Duel Grand Prix takes the roof off the Walker Dome
On Saturday night, the Duel Grand Prix brought the very best in K1 and Muay Thai from around the UK and Europe right here to the North East. It was anticipated to be one of the biggest K1 and Muay Thai shows of the year in the UK and it certainly didn’t disappoint.
Moving from the NE6 Suite, where previous Duel shows have been hosted, half a mile up the road to the bigger venue of the Walker Dome, it was clear David Weild, promoter of Duel, had big plans for Duel Grand Prix.
Although I remember this venue from my Judo days when I was young (many years ago!), I was pleasantly surprised when walking into the Dome on Saturday. A lighting rig around the ring with seated stands surrounding the ring gave the feel of a traditional Muay Thai stadium in Thailand – and the fights did not disappoint either!
I am absolutely delighted with how the show went, and now that it is out the way we’re confident we can grow the brand and we’re truly excited by it’s potential to be a real force in UK Kickboxing and Muay Thai. – David Weild, Duel Promoter
Jake McIntyre of Loose Cannons showed solid heart against Joe Johnson of Manor Gym in a three round war which entertained the fans. The third round saw Johnson landing some heavy shots, stumbling McIntyre a number of times but he refused to go down and survived the full three rounds which went in favour of Johnson.
The Duel National K1 title was up for grabs in the 83.2kg division as local favourite Steve Ibbotson made his way to the ring accompanied by Micky Terrill and the Manor team. In true Ibbotson style, he came out landing some heavy shots and finished the fight quickly in the first round to take the title against Ashley Gibson, who was a last minute replacement after two of Ibbotson’s previous opponents had pulled out with injuries.
After the interval we kicked off with the start of the 95kg+ K1 heavyweight tournament. The first of the semi-finals drew “King” Kaz Mwamba against Correy Robbins. Kaz fought out a decision victory and progressed to the the finals of the £2k prizefighter tournament.
The next fight in the heavyweight tournament was one many called fight-of-the-night, between Lukasz Lehmann and Dawid Zoltaszek. Dawid landed some clean shots early in the first round which stumbled Lukasz and forced him to back up against the ropes. Dawid tee’d off with some vicious body shots, forcing Lukasz to attack with the clinch and landing a knee. They traded back and forth over multiple rounds, with both fighters looking like they could’ve finished it at any point, but it was Dawid who took the decision victory and advanced to the final, which he lost won by Kaz Mwamba who won the Duel K1 Heavyweight title and goes on to fight on Superkombat.
Next up was the 61kg Muay Thai tournament. Both Chris Shaw and Mo Abdurahman won their semi-finals and came up against each other in a final that was another contender for fight-of-the-night. The fight went the distance and went in favour of Chris Shaw, beating UK K1 Independent Rankings #1 Mo Abdurahman and taking the £3k prize.
Self-proclaimed “king of the north” Gary Laws of Northern Kings faced Jordan Williams of Phoenix Thai in another bout north east fight fans were eager to see. Both these lads are considered the best in their weight class not only in the North East, but in the whole of the UK too. Both bringing a traditional Thai style, they exchanged strikes over five rounds and fought out a majority draw. Another top bout that is sure to bring rumours around a rematch in the near future.