|04-21-2004, 08:48 AM||#1|
Sapp Returns To Las Vegas For April 30th K-1 Superfight
[April 18, 2004] Former NFL lineman turned K-1 phenomenon, Bob “The Beast” Sapp (17-4 (8 KO’s), will make his second-career appearance in Las Vegas, Nevada during a K-1 “Battle At The Bellagio II” Superfight with martial arts fighting veteran, Tommy Glanville (19-5 (11 KO’s), on Friday, April 30th. The fight will air live along with the remainder of the main card on Pay-Per-View television.
The 6 foot 3 inch, 375-pound Sapp has taken the martial arts fight world by storm since he joined its ranks in the spring of 2002. Twice before his rookie year came to an end, the native of Colorado Springs, Colorado defeated K-1’s all-time greatest achiever – “Mr. Perfect” Ernesto Hoost – by way of brutal first round technical knockout and second round knockout, respectively.
Last August, Sapp made his highly anticipated fighting debut in The United States during the inaugural “Battle At The Bellagio” show. In a three-round Superfight with martial arts fighting veteran and fan favorite, Kimo Leopoldo, Sapp was surprisingly taken to task by his determined opponent before putting Leopoldo down for the second time in the bout and earning a technical knockout win at the 1:11 mark of the second round.
After emerging on the fight scene in Japan, Sapp quickly evolved into a larger than life celebrity there. To date, he has starred in over 200 commercials on Japanese television, has been a guest on every major talk show there, and has graced the cover of TIME magazine’s Asia edition. Sapp has been used to sell T-shirts, ice cream, lunch boxes and other Japanese consumer products on which his face is plastered.
News of Sapp’s rise to fame in The Far East made its way back to The United States last year. Shortly after landing on the front page of leading daily business periodical, The Wall Street Journal, the big man was a guest on NBC Network’s “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and FOX Sports Network’s “The Best Damn Sports Show, Period.” ESPN magazine, Muscle and Fitness, and hip-hop voice, The Source, have all covered the Sapp story.
The 6 foot 2 inch, 294-pound Glanville is a resident of Las Vegas and a veteran of three K-1 bouts. His last appearance on a K-1 card came three years ago in the form of a Las Vegas Superfight with Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania’s Mark “The Shark” Miller. Miller scored a knockdown on Glanville in the second round of action, but Glanville rallied in the third and final round and put his opponent down briefly before earning a unanimous judges’ decision victory.
To regain his old form, Glanville recently acquired the help of Las Vegas Boxing trainer, Skipper Kelp. Highly regarded for his insight into the western boxing part of the martial arts fight game, Kelp has been polishing Glanville’s punch combinations. He has also been putting the fighter in the ring with nearly every Superheavyweight sparring partner that Sin City has to offer, including K-1 veterans, Marvin Eastman and Dewey “The Black Kobra” Cooper.
Tickets for Friday, April 30th’s K-1 “Battle At The Bellagio II” event can be purchased online at K-1 USA’s website (www.k-1usa.net) store or by calling The Bellagio Hotel and Casino box office toll free at 1-800-963-9634.
|04-21-2004, 08:48 AM||#2|
Six of the eight tournament competitors have been named for Friday, April 30th’s K-1 “Battle At The Bellagio II” mega-card that will be staged at Las Vegas, Nevada’s Bellagio Hotel and Casino and air live on Pay-Per-View television.
The martial arts fighters confirmed for the tournament that will award its winner a place in a subsequent leg of competition later in the year are as follows:
• Michael McDonald
• Marvin Eastman
• Stephan Gamlin
• “Mighty Mo”
• Dewey Cooper
• Aziz Khattou
McDonald has been regarded as a dominant player in the sport since he earned two consecutive tournament victories in Las Vegas two years ago and amassed a total record of 8-1 in North American K-1 bouts between 2001 and 2002. Last May, he hit a rough spot in his career when he was ousted in the opening round of the eight-man K-1 USA elimination event by eventual champion, Carter Williams. McDonald displayed resilience, however, when he reached the championship round of the K-1 “Battle Of The Bellagio” eight-man tournament three months later and when he scored a knockout over Japanese fighter Hiromi Amada on the K-1 New Year’s Eve card in Japan.
Eastman, who sports a 10-1 (4 KO’s) record in professional kickboxing, has won over audiences throughout the martial arts fight world during the last few years with his explosive and fearless style of fighting. Two years ago, he stopped a heavily favored Jeff “Duke” Roufus during a Las Vegas K-1 Superfight by surprising the four-time world Muay Thai champion with a flying straight knee blast that sent Roufus down for the 10 count only seconds into the third round of their matchup. Since then, Eastman has ventured outside of K-1 and has reeled off wins against numerous world-class opponents, including Vernon White and Alex Stiebling.
Gamlin and the fighter who prefers to be known only as “Mighty Mo” will each make their North American K-1 debuts. At 6 feet 6 inches tall and a whopping 325 pounds, Gamlin is the latest giant to cross over from another professional sport to martial arts fighting’s most prestigious promotion. A former NFL Europe defensive tackle, the big man is also an undefeated professional boxer. The 6-foot, 280-pound Mighty Mo joined the ranks of K-1 earlier this year with a 20-18-2 (16 KO’s) professional boxing record under his belt. In what was only his first start under K-1 rules last month, he stunned spectators by taking out 21-year-old Japanese K-1 prospect, Hiraku Hori. After dropping Hori twice with kicks, he sealed a knockout victory in the fourth round by flooring the Japanese fighter with a left hook.
The 6-foot, 210-pound Cooper, otherwise known as “The Black Kobra,” will return to Las Vegas K-1 tournament action for the third year in a row. In 2002, he picked up his first victory in tournament competition by outpointing six-time kickboxing champion, Jean Claude Leuyer, a fighter who outweighed Cooper by 33 pounds. Last August, he returned and put on what was arguably the best show of the evening at the inaugural Battle At The Bellagio card. Opposite Carter Williams in a three-round Superfight, Cooper was the busier and the more aggressive of the two fighters before he was declared the loser of a controversial judges’ decision. Cooper boasts a perfect record of 10-0-2 (7 KO’s) as well as a spectacular record of 27-6 (17 KO’s) in professional martial arts fighting.
Khattou is an established K-1 veteran who has done the majority of his fighting in Japan and in Europe. Last August, though, the Belgium native made his way to The United States for the first time and outclassed Mexico’s Raul Romero during the quarterfinal round of K-1 “Battle At The Bellagio” tournament competition. On Saturday, March 27th, Khattou returned to action in Saitama, Japan where he faced former International Boxing Federation (IBF) World Heavyweight Champion, Francois Botha. Khattou dropped the world-class boxer in the opening round with a straight punch and maintained enough poise throughout the remainder of the fight to earn a majority judges’ decision victory over Botha.
The remaining two spots in the April 30th tournament are expected to be filled and announced shortly. Additionally, the promotion will announce for the Las Vegas event a handful of single Superfights between top-rated professional fighters.
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