Published: 06:00, 24 September 2021
The long-awaited return of big time kickboxing to the Casino Rooms in Rochester was an extra special one for promoters TKO Elite.
The sell-out show marked the 25th anniversary of the first professionally organised kickboxing event held in the Medway area. Twenty-two contests took place featuring fighters from all over the country.
It was the first big promotion for the Chatham-based TKO Elite gym held since the lifting of all lockdown restrictions.
The Medway towns were well represented with fighters from TKO Elite, plus from nearby PWA, Kingdom Kickboxing and the Unique Gym.
The highlight reel win was scored by TKO Elite Gym’s Will Rogers who scored a head kick knockout in the first round of his contest, the second time in a row he has scored such a win.
He was joined in winning ways by his team-mates Erin Wilkinson and Nondas Palaiokrassas, who scored points decisions over Ochea Summer and Prochar Skorobotov respectively.
PWA’s Callum Thomas took a unanimous decision win over Oliver Axby from Gravesend, while Jay Taylor from Kingdom scored a stoppage win in another meeting of Kent fighters, stopping Dan Morris from Meopham in the third round.
There was no fairytale ending to the career of Iste Ayonmike, ending his fight career 20 years after he first fought at the Casino Rooms by losing a points decision against Dean Blunt from Hemel Hempstead.
Cheered on by his 100-strong supporters, Ayonmike never gave up but found the youth of the opponent just a little too much on this occasion. However it was a fantastic ending to a career that started back in the 1990s under chief coach for TKO Elite gym Colin Payne.
Payne wished his former fighter and friend all the very best in retirement and thanked him for all he has done for the sport in the local area.
TKO Elite gym are looking forward to having fighters on events throughout the rest of the year and also to promoting the next Battle of Kent event in October, an event designed for the novice fighter and the biggest in the country of its type.