Japanese national kickboxing champion Rumi Umeda and compatriot Normisa Watanabe will test the mettle of their Pinoy rivals in Andy Kunz’s Fight Night organized by the World Kickboxing Federation (WKF) Philippines today at the Makati Cinema Square in Makati City.
Umeda, 47, the veteran among the fighters, will face undefeated Kate “The Terminator” Abayan (3-0-1 win-loss-draw record) of the Philippines in the 52 kg main event, while Watanabe (0-1) fights another Filipina Gian Bilon (2-1) in the 63 kg match.
Umeda, the reigning champion in Japan for more than five years, is a practitioner of muaythai and the French martial art of savate, which employs accurate and fast kicks.
“She (Umeda) is more of a kicker and skilled in long-range techniques. She is good in muaythai,” said Kunz, a Swiss national who’s been living in the country for the past seven years.
“Her Filipino counterpart is good in boxing so she needs to watch out for those stinging punches.”
In the other matches, Yaw Yan Fervillon’s Joy Damasio faces muaythai fighter Jason Vellacena in the 52 kg class while Warren Reyes and Mac Anthony Azul meets in the 69 kg division. Jeet kune do fighters Santino Dumlao and Arnel Sabandal clash in the 80 kg division.
“We are hoping to create a good impression about kickboxing. We did smaller events before and we’re also hoping our event will grow and progress in the future,” added the 54-year-old martial artist Kunz, who teaches Chinese gung fu, krav maga and jeet kune do. Kunz is also a student of the Filipino martial art of arnis.
Kunz and his partner Kenneth Pua will also be promoting their book Kickboxing during the event.