fighting sports

Malta’s Keith Azzopardi becomes 2-style WKN World Featherweight Champion

Noel Mercieca, Keith Azzopardi

Noel Mercieca, Keith Azzopardi

Two World Kickboxing Network world titles were on the line at “Gladiators Fight Night 23” on June 29, 2019 at Corradino Sports Pavillion in Paola, Malta. Keith “Speed” Azzopardi, 26, of Malta faced Qurban Hosseini, 32, of Afghanistan and Germany in the main event.

Azzopardi is trained by Noel Mercieca. On June 30, 3019, the former took to Facebook to share his two WKN belts.

At “Gladiators Fight Night 23,” Azzopardi and Hosseini battled it out for WKN World Featherweight title under oriental rules and the bout scheduled for five rounds went the distance. The representative of the host country claimed the win by a unanimous decision and as a result became a new champion in the division.

The win made Azzopardi the first fighter from Malta to hold world titles in two disciplines of kickboxing simultaneously. Two weeks ago, he earned the WKN World Featherweight title in Full Contact when he defeated former champion Jonathan Pastorino, 29, of France, scoring a 12-round unanimous decision in Nice, France.

In the co-main event of “Gladiators Fight Night 23,” Diane Schembri, 28, of Malta took on Pia Peters of Germany. The contest was for the WKN European Bantamweight pro-amateur title.

The women’s kickboxing encounter also went the distance. Peters took the win and the belt by split decision.

The undercard featured a series of bouts with local and international competitors. The event marked the second visit of WKN to Malta for 2019.

“Gladiators Fight Night 23” was one of two back to back events that WKN presented this on June 29, 2019. The second show titled “La Nuit du K1 – Les Défis du Sud” took place at Gymnase Nelson Mandela in Saint Pierre, Réunion, marking the organization’s return to Indian Ocean.

In the main event of “La Nuit du K1 – Les Défis du Sud,” Olivier  Yasser Lagarrigue of France took the WKN Intercontinental Super Lightweight title by TKO in the first round against Julien Schelkens of Belgium. Meanwhile, here is a “Gladiators Fight Night 23” clip:

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