Barbadian professional kickboxer Kirk Bovell returns to the ring on May 9 at the Battle in Paradise 7 International Muay Thai Championship at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.
Bovell, a former amateur national champion, is a certified personal trainer and the owner and operator of Body Shapers Personal Training Services. Work and family commitments have kept him out of competition for the past few years but he’s been keen to restart his professional fight career for some time.
“Kickboxing is in my blood. It’s been calling me back to the ring for some time now and I just can’t resist the urge any longer,” he said.
He last competed at the Canadian Fighting Championship 7 in 2011 where he lost to Canadian John Henderson in a rematch. Bovell won his first encounter with Henderson on a unanimous points decision a year earlier at Battle in Paradise 4 held in Barbados. Henderson was adamant that he’d won that fight and the rematch was scheduled for September of the following year.
Leading into the fifth round of the return encounter Bovell led the rounds on points and seemed poised to win again. Within the last minute of the bout however he received a knee strike to the ribs while on the rope which took the wind out of him, and in an unfortunate circumstance received an elbow to the neck right after the referee called break. Bovell was unable to recover from the knockdown and lost by technical knockout.
Bovell, who earned the sobriquet “Thunderfoot” for the tremendous power of his kicks will face his biggest challenge yet as he goes up against Andy Turland of England in a five-round Muay Thai welterweight contest.
Turland is the current Chang United Kingdom Southeast Area and UK One Sangchai S1 welterweight champion with a record of 12 wins, seven losses and one draw. Turland has been training and competing for the past six months in Thailand, homeland of Muay Thai. Muay Thai, or Thai Boxing as it is also known, is a form of kickboxing that utilizes eight striking limbs –– the fists, the feet, the knees and the elbows. It is proven to be one of the most devastating striking arts and is employed by most elite athletes in such full contact martial sports K-1 and Mixed Martial Arts.
Bovell remains undeterred by the challenge however as he believes he is more than up to the task.
“I’m no stranger to the ring and I believe my chances of a victory are just as good any. Win or lose this is going to be a great fight. And considering what others in the full contact martial arena are passing of as good fighting these days, it’s important for me to show them what a good fight really is,” he said.