One Williams Lake fighter is becoming a fan favourite. The other got his first taste of a muay thai kickboxing bout.
Both also made trainer and owner of Williams Lake’s Stand Fast Muay Thai Paul Rosborough extremely pleased following a pair of matches Sept. 30 at Burnaby’s Fraser View Hall.
Kanyon Gleeson, 17, took on Richmond’s Raj Dillan in a 170-pound kickboxing match, while Lloyd Kenny, 19, normally a kickboxer, fought Richmond’s Robin Laybourn in a catchweight mixed martial arts contest.
Kenny, at 205 pounds, was the first of the two locals to enter the ring on the night. His opponent, weighing a hulking 260 pounds, and with former Ultimate Fighting Championship competitor Kalib Starnes in his corner, was simply too big for Kenny, Rosborough said.
“He [Kenny] took the fight on two days notice and hadn’t fought MMA before,” Rosborough said. “Lloyd went in there with nothing to lose and he went out and gave the guy hell for three rounds.
“The game plan was to stay on the feet. Lloyd did well but it was hard to avoid the take down with a guy that big.”
After three, three-minute rounds the judges scored the fight a unanimous decision in Laybourn’s favour.
Next, Gleeson marched to the ring for his match.
“His opponent was heavier too by about 30 pounds,” Rosborough said. “But Kanyon spars with Lloyd all the time so he wasn’t too concerned about it.
“It was a good fight with Kanyon pressing behind the jab while working the body off Dillan’s jab, landing good body punches and hard right hands. He was very relaxed for a first-time fighter and he came out of the fight with no injuries.”
The judges scored the fight a unanimous decision in Gleeson’s favour.
Gleeson said he can’t wait to get back in the ring.
“It was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life, walking out in front of the crowd of about 1,800 people,” Gleeson said. “I definitely want to do it again.”
Gleeson may have the opportunity to do so at the Canadian Muay Thai Association’s Muay Thai Challenge, held Nov. 19, at the Maritime Labour Centre in Vancouver.
As for Kenny, his next kickboxing bout is scheduled for Oct. 21 versus Seattle’s Jeremy Mills at the North American Challenge, an event featuring Canadian versus U.S. fighters held annually in Vancouver.
Rosborough, Kenny and Gleeson added a big thank you is in order to the Williams Lake Boxing Club for sparring with them in preparation for the fights.