Throwback: Jerome Le Banner vs Espedito Da Silva for WKN title

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Jerome Le Banner vs. Espedito Da Silva for the WKN World super heavyweight title made kickboxing history

Historic kickboxing bout Jerome Le Banner vs. Espedito Da Silva happened almost twenty years ago at Georgia Dome in Atlanta, USA. The WKN championship of the world featured on the program broadcasted by Showtime network on September 19, 1998.

Furthermore, the promoter of the event was “Mr Boxing” himself, Don King. If this is not enough, the prestigious kickboxing WKN belt, was contested in the undercard of Evander Holyfield vs. Vaughn Bean for the WBA and IBF heavyweight titles.

Moreover, the event was the first time when kickboxing and boxing bouts were promoted on the same show. It was the President of the World Kickboxing Network Stephane Cabrera who convinced Don King to put this fight on.

Le Banner vs. Da Silva

Notable kickboxer out of France Jerome Le Banner faced off a prominent Brazilian Espedito Da Silva. The pair squared off in the super heavyweight bout for the WKN World title.

Scheduled for 5 x 3 minute rounds encounter ended prior the final bell. In the opening round French southpaw sent his opponent to the canvas with a spectacular left kick to the head. After reaching a ten-count on Da Silva, the referee Billy Murray of Northern Ireland waved the fight off.

The official verdict proclaimed Le Banner as the winner by knockout at the 52-second mark of round number one. As a result he earned the vacant WKN World super heavyweight title.

In addition, the event marked the debut when “Thai-boxing” was introduced to the World audience via a large American television network

Kickboxing was born in the US in 70’s as a Full Contact Karate. The induction of the leg kicks came from Japan, as well as the knee techniques that were borrowed from Thailand’s national sport, Muay Thai.

As a result “Thai-boxing” was created in the Western world and included in Kickboxing as one of its styles. Commonly known modern day “K-1” style was originally a brand of once the largest kickboxing promotion founded in Japan.

With the further development of sport, the “Art of Eight Limbs” is governed by the WKN as it is, Muay Thai. “K-1” is the oriental set of kickboxing rules. Also the “Low Kick” and original “Full Contact” styles remain the disciplines included in the governing.

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Parviz Iskenderov
Parviz Iskenderov is a muaythai fighter from Perth, Australia. He is a former national champion of Belarus, and also a finalist of IFMA European Cup. He is an editor and journalist at FIGHTMAG. He covers national and world news. Iskenderov is also the WKN (World Kickboxing Network) international coordinator for Australia.

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