Tyrone Spong Returns To Kickboxing Ring To Face Legend Remy Bonjasky In GLORY Main Event In London Feb. 16
By FCF Staff
Just two weeks after his highly-anticipated MMA debut, live on NBC Sports Network for upstart promotion World Series of Fighting, Tyrone Spong will return to the kickboxing ring where he is a bona fide superstar and champion, and square off with K-1 legend Remy Bonjasky in the main event of a GLORY kickboxing fight card at London, England’s Excel Arena on February 16, 2013.
According to an announcement from GLORY today, tickets for the event go on sale in December. Pricing and vendors will be announced in the coming weeks.
‘The Flying Gentleman’ Bonjasky is a household name among kickboxing fans and this will be the first time that British fight fans have the opportunity to see him fight live. One of the most athletic fighters ever to step into the ring, Bonjasky’s flying knees and kicks have provided some of the most thrilling images of the sport and helped propel him to victory in three Grand Prix tournaments in the old K-1 fight series.
An eye ailment forced a temporary retirement on him for nearly three years but, after undergoing surgery, the 1.93 meter (6-foot-4), 108 kilogram (240 pound) fighter was ready to put the gloves back on.
At GLORY 2 Brussels on Oct. 6, he made a triumphant return with a decision win over No. 1 ranked Brazilian heavyweight Anderson ‘Braddock’ Silva. Bonjasky demonstrated superior conditioning and reflexes in the fight, showing his rivals that all the old magic is still there.
Like Bonjasky, Amsterdam native Spong, who recently relocated to Boca Raton, Fla. to train with the famed ‘Blackzilians’ fight squad, is a world-class athlete. Standing 1.88 meters (6-foot-2) and weighing 103.5 kilograms (228 pounds), he started his career as a middleweight and has retained that speed and fluidity as he has moved up through the weight classes to heavyweight.
With explosive power in his hands, nearly two-thirds of Spong’s wins have been by stoppage, including his June KO of legend Peter Aerts. Spong was the last reigning 95 kilogram (210 pound) champion in world championship kickboxing league It’s Showtime which GLORY purchased in October.
Spong entered the cage for the first time at the first-ever World Series of Fighting-promoted event at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas on Nov. 3, and put down Travis Bartlett with a punch in the first round (3:15).
“This is a dream fight that kickboxing fans around the world have been wanting to see for some time. Bonjasky is one of the sport’s all-time greats and anybody who watched him fight in Brussels could see immediately that he was as sharp as ever. He had the same dynamic fighting style that earned him tremendous success and acclaim in the sport before he went on hiatus three years ago,” said GLORY Managing Director Marcus Luer in today’s announcement by the kickboxing promotion.
“As for Spong, his speed and technicality are just amazing. He is unbelievably agile for a heavyweight and he makes fighting look like ballet. He also has plenty of power and a real killer instinct, which we saw in his win over Peter Aerts earlier this year. Bonjasky and Spong are two of the most natural athletes the sport of kickboxing has ever seen. They are going to thrill the London fight fans in February.”
GLORY Chairman Pierre Andurand remarked, “I live in London and I am very proud to be bringing these two world-class fighters to the British capital. Bonjasky and Spong are at the top of their games right now and the winner will take a step closer to a shot at the GLORY heavyweight title.”
Also announced today for the GLORY 5 London event were lightweight (70 kilograms/154 pounds) British standouts Jordan Watson (29-5-1, 14 KO’s) and Liam Harrison (67-13-2, 38 KO’s). Both have tough tests ahead of them – Watson faces the hard-hitting ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Moxon of Australia (29-4-1, 16 KO’s) while Harrison faces the aggressive Moroccan lightweight Mosab ‘Jaguar’ Amrani (48-7-4, 14 KO’s).
Both fighting out of the Bad Company gym in Leeds, England, Watson and Harrison have carved out solid reputations on the international Muay Thai circuit and have a legion of fans in their native northern city. Watson made his GLORY debut in November with a win over Mustapha Haida of Belgium.
Harrison is a four-time world champion in kickboxing and Muay Thai. He has faced elite Thai champions such as Saenchai Sor Kingstar and Anuwat Kaewsamrit and has competed extensively in Thailand with some of the nation’s top fighters. Among the titles Harrison has held are the prestigious WAKO and WMC belts, the latter being arguably the top honor in the Muay Thai world.