Jon takes his chance

KICKBOXING - MIDWAY through the year Portishead resident Jon Edge was offered the opportunity to step up to super heavyweight to fight for a professional WRSA southern area title (World Ring Sport Association).

MIDWAY through the year Portishead resident Jon Edge was offered the opportunity to step up to super heavyweight to fight for a professional WRSA southern area title (World Ring Sport Association).

Having not been in a competitive ring since March when he fought for the Celtic heavyweight title and defended his British title, he accepted the fight on the arrangement that he could get a non-title fight beforehand to get some experience at the weight.

He went up to Coventry to fight James Shepherd of Lincoln Blackdragons in a three by one half minute non-title fight. Shepherd weighed in 2.5 stones heavier at 18 stones and although Edge could not knock him out, he dropped him in the third with a roundhouse to the head and he never really recoverd and Edge got a unanimous decision. Edge is grateful to Bristol Thai for allowing him to spar with their Polish heavyweight Majek Kober.

When his match came for the title fight, it was decided that his opponent would be Majek. This left both fighters unable to use each other for sparring but fortunately, another Portishead resident, Kevin Ludick is a former world Thai champion and cage rage fighter who runs Combat Gym in Weston. He stayed late on Friday nights to put Edge through his paces and pass on his experience.

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The fight itself was five by one and a half minute rounds and the first round was even as both were both being careful knowing the other one could be dangerous. Edge began to get the upper hand in the second and knocked Kober down in the third, cutting his eye but the ringside doctor said he could fight on.

The fight went the distance but Edge managed to stay on top of things with Kober getting another standing eight count later in the fight and Edge got the title on a unanimous decision.

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This has now led to the offer of an English title fight at superheavyweight for the International Kickboxing Federation (IKF) governing body against well-known Mark "The Reaper" Gaye over eight by two minute rounds in March.

As always Edge is hugely grateful to his trainer Mike O'Conner at Highlander Gym who now trains at various locations across Bristol including Avonmouth and Bristol Central. Details on 07515 861874. Combat Gym, Weston, and Bristol Thai are also both full-time gyms.

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