For decades a quintessential part of the Australian combat sports landscape has been the Australia vs New Zealand fight show. Loved by fans, promoters and fighters alike, national pride is put on the line when two individuals step into the ring to battle it out. Warriors Way 19 brings this classic rivalry to the forefront on Saturday at the Doncaster Shopping Town Hotel with four Trans-Tasman matchups and an exciting main event between Chris ‘The Butcher’ Harrington and Brett ‘Tux’ McCluskey.
The main event is truly a fight for the fans with Harrington taking on Ballarat’s McCluskey in what could very well be a five round war. Both fighters come into the ring with impressive records and a hard-nosed style that should ensure an exciting matchup for those in attendance.
A former WBC (World Boxing Council) and current WKA (World Kickboxing Association) Victorian Champion, the Tux excites fight fans as he walks forward with no fear and attempts to punish those who stand in his way. His last fight resulted in a first-round knockout in March when he defeated South Australian fighter Hayden Lion in the main event of Shins of Steel 10 in Whyalla. Looking to get back in the winner’s circle is Harrington who is coming off a tough loss to UFC/WEC veteran Anthony Njokauni at Lion Fight 34 in February. Harrington will need to put the loss behind him and use some of the determination that saw him win the MTA (Muay Thai Australia) Victorian title last year if he is to be successful in this contest.
In the main match-up of Team Australia vs Team New Zealand is local favourite and current MTA Victorian champion the ‘Filipino Flash’ River Daz taking on Canterbury based Nikora Lee-Kingi. Following on from a decisive win at Warriors Way 18 against Barthé Boumayé, Daz will be looking to continue his unbeaten streak and further cement his place as one of Victoria’s best lightweights. While perhaps not the most conventional preparation for a muay thai bout, Daz is coming off a draw in his third pro boxing fight in mid-May against seasoned fighter Shadey Souied. Already showcasing solid boxing skills in his past fights, it will be interesting to see whether or not his recent foray into pro-boxing will have an impact on Saturday night’s fight.
In a coup for the local muay thai promotion, promoter Mark Castagnini has been able to secure a bout with newly crowned XFC Featherweight Champion (MMA) Rodolfo Marques against undefeated Julian Gorious who fights out of the Dynamite Muay Thai Gym in Melbourne. Marques claimed a unanimous decision against Bevan O’Malley in mid-May at XFC 30 to take the strap in a five-round battle. How he will adapt to the ‘squared circle’ will be the defining factor on Saturday night in what is sure to be an intriguing match-up for MMA and Muay Thai fans alike.
- Chris ‘Butcher’ Harrington vs Brett ‘Tux’ McCluskey
- Liam McNeill vs Dominic Reed (NZ)
- Albert Xavier vs Chris Wells (NZ)
- River Daz vs Nikora Lee-Kingi (NZ)
- Elliot Glenister vs Shem Murdoch (NZ)
- Rodolfo Marques vs Julian Gorius
- Chris Wase vs Justin Bretherick
- Joseph Coverdale vs Iwan Jones
- Matt Eade vs Junior Stowers
- Richard Fateli vs Ricardo Guglietti
- Grace Astill-Torchia vs Kate Van Stavren
- Vasily Scepanovic vs Jac Yoe Tee
- Jorg Uhr vs Sean Gabb
- Jai Whitten vs Isacc Tomlinson