A crowd of one thousand fans were treated to 16 bouts of Thai boxing over the evening which saw a new champion crowned and culminated in a heavyweight trans-Tasman superfight.
Fraser High School student and House of Pain representative Jordan Forlong, 16, picked up an early technical knockout over Te Awamutu's Rubein Libline with a ferocious attack that saw Libline on the canvas several times.
The win has Forlong in good form for his journey to the IFMA world amateur championships in Malaysia this May.
“It was good to have a first round finish in my home town in front of all the people I know,” said Forlong.
Local San Bu Kai fighter Hilton Underwood took a dominant decision over Sop Tieng from Wild Stables. Underwood controlled the pace of the fight with hard leg kicks before landing an overhand right that had Tieng on the verge of unconsciousness.
Raglan’s Johnny Rickard, a black belt in Kyokushin Karate since 1996 and former New Zealand champion, defeated City Kickboxing product Milo King in an 82kg battle that saw both fighters trading with the shorter and more muscular Rickard doing enough damage to take the victory.
Hometown hero Quade “The Magician” Taranaki fought an extremely dangerous Jordan “Sniper” Syme over five rounds for the WKBF NZ Light Welterweight title and a chance to compete for $15000 at King in the Ring this April.
Taranaki took the first two rounds in what may be the fight of the year using his speed and combination attacks before being dropped in the third by a right hand to the body.
"The body shots really took me by surprise," he said. "It was hard to get the air back in."
The Magician made the eight count and survived the round but never fully recovered to his earlier form.
Syme continued to attack the body and secured the final two rounds, taking the belt back to Grizzly ETK in Pukekohe.
"I think he deserved it," said Taranaki. "I guess it's back to training this week."
Taranaki and Syme are set to rematch for the WMC title later this year.
"It's going to be a war," said Taranaki.
Huntly Kickboxing’s Josh Healy dropped a spirited decision to Auckland’s Jaime van der Kuijl over three rounds in the co-main event.
The bout was even right up until the City Kickboxing representative landed a hard body kick late in the third round, stealing the victory in what was a competitive and balanced affair.
The main event had all the ingredients of an instant classic when over 200kg of powerful muscle met in an epic trans-Tasman clash that had the crowd in frenzy.
Australia’s Andre “The Giant” Meunier took on Avau “The Executioner” Faafautua in a wild brawl that saw both fighters swinging for the fences until a combination of body punches and a vicious uppercut from Meunier left Faafautua face down and unconscious on the floor before the end of the first round.
The bout continues Meunier’s New Zealand winning streak and with his previous victory over Tafa Misipati taken into consideration, he is not far from the top of the table in the heavyweight division.
Promoter Ethan Shepp said he was pleased with the event and the performances of his fighters.
“I’m very happy with the show and my boy’s fights.”
Shepp plans to run two Knees of Fury shows in Hamilton this year as well as four Australian events.
“I will be bringing different international fighters to Hamilton,” he said.
Knees of Fury returns to Hamilton in October with fights to be announced at a later date.
Declan Tuau - JCB Muay Thai DEF Manny Wyatt - Huntly Kickboxing via UD
Nic Lyall – Fortitude Cambridge DEF Hamiora Ulufonua – ROA Whakatane via UD
Fou Ah Lam – ETK DEF Ioane Rota – House of Pain via UD
Matt Vaile – IMA DEF Korey Samuels – KRMA Hastings via TKO RD1
Tyson Patrick – Cambodian Kickboxing DEF Josh Cam – San Bu Kai via UD
Melody Downs – Team Downs DEF Natalia Teller – ETK via UD
Oscar Remihana – Hellbent Muay Thai DEF Ollie Le Lievre – City Lee Gar via KO RD1
Jordan Forlong – House of Pain DEF Rubein Libline – Dragon Muay Thai via KO RD1
Hilton Underwood – San Bu Kai DEF Sop Tieng – Wild Stables via UD
Johnny Rickard – Ultimate Kickboxing DEF Milo King – City Kickboxing via UD
Carlos Hicks – House of Pain DEF Rangi Haggie – Huntly Muay Thai via UD
Victor Mechkov – ETK DEF Luke Jumeau – IMA/Core MMA via UD
Alexai Serepisos – Jai Gym DEF Conner Mooney via KO RD1
WKBF LIGHT WELTERWEIGHT TITLE FIGHT
Jordan “Sniper” Syme – Grizzly ETK DEF Quade “The Magician” Taranaki – House of Pain via UD
Jamie van der Kuijl – City Kickboxing DEF Josh Healy – Huntly Kickboxing via SD
NZ vs AUS HEAVYWEIGHT SUPERFIGHT
Andre “The Giant” Meunier – Ultimate Kickboxing DEF Avau “The Executioner” Faafautua – Grizzly ETK via KO RD1