Re­venge not part of Ra’s think­ing

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KRIS DANDO

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.

Photo: KRIS DANDO

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.

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