This coming Saturday the 8th of October, 2016, in the Northwest of England two of the worlds best MuayThai fighters will collide in the ring. Yes, I did say two of the best in the world; well most definitely two of the best outside of the Kingdom of Thailand. Let's leave that argument for another day.
Liam Harrison, by way of Leeds, England, and Fabio Pinca by way of Lyon, France, have over the years, to say the least, thrilled us MuayThai fans with their performances and ring craftsmanship nearly every single time they have fought. This weekends fight is set at 66.5kgs.
Let's start with Harrison. I was lucky enough to see him fight in the flesh for the first time back in 2007 where he fought the Thai, Gupi, at Rajadamnern stadium. Previous to that, I had been aware of his exploits in the ring down on the island of Phuket, via the Ax forum.
Since then, he has endeared himself in and out of the the ring to a lot of us, with his battles with, to name a few, Anuwat, Saenchai, Sagetdao, Petasawin and many, many more.
But, I have to say personally, his destruction of the American fighter, Justin Greskiewicz, at the warriors cup in 2011 was up to this point my favourite viewing of the "Hitman" at work, first hand.
Over to Pinca: My first personal sight of this quite Frenchman was here in Bangkok at the famed Kiatpetch gym, where he trained for awhile. There was no doubt in my mind back then that this boy was going to be a star.
The first time I saw Pinca fight in the flesh was back in 2009 at my favorite stadium here in Thailand, Ch7. He fought DenThai Singmansak in a fantastic bout, which ended in a draw. He seemed to grace the ring at Ch7 stadium with such natural ease. Still to this day, his (Pinca's) performance in winning the inaugural Thai Fight tournament, where he conquered two tough fights in one night, and beat his friend, Youseff Boughanem in the final is my best memory of Pinca in the ring.
Hats off to Mr. Brian Calder and his team for making this fight a reality. Over the years, the forums have been alight with, will they, or won't they? Well, they are, and it's happening this week on Brian's massively succesful Yokkao show.
Finally, who will be victorious in this bout. Will it be Harrison, or will Pinca edge it, or will the dreaded draw be the winner. Either way, it's doesn't matter, because the beautiful sport of MuayThai is the real winner, because, yes, it's the most amazing sport on earth.