Pair claim Thai vic­to­ries

Albany Extra - - Extra Sport -

Two Al­bany fight­ers have taken their skills to Thai­land, com­pet­ing in front of hun­dreds of Thai fans and scor­ing con­vinc­ing vic­to­ries.

Muay Thai — a form of box­ing that al­lows punch­ing, kick­ing and knee and el­bow strikes — is the Thai na­tional sport.

The fights, in Chi­ang Mai’s biggest sta­dium, were broad­cast on lo­cal tele­vi­sion.

The two fight­ers were from Al­bany’s Lovett Muay Thai club.

Toby Walet­zko com­peted at the 70kg su­per-wel­ter­weight di­vi­sion.

The 19-year-old was matched against another first-time Thai fighter and came out strongly, land­ing long-range punches and kicks and scor­ing with head-high kicks and a knee.

Walet­zko was al­ways the ag­gres­sor and for much of the brief fight seemed unan­swer­able. The young Al­bany tal­ent knocked his op­po­nent down with crisp box­ing com­bi­na­tions be­fore fin­ish­ing the fight with a left hook, win­ning by tech­ni­cal knock-out in the first round.

Aimee Lenz faced a much tougher op­po­nent in the 50kg feath­er­weight di­vi­sion.

Fight­ers are meant to be matched by weight and ex­pe­ri­ence, but mo­ments be­fore the fight it emerged that Lenz's taller and more strongly built op­po­nent was a 14-match vet­eran.

The 31-year-old was chal­lenged from the first bell by her op­po­nent's bal­anced box­ing and pun­ish­ing long-range kicks. At the end of the first round it looked dire.

But Lenz’s com­po­sure, su­pe­rior fit­ness and abil­ity to get in close neu­tralised the taller woman’s reach ad­van­tage.

A pow­er­ful right-knee left­hook com­bi­na­tion forced her op­po­nent’s sur­ren­der in the se­cond round, mak­ing Lovett Muay Thai two from two against some of the tough­est com­pe­ti­tion in the world.

Walet­zko and Lenz both train un­der former Aus­tralian cham­pion and in­ter­na­tional gold medal win­ner Rob Lovett.

Toby Walet­zko with trainer Rob Lovett af­ter his suc­cess­ful bout in Chi­ang Mai.

Toby Walet­zko moves in.

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