Tuesday, 4 November 2008

K-1 World Max 2008 on Eurosport - TV Review

A little later than planned due to a thumb injury and a power cut this past Saturday, this edition of The Two Sheds Review sees me venturing into the stand-up world of K-1 again, with this year’s World Max final, broadcast on Eurosport this past Friday night as part of their Fight Club series.

As is the
custom with Eurosport these days, we cut straight to the semi-finals, with Yoshihiro Sato taking on his Japanese countryman Masato. The battle of the kick boxers was action packed from the opening bell. It was nice to see Sato employ the front kick to good effect, something I don’t think I’ve seen in a while in either K-1 or MMA. Both fighters certainly had their moments. While Masato controlled the second round, Sato came back well in the third with a knock down. It was difficult to tell which fighter would get the decision, so much so that the judges called for a fourth round. This proved to be just as action packed as the previous rounds, with Masato doing just that little bit more to get the win and the spot in the final.

The second semi-final saw kick boxer Artur Kyshenko facing karate stylist Andy Souwer. This one proved to be just as good as the first semi-final, even though it was fought at a somewhat slower pace at times. Souwer had his hands full with the relative newcomer. Souwer was the fighter who came forward the most, and Kyshenko seemed happy to counter attack after every Souwer combination. But it was during the third round that Kyshenko began to come forward a lot more, often delivering the first blow in any exchange, forcing Souwer to display his defensive skills. In fact if this fight was scored on the third round alone, then it would probably be scored as a draw, and after three rounds, the entire fight was scored as a draw, so that made it two semi-finals out of two in which the extra round was called for. Kyshenko was clearly confident in this round, which Souwer less so, judging by the fact that his accuracy seemed a little off. Kyshenko was simply outworking the champion, and it came as no surprise that Kyshenko got the judge’s decision.

Then it’s on to a super fight, with kick boxers Joeri Mes and Taishin Kohiruimaki. This one was a little bit messy at times and not as technical as the semi-finals, although Mes looked impressive as he scored two knock downs in the first round with some good shots. Mes’ attack in the second round was relentless, and although Kohiruimaki came back well at times, as well as doing a lot of holding, which earned him a warning, it was Mes who emerged victorious, a hard right knocking Kohiruimaki down like the proverbial sack of spuds in the final seconds of the fight, with the referee not even bothering to administer a ten count, as Kohiruimaki was out like a light.

Final time followed, with Masato facing Kyshenko. Despite their exertions in the previous round, both men went at it full tilt from the get go. An action packed first round was followed by Kyshenko scoring a knock down early in the second. The Ukrainian continued to dominate for the next few moments, until Masato got his second wind and came back strongly, putting the pressure on Kyshenko as the round went on. The third round saw both fighters swinging for the proverbial trees with both hits and misses, and as it progressed it proved to be just as good as the previous rounds. Masato was, well, Masato, constantly trying to look for an opening. But then again Kyshenko was just as good, more than able to keep up with the more experienced opponent. Once again, the judges couldn’t separate the fighters, so once again the fourth round was called for. Masato went to work straight away as Kyshenko began to look weary as the Japanese star began to dominate, and it was this dominance that earned him the victory and the championship.

In conclusion - four top notch fights on the latest edition of Fight Club. I really can’t find fault with any of them.

But what I can find fault with is Eurosport’s coverage of K-1. Once again fights were cut from the broadcast. We missed all of the quarter-finals as well as most of the super fights. It’s about time that Eurosport realises that not everybody here in Britain has access to their high definition channel, which, from what I understand, broadcasts the full shows.

So my final recommendation would be this - as K-1 DVDs are now released on a regular basis here in Britain, wait for that to come out. At least you’d be able to see all of the show, and it would be a hell of a lot cheaper than getting a Sky HD box and an HD television.

Maybe it’s time for me to start a Facebook group calling for either Sky or Setanta to get K-1. Watch this space.