All-star kickboxing lineup on tap for Saturday night
Locals Taylor, Kimmons and Freiburger among those on card
Staff Reports Lockport Union-Sun & Journal
Not one, but four main event fights are on tap for this Saturday’s “The Next Generation” kickboxing event at the Kenan Arena. The event that is produced by local promotions company Lace Up Promotions will be the first of its kind and historic in its nature due to it also featuring five professional bouts.
United States Light Heavyweight Champion, Amer Abdallah and his team decided not to fight on this card due to the sale of Abdallah’s Lockport Athletic & Fitness club.
“Lockport is fortunate to have a community minded, family based owner to take our local health club to new heights. I wanted to give Greg (Jones) my complete focus to ensure he takes over the club with all the tools he needs to remain the best club in town,” he said.
To fill the main event slot, Abdallah reached out to the biggest names in the sport and bring them to the Lock City.
Four main events are on tap including UFC, Bellator, & Strikeforce veteran Mark Stevens taking on Buffalo’s KO Kid, Jason Bauman. “This fight has all the ingredients for an all out war” Abdallah said.
Stevens, who is prepping himself for a return to the big stage and a UFC title shot is taking a stand up fight to help improve his striking ability.
Lockport’s “Son of a Legend” Joe Taylor, coming off of a brutal first round knockout victory last June, is making his highly-anticipated comeback against heavy handed Sabir Bassi of Ultimate Martial Arts in Toronto.
“Bassi is heavy handed and dangerous” Abdallah said. “We’re going to answer a lot of the hype and find out how good Joe Taylor is next Saturday.”
WKA World amateur Middleweight champion and longest reigning knockout king, Kevin VanNostrand makes his return to Lockport in his second professional fight against Buffalo’s Jeff Denz.
“Kevin is by far the most exciting fighter I’ve witnessed in the last decade of promoting fights. Each fight is another indication of why he is the world’s top middleweight.”
Denz, who travelled to Syracuse to scope out VanNostrand’s last fight in September, was happy to finally get a chance at fighting him.
The most noise is coming from the heavyweight showdown between Lockport’s Ali Kimmons and Rochester’s Chuck Jewell.
“These guys simply don’t like each other” Abdallah added. “We couldn’t get them in a room together without a fight almost breaking out.” Kimmons is looking to make this his retirement fight and intends to end the fight early. “First, second, round...it doesn’t matter. Chuck is going out on his back,” Kimmons said.
Popular MMA and Muay Thai champion, Luay Ashkar of Team Andrello is making his professional debut against Canadian lightweight champion Jordan Graham. Ashkar is coming off of a brilliant first round knockout in a recent mixed martial arts event and has several scouts looking at his talent for the big stage.
“Luay is fast, explosive and hits hard for his weight.” Abdallah added. “I can’t wait to watch him in the professional ranks.”
Other locals on the card are US Army veteran Matt Harrison, who takes on Mark Diryas of Toronto.
Starpoint junior Brandon Freiburger makes his debut against Canadian Seiar Aziz and Mike “Handz of War” Moyer makes his comeback against tough Buffalo native Quamaine Austin.
Community sponsors for the event are Local Edge, All Metal Works, KJ Motorsports, Mulvey Construction and Executive Landscaping. “These companies are the reason we have such great shows in Lockport,” Abdallah said.
The weigh-ins will be free and open to the public at 6 p.m. Friday at the Lockport Athletic & Fitness Club.
Only general admission tickets remain and are available at the Lockport Athletic & Fitness Club or at the door Saturday night.