Throwback Thursday with the World Kickboxing Network (WKN) brings us to Nigeria.
On March 15, 2003 the WKN organized the first in history world championship kickboxing ever held in Nigeria. Habib Bakir of France and, at that time current European champion, Fernando Loureiro of Portugal challenged for the lightweight world title.
Lagoon Restaurant in Lagos was the venue of the historic event. A sell-out crowd of 2,500 has witnessed the ‘African Warrior Pride’ spectacle. Local promoter of the event was Leo Rossini, former Swiss national champion. He also put on the card four leading fighters in the country. The referee on the night was Carl Emery.
The Nigerians who made history were Emmanuel Atagana, Martins Gabriel, Jooda Augustine and Ugochukwu Uzoka. Atagana and Gabriel battled out in the super middleweight class. Augustine squared off with Uzoka in the light heavyweight encounter.
The decision of the WKN world title fight Bakir vs Loureiro went in favor of the Frenchman. As a result Habib Bakir became the first in history world champion in kickboxing to be crowned on the territory of Nigeria.
Moreover this event is only one of numerous historical happenings that the WKN has made. The following year, on October 22, 2004 the pioneer organization has held the first in history kickboxing world championship in Romania.