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Local Muay Thai fighter wins world championship


December 29, 2008

 Muay Thai fighter Mark DeLuca of Pittsburgh, won the Thai Boxing Association-Sanctioning Authority (TBA-SA) Superlightweight World Championship in November in Des Moines, Iowa.

DeLuca defeated Raul Llopis, formally of Cuba now living and training in Florida, 48-47, 48-47, 47-48 to become the new TBA-SA Super-lightweight professional champion. DeLuca fought a technically sound and smart fight, sealing victory with strong fourth and fifth round performance.

DeLuca is a Pittsburgh native who has been training as in Muay Thai for five years, and has posted a 12-6-1 record. In addition to his professional Muay Thai career, he is an instructor and trainer at Khaay Muay Sit-Kangmongkorn.

Fought in a ring, Muay Thai (Thai Boxing) uses kicks, punches, knee and elbow strikes with gloves similar to those used in Western boxing. Muay Thai is referred to as “The Science of Eight Limbs,” as the hands, shins, elbows, and knees are all used extensively in this art. A master practitioner of Muay Thai thus has the ability to execute strikes using eight “points of contact,” as opposed to “two points” (fists) in Western boxing and “four points” (fists, feet) used in the primarily sport-oriented forms of martial arts. Muay Thai is an especially versatile, brutal, straightforward martial art.

Khaay Muay Sit-Kangmongkorn's head trainer, Stephen Strotmeyer, an accomplished fighter and trainer, cornered DeLuca's fight.

“Mark proved on Saturday he was worthy of a professional world title, defeating a seasoned and decorated champion in Raul Llopis,” Strotmeyer said. “Mark's perseverance and diligence in training for the past five years was amply rewarded on Saturday. He analyzed his opponent in the first two rounds and pulled away in the last three, landing the higher scoring techniques while showing excellent countering skills and the poise under pressure that make him a true champion.”

 Sit-Kangmongkorn holds classes at South Hills Judo Club in Carrick, a non-profit community dojo.


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