May 27, 2001 |
If the stubby kickboxer with the ring name "Alien" were just a bit taller and heavier, he could have been a contender. At 4 feet 8 inches, Thanakorn Somthorn is shorter than wiry 11-year-olds who skip rope alongside him at training camp in the tropical countryside of central Thailand. But Thanakorn, 20, is punching and kicking his way to renown as the smallest man in kickboxing, or muay thai, Thailand's most popular spectator sport, in which kung fu-style barefoot kicks accompany gloved punches.
June 30, 1989
World champion Don Wilson will face Mike Winkejohn in a 10-round, 180-pound division kickboxing match at 7 p.m. Monday at the Red Lion Hotel in Costa Mesa. A 12-round match between bantamweight champion Lawrence Miera and Kirk Stengle will be featured to decide the junior featherweight champion. Ray Rodriguez will fight Phillip Medina in a five-round match to decide the World Karate Assn. California light-heavyweight championship. Tom Jones will meet Jim Mitchell in a five-round match for the WKA California super-welterweight championship and Dao Le will face John Rimbert for the WKA super-lightweight championship.
August 17, 1985 |
In a nation saturated with sports, how does a newcomer like full-contact karate kick its way into the public eye? Howard Hanson, president of the World Karate Assn., believes that kick boxing could gain widespread popularity in this country if a few major sponsors would commit to the sport. "We're not used to playing the Don King/Bob Arum game," Hanson said, referring to two of the top promoters in professional boxing.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 8, 1995 |
Sasha Mitchell, a Westlake actor and kick boxer who stars in the television sitcom "Step by Step," pleaded not guilty Wednesday to assaulting his wife and endangering his young stepdaughter. Wearing an earring and a fashionable blue suit, the 27-year-old defendant was scheduled for trial Monday in Ventura County Municipal Court on one misdemeanor count of spousal abuse.
September 11, 1989 |
In lieu of John Cusack mastering the art of kickboxing over in England in "Say Anything II," which may not be forthcoming for a while, alas, fans of the brutal sport have to make do for now with Jean-Claude Van Damme kicking some nasty Thailand booty in the egregiously dull "Kickboxer" (citywide, MPAA-rated R). This may not be the dumbest action picture of the year, but it's not for lack of trying.
September 17, 1989 |
The guys down at the Jet Center gym in Van Nuys won't admit that their beloved sport of kick-boxing has gone Hollywood. But they don't deny that recent events have brought some glitz to the ancient Thai fighting style that had previously been thought of in terms of blood, sweat and toenails.
December 5, 1993 |
Six turned out to be the lucky number for Benny (the Jet) Urquidez during his visit to Las Vegas. The undefeated kickboxing legend added the World Karate Assn. light middleweight crown to his collection with a 12-round split decision over Japan's Yoshihisa Tagami before 3,588 at the Mirage Hotel Saturday night. This is the sixth world championship for the 41-year-old Sherman Oaks resident, who remained undefeated after 58 bouts.
July 4, 1989 |
Don Wilson was very patient and Mariano Liano was not, but the results were the same Monday night as professional kickboxing came to Costa Mesa for the first time. Wilson, the World Kickboxing Assn. light-heavyweight champion, stopped Mike Winkeljohn with an overpowering left hook late in the 10th and final round of the non-title main event at the Red Lion Inn in front of about 800.
May 11, 1989
Seven national championships in savate--French kick-boxing--will be decided tonight when the European martial art makes its competitive West Coast debut at The Strand, 1700 Pacific Coast Highway, Redondo Beach. There will be 10 bouts beginning at 7:30. Seven will be for U.S. titles in internationally recognized amateur weight classes. The bouts have the sanction of the California Athletic Commission and will be officiated by a French Federation referee under European rules. Among contestants is Trent Suzuki, a trainer and physical therapist in the Los Angeles area.
February 24, 1989 |
The long-awaited fight between ring legend Sugar Ray Leonard and kickboxer Benny (The Jet) Urquidez is finally, undeniably, definitely . . . pretty unlikely. A lavish press conference conducted by Urquidez's manager and the owner of a local public-relations firm was held in Van Nuys on Thursday to announce the upcoming match. Urquidez was there, too, explaining how he was going to land so many kicks to the head that Leonard's ears were going to look like Leonard Nimoy's ears.