Nate Clark/News staff
Google martial artists Suraj Bangarh or Chase Ingalls and you’ll find videos that leave you breathless.
Both kickboxers are training twice a day, six days a week for title bouts against foes from the Netherlands on May 9, at Pearkes Arena.
“We’ve got two world titles on the line,” said Bangarh, a 21-year-old Saanich resident with 17 matches under his belt. “There are also two provincial titles on the card. People are in for some fast-paced, standup striking.”
At 22, Chase Ingalls has a perfect 18-0 record. He’s confident but says a lack of inside information about his opponent is a concern.
“There’s so little footage of the Dutch fighters,” Ingalls said. “When you fight someone local, you can do research, you know their reputation at least. With these guys, you have to feel it out on the spot.”
“We don’t know what they’re good at, or what they’re bad at,” adds Bangarh. “We’ll have to figure it out fast – then we’ll just start bangin’ from there.”
If either fighter has real doubts, they don’t show it in their eyes. Both convey a deep, controlled confidence. It’s only when they’re asked to recall their very first kickboxing bouts that they break the tension.
“I saw a friend fight before me and when I saw him get hit, I admit I was scared,” Bangarh said with a laugh. “I didn’t want to fight. All my training left me. But I learned from it. On my second fight, I was able to control my mind a lot better. It all comes with experience.”
Ingalls says it’s those few tense moments before the punches fly that made him love the sport.
“Every time I step in the ring I want to live in that moment; I really try to take it all in. It’s a beautiful thing.”
He adds that fans of the UFC will also love the art of straight-up kickboxing.
“I love mixed martial arts. Go and see that stuff, but also come to see kickboxing; come and see just pure striking. There’s huge excitement there.”
For info on May 9 Mayhem go to peterecskickboxing.com or call 250-389-6166.