Fleeting Glory

24 Nov

      How could you do this to me, Giorgio Petrosyan?!
      I went to last night’s Glory 12 New York lightweight kickboxing tournament to write a simple magazine piece on the Armenian/Italian fighter who’s long been regarded as pound for pound the best kickboxer on the planet, despite being virtually unheard of in the United States. Okay, the man nicknamed “the Doctor,” for his alleged surgical precision, has never overly impressed me, maybe because he’s a defensive fighter with lightly regarded power. Still, a record of 78-1-1 is nothing to sneeze at. Best of all, from my perspective, this was a story that wrote itself: Since Petrosyan’s largely unknown here I could just go to Wikipedia for a bit of background which no one is familiar with anyway, give a little technical description of his defensive wizardry, add in a couple of quotes, then describe his tournament victory. Shake, stir and serve. A total of 30 minutes work tops. Only problem is, there was no tournament victory to describe.
      Suriname-born Dutch kickboxer Andy Ristie put to rest the myth of Petrosyan’s invincibility with a pair of left hooks in the third round that left the Doctor and his legend on the floor in need of medical attention. Ristie, who went on to knock out Robin Van Roosmalen in the tournament finals with an even more crushing left hook, was one of those naysayers who also never bought into the Petrosyan hype machine.
      “I like Roosmalen, he comes to fight,” said Ristie. “I don’t like Petrosyan because he runs away.”
      More generously, Petrosyan’s style might better be termed intelligent movement and counter fighting. Besides, he who runs away, lives to fight another day. Except last night, I guess. The evening was not a complete waste, though.
      While I was wholly unimpressed with the previous Glory show in New York back in June – which featured an awful decision and the worst quick stoppage I’ve ever seen – the promotion, now on the Spike Channel, got their act together this time producing a main card that featured some highlight reel knockouts, brutal back and forth battles, and a few shockers. Besides Ristie’s defeat of Petrosyan, local fighter Wayne Barrett, with just three pro bouts to his credit, upset Glory 10 middleweight tournament winner Joe Schilling in a main event “superfight” that lived up to the name. Both men suffered vicious knockdowns but somehow both found it in themselves to finish the bout, which went to Barrett on unanimous decision.
      However, nothing could compare to the shock of seeing Petrosyan flat on his back after all those years of hearing how great he was. You let me down Giorgio. Now I’m actually going to have to put some work in on that magazine story. And there’s nothing writers hate more than that.
      Curse you, Petrosyan!

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