Lockport NY Served as the Battleground for One of Professional Kickboxing’s Epic Trilogies
Shannon Hudson of Lyman, North Carolina and Muzammal Nawaz of Burlington, Ontario faced off for the third time. Nawaz defeated Hudson in their first encounter in May 2009, while Hudson TKO’d Nawaz in a stunning upset on October 1st 2011. Only weeks after the second bout loss, Nawaz challenged Hudson and offered him the opportunity to fight for his prestigious WAKO PRO title. Both fights were held in Canada, so it was fitting for Hudson to have home country advantage for their third match.
Both Hudson and Nawaz share World Titles in other professional sanctioning organizations, however the WAKO PRO title is considered the most valued belt in the world of professional kickboxing.
The comparisons of the two fighters show a classic match-up of experience verses youth. At the age of 31 Hudson is considered at the prime of his career. He is the IKF World Champion, a title he took from Nawaz in 2011. Young, fast, and energetic are words that describe the rising American star.
Nawaz, the 43 year old veteran, is hailed as the ‘Warrior of 1000 battles,’ having fought in over 37 countries in a career than has spanned over two decades. During his reign the 5 time World Champion and has faced 9 other World Champions in many thrilling ring wars. His strengths are his experience, ring intelligence and his resilience.
Their third fight lived up to the anticipation of an epic fight destined for the history books.
Hudson took a narrow lead in the early rounds staying busier with a balance of kicks and punches. Nawaz stalked his opponent throughout the first half of the fight, conserving his energy but throwing strong body kicks. Most of his kicks were blocked however the impact of the kicks became evident as Hudson’s began to slow his pace in the later rounds.
A flash knock down of Nawaz in round six looked like the direction of the fight would swing in the favor of the American. However the tide of the fight changed dramatically as the proud Canadian shifted gears. Nawaz began to land hard straight crosses to Hudson’s head and penetrating rear round kicks to his body. The Canadian showed pin-point accuracy in his attacks. The Nawaz plan began to unfold. He kept increasing the intensity in the last few rounds forcing the fight to Hudson. It became clear that Hudson was now on the defensive as Nawaz pushed the pace. The final two rounds were the most exciting as both fighters fought like the outcome of the bout depended on these championship rounds. They fought hard right up till the final bell to the roaring cheers of the crowd.
It was Nawaz’s determination and dedication to his game plan that prevailed with all three judges scoring the bout in his favor 96-92, 96-92, 97-94. Nawaz defended his WAKO title and wore the belt once again.
The proud Canadian was victorious in his final ring appearance putting the icing on a spectacular career.
By: Andre Han
A brief clip showing some of the action in their 3rd bout