Antoine Pinto

Richard Abraham opens up about his childhood and being focused on fighting and family

Richard Abraham (11-3) will welcome former Thai Fight ‘Super Champion’ Antoine Pinto (130-36-1) to GLORY Kickboxing tomorrow in the co-main event of, GLORY 38 at the Sears Center, Chicago. Abraham is undefeated in GLORY and on a four fight win streak since making his own GLORY debut a year ago at GLORY 27.

Abraham’s fighting career was influenced by his upbringing which, was a tough one for him and his siblings, after his Mom passed when he was 12 years of age. He and his brother, struggled to deal with the emotional anguish which, spilled over into violent aggression growing up, especially when insults would fly around amongst other youngsters. Eventually though, he learnt to curb his aggression and focused his energy instead on Muay Thai and winning various titles including the WKA world championships in Muay Thai and kickboxing.

Losing his Mom as a child and growing up fighting

“When I was younger I lost my Mom the I was 12 and back then the ‘your Momma’ jokes was like the biggest thing. So it was like your Momma this, your Momma that you know at time I’m angry. That turned into a lot of gifts for me, you know, my brother and I; people spout off about something, we try to give people a chance but people still get brave and get stupid you know. It’s just a fight to me, you win or lose, it’s not whatever.”

“I’m not overwhelmed but like I have to run a business, I have to provide for my family, have six kids, I train fighters, I personal train people and I train at a very high level. So what kinda takes priority in my life is I mean, for what I need to care about and that’s about it.”

Committed to the cause and no excuses

“A lot of people don’t want to put in the work, its easy to fall behind with excuses. No one would blame me if I said, man, I’ve got my family, I’ve got to support my family, you know. I can’t kickbox no more. No one would blame me, I don’t think anyone would. Just my life is so busy, I’ve got to run my business. Actually, I make less money because I’ve less time focusing on fighting, it’s not bad money, not phenomenal. I would make more money if I just focused on what I did. So I take a step back and look at what’s important in my life and what legacy I want leave and my kids to view me.”

“If you want something bad enough, you’ll make time for it if not, you’ll make an excuse.”

Pinto’s ring experience tremendously exceeds that of Abraham’s. However, the Chicago based fighter’s development over the years has gathered momentum and with his resolute mindset, the co-main event between both fighters will certainly make for a very interesting match-up.

Click here to listen and download the full podcast with Richard Abraham.

GLORY 38: Antoine Pinto feels he’s ‘on a different level’ to Richard Abraham

Multiple Muay Thai champion, Antoine Pinto will engage with Chicago’s Richard Abraham tomorrow night in the Sears Center at GLORY 38. The match-up will be Pinto’s GLORY Kickboxing debut after having fought for almost a lifetime under Thai rules and the fight itself is the co-main event of the night. Artem Vakhitovs vs. Saulo Cavalari will headline the event which, will be Vakhitov’s first title defence.

So why change over to kickboxing after winning Muay Thai titles for the last 12 years?

“I think my brother and I got to a point where we weren’t really having any challenge in fighting Muay Thai. We’ve been fighting at the top for many many tears now and I pretty much won everything that you can possibly want win against some of the best fighters already. I just felt there’s no more challenges.”

“We got an offer from GLORY to go fight there and I just felt this is good you know, this is new challenge for me, you know, new rules, new weight, new. Its just the fun again being the challenger again and not being the champion so its good.”

Making the transition from Muay Thai rules to GLORY Kickboxing

“People say that its gonna be so hard, you guys changing rules, this and that. We’re not coming from MMA, we’re not coming from football whatever, you know. Its still fighting, its the same you know, especially fighting in Thai Fight where we don’t actually get to clinch. The only thing that I say we don’t have is the elbows. So its not like that much different, you know I feel like its still very similar. I’m use to fighting three rounds, this is also three rounds. So I don’t find it that much different, is just the style that the opponent have that’s a little bit different to be honest.”

Antoine had given himself six months to prepare properly for his GLORY debut and adopt to the change of rules and fighting style which, is something that hinders many fighters before him, from transitioning form one rule-set to the other with a high volume of success. However, making the necessary adjustments doesn’t bother the 26 year old in the slightest and he’s confident of being the victor after fighting Abraham at GLORY 38 tomorrow.

“I mean I’m gonna have to be honest I had no idea who he was until they told me I’m gonna fight this guy so I had to look it up and see what he looks like and see some of his fights with my team, my trainers and he’s a decent fighter, you know, he’s pretty good. He’s good but you know, I mean no disrespect towards him; I still feel we on a different level you know, he’s still baby in this game. I’ve been fighting for so many years and he’s got what like 30 fights? I had that when I was 15.”

Click here to listen and download the full podcast with Antoine Pinto.

 

Bellator Kickboxing Florence – Preview: Petrosyan vs. Watson and Kevin Ross gets his wish

Headlining the Bellator Kickboxing Florence card at Bellator 168 is Giorgio Petrosyan vs. Jordan Watson, in what will be an interesting clash of styles at the Mandela Forum on December 10. Watson is renown for being big, powerful and some might say, ‘Mr Right Kick’. As well as having previous with southpaws, most notably: Sanny Dhalbeck and Ben Hodge  from which, he’s certainly learnt and improved himself as a fighter. In his last fight with Hodge at Yokkao 20, Watson was flirting with switching stances from orthodox to southpaw and vice-versa but there’s more to simply switch hitting to bamboozling Petrosyan.

However, “The Doctor” has been there and seen it all including, winning a couple of K-1 Max trophies in the mix too. The last person to really put it on him was a certain Andy Ristie at GLORY 12, resulting in the biggest upset of the decade – Petrosyan being left KO’d on the canvas. Not to mention his GLORY 3 bout with two weight champion, Robin van Roosmalen. Although that decision went Petrosyan’s way, it strongly hinted at something – when his opponents are not only relentless with giving him a fight but most significantly, are of much higher calibre than your typical pressure fighter, they can cause the Italian kickboxing maestro all sorts of problems.

Nevertheless, Watson’s mindset and attitude will be key factors on Saturday which, he opened up about after Yokkao 20, regarding his past approach to his career. If his mind, body and soul are focused on the task at hand on Saturday then anything is possible. Especially as no one, not even Petrosyan, is unbreakable in the ring. However, the obvious favourite is the two time K-1 Max champion, whose kickboxing experience outweighs that of Watson’s.

Alessio Arudini is a very competent Thai boxer who, will be greeting Kevin Ross in the ring come Saturday. He’s also a very good kicker with a variety of kicks in his arsenal: whether he maybe attacking both the inside and outside of the lead leg, or, even pulling off more fancy stuff like, spinning back kicks and even ‘question mark kicks’ from his right leg.

In the buildup, Ross was complimentary of the Italian but don’t expect the switch from both of their favoured rule set to dampen how exciting this fight could turn out to be. “The Soul Assassin” is more than experienced enough to handle someone as threatening as Arudini and if anything, the level of competition he’s facing this time round, in Bellator Kickboxing, will be exactly what he’s been looking for to elevate his own performance too.

“He’s just a more, I’d say, traditional, solid Thai boxer. I’m looking forward to a more technical fight.”

Luca Novello is most probably out of his depth against the vastly experienced Karim Ghajji who, was formerly Bellator Kickboxing’s inaugural welterweight champion, defeating Mustafa Haida at Bellator 152 by split decision. However, whether or not Novello has developed some serious ringcraft since being overwhelmed by Antoine Pinto (at Thai Fight, November 2014) is the ultimate question and one that will be answered when he faces Ghajji. However, “Gadjetboy” mustn’t underestimate Novello who, turns 23 the day before their clash; he’ll be more determined than ever to get a win over someone of Ghajji’s profile, especially infront of his home corwd.

Denise Kieholtz gets her rematch with Gloria Peritore after what some had reported as controversial decision loss to the Italian at Bellator Dynamite 2. However, Peritore never stays still and will continuously keep moving away and around the ring until she decides to close range, exchange with a few quick strikes and then move out and away again. If anything, Peritore is always on the balls of her feet which, allows her to throw those nice head kicks and teeps to face, a lot easier compared to being a plodder; and the word, ‘plodder’ could be sum up the majority of the latter’s movement in their last fight.

Denise Kieholtz vs Gloria Peritore

Denise Kieholtz vs. Gloria Peritore – Image: Bellator / Oktagon

Previously, Kielholtz failed to keep constant pressure and spent more time waiting in the centre of the ring and just following her opponent; not cutting off the ring; and not keeping at close range and cutting angles to then blast Peritore all over the place with her Dutch kickboxing venom. Unless she fights more like her man, Hesdy Gerges, history could very well repeat itself in Florence between these two.

Joe Schilling has had a shocking run of three straight defeats after a decision win over Mike Lemaire to start the year at GLORY 27. However, Schilling’s brand image is too big an investment for Bellator to possibly risk by matching him up against a more talented fighter than Victorio Lermano at this moment in time. No disrespect but Lermano does not have the skill set nor power to compete with someone as technically violent as Schilling. So, don’t be surprised by anything other than a return to winning ways for “Stich ‘em up” to end the year but then again, the majority of people expected Schilling to take care of Hisaki Kato in their rematch under kickboxing rules.