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Kickboxing fundraiser sends fighters to California tourney
Written by Mark Lineberger   
Sunday, 09 October 2011 00:00

Golden Cobra Center of Fitness, a Cottonwood-based gym and nonprofit organization dedicated to building a healthy community through learning martial arts, is hosting a kickboxing event in Camp Verde on Saturday, Oct. 15.

The fights are part of a fundraising effort taken on by the center in order to send its students to a major martial arts tournament in Sacramento, Calif., over Thanksgiving weekend, Friday to Sunday, Nov. 25 to 27.

“This is the first time the event is in California,” said Richard Williams, head trainer at the gym and himself a former state kickboxing champion. “We used to go to a tournament in Florida, but we haven’t been able to do that in awhile.”

While the ultimate goal is to make it to California to compete in the International Kickboxing Federation West Coast Classic to test their mettle in kickboxing and Muay Thai, a fighting style that originated in Thailand, Williams said the group has plenty planned to entertain local residents at the upcoming fundraiser, set to take place at the Steve Coury automotive dealership on State Route 260 between Camp Verde and Cottonwood. In fact, the event has even been christened the “Stampede Smackdown II.”

It’s all been cleared with Camp Verde’s local government, Williams said, and the group is just waiting on final approval from the state. Williams said he didn’t foresee any problems.

Golden Cobra trainer Juan Munoz, left, fields punches from fighter Jesse Duran at the nonprofit gym Thursday, Sept. 29. Golden Cobra fighters will be participating in a fundraiser bout Saturday Oct. 15, where they hope to raise money to attend the 2011 International Kickboxing Federation West Coast Classic Tournament in late November.The Camp Verde Town Council this month approved a license for Golden Cobra to sell beer and wine at the event, and Williams said there will be a beer garden set up on the premises. Williams said he’s been working with local wineries to provide some Verde Valley vino for those who might want something other than beer. There are also plans for some activities for children.

The gates open at 5 p.m. and the first fight is scheduled for 6 p.m. Williams said those in attendance could expect to see fighters employ a variety of kickboxing styles.

And what’s a fight night without a main event?

The night features a light heavyweight bout between former Camp Verde firefighter Cecil Tudor and Frank “Lone Wolf” Bamford of Indio, Calif. The two faced off before, but this time, the USA Muay Thai title is on the line.

Admission is $12 for adults, $7 for children between ages 6 and 12 and children under 5 get in free.

The money will help cover the cost of sending fighters to the tournament in Sacramento, where more than 200 kickboxers from around the world will compete for championship belts and a taste of victory.

In addition to training fighters and helping people get in shape, Golden Cobra also focuses on drug and alcohol awareness and personal goal-setting.

“Our mission is to build a healthy community one family at a time,” the organization’s mission statement reads.

For more information, call 300-0281.


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