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Sun, Aug. 18

Kick boxing events return to Verde Valley

Alex Garza, from 2-Knuckles Sport in Surprise celebrates after winning the IKF junior amateur international rules Arizona State super welterweight title on Friday night at Reese’s Tire Pros in Cottonwood. VVN/James Kelley

Alex Garza, from 2-Knuckles Sport in Surprise celebrates after winning the IKF junior amateur international rules Arizona State super welterweight title on Friday night at Reese’s Tire Pros in Cottonwood. VVN/James Kelley

Despite some cancellations, the International Kickboxing Federation returned to Arizona and Verde Valley on Saturday night.

Reese’s Tire Pros hosted The Golden Rumble in Cottonwood.

“I think it went well,” said Richard Williams of Golden Cobra. “As a promoter, it’s a headache sometimes but I relied on my inner circle.”

After fighters from Albuquerque and Phoenix backed out, Williams turned to Adam Hines and Victor Romero, both from Camp Verde and fighters he had trained, to go fight on short notice.

Hines lost in super welterweight to Alex Garza from Surprise by TKO at the end of Round 1 after starting training on Wednesday after an eight-week absence.

Romero lost to Chad Berry from Flagstaff by split decision after joining the card on Thursday. Williams rushed to get Hines and Romero’s blood work done and Romero to try and drop as much weight as possible.

He said Hines is a slow starter and if would have gotten out of the first round he thought he would be okay. He said Romero got stronger at the end of the third of three rounds in his fight and could have won if it went longer.

“My inner circle saved the show,” Williams said. “Victor did pretty good for not fighting in about two years and only training for like a couple months and he went toe to toe with that guy. And that other guy has been training and fighting.”

In the junior amateur bantamweight, Alex Perez from Flagstaff edged Keo Kowalczyk from Cottonwood by a unanimous decision.

In the welterweight, Caddo Laban of Flagstaff beat Eric Duong from Flagstaff by split decision.

Attendance was about 350.

“Being IKF and watching Golden Cobra promoter put this together is very structured,” KF Arizona State Representative Sandra Olding said. “It’s a lot of, a lot of work I give kudos to a promoter, any promoter who puts the event together Richard did an amazing job putting it together I’m just looking forward to bringing it to Camp Verde.”

Up next for Golden Cobra is the 1st Annual Sweet Corn IKF Boxing Championships at Camp Verde at Cornfest on July 20. The event will be held in conjunction with the Town of Camp Verde.

“Oh I think the Cornfest is going to be twice as good,” Williams said. “Albuquerque is going to come and I’m pretty sure Las Vegas is going to come. So I’m putting it out on Facebook for the Arizona teams to step up, because we’re going to bring in these teams.”

Williams said they are expecting to have some title fights, like with Romero fighting at 165, in a different style, with out the knees.

“He wasn’t used to fighting with the knees but my fighters did what they needed to do,” Williams said. “They’re loyal and they’re trustworthy. He’s not used to the knees but he fought and I think he did well. He was getting really strong at the end I think if it would have been a five round fight I think Victor would have won He was getting stronger at the end of the third round.”

Williams said the Sweet Corn championships will be better as they get back into the groove of things.

“I think the Cornfest is going to be a lot better,” Williams said. “It’s our first tournament back in three years, so everything getting all the edges with the referees and inspectors. We had the president of IKF and Bam Bam Stell, he’s like the No. 1 referee for combat sports, you see him on TV all the time, so we brought in the best and we’re part of the best organization, IKF.”

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