LIHUE – It is said every man will have 15 minutes of fame at least once in his lifetime. For Isaac Josiah, who engaged in three hard-fought bouts on his way to clinching the Fite Nite, Inc. middleweight championship, his moment took place under the lights at the Veteran’s Hall.
And it lasted just about 15 minutes.
Josiah won all three of his bouts at Fite Nite Inc.’s September kickboxing show, accepted the middleweight championship trophy and, to top it off, received a hearty kiss from a beautiful ring card girl. The middleweight champion defeated a tough-nosed Edward Soares, who got up seemingly unhurt after being knocked down with a right cross and charged in Josiah, attempting to send him to the mat.
“After you knock a guy down you are supposed to finish him, not the other way around,” said boxing coach Ken Oki. “Edward showed a lot of heart.”
Josiah also edged experienced martial artists Bigno and Abe Rodrigues in his final two fights and rapidly became a crowd favorite. Rodrigues ousted Bula Perreira in an earlier fight and pushed Josiah through four exciting rounds in the championship fight.
It’s good to be the champ, but Josiah wasn’t the only fighter to get his 15 minutes on Fite Nite.
In a spirited battle for the senior championship, 58-year old Brent “Captain” Cook defeated Stan “The Man” Gonsalves, a 60-year old slugger. Cook used his reach advantage to land jabs – a good fight plan which edged Gonsalves’ power punching style. Cook was stung by a bee prior to the fight which made a finger on his left hand swell to twice its size. But he showed up to fight regardless and garnered the senior championship trophy along with, of course, a kiss from the ring card girl.
The lightweights featured a rising star in Harold “The Ilocos Tiger” Pablo, whose name proved literal in the ring. Pablo threw sizzling bombs with each hand to wow the crowd and defeat a tough competitor in Jeffrey Lopez and a smooth boxer in Isaac “Wild Thing” Libre. According to the rules, an even bout after three scheduled rounds must go to a fourth round to determine a winner. Libre pushed it to the fourth round but ultimately “Tiger” tamed the “Wild Thing.” Pablo, the fastest human on Kaua’i two years ago, is now the undisputed lightweight champ and will hopefully go on to more fame and fortune in the “sweet science” of boxing.
Cal Santos worked hard at the Hanapepe gym to prepare for Fite Night, but he drew a bye in the first round. By the time second round eliminations rolled around, and Cal was ready for a fight, no one sat in the opposite corner. No one was able or willing to challenge him. Santos was awarded the welterweight trophy without having to lift a finger.
Eben Kaneshiro threw a barrage of punches but lost a close one to Kenny Melchor in the kind of bruising welterweight battle which included some slick kicking as well as ferocious punching. Both fighters came out of the fight worse for the wear.
The cruiserwieght champ: Jimmy “The Docc” Stamm.
Stamm, suffering with a hurt left shoulder, tossed punches with both hands wile not showing a hint of pain. He gave a boxing lesson to Eric Kauhane on his way to the title. Stamm would have had stiff competition from Kaina Krasy Soares, but Soares injured his hand in a bout with Daniel “Hands of Stone” Greenleaf, who is seemingly impossible to hurt. Soares won the drawing for the Yamaha Streetbike. He was even considering going up to the heavyweights to challenge his dad, Roger Soares. He said it with a smile.
Roger “Fine Wine” Soares stopped Hell’s Angel Santiago, who dislocated his left shoulder in the second round.