Bobby Campbell, owner of Campbell’s Kickboxing and MMA which has schools in Bellmore and East Islip, held an amateur kickboxing tournament this past Sunday at Mulcahy’s in Wantagh.
Campbell, who is known as The Jackhammer, is a three time world kickboxing champion and is well respected in the kickboxing world. All the fighters were eager to compete in his tournament.
Jesse McBroom of Levittown was one such competitor. He had only fought once before but he won his first match and he was eager to prove himself again. When asked if he found the fights stressful he said, “They’re fun and entertaining. I have kids; kids are stressful.”
Another competitor, Ellen Mathews of Massapequa, felt a little more stressed beforehand but was still excited to fight. “It’s my first match,” she said. “Right now the anticipation is getting to me but I know that when I’m in the ring I’ll love it.”
Mathews quit smoking a year ago just so she could compete. “Kickboxing is something I’ve always wanted to do so I quit smoking and here I am.”
The fights started a little after 4 p.m. at which time Mulcahys was already packed. The seats on the floor were filled and the area around the bar was packed with spectators who were ordering drinks and food while cheering on the competitors. Many of the cheers were enthusiastic but some became more aggressive when the fighter they came to support started to do struggle.
The announcer of the tournament was Larry Legend who has announced extensively in the past, even for professional wrestling. He gave each fighter an introduction and made sure to praise both of them after each fight. While some fighters performed better than others each one received a heavy round of applause both before and after they fought.
Referee Wayne Spinola of East Meadow was on hand to make sure that each fight went cleanly. Before every match began he urged the fighters to be fair and remember that it was about having fun. “I have to keep the amateurs in check more than the professionals,” he said. “The amateurs sometimes let their emotions get in the way.”
Spinola was no stranger to kickboxing as before he became a referee he was a kickboxer for 14 years.
Bobby Campbell’s next fighting event, Gym Wars, will be on September 23rd at Big Al’s in Amityville. He played a video preview of the competitors who will be in the fight on Sunday. He promised that the event will be filled with great matches.