Perfect homecoming for Bowen
Reyel Bowen won his first bout in Bermuda for more than four years after beating Dustin Knight from the United States in the Aries Fighting Championships at the National Sports Centre on Saturday night.
Bowen, who has returned home for the summer from Wales where he lives, enjoyed a convincing victory over Knight, winning the opening two rounds in their first-to-three Sanda contest.
“It was great to be back on the island fighting for the first time in a long time,” said Bowen, of the Bermuda Sanshou Association.
“It was great to be part of this maiden event; I hope to be part of many more. I’d give myself a B-minus; there is always room for improvement.”
Bowen has previously beaten Knight, a bigger, slower opponent, in a round-robin tournament at the Sanda Kicks and Licks tournament in Barbados last summer.
“He came back tougher, like I expected, but I was just a little bit more prepared,” Bowen added. “I wanted to use my angles and mix up my combinations; go high and go low. I took whatever he gave me and tried to make room for whatever I could do.”
There were also wins for Bowen’s BSA team-mates Krista Dyer and Kaelin Cox. Dyer defeated Sarah Peterson while Cox beat Geoffrey Khan, also of the US.
“Hard work pays off and I went in on a good mindset,” said Cox, who won a silver medal in the two-man fighting set and long weapons at the Pan American Kung Fu Championships in San Jose, California, last weekend.
“I felt comfortable from the first round. I always felt in control.”
Meanwhile, Ryley Mason, of the BSA, lost her round-robin bouts against Daisey Berry and Melissa Dominguez, of the US.
Mason, 18, said she learnt plenty from her pair of losses.
“I’m really pleased with how I performed [against Berry],” she said. “I did the best I could. Daisey is a good fighter and really strong.
“I listened to my coaches and did much better in the evening fight. I felt I was poor [against Dominguez] in the morning.”
The event featured bouts throughout the day under the Big Tent, including kick-boxing and Brazilian Jiujitsu, with fighters from Europe, Canada and the US facing Bermuda’s best.
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