Rising Crawley Karate Star wins the Cup of Europe
Kyokushinkai Karate exponent Dawid Ozga became the youngest male from the UK to ever win the Cup and Europe and British Open Crowns last weekend at K2 Sportscentre. Over 130 fighters from 16 countries participated in this years event hosted by the BKK for 37 years.
After turning nineteen less than a month ago it was not expected that he would win the lightweight title at his first attempt but the young fighter from Broadfield took everything in his stride. After scoring a KO in his first bout against a French fighter with a knee kick to the head it was apparent his finger on his left hand was broken so he strapped it up and carried on dropping the Irish fighter with a bosy punch and doing the same in the semi final where he met a very experienced Polish fighter but the bout lasted approximately 60 seconds before a hook to the body finished the bout.
In the final he was against a Welsh fighter who had just become 3rd in the world. The two karateka put on an excellent display in the fight of the day. After three very tough rounds the judges saw Dawid as the victor four to one. He was also presented the Nicola Hughes Award for best British fighter. Nicola was one of the police women tragic killed last year and her father was at the event to present the Sword and a replica for Dawid to keep.
Crawley also had more success with their heavyweight Malcolm Scott who at the age of 39 was participating in his last event, fought brilliantly to take 2nd place. After three tough fights beating a Spanish fighter, Norwegian and Dutchman on decision he had to fight a 96 kilo Russian in the final. Malcolm gave his all but the extra 6 kilos of weight was enough to give his opponent a slight advantage and he took a three round decision. The judges were so impressed with Malcolm’s attempt he was also awarded the most spirited fighter of the tournament.
Other fighters from the Tilgate club in Hut 25 also did a great job only losing narrowly with Kelly Balmer going out in the quarter final after three rounds on a split decision, Tom Cunnington came close to downing his opponent with impressive head kicks but lost on judges decision and novice Steven Drew won his first bout but in the quarters after breaking a toe was defeated.
This was not the only success for the club though as the week before they sent three youngsters to the Belgium U21 championship which had 8 countries participate in Antwerp.
18 year old Josh Mays in his first adult event took the U21 lightweight title winning his first fight against a Dutch opponent on decision, his 2nd fight he dispatched the Belgium fighter by dropping him twice with low kick and then round kick to the head. And the last fight he once again won by decision to be champion.
Not to be outdone cadet fighter Blake Collins won the middle weight 16-17 years division. Firstly he won on decision against his fellow Englishman but then scored ippon with body punch against a Dutch fighter and finished it off with dropping a fighter from Belgium with a punch then a nice back kick to the stomach for the victory.
Finally Crawley also had Ryan Morter in the 16-17 lightweight category. In his first international contact event he beat a Welsh fighter on decision, dropped a Dutch fighter with hook to the body before losing against another Dutchman on decision.
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