Brent Sugrue, right, has been in great form in recent months. PHOTO/FILE
Three fighters from The Fortitude Gym in Masterton made their presence felt at the Capital Punishment 42 muay Thai event in Porirua on Saturday.
Novice Jacob Foster — competing in his first bout — was the first to enter the ring.
He was up against Jacob Whawell and fighting at 68kg.
The result did not go his way, but trainer Zane Hopman said his fighter was subject to some questionable officiating.
“Some of the decisions didn’t help but he gained a wealth of experience and wants to fight again soon.
“It’s great to have that attitude, especially when he his first experience wasn’t exactly what we had hoped it would be.”
Foster was back in the gym on Monday and ready to work hard and improve, which was exactly what Hopman had hoped for.
Serin Edwards had not fought in about 10 years, but stepped back into the ring on Saturday to put his skills to the test.
He was fighting at 95kg against Trulin Toa Toa, and made a quick start.
Edwards dominated the first round and was the busier and more effective striker throughout the fight, but did not have it all his own way.
A couple of flurries from his opponent in the final seconds of the second and third rounds did enough to swing two of the judges, and Edwards lost via split decision.
Hopman was happy with how his troop had performed.
“Again, if I was scoring the fight I would have given it to him . . . he dominated the first round, but I think a couple of shots dented his confidence later in the fight.
“He let in a few flurries but showed better consistency through the fight.”
That left Brent Sugrue as the final fighter from The Fortitude Gym, and the pressure was squarely on his shoulders to get a win for the group.
He fought Logan Poching at 73kg, and came into the fight on the back of a string of impressive results in recent months.
A few changes to his training and diet had shown dramatic improvements in his fighting, and he carried that momentum into Saturday’s fight.
“He dominated from the start to the end and landed a barrage of strikes using his full arsenal of muay Thai weapons,” Hopman said.
“It was a clear and unanimous decision victory.”
Hopman said the changes in Sugrue’s training regime had taken his fighting to another level.
“We made those changes and it’s been great for him — he’s had a few fights this year and has won all of them convincingly.”
A North Island title fight would be next on the agenda for Sugrue if possible, Hopman said.
Jade Fleetwood, another fighter from the same gym, will be representing the Cook Islands in a fight in Tahiti in July.