Joakim Karlsson on Contender Qualifier Starts in Style

Monday, May 28, 2007

Sweden had the honor of hosting the first contender qualifier sanctioned by the WMC and organized by the Swedish Muaythai Federation. Previous contender superstars squared up against the challengers who had to beat them to be considered for the next Contender Asia series. The opening fight saw Elias Daniel taking on Contender quarter finalist Joakim Karlsson from Sweden. Elias Daniel with no doubt was a serious contender as he went toe to toe with Karlsson, but Karlsson again showed his world class skill with a stunning punch combination winning in the 3rd round by TKO. Next up was Matthias Karlsson versus Marcus Oberg, another great display of Muaythai which had to go to the judges score sheet and Oberg won by point decision.

Next up was Contender semi-finalist, Dzhabar Askerov challenged by Jordan Tai from New Zealand. This was the punch of the big hitters and mid way through the second round, Dzhabar landed a big right hand which started immense swelling on Jordan’s eye which left the referee no choice but to stop the fight leading Askerov to a TKO victory.

Next up was Aussie Bruce Macfie against Dutch super star Marco Pique. This was yet another world class performance with both boys showing no mercy in an all out war. Marco Pique mid third round unleashed a stunning hand combination knocking out Bruce Macfie. The semi final was set between Joakim Karlsson and Marcus Oberg and Dzhabar Askerov and Marco Pique. The first semi- final fight saw Karlsson and Oberg going to war in sensational style. After 3 rounds of non-stop action the judges could not separate the boys and so an extra round had to be called in, in which Oberg got the edge, and was with no doubt survival of the fittest. Oberg advanced for a spot in the final.

The second semi-final was the one the world wanted to see. European superstar Marco Pique against Contender semi-finalist Dzhabar Askerov, and the people got their money’s worth. Punch by punch, kick by kick, knee by knee, Askerov got a large cut mid-round 3 and the fight was so close the judges could not separate them again calling for an extra round. Askerov took the round and advanced to the finals, but the questioned remained whether the doctor would let him continue with such a deep cut.

Final – Contender Qualifier. After consulting with the doctor, Askerov got the green light from the doctor to continue on in the final.