The term “beautiful fight” seems like an oxymoron, but a more fitting description could hardly be found for the lightweight encounter between Josh Jauncey and Stoyan Koprivlenski at GLORY 52 LOS ANGELES.
Jauncey’s last GLORY appearance was last summer, when he suffered a shock upset defeat to Elvis Gashi at GLORY 43 NEW YORK. The second round stoppage loss was a career low performance and he had questions to answer about himself as he headed to Los Angeles.
Koprivlenski had not even joined the GLORY roster when Jauncey suffered the loss to Gashi. His debut was at GLORY 45 and in December he won the Lightweight Contender Tournament at GLORY 49 ROTTERDAM.
In the final of that tournament he inflicted the first defeat of Tyjani Beztati’s GLORY career on him and had he won here tonight against Jauncey he would have moved forward to a lightweight title shot against Sitthichai.
There was a lot on the line for both fighters then. Sometimes those kind of pressures crush a fighter’s confidence. On other occasions, pressure produces diamonds. Tonight was one of the latter.
Jauncey admits that he tends to underperform against low-ranked opponents and perform at his best when he has very challenging opponents in front of him. He took Koprivlenski extremely seriously and that channeled into what may well be a career-best performance.
Things gathered pace quickly and in the first round the two were frequently locked in extended exchanges, counter for counter, their energies almost perfectly matched, Jauncey scoring with the jab, Koprivlenski snapping out his kicks.
Where the fight reached truly majestic proportions was when Jauncey clicked into what seemed like a zen state where he was almost able to read Koprivlenski’s mind and pull off the most incredible Matrix-style evasive maneuvers.
While the fight served as a showcase of both combatants’ skills it was Jauncey who really shone, and he needed it. The loss to Gashi last year dented his confidence and had him questioning his future in the sport. Tonight’s performance answered that question.
The world's premier kickboxing league, GLORY World Series maintains six different weight classes. Fights take place both as single matches between two fighters known as 'superfights') and as part of tournaments.
Four-man tournaments are the standard, with eight-man tournaments also staged on occasion. The tournaments take one of two forms: either they are World Championship Tournaments, with the division's world title on the line, or they are 'Contender' tournaments, with the winner earning a spot in the next upcoming World Championship Tournaments.
All Glory World Series matches and events are organized under the auspices of and with the consent of the Glory Sports International and are subjects to the GLORY World Series regulations.
1.1.2 Match license
To organize matches and events under the auspices of GSI, the written permission of the management og GSI is required, known as the match license.