Here’s the Team Kombat report from the Thai Boxing Association-Sanctioning Authority’s 2012 Amateur Muay Thai Classic, courtesy of Kru Brian Naidu.
What a weekend! Kunal Pun and Sahil Sharma represented Team Kombat at the 2012 Muay Thai Class TBA-SA in Des Moines, Iowa this past weekend. We arrived at 7 a.m. after a 15 hour drive to our hotel and the temperature was already reaching 100 F outside. (Later that day it reached 105 F.)
After checking in and taking a nap we woke up for weigh-ins. Kunal was slated to make the 125-pound weight bracket. We did a quick check and were shocked to find Kunal’s weight at 130.
We didn’t come this far for him to not compete and Kombat athletes ALWAYS make weight. Kunal hit the streets for three laps around the hotel in the 105 F temperature and was able to drop three pounds in just those three laps. (That’s how hot it was!)
Being safe, he came inside and we took a trip to the sauna where he could be monitored to lose the last two pounds. To help motivate and encourage him, I also jumped in the sauna with him. After about 30 minutes, he dropped the last two pounds and was ready for weigh-ins. Just for curiosity, we checked my weight and I had dropped seven pounds!!! Haha.
Kunal was able to get his weigh-in bumped up and made weight at 124.6 pounds.
Sahil made weight at 101 pounds.
After getting the boys fed and rehydrated we relaxed and called it a night.
Friday morning, the remainder of the weigh-ins were held followed by the rules meeting. Because I didn’t have anyone competing Friday, I was able to judge all the bouts that evening.
After the Friday bracket was complete the Saturday bracket was posted and Kunal was up mid-morning against Kin from 8 Limb Muay Thai (Newfoundland).
Kunal came out and stuck to the game plan, and pressed the fight and picked his shots wisely and accurately. Kin was a great opponent and banged with Kunal for all three rounds. In the end, Kunal won the fight, 30-27, 30-27, 29-28 to win by Unanimous Decision.
Kunal injured his shin and ankle in the last round of the fight when Kin pressed back. Kunal had about five hours before his semi-final bout against Stan from Ottawa, so he took a nap and iced the ankle and shin.
We knew Stan was gonna bring a tough fight to the ring, we had a game plan, but knowing Kunal’s ankle was pretty messed up, we weren’t sure what would happen. Kunal brought the fight to him and banged away for all three rounds. Kunal definitely had the better hands, but the limitation of his leg seemed be the deciding factor in the fight. Stan won the fight by decision. Kunal fought the fight and we couldn’t me more proud. He has shown great improvement and growth. Fantastic job, Kunal. You showed great heart and pride.
I judged for the rest of the night and saw some incredible fights.
Sahil was drawn into the finals for the championship Sunday morning. Sahil backed up his words and DOMINATED (even thought there was no technique) his opponent and the referee stopped the fight 52 seconds in the first round. Congrats Sahil on becoming the new 2012 MTC TBA-SA Champion!
This is the first TBA-SA belt for Kombat Arts.
Thank you to everyone that supported us and believed we could do this. Thank you to all the training partners at Kombat Arts, Kru Joey, Kru Dave, Kru Roberto, Lee and many others that support our athletes.
Huge thanks to the Canadian Muay Thai community that cheered and supported each other at the tournament! Canadian teams were like a complete family.
Thank you, Kru Jen and her team from York Muay Thai. Kru Brian, Kru Noel and team from Training Ground for being by our side the entire tournament. Kru Mikey and PC Matt from Southside Muay Thai for the support. There is so many people to thank . . . so thank you to everyone. Thank you Ajahn Suchart for providing us with the knowledge and guidance.
Congrats to ALL the Canadian teams on a great performance this weekend. Southside was the team champion with a total of 10 belts coming back to Canada!
Love, Respect and Believe,
Kru Brian Naidu