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November 22, 2013

Lockport primes for major kickboxing card

LOCKPORT —

Who is the next great Lockport fighter? Is it Joe Taylor? Brandon Freiburger? Matt Harrison?

We could find out tonight when the Lockport Kenan Center Arena hosts a well-rounded professional kickboxing card that features several Lockport and Western New York fighters, produced by local company Lace Up Promotions.

Only general admission tickets remain for the fights, which are slated to begin at about 7 p.m.

Four main events are on tap, including Taylor's highly-anticipated return to the ring, following a first-round knockout victory by the Lockport semi-pro football running back last June in his kickboxing debut.

Taylor, who weighed in at 197 pounds on Friday, will take on Toronto's Satbir Bassi of Ultimate Martial Arts. That fight will immediately precede the final main event of the evening, with MMA great Marc Stevens of Syracuse taking on Buffalo's “KO Kid” Jay Bauman from Team Deleon.

“I don't know too much about him, but I know he's a kicker. It's going to be a good fight — a much more difficult fight than my first one I think,” Taylor said Friday. “But I'm fighting in front of my mom, my sister, my nieces, my cousins, in front of my Lockport Little Loop football team. There's a lot I'm fighting for.” 

Taylor will be escorted to the ring tonight by his LLLF football team in jerseys waving LLLF flags. Among those attending the weigh-in was LLLF president Ritchie Blackburn.

Stevens said his vast UFC, Bellator, & Strikeforce experience will help him offset Bauman's power.

“My goal is to get back and take another shot at a UFC title run,” Stevens said. “I know Jay's a brawler and a tough guy, but I've fought a lot of tough guys before and I've beat up a lot of tough guys. He likes to brawl and swing for the fences, but I'm seasoned enough to go nine minutes with him. Being a tough guy will backfire on him.”

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