Hometown favourites Kym Johnson and Lex Hanegraaf did South Australia proud against their interstate rivals in a big night of fights at Knees of Fury 47 at the Dom Polski Centre in Adelaide.
In the main event Kym ‘The Technician’ Johnson (SA) was at his best to take down Victoria’s Simon Coutsouvelis in a unanimous decision.
Australian WMC, KOF and WKN title holder Johnson came into the fight as favourite and managed to carry through on the expectation despite a strong effort from Australian IKBF & WKA title holder Coutsouvelis.
The first round started with both fighters trying to take control, both scoring a few head shots but neither giving an inch, Johnson did go down for a moment after slipping while launching a kick just off the bell.
Johnson started to find his rhythm in the second, landing a solid kick dazing Coutsouvelis and following with a head kick that almost dropped him, but the tough Coutsouvelis managed to recover pushing back before Johnson landed one more good kick that sent Coutsouvelis down just before the bell.
Johnson had an excellent second round almost downing Coutsouvelis, landing a good kick to the body then following with a head kick while Coutsouvelis was dazed but again the tough Coutsouvelis held his feet and recovered, but was knocked down again just before the bell with a kick.
Coutsouvelis never managed to gain control of the fight but never stopped pushing keeping up his jabbing and striking.
It was never going to be an easy fight between two champions who are so evenly matched and despite looking dominant as the fight progressed Johnson could not keep Coutsouvelis down.
After the fight Coutsouvelis said, “We knew what he was going to do. We tried to stick to the game plan as much as we could, but unfortunately he just landed a few in between. I needed to be a bit more aggressive.”
Johnson now holds victories over every top-20 opponent he has faced in Australia from 68 to 70kg and is now well on his way to a world title.
After the fight he said, “I hadn’t been in the ring for a little while so it was good to get back in there and go the five rounds, get a bit of experience. I’m happy with it, in a few days I’ll go back with my trainer and go over it and keep moving forwards keep growing and keep getting better.”
Lex Hanegraaf (SA) had another dominant performance against Terance Amador (VIC) winning with a unanimous decision using his slight strength and height advantage well.
Hanegraaf looked comfortable and controlling from the start easily setting the pace of the fight with his aggressive style, putting the pressure on Amador but not quite intimidating him into dropping his own game plan as Amador used his excellent footwork to keep out of Hanegraaf’s range.
Hanegraaf had an excellent second, doing well to adapt to Amador’s defence, using the ropes well and dropping Amador once in a grapple.
Hanegraaf kept up the pressure in the second trying for a KO and keeping Amador against the ropes, scoring a vicious elbow in a brutal attack in the corner before the referee stopped the onslaught.
The third started badly for Amador getting caught in the corner again where Hanegraaf landed a brutal head kick followed by a head shot that sent spit flying.
Amador got out of the corner slowing the fight down a little dancing away as Hanegraaf chased him, Amador used his speed striking well but went down again in the fourth.
The fifth evened out a little as Hanegraaf made a last bid for a KO but couldn’t tie down the tough Amador.
After the fight Amador said, “Disappointing, even though I’ve only had a few fights and Lex is an experienced guy I still believed I could win, but he’s tough he’s durable and now I can see where I need to be if I’m going to be fighting guys at that level.”
Tom Boyle Hanegraaf’s trainer said the fight was “well executed”.
Lex said “Listened to Tom for once. Had a game plan, executed it, good result”.
Stephen Legierski took out the win over Luke Leedham via TKO after Leedham retired due to injury in the fourth.
In an epic throwdown where both fighters left it all out in the ring Leedham started strong leading with a good combination putting Legierski off balance and knocking him down with a kick, Legierski then got up swinging downing Leedham.
The momentum slowed a little after Legierski got caught with the first groin shot of the fight, another evened it out in the third after Leedham got hit.
Legierski dropped Leedham early in the second but couldn’t capitalize leaving Legierski some space to recover and push back with some good shots.
Legierski landed a knee to the head downing Leedham in the third.
Both fighters refused to back away from the punishment slugging it out in the middle of the ring till Leedham hit shins with Legierski and retired from the fight injured.
Josh Frew defeated Josh Braithwaite via unanimous decision.
Braithwaite started well tripping Frew twice in the opening round, a head shot from Frew stopped Braithwaite’s momentum going into the second.
Frew was more defensive in the second and the third, falling once in the second and going down from a trip again in the third.
Michael Henson defeated Andy Ong via unanimous decision.
Michael Henson pulled off a massive feat taking out Andy Ong despite dislocating his shoulder early in the second.
In a slow start both fighters looked evenly matched till Henson started to pull ahead downing Ong with a leg grab and staying aggressive.
Henson pushed hard early in the second then stood firm despite dislocating his left shoulder, only showing his injury when his guard started to drop slightly in the third.
In the third Henson kept Ong at bay with his kick unable to use his punch to much effect, letting his arm drop as the bell sounded, his corner trying to pop it back in as the referee raised his right arm in victory.
Henson needed the ring side doctor as he went off with the win in a massive display of courage.
Carly Gangell won in a unanimous decision against Kristen Waterman.
Gangell, recently returned from winning bronze at the IFMA Muay Thai world championships, was dominant from the start showing her experience but still had some trouble against the determined Waterman.
Gangell downed Waterman in the first and again in the second where she started to really pull ahead.
One of South Australia’s brightest young prospects current Jr Australian 60kg champion Gangell did extremely well to hold her lead in debut fight at Knees of Fury against a fighter that gave it her all.
Also on the card:
David Wang and Dylan DeKuyper ended in a draw, Wang went down four times three in the last round.
Jye Lombardi took down John Irwin in a second round TKO.
Lombardi slipped early in the first but that was his only mistake getting up to bring Irwin down.
Lombardi landed a kick to the head in the second then rushed Irwin in the corner but couldn’t finish it.
Irwin went down twice more before Lombardi landed an massive flying knee, the referee called it in the fourth.
Manolis Kaiafas and Braydon Costello came away with a draw in a tough fight that neither could grab hold of.
Cameron Bully used his height well to defeat Jamie Joseph with a unanimous decision.
Janelle Adamczyk scored a win over Alex Wellington in a unanimous decision.
Ben Collopy defeated Jason Hoffman via unanimous decision.
Eva Kocsis beat Anna Davis in a unanimous decision after dropping Davis in the second.
Look out for the Knees of Fury 47 review on YouTube soon.
Written By Daniel Whyntie