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Fight Commentator Daniel Austin Looks Back at 2019 in Kickboxing

Discussion in 'Muay Thai and Kickboxing' started by Broadcast, Jan 16, 2020.

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    Kickboxing Z caught up with fight commentator Daniel Austin to get his thoughts on the year in kickboxing. He called in 2019 over 450 fights total from ringside in kickboxing, MMA, and boxing.

    When it comes to the international kickboxing scene, few journalists are as knowledgeable as Austin. The Pennsylvania-born commentator, who currently resides in Europe, travels all over the continent as part of his commentating duties. He’s also the lead writer for the FightBox Blog, where fans can find articles, interviews, and event previews authored by Daniel.

    Austin was kind enough to take the time to answer a few questions about his thoughts on the sport in 2019.

    Kickboxing Z: Unfortunately for you, this is becoming an annual tradition :). Thanks for taking the time to answer some questions.

    Daniel Austin: It’s my pleasure. I love what you’re doing with KickboxingZ.

    Kickboxing Z: I have to start with the Glory event held last month in The Netherlands. A crowd of over 30,000 in the stadium and impressive television numbers. Have you been able to catch a replay? Any thoughts on the event as a whole? I know you were busy that day commentating MMA but wondered if you caught the replay.

    Daniel Austin: After the event, when I got back to the hotel, I watched the fight. It was nice to see such a massive event for kickboxing. People ask me and people talk about it all the time “How can kickboxing grow as a sport”? I think big events / fights like this are the way to get more eyeballs on the sport. Although the ending was undesirable, it also creates interest and a third fight is inevitable.

    Kickboxing Z: One of the craziest moments for me as a fan/writer took place during the KOK event in Sakarya, Turkey, when the fans became angry and started throwing water bottles at the ring when a Turkish fighter was fouled.

    You were there ringside. Was that your wildest moment of the year in kickboxing?

    Daniel Austin: Turkish fans are very emotional and they support their countrymen 100%. The problem was not with the Russian fighter in my opinion, but with the referee. She was an old, decrepit woman in her 60’s and she was slow to step in. The Russian guy looked at the ref to see if she was going to stop the fight after the Turkish guy claimed a low blow. The ref didn’t act quickly enough, so the Russian fighter kicked the Turk while he was holding his groin and calling for a stoppage.

    The crowd started rioting and throwing things towards the ring, especially water bottles. Some of them were still quite full. One of the bottles was flying through the air at about 100 km per hour and slammed into the Polish commentator’s monitor. It sounded like a gunshot went off. When I turned around towards the crowd, I saw a wall of 10,000 infuriated fans all throwing things towards the ring. It was chaotic for a moment before security stepped in. When I say security, I mean army soldiers with machine guns. Once those guys stepped in, the crowd calmed down rather quickly LOL.

    Kickboxing Z: You spend a fair amount of time in Romania commentating and ring announcing for Colosseum Tournament and Golden Fighter Championship. Superkombat went on hiatus, but it seems like the sport is increasing in popularity there lately with a lot of organizations holding events with national and international broadcasts.

    Daniel Austin: Romania is a hotbed for kickboxing at the moment. Colosseum Tournament had 7 events in 2019, more than any other promotion. They also managed to secure a fight with Daniel Ghita in 2019, which is huge. There is a lot of competition between the promotions and the fighters tend to bounce around from organization to organization. Business tends to be chaotic and unpredictable in Romania, but the events are always entertaining and memorable and the fights are high level. I love going there!

    Kickboxing Z: I asked you this before, but do you see the Daniel Ghita-Catalin Morosanu fight taking place in the near future? I remember there was a large public demand for the fight, but for whatever reasons the parties couldn’t make a deal.

    Daniel Austin: I don’t think this fight is going to happen. It’s a pity, because if it did happen, I think it would be just as big, or even bigger than Rico vs. Badr if promoted correctly. There would be that much interest in Romania, believe me.

    Kickboxing Z: Out of all the fighters you watched this year while commentating, is there one you would choose as your personal fighter of the year?

    Daniel Austin: Regian Eersel. (Note: Eersel defeated Nieky Holzken twice last year and holds the ONE Lightweight Kickboxing World Title)

    Kickboxing Z: Is there a funniest moment of 2019 you can recall?

    Daniel Austin: Funny? I’m not sure about funny, but there were certainly many memorable moments from 2019. Adrian Maxim walking out of a tournament final after it was announced there would be an extra round, the fans almost rioting in Turkey, commentating for three events in three days (Romania – Germany – Romania), working at the iconic York Hall in London, working with guest commentators like Artur Kyshenko, Regian Eersel, Tarik Khbabez, Zabit Samedov and Peter Aerts, doing commentary for an MMA event where the venue was a circus, flying on 103 flights in one year, calling Mike Zambidis’ comeback fight, commentating on a tag team MMA fight … the list goes on and on. It was a great year!

    Kickboxing Z: That’s all the questions I have.

    Is there anything else you’d like to say or anyone you’d like to thank?

    Daniel Austin: First and foremost, I want to thank FightBox. They gave me my first opportunity to do professional commentary 10 years ago. I want to thank all the promoters I worked for who have confidence in my ability as a commentator. I also want to thank everyone else that makes these events possible, the unsung heroes, like the production teams – the directors, the camera men, the audio technicians, the lighting technicians, all the behind the scenes people. There’s more work that goes into a combat sports event than people realize and these are the people that make it happen. And of course you. Keep up the good work!

    Fans can keep up with the latest from Daniel on his social media channels:

    FB: www.facebook.com/Fight.Commentator
    IG: @fight_commentator
    Twitter: @donroidDDW
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2020

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