Commentator Austin Pleased to be Back at KOK Classic
Watching Saturday’s live broadcast of the KOK Classic 3 event, you could hear the excitement in commentator Daniel Austin’s voice. The FightBox HD and KOK Fights TV announcer seemed overjoyed with KOK’s return to the Siemens Arena in Vilnius, Lithuania, where the promotion holds many of its biggest events.
“KOK in Vilnius is the biggest kickboxing event in Europe. So it’s always something I look forward to,” Austin told Kickboxing Z via email.
“This time there weren’t nearly as many people, but it was still nice to be there. It’s a special place with a lot of history.”
Last Saturday’s event was held with a limited audience, in compliance with COVID-19 related rules set down by the Lithuanian government. Face coverings were mandatory for spectators.
2012 Olympian Evaldas Petrauskas won his first professional title, the Dream Boxing Baltic Welterweight Title.
Rising kickboxing stars Dovydas Rimkus and Matas Pultarazinskas also competed in preparation for their highly-anticipated 14 November clash.
“The event was great. I really enjoyed being able to hype the Rimkenzo / Pultarazinskas fight,” said Austin.
Restrictions on sporting events caused by the pandemic have hit the kickboxing industry particularly hard, as the sport is more dependent on revenue from ticket sales than some other sports. Austin, who works as an English teacher in Poland, saw his secondary income from commentating and ring announcing drastically fall.
“I was really disappointed because when lockdown went into effect it was March and usually March is one of my busiest months. Everything got cancelled and I lost a lot of money. Things were tough for a while, but somehow I pulled through,” he said.
“My schedule started filling up about a month ago and I’ve got something nearly every weekend until the end of the year. But now more than ever you can never be 100% sure about an event. We will see how it goes.”
KOK 85 Fight Card Update
The next KOK event is less than two weeks away. The promotion is back in the Estonian capital of Tallinn on 10 October with an event at the Tondiraba Ice Hall.
A four-man Welterweight GP Tournament was previously announced. Estonian fighters Ott Remmers, Sergej Makejev, and Andres Oitsar compete for the tournament title, along with Finland’s Niko Korventaus. Under the new KOK Championship Rules, the tournament winner is eligible for a chance at the KOK World Title.
Also added to the KOK 85 fight card is popular Estonian fighter Mirko Moisar. The former title challenger faces Ukraine’s Artem Liashevych in a three-round super fight.
Unbeaten Lithuanian female prospect Ernesta Kareckaite will also compete. Kareckaite faces Estonia’s Sigrid Kapanen in a rematch.
Kareckaite defeated Kapanen by unanimous decision at the KOK Classic 2 event in August. Kapanen gets a chance at avenging the loss on home turf.
10 October, 2020
Tondiraba Ice Hall, Tallinn, Estonia
Broadcast: FightBox HD, KOK Fights TV
-77 kg (KOK Rules): Andres Oitsar (Estonia) vs Niko Korventaus (Finland)-GP Semifinal
-77 kg (KOK Rules): Ott Remmer (Estonia) vs Sergej Makejev (Estonia)-GP Semifinal
-63.5 kg (KOK Rules): Karl-Margus Haud (Estonia) vs Rainer Valing (Estonia)
-60 kg (KOK Rules): Sigrid Kapanen (Estonia) vs Ernesta Kareckaite (Lithuania)
-77 kg (MMA Bushido): Serge Strinza (Estonia) vs Vitold Jagelo (Lithuania)
-85 kg (Dream Boxing): Osuju James (Nigeria) vs Jvgeni Ravlusevits (Estonia)
KOK Back in Bosnia
After postponements caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, King of Kings will finally return to Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina on 31 October. The promotion announced the event on Saturday’s international broadcast of the KOK Classic 3.
The KOK World Series 2020 in Sarajevo will be held at the Hotel Hills, the same venue where KOK debuted in Bosnia last year.
“The KOK WGP kickboxing tournament will be held on October 31 in Sarajevo, Hotel Hills. This time the tournament will be held without the presence of the audience and with maximum adherence to the measures. Martial arts must continue,” KOK Bosnia Representative Dzevad Poturak stated on social media.