Cap City Fight Promotions’ Fall Brawl in Little Italy took place at St. Anthony’s Banquet Hall on Friday September 29. The fight card boasted nine bouts featuring amateurs from gyms across Ontario and Quebec, with one main event and two co-main events. As live sporting events go in the city, Muay Thai fight nights have consistently delivered high level amateur competition.
On fight nights, an ecosystem grows around the action in the Thai boxing ring. The hall is a controlled chaos governed by the ebbs and flows of events on the roped platform. Steady streams of visitors drifted from the bar in the back of the hall to the vendors milling beside the walls. Athletes warmed up on the balcony overlooking the floor, while broadcasters planted themselves at ringside. Emotions rippled across the room in waves as fighters exchanged blows and tested their opponent’s resolve. At one point, a sharp smack rang out as a fighter threw a well timed roundhouse kick to her opponent’s head. Her opponent collapsed and remained motionless on the mat as the referee called a stop to the match. The audience held its breath, suspended between delight, concern and disbelief, before erupting into applause when the fighter struggled to her feet with the help of officials.
For the most part the athletes were paired well, representing various levels of skill and weight classes. The main event and co-main events were the night’s most experienced athletes, some who had proven themselves enough to forgo headgear and shin guards. The finale featured Joey Dubeau (Ottawa Academy of Martial Arts) and Warwick Fulke (N1 Thai Boxing Academy). Well matched in style and speed, each fighters stood their ground against the other’s relentless offence. Precision striking put both men off balance at different moments, but they kept composure and did not slow their advance until the final bell. After a hard fought battle, Dubeau earned the win by split decision.
As St. Anthony’s emptied out near to midnight at the end of the show, an autumn chill had drifted onto Preston Street. Spectators and fighters made their way down the lit streets disappearing into the night, headed home or to the afterparty.
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