2014’s Fourth of July holiday weekend will be especially memorable for Team USA Kickboxers that spent the weekend competing at a Russia vs USA event outside Moscow, Russia. Team USA fighters Nathan Key, Shane Walker, Kaitlin Young, and Richard Abraham traveled with coaches Mark Greubel & Chris Elms and Official Tim Mazurkiewicz.
Nathan Key, who recently took Silver at the 2013 WAKO World Championships in Antalya, Turkey faced off against Russia’s national champion in a 75kg FCR bout. The two battled back and forth for 5 rounds, but Nathan Key lost the bout by split decision.
Kaitlin Young competed in a Women’s K-1 rules bout and even with some last minute changes to the fight card regarding her opponent and her fight weight, she still came out victorious with a solid win by judges decision.
Shane Walker made his first trip as part of Team USA Kickboxing and lost by TKO to one of the toughest fighters in Russia at his weight class.
Richard Abraham has competed in Thailand several time under Muay Thai rules, but this was his first time representing the USA under kickboxing rules as he challenged Russia’s incredibly experienced Datsi Datsiev. Rich had a very tough first round as he took some heavy shots from Datsiev, but he was able to battle back in the final rounds and lost a very close split decision.
To many people, a 1-3 record for the weekend may not sound very impressive, but as WAKO USA looks to rebuild kickboxing in the United States, one win and 2 very close decision losses is a big accomplishment. Russia is the 800lb gorilla on the international kickboxing circuit. Year after year Russia brings the largest teams to the World Championships and they win the most championships. Many of their elite fighters also have 100 or 150+ fights on their record. It will take WAKO USA years to catch up to Russia, but our team’s performance over the weekend shows that we are moving in the right direction and other national teams need to take notice.
We hope to share more info and stories when the team returns home later this week.