Monday, April 25, 2011

Someone is saying goodbye to being undefeated

In the fight game your only as good as your last fight, however, in Muay Thai you are also measured on the level of competition you face. Keeping your record as immaculate as possible is important, but that doesn't mean you dodge good fighters. Some fighters understand this and are willing to put their record on the line against good fighters on a consistent basis, others don't and prefer to fight lesser competition to keep that record looking good but in reality are living behind a false facade. 

On April 29th at The Hall at St. Paul's you will get to see two fighters who are part of the first group. Joseph Valtellini and Ben Case are both undefeated fighters that don't dodge good competition. Thanks to Friday Night Fights promoter Justin Blair it is time for someones O to go. 

Joseph Valtellini fighting out of Toronto brings a record of 3-0 while Ben Case fighting out of Pittsburgh brings a record of 7-0. When it comes to their undefeated records they both take different approaches.

"You only have one shot at keeping it, so losing isn’t an option." said Valtellini. "Winning will also allow me to get bigger fight opportunities and title shots in the near future."

"The culture of Muay Thai isn't about protecting your record or racking up easy wins; it's about fighting the best competition you can, learning from it and improving." said Case. "Some of the top guys in Thailand have records with 60 or 70 percent win percentages. The important thing is challenging quality fighters."

Despite differing opinions on the matter of keeping an undefeated record, both want to fight tough competition and it continues with each other. They both know that they are not going to have a walk in the park, and that is precisely why Justin Blair put this fight together. 

"I think what makes this fight so exciting is that nobody can really make an accurate determination on what the outcome will be. I mean, people that I have spoken with have their opinions but nobody is super confident about their pick. I think that the tipping point of this match hinges on whether Joe’s aggression will be too much for Ben or if Ben’s technical expertise neutralizes Joe’s aggression. It is a very hard match to pick." said Blair.

As hard to pick as this fight will be, both sides feel they have what it takes to come out victorious. Valtellini's trainer Paul Minhas predicts a finish by Valtellini as he always does, while Case trainer Stephen Strotmeyer predicts Case taking the fight on the score cards. 

Valtellini is known for being explosive, but turning athletic explosive power into "technical power" is something that Minhas has been working on with Valtellini, and states "He (Valtellini) has grown so much in the last 4 months and he is an athlete and a sponge for new technical knowledge."

Case is known for his technical skills, and Strotmeyer is confident that Ben will use his "coolness and intelligence to overcome any potential problem." against an explosive fighter such as Valtellini.

There is no lack of confidence for either side, and when it comes down to it the facts are simple someone is chalking up a one in their loss column. Promoter Justin Blair said it best, "someone is going to lose this match however I think that whoever that person is – their image as a fighter will be based on how competitive they make the match." 

It's probably safe to say that no ones image will be tarnished because both of these fighters will come in and not only look to win the fight, but at the same time put on a show for the fans that they wont forget. The only question will be who and how? Will it be the power of Valtellini that is the difference maker or the technical skills of Case? The best way to find out is to go watch it for yourself.

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