Kickboxing Z Quick Jabs: world kickboxing champ turns to pro boxing; former kickboxing standout in prison

It’s been a slow weekend for the sport of kickboxing. No significant event took place. Read on for some random news and notes on the sport from around the globe.

Kickboxing Champ to Try Hand at Pro Boxing

World Boxing News reported that Ruqsana Begum, a WKA female Muay Thai champion at 48 kg, is planning to try her hand at professional boxing. Begum is a Muslim and her family hails from Bangladesh. Because of her family’s conservative background, she hid the fact that she was training in Muay Thai from them for almost five years out of a fear they would disapprove. She competed in international muay thai tournaments as an amateur, and turned pro and won a WKA title. Begum is a respected athlete in England-she was selected to be a torch bearer for the 2012 Olympics and has also designed sport hijabs for women. She is 34 years old however, which is an advanced age to try one’s hand at professional boxing. But with female boxing in England gaining popularity with the likes of Katie Taylor and Nicola Adams being featured on major television stations, it’s no surprise Begum is trying to capitalize. It’s a good time to be a female boxer in the U.K.

Eight Woman Tournament Scheduled for February 9 in Bulgaria

Speaking of female kickboxing, an 8 woman featherweight tournament is scheduled to take place on Friday February 9 in Bulgaria. The winner of the “Girl Power 5” tournament will receive a belt from the World Kickboxing Network. According to the promotion’s website, fighters scheduled to compete include Mallaury Kalachnikoff (France), Marina Spasic (Serbia), Tereza Dvorakova (Czech), Irem Akin (Turkey), Merima Basic (Bosnia), Valentina Simanikhina (Russia), Iliana Gelebova (Bulgaria), and Joana Nwamerue (Bulgaria).  Previous events are available to view by visiting the promoter’s website.

KOK 54 Update

KOK announced the middleweight final fight for the KOK 54 event that takes place in Riga, Latvia on February 24. Moucine Chafi of Spain will face Zaur Dzadov of Latvia in a 77 kg fight scheduled for 3 rounds.

Former Kickboxing Standout Sentenced to Seven Years in Prison

On a sad note,  Curtis “Cowboy” Crandall was sentenced to a minimum of seven years in state prison in Pitt County, North Carolina. Crandall, who competed in the 1980’s,  fought and lost to American kickboxing pioneers Joe Lewis and Don “The Dragon” Wilson during a career in which he competed across the United States. Once a talented fighter, he has battled substance abuse issues for years. Crandall was imprisoned for “selling cocaine and being a habitual offender”, and you can read the full story here. It’s a sad story and a reminder how substance addiction can destroy lives.

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