Hastings Kickboxing Academy was out in force on Sunday when TKO promotions staged Kombat Zone at the the Casino Rooms in Rochester.
First of the Hastings fighters in to the ring was Callum Helsdown in his first full contact test against a very talented and strong opponent. At the end of the three rounds Callum the referee declared the contest a draw. Head coach Carl Denne says he is very proud of Callum: “He has completely transformed as a fighter over the last year and I couldn’t ask for a better lad to be in a three round war.”
Nick Lelliott-Swann was back in action and described by his coach as “badder than ever”. He had a tough fight on his hands after being out of action for a year following a nasty knock-out in his last fight.
“Nick was very apprehensive as we walked into the ring,” says Carl.
Nick’s opponent was a very strong aggressive fighter from Scorpion Gym who came to the fight with a strong record behind him.
“This was a toughly contested match from both sides,” says Carl, “Nick came under pressure for all three rounds, but was the better fighter and come the final bell he rightly won. It was a majority decision and that just goes to show how close the fight was.”
The last fighter from HKA to fight on Sunday night was Jordan Cornford, known affectionately as Jordan Jazzy-B’ It was a hotly anticipated fight as Jordan had been away from fighting for three years. But he came back with a bang.
Matched against local hero John Evans the fight turned in to what Carl describes as, “one of the best super heavy weights boxing matches I’ve ever seen.”
That’s not just because the HKA man won but because, as Carl puts it: “There was a quarter of a tonne of meat moving around the ring and they were moving like middleweights they were not just hanging off each other.”
On his return to competition Jordan was naturally nervous before walking out in front of the crowd and that wasn’t help by the fact that his opponent had brought an army of supporters. Evans had an estimated 180 fans whose cheers and vocal support for their man ‘took the roof off’ according to Carl.
“Jordan always puts huge pressure on himself and just before he went in I had to give him a ’talking to’ to make sure he believed in himself but as the fight got underway he proved his ability,” says Carl.
Jordan knocked his man down and forced a standing eight count in both the first and second rounds, “how John got up! I’ll never know!” says Carl who watched as his man put on a tremendous display of his boxing skill on the way to a unanimous decision by the judges that means Jordan has a 100 per cent competitive record having won all three of his fights.
Stacey Lea Cooper also notched up a strong win, showing after a little time off she still has that strength there.
Carl said afterwards: “As always Kombat Zone is a good night of action but night’s card was one of the best I’ve been to in years and for that great credit has to go to Colin Payne, anyone who runs shows like these knows how stressful they are to put together, so many things have to come right.”
Carl’s own show ‘HKA Fight Night 9” takes place at Horntye Park on September 29th.