Reigning World Kickboxing Association United States Light Heavyweight Champion Amer Abdallah of Lockport will take on giant step towards a world title shot when he facesTiawan “Iron Dragon” Howard in the main event of a professional fight card this Saturday night at the Kenan Center Arena.
The official weigh in for the fight will be held at Lock 34 at 6 p.m. Friday and is free and open to the public. Tickets for the fight card are available at the Lockport Athletic & Fitness Club or at Ticketmaster.com. Gates open at 6 p.m. with the first fight starting at about 7 p.m.
Abdallah (12-0) captured his coveted title a year ago when he dethroned then No. 1 ranked Francois “Bang Bang” Ambang, then went on to successfully defend the title on April 14 of this year against T.J. Gibson in a 10-round war.
Howard is 16-5 overall with a 10-9 Pro MMA record.
“I love fighting tough fights with opponents that come to fight,” Abdallah said. “I train too hard and take too much time away from my personal life to go in there to just lay some of these guys down within a couple of rounds. I love a good challenge and on Saturday, I’m looking for another good one.”
Abdallah says he faced the biggest challenge of his career outside the ring with this upcoming bout in finding a formidable opponent.
“We’ve went through four different opponents and each backed out,” Abdallah manager Ahmed Imamovic stated. “The WKA has never seen anything like this before.”
Howard, who has 22 years martial arts experience, 20 professional Mixed Martial Arts fights and an impressive 16-5 kickboxing record, is known in his circle as “Mini-Tyson” due to his knockout power.
Heading up Abdallah’s training camp is popular Western New York Middleweight superstar turned trainer Corey “The Story” Webster of Lockport. Webster, who began as Abdallah’s pupil, has remained close with his former coach and takes a lot of pride in heading up another camp with the United States champ.
“It’s an honor to head up Amer’s training camp and I love working at this caliber. We know each other well and I know just how to push him and ensure he is 100 percent ready for whoever we meet on the 17th,” Webster said. “Rest assured, he’ll be ready for anyone.”
Also on the card will be local favorites Pat “The Real Deal” Thompson, a former Golden Gloves champion turned kickboxer also under the tutelage of Corey Webster. Oliver “Oli” Kimmons will make his return in a grudge match with a stable mate of his last opponent who stopped Kimmons in the first round.
Top-seeded middleweight superstar Kevin “Pink Panther” VanNostrand will have his hands full with Canadian Middleweight champion Tristan Kalijudic. Twelve bouts are on tap for the event dubbed “Pride and Glory” and is expected to be the best card to date.
Proud sponsors of the event are Local Edge, Mulvey Construction, All Metal Works and Cain, Witlin & Dry Accountants. Papa Leos will provide concessions at the event.