12 Jan 2007

Two top European heavyweight contenders will contest the WBC Muaythai Interim International title at the Pattaya Theprasit stadium tomorrow. (Editors note 9pm Wednesday 3 January 2007).

Dutch superstar Ricardo Van de Boss and the Russian warrior Malex Gadzhiev both have KO reputations. Gadzhiev has won 9 of 12 fighters by KO while Boss has an impressive record of 24-17 wins, 12 by KO.

Promoter Peter Hoovers said the heavyweight contest had attracted much interest from Russian and Holland expats and tourists who had booked tickets well ahead of the event.

"Both these fighters are very big hitters. This heavyweight title contest in Pattaya will assist efforts to make Pattaya a hub for world class international Muaythai contests."

Boss (22) who has been training in Thailand for months says he does not expect the title contest to go the full five rounds.

"My record shows that I have the power and ability to stop opponents inside of five rounds. My strategy is attack early. I don't expect to see Malex standing for too many rounds," said Boss. "This fight for me is getting a crack at the Chinese Tiger to unify the International title."

A confident Gadzhiev (24) said he has a better winning record that Boss. "If he wants to get attack early he had better be ready for my counter attacks. We both know the importance of this fight. We both want to win the title."

The current WBC International champion Zhang Qing Jun of China is known as the "Tiger of Jian Xu". Zhang had a stunning first round KO win over England's Marek "The Jet" Boguscewicz at in Hong Kong to win the title. But he has not defended for over a year, and the WBC sanctioning the Interim title in Pattaya between the two top European contenders.

Zhang is supestar in China and his title defense against either Boss or Gadzhiev will be held in either Chengdu or Hong Kong.

Meanwhile the WBC is planning to stage an Interim world heavyweight Muaythai featuring the two best USA Muaythai combatants. The winner will meet the winner of the winner of the Boss, Malex and Zhang international championships.

WBC Muaythai chairman Pol General Kovid Bhakdibhumi said there had been a lot of interest for the heavyweight division.

"There are several good heavyweights in Europe, the USA and Australia and everyone wants to see how far the China champion Zhang can go. The Interim championship between the Holland and Russian contenders will sort out who's the European champion."

Zhang has been selected on the China's elite martial arts team. The Chinese press in Hong Kong and Macau has hailed Zhang as having "the potential of the next Bruce Lee."

Writtten by : Patrick Cusick

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