Schilling predicts win en route to title unification

Schilling predicts win en route to title unification

Light-heavyweight champion Joe Schilling puts his reputation as America's great hope for Muay Thai fame on the line when he meets undefeated Canadian challenger Simon Marcus in Las Vegas on Feb 25.

Muay Thai KO sensation Joe Schilling of the US.

WBC interim world champion Schilling is riding high with 10 KOs in 12 fights and he views Marcus as a final step for an ultimate showdown with Russian world champion Artem Levin who cleaned up all opponents in the recent Muay Thai Premier League.

Marcus from Toronto has promised he'll be the toughest opponent Schilling has ever faced.

And the US superstar's response was that anything short of a knockout victory would be a disappointment.

Rumours are rife that Schilling will fight Levin in a mega event of six WBC world titles in Bangkok on March 31.

"I'm ready for Levin," said Schilling. "I am at my peak and that means I'll be looking at knocking out Marcus on my way to unifying the world title."

Vegas promoter Scot Kent said Schilling had become the breakaway superstar of Muay Thai in the US.

"Everyone wants to see Schilling fight Muay Thai. The crowd loves his aggression. His KO record is unmatched anywhere. He's the Mike Tyson of Muay Thai."

At the same event, another Las Vegas rising star and WBC international middleweight champion Chaz Mulkey (7-4, 3KOs) hopes to continue a five fight winning streak against Miami's two-time world champion Gregory Choplin who has lost only nine times with 50 wins and 22KOs.

Mulkey impressed with his last win against British champion Simon Chu.

Muay Thai in New York

The first full rules Muay Thai event with legal elbows and knees was held in New York on Friday.

For years, Muay Thai fans had been complaining that New York was being starved of the full Muay Thai fix having to put up with less extreme modified rules that didn't allow elbows or stern grappling.

New York stand-up fighters have been forced to head west to use their full arsenal of body weapons. But with New Jersey allowing full rules for the first time last year it was only a matter of time before authentic Muay Thai became legal in the Big Apple.

US Middleweight champion and MMA practitioner Ky Hollenbeck from San Francisco described New York's decision as "awesome."

"Spreading the art is the end game, and NYC allowing it only increased the depth of the US pool of talent.

"I would like to see the true Muay Thai rules implemented everywhere in the US," said Hollenbeck.

Vegas fighter Chike Lindsay said the modified rules in New York were one of the biggest reasons why the West Coast led Muay Thai in the US.

"With elbows in the picture, MMA in New York is sure to soon follow," Lindsay stated.

New York Muay Thai trainer Kru Paul Minhas was truly overjoyed at the sight of New York's fight authorities embracing Muay Thai.

"Now finally we will be able to apply our elbow techniques in competition as well as in our gyms," he said.

Fighter Kevin Ross, often described as the US face of Muay Thai, said he looked forward to being able to go back to NY and "this time fight full rules."

Pongsaklek honoured

World flyweight boxing champion Pongsaklek Wonjongkam who has fought 25 championships during his sterling career has been named the WBC Fighter of the Decade.

According to the WBC president Jose Sulaiman: "This is an unbelievable record".

Pongsaklek is the boxer with the highest number of title bouts in the small weight divisions. He is only two championship fights short of the legendary Joe Louis and is on the way to beating Julio Cesar's all time record high of 37 championships.

Vitali Klitschko was named Boxer of the Year having made two mandatory title defences last year.

The great champion from Ukraine is likely to retire later this year.

The award for the Most Dramatic Fight of the Year was the world championship fought in Thailand between Thai challenger Kompayak Porpramook and champion Adrian Hernandez of Mexico. Kompayak won the title sensationally with a stunning KO in the 10th round.

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