Revenge not part of Ra’s thinking
For Ra Redden, it’s not about revenge.
The Porirua kickboxer might only be 24 but his experience, skill and speed makes him one of the early favourites for the lightweight King in the Ring tournament on Saturday at Te Rauparaha Arena.
Redden will probably meet fellow Porirua fighter Sone Vannathy during the gruelling eightman eliminator.
The two fought out a classic eliminator final in last year’s tournament in Auckland, but Vannathy was too good on the night, winning his third title.
‘‘ It’s definitely not about revenge. It’s more about giving it my best shot in front of my supporters,’’ Redden said.
The King in the Ring is a K-1 event, which includes rules from Muay Thai and kickboxing. There is no grappling or use of elbows, and there are three three-minute rounds.
The eliminator means if fighters lose they are finished for the night and to win they would have to win three fights.
Vannathy said this weekend’s event will be the biggest to be staged in Porirua. He said he expected a lot of vocal backing for himself and Redden and the fact it was live on Sky Sport made it extra special.
‘‘It’s going to be a massive night for us and the sport in Porirua,’’ he said.
‘‘I’m going for my third [consecutive] title. Then maybe I can relax a bit more. Having a gym to run, and a family, makes it pretty tough. But I’m ready and it means a lot for friends and family to be able to be there.’’
He said it was too hard to predict who would make the eliminator final, because it depended on the preparedness of the other fighters and what injuries they might have or shots they took on the night. Redden is training twice a day and pounding the streets in between. He said he would probably be feeling a bit of pressure.
‘‘This [Saturday] is the big show for us – it’s about bragging rights and comes at the end of a lot of hard work, training. You have to go into this with a good game plan.’’
The two certainly have different ways of entering the ring, with Redden’s understated walk in con- trast to Vannathy’s showmanship. Vannathy said he liked to win over the crowd as part of his entrance.
There are five other fights on the card. Tickets from Te Rauparaha Arena, the Alpha club or at ticketdirect.co.nz.
Sone Vannathy, left, and Ra Redden hope to both make the final of this year’s King in the Ring, to be held in Porirua.