A week after MWF Balikbayan (late blog post on that coming soon), I had to do another ring announcing gig in the same venue. It was the Andy Kunz Fight Night, an amateur kickboxing event. I did think it was going to be a relaxing day of me just shouting out names of two guys about to beat the shit out of each other, but it turns out I had to do more things than that. In fact, particularly for this event, I had to do even more juggling than I usually do with MWF events.
Last year, in my very first ring announcing gig, the only extra thing I had to do was help the judges add up the scores and determine who won each match. This time, I had to help with booking the matches at the last minute; relay messages between organizers, fighters, and fight managers; bell-ringing and time-keeping; recording the matches on my camera; and the ring announcing itself.
Of course, the most enjoyable part of the whole thing was shouting out names because I actually do find that fun. Other than that, making this vlog was also kinda fun, so it wasn’t too bad an experience as a whole.
DISCLAIMER: I’m a ring announcer and production crew member for this event, so this is not an impartial review. Reader discretion is advised.
Andy Kunz Fight Night Match Card
Arnel Sabandal vs. Warren Medina
The story of this fight was Warren’s right hand against Arnel’s left hand. By the second round, Warren had gotten into the flow and homed in on Arnel’s tendencies. Whenever Arnel would throw a leg kick, he would look to fire that right hand. By the third round, he also started landing head kicks.
While it was a competitive fight for the most part, what made it look less so on paper was the two low blows Arnel unintentionally threw at Warren in the first round. That tends to happen in an open stance fight when one of them likes throwing a rear low kick.
Jason Villaceran vs. Kaiel
Kaiel, the Yaw-Yan fighter, was added in at the last minute. Apparently, he’s an instructor in Yaw-Yan Fervilleon, so he came into this fight with a fairly high skill level, and it showed. It also seemed like the roundhouse-backfist combo is a Yaw-Yan Fervilleon staple, so much that it seems like they tend to overuse it. I could be wrong.
Jason was no slouch either, and he ended up being the only Sports District Gym fighter who actually got to fight in the event. There were two other fighters, both named Marc Anthony Azul—which was really funny and confusing when I was helping with the final card.
Joy Damasio vs. Francis Mago
Another Yaw-Yan fighter against a guy from another gym. I wasn’t able to get what the other guy’s gym was; I couldn’t find search results that clued me in on what “Dumag” is.
When your name is Joy and you’re a guy training in one of the most cutthroat gyms in the Philippines, you better be tough. That’s exactly what Joy showed in this fight. On the other hand, Francis showed a good bit of creativity and moxie, but his lack of cardio did him in.
Light Contact: Gian Carlo Bilon vs. Norihisa Watanabe
This light contact kickboxing bout was looked at by some of the audience in the venue with a good bit of curiosity as it was a gym where pro fighters train in. Apparently, they go hard most of the time here in the Philippines, so light contact wasn’t as common as it should be.
There were no knockouts to be expected since it was light contact ala-Savate Assaut rules, and there was a lot of activity from both competitors due to lack of hard strikes. Norris (Watanabe) does not participate in any hard contact fight, only going for light contact to compete while still being able to preserve his brain health.
Rumiko Umeda vs. Kate Abayan
Nothing much to say about this other than that they made Rumi shadowbox in the ring while I timed a minute. After that minute ended, I announced her as the winner by default. This was supposed to be the main event. Yeah.
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