Great Evans makes history with first-ever world title for Romford's Team Falcon club
PUBLISHED: 14:00 05 October 2018
Romford's Team Falcon saw Gareth Evans crowned the WKMA super-welterweight full-contact world kickboxing champion on Saturday.
Evans went up against South American champion Falco Villafane over 12 rounds at the 3,000-capacity Planet Ice Arena, with the 30-year-old Argentinian having been in the UK for a week to adjust.
Villafane appeared extremely confident at the weigh-in a day earlier, but 36-year-old Evans –a four-time British champion – was not fazed and entered the ring to the sound of Neil Diamond’s ‘Sweet Caroline’.
The mainly English crowd were in good voice before the fight and the first round began with Evans immediately taking the fight to his opponent, letting him know it wasn’t going to be easy.
The round ended with Evans clearly taking the round with great combinations of his boxing and a variety of technical kicks.
And Evans continued to press the fight in the next round, with his aggressive approach and high work rate paying off as Villafane hit the canvas and was delivered a count by referee Pete Richardson.
Villafane showed his experience and toughness to survive to the end of the round, but the third and following rounds followed a similar pattern.
Evans dominated each round on the scoring front, with his excellent work rate and technique keeping him on top.
But Villafane was doing just enough to keep the fight competitive and also landed the occasional heavy straight right hand as he looked for the knockout.
The fight stayed at an incredible pace and in the final two rounds both fighters appeard to see the finish line and started throwing heavier shots, upping their work rate even further.
But after 12 blistering rounds the Team Falcon fighter was crowned the Romford club’s first ever professional world champion as he was given a unanimous points victory for the WKMA title.
Team Falcon’s Matt Higgs said: “After an outstanding full contact kickboxing career in which Gareth won four British titles and defended as many, picked up a southern area boxing title and competed under Muay Thai rules, he will now consider what the future holds.
“Whatever decision he makes this will likely be the highlight of his achievements.”