Liam Harrison vs Fabio Pinca headlines Yokkao 19 on October 8 at the Bolton Macron stadium in England. Both men have beaten every top contender in Europe and have accumulated +200 fights between them.
This clash between two of the greatest Muay Farangs of the modern era, has been one of the most anticipated match-ups for over a decade and is finally about to happen this weekend, to the delight of Muay Thai fans around the world.
Speaking to Anoop Hothi on the K1ANOOP podcast, Harrison was complimentary of Pinca, describing him as a good allrounder. ‘The Hitman’ knows that it will be a close fight on Saturday and that it could very well ‘come down to who is sharper on the night’ in securing a win for either fighter.
However, when the subject of sparring, pre-fight medicals and a year of loses in 2013 was discussed, Harrison reflected on having once failed a brain scan for GLORY Kickboxing prior to his fight at GLORY 5 against Mosab Amrani:
“I got stopped against Mosab [Amrani]. I didn’t even train for a month. I’d failed a brain scan.”
“So, I didn’t train at all and then we were gonna pull me out of the fight. I’d weighed in but I hadn’t really trained, I said: ‘Ricard [Smith – his coach and manager] what’s happening here?’ – because I was waiting for the specialist to call me back [for a month before GLORY 5].”
“The day before the fight, the specialist rang back and said, ‘I’ve gone over your brain scan, you’re fine’. So I thought, oh sh-t, I’m going to fight here. I hadn’t trained whatsoever and you can tell from my body shape and everything, I wasn’t in shape at all.”
“I was gonna pull out and probably should’ve done really.”
Harrison explained that two separate Doctors had reviewed the brain scan at two different points in time – the first being on the day that the brain scan was taken (a month before GLORY 5) when he was told that the had failed the medical. The second opinion from an alternative Doctor was not received until the day before fighting Amrani two years ago (after the weigh-ins).
Fortunately, ‘The Hitman’ has had annual brain scans since then which, have given him a clean bill of health. These have also been one of the pre-fight medical requirements of other global promotions such as Yokkao that he has fought for since GLORY.
The Yokkao 19 clash with Fabio Pinca (32 years old) will be the 104th career fight for Liam Harrison who, recently turned 31 years of age earlier this week.
On the same night and immediately afterwards, Yokkao 20 will also take place in the same venue. Harrison’s stablemate, Jordan Watson will feature in the main event, in a domestic dust-up with Ben Hodge who, was only one of two UK based fighters to have had success at the recent Thai Fight London event (England vs Thailand), with a decision win over Saiyok Pumphanmuang.
K1ANOOP will be reporting from Yokkao 19 & 20 for The Striking Corner. So follow @K1Anoop on Twitter for live results and updates on the day (and weigh-ins); and, subscribe to the K1ANOOP YouTube channel for exclusive interviews from the Yokkao 19 & 20 weigh-ins and post-fight.
Full fight cards below for Yokkao 19 & 20:
Supershowdown presents YOKKAO 20:
England (YOKKAO Fight Team) vs England (YOKKAO UK Ranking -70kg)
Jordan Watson (YOKKAO World Champion 70kg) vs. Ben Hodge
Thailand (YOKKAO Fight Team) vs England -63kg
Manachai YOKKAOSAenchaiGym vs. Panicos Yusuf
YOKKAO UK Ranking -70kg
Jake Purdy vs. Brad Stanton (fight set at 69kg)
YOKKAO Next Generation -50kg
Amy Pirnie vs. Dakota Ditcheva
YOKKAO UK Ranking -65kg
Nathan Bendon vs. Jack Kennedy
YOKKAO UK vs Spain -61.5kg
Myk Estlick vs. Carlos Campos
Supershowdown presents YOKKAO 19:
England vs France -66.5kg
Liam Harrison vs Fabio Pinca
YOKKAO UK Ranking -72,5kg
Chris Shaw vs Jersey Pinto (fight set at 73kg)
Wales vs Scotland -86kg
Charles Sikwa vs Darren Howieson
YOKKAO UK Ranking -72.5kg
Owen Trykowski vs Adi Woods
YOKKAO UK vs Poland -69kg
Steven Long vs Daniel Jedrzejewski
Dilwyn Jones vs Karl Upton -76kg
YOKKAO NEXT GENERATION:
Joe Craven vs Robbie Colling -69kg
Lewis Tams vs Mikey Kostka -69kg
Spencer Brown vs Louis Lee Scott 61kg
Stuart Stabler vs Dylan Hardy -57kg
Isaac Taylor-Green vs Joshua Hill -58kg
Charlie Simpson vs Jack Jarvis -74kg