King of Kings (KOK) Kickboxing made its debut in Helsinki, Finland Friday.
The fight card began with the FightBox KOK Hero’s Series event, which featured a four-man featherweight contender tournament.
Pok Bill, a Thai based in Finland, established himself as a contender to KOK World Featherweight Champion Stanislav Renita with an impressive tournament victory.
Bill advanced to the final with an impressive second round TKO against Janis Freimanis of Latvia. The taller and quicker Pok, a southpaw, had the edge in round one before he finished Freimanis. The shorter Freimanis came inside and was hit with a right hook that put him on rubber legs before he went down. Freimanis got up, but traded right hooks with Bill and went down for the second time. The ref had seen enough and waved off the bout.
Bill faced Lauri “Pretty Boy” Suomela in the final. Suomela advanced with a three-round unanimous decision against Poland’s Dariusz Skoczek. Suomela was too sharp for the tough Pole, but took some damage near the right eye in a hard-fought bout.
In the final, Bill landed some good punches and knees to the body. Suomela landed some good shots also, and took a high kick from Pok but laughed it off. Pok was the winner, unanimously on points, but Suomela earned respect with his heart and determination.
With his colorful ring entrances, sunglasses, and trademark pink trunks, Pok brings character and charisma to the KOK featherweight division. He’ll need to be on top of his game if he faces Renita, as the Moldovan is an experienced champion known for his toughness.
-50 kg: Satu Mykkanen (Finland) def. Crista Padu (Estonia)-Unanimous Decision
The FightBox KOK Hero’s Series opened with a women’s bout in the 50 kg weight category. Mykkanen got the Finnish contingent off to a good start, as the IFMA medalist displayed her Muay Thai skills in a unanimous decision victory.
Mykkanen started the bout on her toes and used lateral movement. She connected with quick body kicks on the shorter Padu. When the fighters were at close range, Mykkanen landed some solid knees to the body in the clinch.
The Finnish fighter let her hands in the third round, and continued to score with knees in close on her Estonian counterpart. Padu showed her toughness in a unanimous decision defeat.
-60 kg: Abdifatah Khalif (Finland) def. Alireza Aholami (Finland)-Unanimous Decision
Debuting Finn fighters Khalif and Aholami put on a spirited battle. Khalif, a southpaw, was the quicker fighter and enjoyed a 7 cm height advantage. Aholami tried to get inside, sometimes getting a bit wild with his punches, and took some good shots from Khalif. There were no knockdowns. Khalif scored with a couple of hard knees to the body in the third round.
-65 kg: Henri Kurttila (Finland) def. Timo Venalainen (Finland)-Split Decision
Venalainen started the bout aggressively, but Kurttila was the fresher fighter late, and won a close split decison in an all-Finn featherweight match up.
-69 kg: M. Pultarazinskas (Lithuania) def. Sami Leino (Finland)-Unanimous Decision
The 18-year-old Pultarazinskas came into the bout as a touted prospect, according to the announcing team. The youngster showed some good skills and gained valuable experience against the tough Leino. Leino took some good punches in round one, and it seemed Pultarazinskas was on his way to a stoppage win. Leino hung in there though, and took the fight to Pultarazinskas late in the bout.
The FightBox KOK Hero’s Series was broadcast internationally in 60 countries, and also streamed worldwide on KOK Fights TV.
Daniel “Don Roid” Austin and Malcom Martin called the action, while Rytis Kuzmenka was the ring announcer.