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Roosmalen regains title in close fight with Petchpanomrung

  • News
  • May 20, 2017

Going into his GLORY 41 HOLLAND fight for the vacant featherweight championship, former champion Robin van Roosmalen said he felt like “a king without a crown”.

He lost the belt by default at GLORY 37 LOS ANGELES after missing weight by less than half a pound (200g) for his fight with Matt Embree. After he stopped Embree in the fourth round he found himself in the curious position of remaining the featherweight top dog but not having a belt to show for it.

Petchpanomrung booked himself a title shot by winning the four-man Featherweight Contender Tournament at GLORY 39 BRUSSELS earlier this year. His savage left kick from his southpaw stance had proven too much for every opponent he had faced in GLORY until now; would it be too much for Roosmalen?

In many ways the match-up replicated the two fights that Roosmalen had with Sitthichai in his lightweight days. Petchpanomrung is a southpaw who utilizes the left kick to pulverize his opponents into submissions, a tactic which proved effective in his three GLORY fights up until meeting Roosmalen.

But Roosmalen is experienced in dealing with southpaw Thai fighters who have savage left kicks. Against Sitthichai he endured numerous kicks to the body, taking them on the arm and moving through them to land punches to the head. This fight was a mirror of those, Petchpanomrung spamming body kicks and Roosmalen countering off the block.

Things were close. Over five rounds Petchpanomrung narrowly outlanded Roosmalen, but they had focused on very different targets. Roosmalen massively outlanded Petchpanomrung to the head, Petchpanomrung hugely outlanded Roosmalen in strikes to the body.

The question for the judges then was which landed strikes to place greater emphasis on. GLORY rules emphasis damage and effectiveness; even though Roosmalen was wearing welts and skin damage from the kicks, his volume of punches to the head was felt to be more effective and more weight was attached to them.

Thus all but one of the five judges awarded him the win, albeit with widely different scores. One judge had it a draw and the other four had it for Roosmalen. (Had Petchpanomrung not been deducted a point midway into the fight for excessive clinching, the draw would have been a win for him).

“I think I blocked [all the left kicks], I blocked everything and the rules say [blocked strikes] don't count,” said Van Roosmalen in his post-fight speech. “I feel happy. I feel like I never lost [the belt] so I am happy it's back [with me]. I wanted better performance in my home town but I am happy I won.”

Robin van Roosmalen def. Petchpanomrung, Majority Decision, R5 (47-47, 48-46 50-44, 49-45, 49-45)

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