bezuidenhout eliminated all the odds as his strike, combinations and stamina were determined for victory.

Coach Price said when they took Bezuidenhout in the camp, earlier this year, he had already had the basics of a good fighter, all that was needed was for his skills to be honed into championship mode.

Camp Fight’s Luke Turner’s stamina and combinations worked well in his favour over Ahmed “Pretty Boy” Alghariani. Turner won via unanimous points decision over his Iron Tiger opponent.

In the super welterweight division, Dean Grobler defeated a composed Yasr Jappie in what was arguably a close match between the two fighters.

Matthew Marais outfought Thaiholics Rafael Wozniak in the welterweight division.

Meanwhile, in the women’s division, Camp Fight’s Zoe Klaasen maintained her 100 percent winning streak as she made it six out of six wins following a unanimous points decision victory over Nakaeng’s Kristin Clarke.

Clarke made her way back into the ring after three years without fights. Her timing, however, was unfortunate, as she met an onform Klaasen who was hungry for her new national title.

Arguably, the fight of the night was in the women’s strawweight division between Aneesha Maymaan and Devin Rae Gouws. The two young warriors walked out of the fight bloody, yet hungry for more.

Maymaan, who seemed like she could go on for more rounds, won via a unanimous points decision following a dominant display at the end. Her coach, Mike Mouneimne, from Pride Fighting Academy, said she was sharp and she followed the game plan right until the end.

“It was a great performance by her (Maymaan). It was a great showcase for international Muay Thai and talent from across the world. I think we need more events like this, the more consistent they are, the more talent we will see from amateur and professional fighters and more money into the sport,” said Mouneimne.

Co-president at the Thaiholics Fight Promotions, Nicholas Radley, said they are happy with the overall event as it was a success at the end of the night.

“The event went well and smoothly. Obviously we wanted the South African Gomba to win but it was not his night. All the decisions went well. We’re growing at a very fast pace. We’ve got more international flights lined up and will be introducing more international belts to Africa at TFP5,” said Radley.

TFP5 will take place at the Grandwest Arena, on July 23. For more information, visit: