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Magelinkon survives 'slug-fest' to win title

Shepparton's Eric Magelinkon has taken out the World Karate and Kickboxing Association K-1 regional title after outlasting Ross Sbisa last weekend.

DAMEN FRANCIS June 19, 2013 4:54am

Shepparton fighter Eric Magelinkon won his first title on Saturday.


Dream became reality for Shepparton’s Eric Magelinkon on Saturday night.

The 37-year-old defeated Ross Sbisa in a points decision over three two-minute rounds to win the World Karate and Kickboxing Association K-1 regional title at the Brothers in Arms Three Fight Night in Seaford last weekend.

It was six years in the making — two learning Zen Do Kai and four learning Muay Thai at Kaizen Dojo Shepparton — and came at his first title attempt.

‘‘It was a tough fight, one of the toughest I’ve ever had,’’ Magelinkon said.

‘‘Both of us know each other, we had fought before and it was his home crowd and he really wantedit.

‘‘It is every fighter’s dream to have a title fight and at the end of the day, when they told me to rest my hands, I was really happy. I got my dream.’’

Magelinkon, who is of Vanuatuan descent, took his record to five wins and three losses from eight fights.

It was the second time he had fought Sbisa in the past year and Magelinkon’s trainer Mick Clark praised his fighter’s ability to adapt to different opponents.

Clark described the fight as ‘‘a real slug-fest’’ and said the second round was the defining one.

‘‘Eric came out with a lot of leg kicks and really gave it to him in the second round, so much so that at the start of the third round they had to get the doctor to have a look at his shin, because Eric had split his shin and it was bleeding,’’ Clark said.

‘‘That was the winning edge in the end.

‘‘I’m proud of Eric’s achievement, he’s come a long way since he first started and put in endless hours of training.’’

Clark said Magelinkon had a year to defend his title.

‘‘The opportunity could come up where someone would want to challenge him for the title, so if someone puts the challenge out it will be up to Eric whether he defends the title or not,’’ he said.

For now, though, Magelinkon said he had learned something from every fight and thanked the support of Clark and his friends and family.

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