Alex Tribe may have lost his final fight on Saturday night, but he ended the night with two wins and added a lot more experience to his resumé.
The 19-year-old Saanich resident succumbed to the much more experienced fighter Hakeem Dawodu of Calgary in the final match of the Last Man Standing Muay Thai kickboxing tournament at Eagle Ridge Community Centre.
Dawodu won the right to train at the Sinbi Gym in Phuket, Thailand for three months, accommodation included.
“It was the best show I’ve put on in 10 years,” said promoter Stan Peterec, who’s also Tribe’s coach. “It went almost exactly as hoped, except Alex lost in that final match.”
The tournament format isn’t new to Victoria but it’s been about six years since Peterec last ran them in regular rotation, this being the second event this year. Seven welterweight fighters (147 lbs.) put their name in a hat and six paired off for the first draw of the night. One person, Daemont Johnson of Washington, got a bye.
Tribe edged Duncan’s Johnny “Two Feathers” Williams by majority decision after a three- round fight. World junior champion Josh Jauncey of Surrey, a hot prospect and favourite to win the tourney, knocked out local karate instructor Leigh Mueller within 65 seconds of the first round. Dawodu won by knockout over Josh Wright of White Rock at 2:14 in their first round.
That set up a final four with Dawodu fighting Jauncey and Tribe versus Johnson.
Tribe knocked Johnson down in the first round and then did it again for good at 1:36 of the second.
Jauncey and Dawodu, meanwhile, battled in the best fight Peterec can remember in 10 or so years.
“It was amazing. A back-and-forth battle. The crowd stood up with a standing ovation for the guys. They really put on a show,” Peterec said.
The two have fought once before with Dawodu winning. Peterec felt Saturday’s bout could have been a draw, though the final decision went in Dawodu’s favour.
In the third and final round of the tournament, Dawodu proved too skilled. Tribe had already been knocked down when the two caught each other with simultaneous left hooks in the second round.
“Hakeem took it, but Alex went down to one knee. Alex could have gone on but I threw in the towel. He wasn’t gaining anything more by (fighting) at that point.”
Tribe is headed to Thailand to train in kickboxing for the next five months.
There additional fights took place during breaks in the tournament.
Boxing: Joel Conway defeated Alex Key by TKO, 1:10 in the second round.Kickboxing: Adam Fitchatt def. Brock Flint.Boxing: Brian Colwell and Dan Baxter (Nanaimo) fought to a draw.