Champions Face Challenges


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Steko’s Sportcenter, Munich, May 14 – An evening before the champions of European football are crowned, sports fans in Bavaria will have a chance to watch world champions show off their skills against some stiff competition.

This Friday night at the Olympic Ice Stadium, we will again see three of Steko’s best kickboxing and Thai boxing fighters look to continue their legendary status.

The main event of the show is Dr. Christine Theiss versus Ania Fucz.  Theiss is the elegant WKA champion and seen as the best professional kickboxer in history, still unbeaten and still looking for the biggest challenges within her chosen field.

Her opponent, Ania Fucz, is the IKBF title holder who also has an impressive resume with 38 wins, two draws and two losses.

This will be a really intriguing contest because of the contrasting styles and personalities, so will we continue to see the traditional discipline usually shown by each fighter.  The two couldn’t be more different from Theiss’ last fight on March 2nd when she fought Olja Zerajic.  At the Post Palace, both fighters showed discipline, professionalism, sportsmanship and respect before, during and after the fight.

However, this time the media has been kept on their toes, solely because of Fucz’s discipline.  Ania has been constantly trash talking about Theiss which will be seen by many as the inappropriate behaviour in a sport that traditionally is all about respect, respect for yourself, respect for your opponent and most of all, respect for the ancient martial art.

Dr. Christine Theiss (left) is undefeated but Ania Fucz is looking to back up her trash talk and spoil the night. Photo: Mitha / Sport Eagle

Every opportunity that Fucz has had, she has been driven to criticise the legendary champion Theiss, claiming that the standard of opposition hasn’t been as strong as it could have.  Although, for the true fight fan, it is clear that Dr. Theiss has fought the best around, never taking a backwards step to duck any female fighter in the world.

Is it a case of Fucz being envious of all Theiss’ achievements, the major sponsors, the support of a TV network, or is this the one and only way that Ania Fucz thinks she can beat the exceptional undefeated fighter?

This is a question that will be answered on Friday night.  Fucz seems to have chosen her method to prepare for this fight by appearing to want to humiliate the current WKA champion verbally using social media such as Facebook, YouTube and organised press conferences.  However, Theiss, the humble, charismatic, intelligent and attractive champions, has stuck to her traditions and not taking to the bait which has been dangled by Ania.

Editor’s Note:  Sport Eagle will have reporters Craig White and TSalman Mitha live at Steko’s Fight Night.  You can follow them as they go at it on Twitter @Craig_SportEagle and @Sal_SportEagle respectively.

Both fighters made weight easily, the question was would we see a kickboxing version of the weigh-in between Derek Chisora vs. Vitali Klischko?  No, although there were some unpleasantness said by the challenger, while the two fighters arrived for the stare down.  It appeared that Ania made her final attempt to goad the current champion and finally crack Theiss.

However, the challenger couldn’t have been more wrong. The only reaction from the champion was to show the public why it is so important we keep these age old traditions of martial arts as Theiss listened to all the verbal taunting.  When Ania turned her back and went to walk away after the face-off picture, Thiess shouted, “Ania” and stuck out her hand to shake on the contest.  The true respectful behaviour we would expect from someone who has achieved so much in the sport.

Now we wait – will envy help drive the challenger to greater achievements or will this fuel the undefeated champion to give her a lesson in the sweet science of the sport and punish her for the entire duration of the contest?

In another fight on the main card, the rising star Florian “Fist” Pavic will face off against Pacome Assi for the WKA heavyweight title.

Florian is another undefeated Steko fighter who is reaching his prime at the right time.  You could call him the male version of Theiss, he too is supported by the same sponsors as his female teammate, also undefeated in the ring, and could be the face of many a German or global brands.

Fist has faced some very difficult fighters in the past, the likes of Bob Sapp and his last opponent Mighty Mo, to name a few.  In Pavic’s last outing, he faced the American Mo who was approximately 40 kilos heavier than him, which meant ring craft would be required to defeat his opponent.

Fist Pavic (left) will face an evenly talented and physical fighter in Frenchman Pacome Assi. Photo: Mitha / Sport Eagle

This time it will be a different situation all together, the Frenchman Assi is the same weight and stature as the Croatian/German and in some ways should make it an easier proportion for Pavic.  However, Pacome is clearly a very athletic challenger.  Both men standing are close to 6 feet 4 inches tall and both of them very physically strong looking.

Fist Pavic (left) will face an evenly talented and physical fighter in Frenchman Pacome Assi.  Photo: Mitha / Sport Eagle
In the first fight on the main card, Willy “The Lion” takes on Chris van Venrooij for what will definitely be the hardest fight of Willy’s undefeated career.

As we all know, Willy has the heart and determination of a lion, hence the reason he always plays up to his moniker wearing his beloved lion mask.  However, tomorrow is more than just a title fight. It’s a fight that “The Lion” wants to win to inspire his beloved FC Bayern who play in the Champions League final on Saturday against Chelsea in Munich.

However, Willy is under no illusion that this will be a easy fight especially when you review his last contest which he finished with a vicious leg kick inside the first round.

The Lion may have the undefeated record (26-0-1), but for the first time in his career he will enter the ring as the underdog.  This could be the perfect motivation for the undefeated man as he thrives on proving to opponents and reporters that he is the best Thai boxer on the planet.

van Venrooij, the current world champion, will surely have something to say about this.  Chris has reached the top, by fighting the best.  Facing any man, any place and is unlikely to buckle to the pressure of fighting someone less experienced than him.

At the weigh-in, both fighters made weight easily.  Then the staredown, neither man batted an eyelid and both fighters stood their ground with utter determintation to show the opponent, press and fans that this would be a fight to the end.

The arsenal of skills available to Willy and the incredible tree-cutting leg kicks he possesses, it will be interesting to see how hungry the current champion is to keep his belt. For sure Chris will have plenty of skills to show the challenger, question is – will he still have the desire and inspirational driving force which made him the champion?

One thing is clear, Willy has this in abundance and we will be privileged to be able to watch this Friday night. Willy wants to win for his native homeland, his new homeland and the football team he loves, and the people of Munich.

Steko’s Fight Night is on Friday, May 18th at the Olympic Ice Stadium starting at 18:00 CET.  Tickets available at München Ticket and CTS Eventim.  The main card will broadcast live on Sat1 in Germany starting at 22:05 CET.

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