Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Kickboxing: Gary's State visit

CHAMPION kickboxer Gary Hamilton is on track to crack the lucrative US market and set up a host of money-spinning clashes.

CHAMPION kickboxer Gary Hamilton is on track to crack the lucrative US market and set up a host of money-spinning clashes.

Mike Sawyer, one of the world's major kickboxing promoters, is jetting into Geneva this week to meet with Belfast's featherweight world champion to discuss an American deal.

Sawyer watched Hamilton take on local hero Flavio Turelli at the Post Tenebres Cup in the Swiss city last night and is due to meet Hamilton's representatives to plot the fighter's future.

"Gary is a name in Europe, but he hasn't made any great impressions yet in America," said a Sawyer spokesperson.

"Mike Sawyer has been watching his rise with interest for the last 12 months and sees potential for some big matches in Las Vegas. Gary is a young fighter with a bright future."

Sawyer promotes the US-arm of the lucrative K1 event. The K1 commands massive TV audiences on US cable channels and in Japan, with Sawyer instrumental in its surge in popularity.

He has also been key in the talks to bring Mike Tyson into kickboxing and is negotiating an autumn fight for the fallen heavyweight boxing star.

"Mike Sawyer is a kickboxing kingpin," said Billy Murray, Hamilton's chief coach and manager.

"We have been talking for a number of months about finding Gary a berth on a K1 card in Vegas. Gary has fought in America a few times but he has yet to really crack it over there. We are looking towards a date in early September.

"As I've said already, 2004 is all about installing Gary Hamilton as the undisputed featherweight king of the world. He is still only 24 and has many years left at the top. He wants to take on the best in America and he's ready for them."

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