In 2023, there was one kickboxing fight event that clearly stood above the rest. RISE World Series 2023 Final Round was an unforgettable card from top to bottom, and it is the Combat Press 2023 Kickboxing Event of the Year. It was filled with title matches, tournament finals, knockouts, and relentless wars.
Event of the Year – RISE World Series 2023 Final Round
Toki Tamaru vs. Kumandoi Petchyindee
The main event saw the culmination of a year-long, eight-man tournament final. Muay Thai stadium king Kumandoi Petchyindee Academy had won six consecutive matches in 2023 alone. The Thai-born striker was just one win away from a RISE kickboxing tournament title and was matched against Toki Tamaru.
The 21-year-old Tamaru had a good career in kickboxing prior to 2023. But, in this calendar year, he truly grew into his skills. In the tournament final against Kumandoi, the Japanese-born athlete put together his finest performance to date. Tamaru knocked down his opponent early and out-pointed the highly skilled Muay Thai striker from bell to bell. It was an exciting match, where both men had success, but Tamaru had proved his mettle and resilience.
Chadd Collins vs. Petchpanomrung Kiatmoo9
The co-main event of RISE World Series 2023 Final Round was a shocking upset with a world title on the line. Since 2018, Petpanomrung Kiatmoo9, better known as Petch, has held a major world title in GLORY Kickboxing and has defended this throne in multiple matches. In 2022, the Thai-born striker added the RISE world kickboxing title to his name, making himself a multi-organizational champion. The pound-for-pound-ranked striker was looking unstoppable in his weight class. Between GLORY and RISE, Petch had won nine title matches.
Australia’s Chadd “The Shark” Collins has spent most of his career in Muay Thai, but he was ready to take a kickboxing world title by any means necessary, and he refused to back down. The match between Collins and Petch was a back-and-forth war. Collins never stopped marching forward or throwing strikes, clearly throwing the well-composed Petch off of his normal game.
Collins was also beating Petch at his usual game. The Australian athlete was out-maneuvering the Thai champion in the clinch and smothering his outside kick. After four rounds, the two fighters were tied going into the fifth. After a non-stop war, The Shark got his hand raised, becoming a new world champion, and toppling the legendary house of Petch.
RISE World Series 2023 Final Round was chock-full of brutal knockouts. After getting out-paced by GLORY title contender Abraham Vidales, Japan’s Kento Haraguchi stopped his opponent with a punch that the Mexican striker could not recover from.
The Dutch-Moroccan Zakaria Zouggary was putting on an aggressive pace against the Japanese Taiju Shiratori. This match was a bit of a war from start to finish. In the third round, Zouggary opened his guard to throw a flurry of punches and met a knee that put him out cold.
Shootboxing world champion Kaito Ono, of Japan, made quick work of James Condé. With a series of lightning-fast combinations, mixing punches and kicks, Ono added another victory to his record by first-round TKO after a number of knockdowns.
RISE titleholder, and karate champion, Kenta Nanbara and the Dutch Victor De Koning had a war in the heavyweight division. After three exhausting rounds, the judges decided one more round would be needed. In the fourth round, the Japanese Nanbara put down his Dutch opponent with a combination of leg kicks and punches.
Shiro Matsumoto is a former kickboxing and Muay Thai world champion. For this fight card, he was paired against the Muay Thai striker Boonlhong Petchyindee Academy. Shiro shut down the kicking game of his opponent and scored multiple knockdowns. With an overhand, Shiro won the match via knockout in the first round.
One of the most brutal knockouts in recent memory came from the Kan Nakamura vs. Ahmed Akoudad match. Japan’s Nakamura scored a knockdown in round two, and Akoudad looked to be on shaky legs. In the clinch, Nakamura pushed his opponent’s chin in the air and clobbered him with an overhand that put Akoudad out cold. Ahmed Akoudad met the wrath of Kan Nakamura.
Aside from the multiple knockouts in this event, there were other notable matches. The four-round war between Kazuki Osaki and Charoensuk BoonLanna, of Thailand. These two skilled strikers put on one of the best back-and-forth matches on the card.
Additionally, female division champions threw down. Reigning title holder Tessa de Kom went up in weight to challenge division queen Seina. It was a good match, and despite the size difference, Tessa performed well en route to a unanimous decision loss.
RISE World Series 2023 Final Round many other great matches and knockouts aside from the many listed here. The event from top to bottom was action-packed. It was an easy pick for the Combat Press 2023 Kickboxing Award for Event of the Year.
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