Steve McKinnon has made it three wins from three fights this year following a dominant performance over Englishman Joe Boobyer last night in the main event of Powerplay 35.
Returning to fight in 2017 following a two-year layoff from the ring, Steve McKinnon has shown that he still has what it takes to perform against the best in the division and after last night’s fight, he’ll move into 2018 looking to continue the impressive run.
The tale of the tape for the main event matchup had McKinnon as the bigger, bulkier fighter, whereas Boobyer had the clear height and reach advantage. Known for his aggressive walk-forward style of fighting, McKinnon didn’t let the reach advantage factor into the fight as he continually pushed the pace while keeping a high work-rate throughout.
While it was evident that Boobyer, making his debut in Australia after recently moving from the UK, has a high skill level, he was largely ineffective throughout most of the fight, giving McKinnon far too much respect. Constantly second to most exchanges, Boobyer showed an enormous amount of composure, if perhaps too much, allowing McKinnon to string together solid combination after solid combination to control the fight and take the decision quite convincingly.
Boobyer may not have got the result he wanted, but it was evident throughout that he is perhaps much better suited to muay thai, and it will be interesting to see how he goes under his preferred set of rules. The big question following the fight is what’s next for McKinnon? At the age of 40, he is certainly in the back half of his career, but with such a dominant performance last night against a skillful Boobyer, there is every indication that he can continue fighting on for as long as the body holds up.
In the night’s semi-main event local Huss Al Mansouri took on strong Sydney fighter Nathan Robson in an entertaining three-round K1 rules contest. The bout opened with both pushing the pace, and with the fight just three rounds long, neither had any time to waste to impress the judges. Al Mansouri focussed heavily on his boxing, while Robson was able to put together some great attacks using both his kicks and knees. The higher work rate went the way of Robson, who throughout the fight was able to impress the judges with an array of attacks, while Al Mansouri was unable to get out of first gear for most of the fight. Doing more than enough to sway the judges it was Robson who came out victorious with an impressive decision victory.
Taking the fight on only a handful of day’s notice, Queenslander Jonathan Aiulu traveled down to Melbourne looking to impress the local fight fans and solidify his position as one of the best up and comers in the division. His opponent, Elliott Glenister, was coming off a series of strong wins and came to the Powerplay ring last night focussed and looking to add to his tally. Like most five-round muay thai fights, both fighters started the bout cautiously, slowing learning where the potential weaknesses were and how they could exploit them in the later rounds. It was evident early on that Aiulu was coming to fight and at no time did he looked intimidated by the moment, landing some strong kicks throughout the initial rounds.
With both boys incredibly well-matched, there was often little to separate the two and fans in attendance were able to see some fine technique exchanged as the fight went on. Glenister showed that he was more than capable of matching Aiulu’s power kicks, pulling out some great crossing elbows late in the fight that landed flush on the temple of Aiulu. With no cut to be seen and no ill-effects Aiulu continued his push forward managing to land a clean dump on Glenister in the fifth round. In what was always going to be a tough fight for the judges to score, Aiulu was awarded a majority points decision and an important win before his next fight on the Tag Team Championship show in November.
Earlier on the card, Abdulmunim Nachar took on Jayden Wright in a bout for the vacant World Kickboxing Federation (WKBF) Victorian title. Both fighters came into the fight with unblemished records, but it was Wright who walked away victorious, taking a unanimous points decision and the title in only his fifth fight. Taking nothing away from Nachar, the bout was exciting from start to finish and a fantastic display of some great kickboxing skills between both fighters. With two solid chins and an enormous amount of heart between both Wright and Nachar, fans will be hoping that the two are able to run it back again in the near future if they can produce another display like that.
Announced on the night, Powerplay 36 will take place on Thursday 7th December at the Melbourne Pavillion. The card will feature Powerplay favorite Brad ‘Quake’ Riddell who returns to Melbourne after beating Steve Moxon in the main event of Powerplay 34 in July.