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Woolridge retains title in Monterrey

Retained title: Woolridge

Sentwali Woolridge retained his title at the Pan American Sanda Cup in Monterrey, Mexico, at the weekend.

The Bermudian kick-boxer beat local favourite Karim Orozco Zazueta 2-0 in the best-of-three final to defend his crown in the 75kg division.

Woolridge got past Caio Henrique 2-1 in his opening match, twice forcing his Brazilian opponent off the platform.

Yovier José Canelon Rodríguez was also no match for Woolridge who knocked out his Venezuelan opponent in the second round of their semi-final.

“Sentwali had three quality fights against three quality opponents and got better as he progressed through the rounds, which is what we want to see,” Garon Wilkinson, the head coach and president of the Bermuda Sanshou Association, said.

Also reaching the podium was Woolridge’s team-mate Reyel Bowen.

Bowen, also a defending champion, earned the bronze medal in the 85kg division having reached the semi-final, where he was beaten 2-0 by Daniel Dionicio Madeira from Brazil.

“Bowen fought extremely well against a very seasoned opponent who was on point and is a very technical fighter,” Wilkinson said.

“It would have been nice for him to get a few more fights. But it was just the luck of the draw.”

Last weekend’s Pan American Sanda Cup was an ideal warm-up for Woolridge and Bowen who will also represent Bermuda at the World Wushu Championships in Jakarta, Indonesia, from November 13 to 20.

“It was great preparation for the World Wushu Championships,” Wilkinson said. “I am very pleased with the way the championships went.”

Woolridge captured a silver medal at last year’s Sanda World Cup in Jakarta.

His cousin, Jermal, is the only Bermudian kick-boxer to medal at the World Wushu Championships, having won bronze in 2011 and silver in 2013.