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12 March, 2021

King in the North defends his crown

THREE Far North Queensland locals will compete for Muay Thai Queensland titles tomorrow night in the first round of the Elite Fight Series for 2021, with each taking on an opponent from the Gold Coast.

By Tanya Murphy

Hundreds of supporters are expected to pack the Fred Moule Pavilion at Cairns Showground from 6pm for the event.

The first title match of the night will star 16-year-old Cooktown local and former world champion Oliver “The Butcher” Hanson from Full Boar Gym.

He will be defending his Muay Thai Queensland (MTQ) Youth 16-17 Title, against Lewis Essery from Fighters Haven on the Gold Coast.

Oliver has 33 fights and 21 wins under his belt, including winning the world title once when he was 12.

He has fought in the International Federation of Muaythai Federations (IFMA) competition in Thailand three times.

Oliver’s trainer Vince Parkes said Oliver hadn’t stopped training since he was 10 and had improved a great deal in that time becoming an “intelligent all-rounder.”

The second title to be contested will be the World Muaythai Council (WMC) Welterweight Pro Title and will see Cairns local Ryan “The Demon” Mcdonald from the Fight Academy (DF Gym) take on Taniera Terry of Strikeforce Gym.

Ryan, 30, has been training in Muay Thai for more than 15 years and moved to Cairns five years ago to teach at DF Gym.

He’s had 35 fights and holds an Elite Fight Series title and a Queensland ISKA title.

DF Gym owner Patrick Doherty said Ryan was a skilful all-rounder.

“His best weapons are that he is a pressure fighter with big hands. He won the last fight with a big knock out with his hands. He’s done that a few times, and hoping to do a bit more of the same on Saturday.”

The third title to be contested will be for the WMC Queensland Middleweight Pro Title and will see Cairns local Matthew “Choppy” Smith of Nukzu Muay Thai take on James Honey of Strikeforce Gym on the Gold Coast.

Matthew, 32, has been fighting for nearly ten years and has won an Australian World Kick Boxing Federation (WKBF) Title, an International Sport Karate and Kickboxing Association (ISKA) South Pacific Title, and a Cage Soldiers tournament.

The security guard and father of two said he was excited for a rematch with Honey, who defeated him for the same title a couple of years ago.

“I’m feeling really good. I was carrying a couple of injuries when I fought James last, but now my body and mind are on point,” he said.

The other much-anticipated pro bouts of the night will see Bernard Temu from Fight IQ Cairns take on Torin O’Brien from Snakepit Gym Rockhampton, and Mark Walker from Fusion Fight and Fitness Cairns will take on Daniel Lee Grant from Black Dog Muay Thai in Kuranda.

There will also be six other fights on the night with elbow pads allowed.

This event is the first of four in the Elite Fight Series for 2021, with the others being held at the same venue on June 26, September 11 and November 20.

Tickets are available on the door, or in advance from Explosive Fight Promotions.

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