October 27th saw world #1 ranked fighter Ben Johnston take on World #2 ranked fighter, Dan Edwards, for the vacant WBC light heavyweight world title in Brisbane, Australia.
After a solid undercard of domestic and international fighters, the main event took place under full Thai rules over 5 x 3-minute rounds.
Both fighters started light on their feet and tentative with their strikes. Dan Edwards throwing kicks to the arms of Ben Johnston, and Ben attacking the thighs of Dan with leg kicks. Ben had control of centre ring for most of the round and pressured Daniel’s back onto the ropes to land his leg kicks, with Dand doing a good job of avoiding Ben’s punches by blocking them with his forearms. By the end of the round, the momentum started to swing in Ben’s favour as he kicked Dan’s legs from under him with a hard and well-timed thigh kick.
The second round started off much faster with both fighters trading leg kicks, But Ben’s proving to be more effective on Dan’s already damaged legs.
Edwards turned southpaw to protect his front leg and started to find a nice range with his left body kick from the southpaw stance. Edwards landed several kicks and managing to get out of the way of Ben’s counter kick each time, but this only lasted a short period of time before Ben found his range on the new stance and began to punish the thigh of Dan Edwards once more.
The British fighter showed resilience by coming forward with some strong punch combinations and managed to catch one of the Australian fighter’s kicks and sweep his legs out from under him. He continued to press forward which resulted in Dan wearing a few downward elbows, one of which split the forehead of the Englishman, giving the corner the job of trying to stop the bleeding at the break between rounds.
With the corner managing to mostly stop the blood flow on the cut, the beginning of the third round saw Ben come out light on his feet and throwing a punch and kick combinations freely. As the round progressed this eventually proved to be too much for Dan forcing Referee, Brad Vocale, to separate the 2 fighters and give Dan a standing 8 count. Again the English fighter showed true grit and came straight back to push the action again, with both fighters landing some combinations before the end of the round.
Both fighters were wary of each other’s power and began the round by carefully trading short and fast strikes to find rhythm and distance, but early into the round, Ben landed a solid knee to the ribs of Dan which allowed him to sweep the British fighter’s legs from under him in the clinch.
As the round progressed the hometown favourite started to land big punches at will, forcing Brad Vocale to call the fight off in the 4th round, making Australian fighter Ben Johnston the new WBC light-heavyweight champion of the world.