Combat at the Capitale 24: DC Fighters Have Heart!
Combat at the Capitale 24: DC Fighters Have Heart
Written by Hit-Girl (full article posted on www.throughthecage.com)
Just a few months ago Katie Jaworski fought in Combat at the Capitale 23 as the lone fighter from south of the Mason-Dixon Line. She trekked to New York City (NYC) with her entourage of 5 supporters to go toe-to-toe against Jennie Nedell (Team Fusion). While Jaworski lost by decision, she knew she wanted to come back and fight again. On September 16, 2011, Jaworski returned to NYC to see if she can score a victory. This time, she was joined by two other members of the LA Boxing Arlington Fight Team Michael Parker and Jennifer Yang (all trained by Jerome Wilson), as well as 30 supporters from Pittsburgh, DC, and NYC.
Presented by Louis Neglia and Ray Longo, Combat at the Capitale 24 is a kickboxing-only fight night series in NYC sanctioned by the World Kickboxing Association (WKA). The Capitale, formerly the Bowery Savings Bank, is a beautiful event venue nestled at the edge of Chinatown. Its elegant décor with Corinthian columns and marble flooring provided a contrasting backdrop to what was to come that night – a fight card with 21 hard-hitting, fast-moving, Muay Thai and Low-Kick kickboxing fights. [“Low-Kick” or International Kickboxing rules allow punches, kicks above the waist, and kicks to the legs, whereas traditional Full Contact Rules or “American Kickboxing” only allow punches and kicks that are above the waist.]
Check out photos of the LA Boxing Arlington Fight Team’s fights.
MICHAEL PARKER vs. JAMES “B52” SMITH (PROFESSIONAL MUAY THAI)
Parker made his professional debut at this event against a formidable opponent. Smith, from B52 Muay Thai, is the former WKA Amateur Heavyweight Champion and WKA Heavyweight Kickboxing Champion. This was a lopsided matchup from the beginning. Not only was Smith a much more experienced fighter, but he was a bigger fighter than Parker. The fight was on the card as a 205-pound fight. But at weigh-in, that all changed. Parker weighed in at 194 pounds, but Smith weighed in at 214 pounds. Parker and his trainer had to decide whether or not to still take the fight. After months of training and dieting, and after making the 230-mile trip to NYC, Parker had already invested so much time and energy preparing for this fight. So he agreed to fight knowing that he was at a major disadvantage.
This fight was scheduled for three, three-minute rounds. In round one, the two fighters had an even exchange of kicks and punches. The pace was steady, respectful, and not overly intense. Smith had Parker on the ropes, but Parker was able to work his way out of them. Smith tried to do damage with his kicks, but Parker was able to block them and execute several kicks of his own. In round two, the pace started out about the same, but as the round progressed, Smith increased the intensity. He got Parker on the ropes again and then backed him into the corner. Parker was trying to defend, but it became too much. At 2:22 in round two, Smith knocked out Parker with his punches, scratching Parker’s cornea and fracturing his cheekbone in the process.
After the fight, Smith spoke with Parker and lauded him on a great fight. One of Smith’s teammates also praised Parker, saying he would not have been able to go up against Smith as well as Parker did. It was wonderful to see such great sportsmanship between these fighters.
KATIE JAWORSKI vs. ANDREA DeANGELO (AMATEUR LOW- KICKS)
Shortly after Combat at the Capitale 23, the matchup between these two fighters was made. Having seen her opponent fight before, Jaworksi knew what she had to work on. She spent 10 weeks amplifying her training to sharpen her technique and increase her speed. But that was only part of her regiment. DeAngelo, trained by the legendary Lou Neglia, was a smaller fighter than Jaworski. Jaworski struggled to drop the 15 pounds needed to make weight and was seen outside jumping rope in a sauna suit during weigh-in. While she eventually made weight, the overall weight loss process seemed to reduce her overall energy level and impacted her fight game.
DeAngelo charged in fast and hard from the beginning. Jaworski was on the defense and not using her legs enough in the first round. DeAngelo continued to dominate and ended the round with a spinning back fist. Jaworski was stronger in the second round, landing several good leg kicks and utilizing her superior boxing skills to make contact. However, in the final round DeAngelo was more aggressive, and while Jaworski held her own, DeAngelo set the pace on her way to winning the fight by unanimous decision. After the fight, Jaworksi commented, “My only regret is that I didn’t leave it all in the ring. I didn’t fight as hard as I could have.”
JENNIFER YANG vs. JENNIE NEDELL (AMATEUR LOW- KICKS)
While Yang has been training in kickboxing for many years, she just recently decided to compete. She accepted the fight with only 3 weeks to train (and to drop weight) after her teammate had to back out due to injury. Yang was up against Nedell who fought Jaworski last time. Nedell is an experienced fighter with over 35 fights. Nedell is the Professional Kickboxing Federation (PKF) New York State (NYS) Women’s Champion and the former WKA Welterweight NYS Champion.
Nedell came out fast and strong the moment the fight started and caught Yang by surprise. While Nedell threw a flurry of punches that had Yang on the ropes, Yang maintained composure and angled out to get off the ropes. Throughout the fight, Yang tried to use her length to keep Nedell out. Yang landed solid punches and blocked several of Nedell’s kicks, but Nedell was able to power her way through Yang’s defenses on several occasions. While Yang lost by decision, she went all three rounds and fought hard. For her first fight, she did well.
While the LA Boxing Arlington Fight Team did not pull out a victory on this trip to NYC, their enthusiasm for competitive fighting is as strong as ever. This was not about winning or losing. This team has demonstrated strong commitment and camaraderie. The dedication and time they put into the sport to get ready for this level of competition and the courage they have to step into a ring and fight in front of 1,500 people is admirable. If anything, this team has heart – and a lot of it – which will go much further than any win or a loss.
For results recap of all the fights, click HERE.
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