Red Deer kickboxer Bruce Moran applied what he learned from his first fight to perfection Saturday night as he posted a unanimous decision win over Riley Curtis of Calgary before 700 fans at Superfights 18 at the Westerner Prairie Pavilion.
Curtis started the first round at a torrid pace, forcing the action and looking for the knockout. Moran countered by patiently blocking everything the Calgary kickboxer threw at him, and clinching up when the action moved inside.
“We knew it was his first fight so we knew he would come out just going for the fences,” said Moran, from Cheney’s Zen Karate and Kickboxing. “I came out the same way in my first fight. I knew he would come out and burn all his energy up, that is what everybody does their first fight.”
About halfway through the first round Moran, 2-0, started to exert his dominance with superior technique. He kept the tiring Curtis, 0-1, at a distance with teeps and leg kicks, and then attacked with overhand rights and ghost punches.
By the second round the Red Deer fighter was firmly in control of the action, landing the overhand rights at will and adding knees to the body. The third round continued in the same vein, giving the Red Deer athlete the unanimous-decision win.
In a welterweight bout, Red Deer’s Jessie Vandervelden, 1-0, looked like a much more experienced fighter, as he systematically broke down Kyle Fenton, 0-1, of Edmonton to score a second-round knockout. Vandervelden, from Cheney Karate and Kickboxing, used every tool in the book — excellent defence, movement, leg kicks, roundhouse kicks to the head, one-twos, uppercuts, a takedown, and teeps to control the action.
With about 30 seconds left in the second round, the Red Deer martial artist dropped his opponent with a knee to the body. And 20 seconds later he finished him with a second knee to the body. For Vandervelden, the victory was an early Father’s Day present for his father.
“I was surprised he went down,” explained the kickboxer. “I look for openings. if I see something available I take it.”
“That fight was for my dad,” said Vandervelden. “Happy Father’s Day dad.”
In a lightweight bout, Stephanie Schmale of Red Deer and Annie Lockhart of Regina engaged in a back-and-forth tactical chess match.
Lockhart took the first round, countering with one-twos off of Schmale. Schmale, however, turned the tables in the second and third rounds as she added in more ring movement and took over the role of counter puncher, forcing Lockhart out of her rhythm and scoring a narrow unanimous-decision victory.
In other action involving Red Deer kickboxers: T.J. Dubas lost by unanimous decision to Nick Belgrave of Calgary; Derek Clairmont dominated the first round and then ran out of gas to lose by split-decision to Jared Feuring of Regina; Dean Rose lost by second-round TKO to Jamie Gifford of Edmonton; and Jeff Liscumb lost by second-round TKO to John Cusitar of Edmonton.