Abdallah defends his WKA championship Saturday at Kenan Arena
BY JOHN D’ONOFRIO firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s “youth versus experience” this Saturday night at the Lockport Kenan Center Arena when World Kickboxing Association Cruiserweight Champion Amer Abdallah defends his title against European Champion Nathan McCarthy.
Both training camps said they’re confident of victory. It’s Abdallah’s first defense of the world title he captured last May at the Kenan, knocking out England’s Dan Hughes before a standing-room-only crowd.
McCarthy is a member of the Kuei-Ling Kickboxing Club in South Shields and has been training in his sport since the age of 15.
“I’ve competed in different countries before, but never outside of Europe,” McCarthy told the Shields Gazette. “It’s not very often that you get a chance to go to America to fight, so this is quite a big deal. This is the biggest thing to happen to me in my career. It’s just massive.”
The Lockport native Abdallah said this time around, he’s not just fighting the No. 1 contender from Newcastle, England, but also “Father Time.” At 23 years of age, McCarthy (23-4) is 16 years younger than the undefeated Abdallah (17-0) and also four inches taller at 6-feet, 4-inches.
“His youth, height, aggressiveness won’t be a factor in this fight,” Abdallah said. “You will see me at my sharpest and watch me take this English lad to school.”
McCarthy said after watching tapes on the Lockport native, he’s confident he’s developed a winning strategy.
“We’ve seen key things in watching Amer fight, where we’re confident we will be able to defeat him,” McCarthy said. “On Nov. 12, there will be a new world champion.”
Team Abdallah head coach Dewey Cooper said the tapes don’t lie. “All they saw was perfection,” said Cooper, a two-time world champion (WKC heavyweight, WKF cruiserweight titles).
Abdallah added, “On Nov. 12, everyone will hear, ‘… and still world champion.’ ”
McCarthy will be joined on his trip and ringside,by coaches Steve East and Steve Moffatt.
“Everyone at the club is over the moon and really excited for me — but that’s the club, where we’re like one big family,” McCarthy said. “I know it is going to be a tough fight. I’ve been doing this long enough now to know you never get an easy street.”
McCarthy’s main sponsors are North East Refurbishments Ltd., Gary Tuck Workshops, Hanson Wealth, Paul Davis Aerials and Carmeleon Concepts. Kuei-Ling Kickboxing Club is based at 40 Maxwell St., South Shields, UK.
Also featured on Saturday night’s co-main event is popular Lockport knockout artist the “Son of a Legend” Joe Taylor.
For years, Taylor and another top heavyweight, Cameron McClaney of Rochester, have crossed paths, but have never met in the ring. Lace Up Promotions was able to put the long-awaited bout together, which is slated to be an explosive fight.
Taylor is currently 1-0 as a professional kickboxer and 1-0 as a professional mixed martial arts fighter. Both fighters promise the decision won’t be up to the judges and they will control the outcome of the bout by knockout victory.
Taylor is currently training at Western New York MMA in Buffalo under head coach Lockport native Corey Webster. McClaney set up his training camp on the west coast in California.
Also on Saturday’s fight card is Lock City favorite, Erick “The Candyman” Plumeri, who takes on journeyman Whitney Wadell of Florida. Plumeri has been a crowd favorite and dubbed the “Blood and Guts Warrior of Kickboxing.”
Another popular local fighter, Kenmore West schoolteacher and Lace Up Promotions Women’s Middleweight champion Ayanna Tremont will defend her title against Syracuse’s Tania Marchall.
Also on the undercard is the rematch between “Baby” Joe Mesi’s nephew, Tyler Mesi, and Lockport’s inspirational Tyler Rodier. Rodier won by decision when the two battled at the Kenan last year.
Among the many sponsors of Saturday’s fight card are Mulvey Construction, All Metal Works, KJ Motorsports, MJ Flooring, Executive Landscaping, Jays Auto Sales, Niagara Gutter, Pizza Oven and Centimark Roofing.
The official weigh-ins are slated for 6 p.m. Friday at the Lockport Pub and are open to the public. Papa Leo’s will handle concessions.
Contact US&J Sports Editor John D’Onofrio at 439-9222 Ext. 6247.