A showdown on the water
It’s a showdown on the recreational canal.
Modern Vision MMA, in cooperation with Muay Thai Niagara and the Niagara Sports Commission, are teaming up to bring Canal Chaos to the Merritt Park Amphitheatre this Saturday.
The event, sanctioned by KO Ontario and the Council of Amateur Sport Kickboxing (CASK), is the first such Thai kickboxing event to be held in the city according to Modern Vision owner and head coach Chris Bonfoco.
“We have quite a few competitors,” said Bonfoco, noting high-level fighters from Modern Vision and Muay Thai Niagara will deliver some top notch competition in the striking sport as a Niagara team.
“We’re always in competition so for us it is just natural,’ he said, explaining the choice to bring a card to Niagara. With about 14 fights half that card is occupied by the Niagara team that includes the likes of Matt DiCenso, Brendan Fang, Xavier Nash, Anthony Romero and Tammy Wolfe.
Bonfoco explained while DiCenso’s strongest suit may be grappling spectators can still expect a strong striking performance. Coming of an 8-1-0 amateur record in mixed martial arts (MMA) competition Canal Chaos will likely be one of his last fights before he turns pro. Bonfoco added the crowd can expect an equally exciting performance from fellow MMA champion Fang. Nash also promises to be a fighter to watch Bonfoco explained noting his stamina and ability to take a hit alone is enough to wear down the competition.
“The guy is just a warrior, he’ll stand in the middle of the storm,” said Bonfoco, noting females will be represented in the ring with Muay Thai Niagara’s Tammy Wolfe, the women’s national champion in K-1 kickboxing.
The days title match will see Anthony Romero, the 2010 Welland Male Athelete of the Year, facing down against Philip McDonald as they vie for the east coast title belt. Romero, a 15-year-old Notre Dame student will enter the fight an age division above his own after he picked up a win at the national low-kick championships and two separate titles at the Pan American Jui Jitsu Championships in Brazil.
“I’m very excited,” said Romero, who has been training in martial arts since age five. He noted the fight is a bit of a treat as he normally competes on the road and will finally have a chance to compete in front of home town fans.
“I just want to give a good show,” said Romero, who expects victory on the floating stage.
Bonfoco explained spectators can expect a top-level display of athletics as the event takes place.
“These are some of the most committed athletes in the world,” said Bonfoco, explaining the object isn’t to hurt or batter one’s opponent. The object is to take the belt.
Tickets to the licensed event run $20 and can be purchased at Modern Vision in the Seaway Mall. Weigh ins begin at noon p.m. before light contact bouts carry the event to an opening ceremony at 2:30 p.m. The main card will begin at 3 p.m. For a little levity Mascot Madness, with the Boston Pizza mascot squaring off against Gumby, at 4:30 p.m. for an intermission before main bouts run from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.