Paul Rosborough knows the future is bright for his fighters.
The owner and trainer at Stand Fast Muay Thai in Williams Lake, Rosborough witnessed that future first hand on April 8 and 9 in Vancouver.
Local muay thai kickboxers Lloyd Kenny, Marcel Rochfort and Tyler Bate all saw in-ring action, leaving Rosborough impressed with the results.
Rochfort and Kenny competed at Bisla 2011, held at Surrey’s Bombay Banquet and Convention Centre, in front of more than 3,000 spectators.
Rochfort, fighting at 170 pounds, lost a close split decision to Surrey’s Pavril Atwall.
“It was a good, close fight,” Rosborough said. “He landed some big punches, but the other guy was just busier and ran around the ring most of the night.”
Later Kenny, 18, hit the ring for his first ever fight to take on Vancouver’s Darren Cheekinew in a three-round heavyweight bout.
Around 40 seconds into round number two Kenny landed a big right hand sending Cheekinew to the ropes. Kenny followed it up with a flurry of blows leading to a referee’s stoppage.
“It was unreal,” Rosborough said. “Our game plan was to go out, establish the jab and land big leg kicks and by the end of the first round he [Cheekinew] was bruised up. Lloyd got back to the corner and I just said to put a right behind the jab, and he listened.”
The next day Bate, 23, competed in an exhibition match at the Maritime Labour Centre against Vancouver’s Darren Olson.
As an exhibition, the bout was not scored and was used as a fundraiser for the Children of Thailand Foundation, raising around $1,200.
“He did well and did what he was supposed to do,” Rosborough said. “He landed some really hard leg kicks and it was good ring experience and for a good cause.”
That experience will likely come into play on May 6 at Vancouver’s Fraser View Hall when Bate fights for the vacant International Kickboxing Federation Light Middleweight title.
The fight will be five, three-minute rounds at 154 to 159 pounds against Vancouver’s Stas Tataranov.
“He’s training hard and looking good,” Rosborough said, adding he thinks Tataranov’s style suits Bate.
“He’s not a runner. Tyler likes guys that attack him. He’s in the best shape I’ve ever seen him and his presence of mind in the ring is coming along nicely.
“It’s a big opportunity for him.”
Kenny will also be in action on the card taking on Vancouver’s Gurmeet Gill.