On Saturday, December 7, 2013, the WCK Muay Thai show: King’s Birthday Celebration took place at the Hollywood Park Casino in Inglewood, California. The event, celebrating his Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the King of Thailand’s 86th birthday, turned the famed Hollywood Park Casino into a little slice of Thailand by serving Thai food, showcasing Thai Classic Dance plus they had one of Thailand’s legendary fighters Thanit “Boom” Watthanaya featured in their Main Event.
When celebrating someone’s birthday it’s important to know a little something about that person. In this case, the man to ask would be President Barack Obama. In November of last year, Obama together with then Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Ambassador Kristie Kenney were guests of the King in Bangkok. Bottom photo provided by Pete Souza commissioned by the White House.
The 86 year-old King was born on December 5, 1926 at the Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in the United States. His coronation took place on May 5, 1950. Having reigned since June 9, 1946, he is currently the world’s longest serving head of state and longest reigning monarch in Thai history.
Photo of the King and his wife Sirikit was taken on their wedding day, April 28, 1950 (collage, top right), plus a family photo of Sangwal Mahidol na Ayudhya, the King’s mother, with her children, (l to r) Prince Galyani Vadhana, Prince Bhumibol Adulyadej and Princess Ananda Mahidol (appears top, left). Source: Bureau of the Royal Household, Kingdom of Thailand
How time flies. (In the above collage, middle left) King Bhumibol is shown addressing a joint session of the U.S. Congress on June 29, 1960. Sitting directly behind the King is the late Richard Milhous Nixon who was Vice President at the time.
As mentioned the evening’s Main Event featured Thanit Watthanaya (46-13, 19 KOs). His opponent, Romie Adanza from Newport Beach, CA (17-5, 6 KOs) was quite familiar with Boom. The two great fighters had split their earlier meetings. Adanza, who first trained as a boxer, won their first meeting with a knockout. In their second match Watthanaya managed to stay clear of Adanza’s fists and came away victorious winning by a split decision.
Saturday’s five round WBC Muaythai Bantamweight Super Fight only lasted until midway into the second round. Adanza, in phenomenal shape, weathered Watthanaya’s earlier kicks and strikes, then dominated the match with his ferocious, better leveraged punching. The punch, that sent Watthanaya wincing in pain to the canvas, was a left to the midsection, a crushing shot to the liver. When you get hit in this tender spot, it’s almost impossible to continue and in Watthanaya’s case, he stayed down on that canvas for a very long time.
Pre-fight, it was mentioned that Adanza had dedicated this fight to his dear friend and training partner Shane Del Rosario (photo, top left) who at the time was still in the hospital after suffering a heart attack. The photo shows Del Rosario receiving the WBC Muay Thai Heavyweight World Title belt from WBC President Dr. Jose Suliaman. (bottom photo) We see Adanza holding up a shirt with the message, “Aloha Shane Del Rosario, Ohana” which loosely translates to, “Greetings Shane Del Rosario from your family.” Adanza, Adanza’s support group along with his coach, Colin Oyama, announcer Chris Gregory and InSync CEO Dennis Warner were happy about the victory but at the same time in a dour, somber mood concerning the fate of their friend.
Del Rosario had been a professional mixed martial artist since 2006, also competing in kickboxing and Muay Thai competitions. He was the first American winner of the WBC World Heavyweight Muay Thai championship in 2007. After winning his first 11 pro MMA bouts while competing in Strikeforce, M-1 Global and other promotions he moved on to the UFC in 2012.
In the evening’s Co-main event Bryce Krause’s power was on full display against Joe Davidson. It took him less than a round to defeat Davidson and win the WBC Muay Thai Super Welterweight National Title.
Basically, Krause did it with two big overhand rights, two monstrous punches that worked with radar to land squarely on Davidson’s chin.
To his credit, the game Davidson went down, then quickly got back to his feet. After getting hit multiple times, the legs started to wobble. After Krause dropped Davidson for the final time, referee Chris Adrian could see he was in trouble and stopped the bout. With the win, Krause improves his record to (11-4-1) while Davidson drops to (5-5).
Complete results, Bout #1 through Bout #13:
Bout #1, a three round IAMTF Welterweight contest featured Gustavo De Valle (1-1, weighing 144 lbs.) getting the TKO victory over Eduardo Molina (3-1, who weighed in at 144.5 pounds).
In round one, it was as if Molina, the first to land a solid punch, had awaken a sleeping giant. De Valle responded immediately with multiple shots to the head and soon Molina was taking a seat on the canvas. The crowd was then treated to this most comical posturing by Molina who had this wide grin on his face. A grin that could be interpreted in two ways. He was either telling De Valle that he had just gotten lucky or he was telling De Valle, “Is that all that you got?”
After getting floored a second time, the sham was repeated. It was like watching the movie Ground Hog Day with Bill Murray, once again, Molina had this same sh.. eating grin on his face.
When it happened a third time, the smile was gone and Molina looked like he was spaced out while looking blankly at the referee. The change in his expression was all referee Dr. Nelson Hamilton needed to see and he immediately stopped the fight.
Bout #2, an IAMTF Lightweight match featured Seferino “Sef” Ramos (4-1) weighing 140 lbs. going up against rookie Jorge Poveda who weighed 138.5 lbs. for his pro-debut.
In Round #1, with Proveda providing these head snapping punches and the harder kicks, it appeared the shorter Ramos was destined to lose. By the end of Round #2, Ramos had gotten himself in a groove to make that second stanza a toss-up.
By the third round, Ramos had become the aggressor by working his magic on the inside. He appeared stronger than his opponent who was suddenly tiring. The judges agreed and this reversal of fortunes ended up making the contest a Draw.
Bout #3, a three round WCK Muaythai Welterweight match featured Bronson Casarez (weighing 146 pounds) in his pro-debut defeating Chris “Mohawk” Minor (3-1, weighing 141 lbs.) by an unanimous decision.
As is common for first timers, Casarez got off to a shaky start in Round #1, and this mean looking cut under his right eye made things look even worse.
After gaining his confidence, the more energetic Casarez started to own Minor and began chasing after him right up until the final seconds. Casarez did the majority of his scoring with left hooks to the head in combination with high kicks to the ribs. With the ends of his red mohawk hairdo hanging down in his eyes, Minor was simply outmuscled.
Bout #4 featured veteran WCK Muaythai super cruiserweights, Jason Rzepka from Fullerton, CA, weighing 198 lbs. and Miguel Cosio (5-3-1, weighing 218.5 lbs.). The fight, which began well for Cosio, ended in a for shame draw.
Cosio, who appeared to be in full control early, simply ran out of gas and perhaps focus after being deducted two points for a head butt in Round #2. Early on he was masterful. At one point he took four unanswered blows to the head and came back to deliver six of his own to send Rzepka to the canvas.
Neither fighter was in the best of shape and at one point they spent an inordinate amount of time just leaning on each other which provoked a few boo-birds in the crowd.
Bout #5 featured IAMTF Women’s Super Flyweights Natalie “Killface” Morgan (7-2-1, 114 lbs.) winning a close unanimous decision over Janet Todd (4-1, 114 lbs.).
Both fighters were busy throughout but overall, the edge in accurate, more effective blows and kicks, has to go to Morgan. Early on, Todd appeared to be the better conditioned fighter, especially after she landed eight, straight, unanswered blows. But that aggressive style slowed somewhat after the first round ended.
Bout #6, an IAMTF Super Lightweight match, featured Robert Lemus (5-1-1, weighing 143 lbs.) defeating late replacement Pong Jan Jira by an unanimous decision.
In Round #1, the much taller Jira was the aggressor and impressed the crowd with high kicks, sweeping knockdowns and his punching prowess. Lemus, more content to wait and counter, may have alienated the judges, the same way it did the crowd.
That all changed in rounds two and three after Lemus’ took full control. He went nonstop while Jira began to slow down considerably.
Bout #7, a WCK Muaythai Super Welterweight bout, saw Rene Orozco (5-3, weighing 153 lbs.) earn a split decision victory over Jacob “The Problem” Powell (6-1, who weighed in at 159 pounds).
Orozco took the action packed first round by basically outmuscling his opponent. From that point on, the match had one momentum swing after another.
In round #2, Powell did better by using these wide, looping punches. The downside to these punches was the way they were wearing him down. In the end, the battle of attrition was won by the taller Orozco.
Bout #8 featured a WCK Muaythai Cruiserweight match in which Jacob Poss (3-1, 189.5 lbs.) defeated Adam Corrigan (2-1-1, 185.5 pounds) via an Unanimous Decision.
If the people from the Guinness Book of World Records were in the audience, I’m certain they would have been keeping track of the number of times Mr. Corrigan went to the canvas. It was a lot. At one point, Poss, the Good Samaritan that he is, leaned down to help Corrigan up. The referee stepped in and told Poss, “that’s a no-no.”
In Bout #9, an IAMTF Super Middleweight bout, it was Jules “The Nightmare” Wallace winning every round in his contest with Keith Beard (2-2, 163 pounds). After not being that competitive, the super confident Mr. Beard raised his left arm prior to the scores being announced. One of the gentlemen at ringside had a snicker on his face when he saw this reaction.
Bout #10, an IAMTF California Welterweight Title match featured Daniel Valdez (8-4, 148.5 lbs.) getting the quickie TKO win over Paul Silva (2-2, 155.5 pounds). With Valdez going for the jugular early, this lopsided TKO victory was over in a flash.
Bout #11, an IAMTF United States Light Heavyweight Title bout, featured Adam Fugitt (7-0, 174 pounds) challenging the current champion, Ronald Cruz (11-2-1, 174 pounds).
At first, the more experienced Cruz had his hands full defending his belt against this hot prospect from the Great Northwest. In their early exchanges, the youthful Fugitt exhibited slower hands but he made up for it with noticeably better kicks, a furious kicking style that went nonstop.
Every time Cruz felt the need to assert himself, he’d either use his solid striking skills or pull out the round with some flash kick. During the third round, he picked Fugit up off his feet and threw him back down. To have a shot at beating Cruz in the future, Fugitt will need to improve his boxing skills.
Surprisingly, the judges were split on who won the match. Those who favored Cruz scored the bout 48-45 and 48-47, while the third judge who obviously gave Fugitt more credit for his kicking, scored the bout, 48-47 for Fugitt.
Bout #12, the co-feature, was the WBC Muay Thai Super Welterweight United States Title fight between Bryce Krause (153 lbs.) and Joe Davidson with Krause winning the match early via a (T)KO in round one.
The final bout, Bout #13, the Main Event, a WBC Muaythai Bantamweight Super Fight, saw the native of Newport Beach, CA, Romie Adanza (117 pounds) stop the representative from Khorat, Thailand, Thanit “Boom” Watthanaya (118 pounds) in the second round.
Referees on the night were Dr. Nelson Hamilton and Kris Adrian. Judges were Jackie Denkin, Ruben Rowell, Dr. Nelson Hamilton and Kris Adrian. Timekeeper: Willie Arriola, Physicians: Tony Hicks and Paul Wallace.
Additional info about the Casino and its connection with the Hollywood Park Race Track
The Hollywood Park Casino, located on the same property as the world famous Hollywood Park Racetrack on Century Blvd in Inglewood, CA, opened it’s doors back on July 1, 1994. It was the first casino in the U.S. located at a racetrack combining the action and excitement of live casino card games with the thrill of live and simulcast thoroughbred wagering.
Just this year, a gentleman by the name of Eric Swallow (top photo left) took over the Hollywood Park Casino and has been trying to return it to its glory years. You also have the local town council working on a $2 billion dollar revitalization plan to switch the Hollywood Park race track into Hollywood Park Tomorrow, a retail and residential complex with a spacious 25 acre park, a lake and waterfall.
What’s happened to the once great race track? (top photo, right) Plain and simple, horse betters are now betting more off-track than at the track. Hollywood Park, which began racing in 1938, when Jack L. Warner of Warner Bros. was the chairman of the Turf Club, had major backers. Many Hollywood actors and directors were original shareholders in the track, including Walt Disney and Bing Crosby. In it’s first year, the legendary Seabiscuit won the inaugural running of the Hollywood Gold Cup, the track’s signature race.
Throughout its history, Hollywood Park has been a pioneer of the horse racing industry, inventing exacta betting in 1971 (picking both the first and second place horses), being the first track to average a $4 million daily handle in 1997 and hosting the inaugural 1984 Breeders Cup which was watched by an estimated 50 million viewers. In 1965, the track drew a record average of 34,516 people a day. In 2009, they only drew an average of 6,111.
WCK Full Rules Muay Thai
Don’t forget you can always watch WCK Full Rules Muaythai on Fox Sports San Diego (Thursdays at 10 p.m. PCT) and Fox Sports Prime Ticket (Fridays at 11 p.m. PCT). Their latest show features Adam Rothweiler taking on Adrian Morilla.