Life changing moments. Everyone has them.
A certain person comes into your life or experience happens, and what you thought was your path is forever altered.
For Britain’s Reon “The Beast” Wong, visiting the KO South Gym in London was such a moment. Already 28 years old, Wong embarked on a journey that has resulted in an aspiring career as a professional kickboxer.
“I’ve always been a fan of martial arts since watching Kung Fu movies and (pro) wrestling as a child,” recalled Wong.
“Growing up, I had certain dreams and ambitions that weren’t seen as a reality to me, and I took alternative paths. In recent years, I made the decision to pursue these dreams.”
“I was recommended to check out KO South,” he said.
“Since walking through the doors in February 2017, I haven’t looked back since.”
Wong’s pursuit of his dreams take him to an unlikely locale next Saturday. The fighter ventures into hostile territory to face top Latvian fighter Raimonds Aukstikalnis at the MMA Bushido 57/ KOK Fighter Series event on 23 February in Riga.
The bout marks Wong’s second appearance for the King of Kings promotion. Wong debuted at the KOK 58 event in London last summer, when he battled back from a first round knockdown to earn a draw with tough Azerbaijani Asaf Aslanov.
“This was a good fight and good experience for me to make my pro debut,” he said, speaking of the bout with Aslanov.
“Aslanov was a tough opponent, however I felt the knockdown was questionable. I kept a tight guard, and also believe I did enough to win. It was a learning curve, and has helped develop my growth as a fighter.”
In Aukstikalnis, Wong will be facing one of Latvia’s top kickboxers and a more experienced opponent. Some fighters would worry about fair judging if the fight is close, but Wong isn’t overly concerned.
“I’m aware being the away fighter can have a negative impact,” he said. “I have experienced this first hand, however I don’t tarnish everyone with the same brush, and hope that I will be judged fairly.”
Prominent in Wong’s corner will be coach, Master Sam Nankani. The fighter looks up to Nankani with the traditional reverence between a student and his sensei. Wong even listed Nankani as his favorite fighter in the interview.
“Master Sam Nankani-I have full belief and faith in his style and I am inspired by his achievements,” he said. “Seeing the way he operates takes me back to my childhood, watching the masters in martial arts movies.”
Wong now has children of his own, and is a committed family man with appreciation for both families-the one at home and the one at KO South.
“I’d like to thank you for the interview, KOK for having me. Master Sam Nankani and my KO South family for constantly pushing me to reach my potential.”
“Lastly, my family for supporting me-even through the hard weeks of camp and being my source of constant motivation.”