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Kickboxer Bowen set for home return

Game face: Ryley Mason, 18, will be among the Bermuda Sanshou Association fighters involved in the Aries Fighting Championships at the NSC on Saturday(Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Reyel Bowen is set for his first bout in Bermuda in more than four years when he takes part in the Aries Fighting Championships at the National Sports Centre on Saturday.

Bowen, who lives in Wales, has returned to the island for the summer and will fight in front of a home crowd for the first time since losing to Canadian Cole Fetzner at the Berkeley Institute in April 2015.

“It does feel good to be back competing on the island,” Bowen said. “I’ve spent a good portion of my time while overseas in university training at two gyms Newport MMA and St John’s ABC.

“Both of those gyms have a good group of professionals and amateur fighters to train alongside, but the majority of my focus was on my studies.

“I have had one competition since I’ve been overseas, the University Kickboxing Championships, and managed to finish second in the advanced heavyweight division.”

A shoulder injury ruled Bowen out of action before making his comeback with a first-round knockout win over Justin Taylor, of Barbados, at the Bridgetown Burning International Combat Games in April 2017.

The kickboxer then won his weight division in a round-robin tournament at the Sanda Kicks and Licks tournament in Barbados in May 2018. His first opponent Barbadian Emerson Hurley retired hurt, while his second, Dustin Knight, of the United States, withdrew from their match.

“I’m not sure exactly who I’m competing against [on Saturday], but I was informed Dustin Knight, my last opponent who I defeated in Barbados, will be in the competition. I’m expecting to see a more skilled and equipped opponent in Dustin.”

Also in action will be two of Bowen’s Bermuda Sanshou Association team-mates Krista Dyer and Ryley Mason.

Dyer is fresh off a unanimous victory over Catherine Raptis, of Sitan Gym Muay Thai in New York, at the Victualling Yard in Dockyard last month.

Meanwhile, Ryley Mason, 18, lost in her debut in the K1 discipline against Gemma Fleming, of the Wat Gym in Manhattan, in Dockyard.

The main event bouts, taking place under the Big Tent, will involve several kick-boxing and Brazilian Jiujitsu bouts, with fighters from Europe, Canada and the US facing Bermuda’s best. Doors open at 6pm.

During the day there will be a free family fun day between 9am and 5pm. General admission is $45, and tickets can be purchased at ptix.bm. VIP tickets are $75.