The Night of the Kick and Punch 14 to unfold in Venaria, Italy
The kickboxing gala
On Saturday June 24th, at the amazing Reggia di Venaria (Royal Palace of Venaria), close to Turin (North Western Italy), The Night of Kick and Punch 14 – Black Tie Edition will take place. In this kickboxing gala, most fights will be under K-1 rules: Punches, kicks and knees. Promoted by Angelo Valente, in collaboration with Michele Briamonte’s Sap Fighting Style and the Reggia di Venaria, with the extraordinary participation of tv superstar Elisabetta Canalis, The Night of Kick and Punch 14 will be an invitation only event. Guests will have an aperitivo (an Italian ritual in the late afternoon: Usually sparkling white wine or a cocktail with small pieces of bread topped with Parmigiano Reggiano, Prosciutto di Parma or other Italian products appreciated internationally) in the beautiful garden of the Royal Palace and then enjoy the fights inside the building while eating a 5-star dinner in this historic location.
The main event
In the main event, Wako-Pro World bantamweight champion Luca Cecchetti (Italy, 58-5) will defend the title for the first time against outstanding veteran Franck Giovanni Gross (France) on the 5-round distance of 3 minutes each with K-1 rules.
Luca Cecchetti won the title on June 18th, 2022 defeating Maksim Kazacu in the first kickboxing event ever promoted inside the Royal Palace. He won three fights since then without the Wako-Pro title on the line. “I would have liked to defend the Wako-Pro title – Luca Cecchetti said – but for a number of reasons it was not possible. Rather than staying inactive, I preferred to fight twice on the 3-round distance without a title on the line and once on the 5-round distance for the new TAF bantamweight belt defeating the champion of Spain Dostin Ortiz. At the Royal Palace, on June 24, I will fight a very dangerous opponent as Franck Giovanni Gross has won many world titles in his career. I am well prepared and confident to win. Knowing that I have to fight such a veteran didn’t change anything in my training because I always train like I have to fight for the world title.”
Black Tie edition: Canalis vs Donati
In the most mediatic fight of The Night of Kick and Punch 14 – Black Tie Edition, Italian tv superstar Elisabetta Canalis will fight Angelica Donati on the 3 rounds distance with the rounds of 1 minute and half each with kick light rules: Punches above the waist, kicks everywhere, but without punching and kicking at full force because the knock out is not allowed. Canalis and Donati will wear helmet and shin guards. Elisabetta Canalis fought at the Royal Palace last year defeating Rachele Muratori and the fight generated a huge media coverage of the event giving kickboxing an unprecedented media exposure in Italy.
Italy & Kickboxing
Kickboxing in Italy is not a new sport. It started in the early 1980s and many great events where promoted. The first event of international importance was on November 24, 1989 at the historic PalaLido in Milan which was sold-out: 5,000 spectators bought the tickets to see Italy vs USA in fights with full contact rules (punches and kicks above the waist). The attraction was the already great Don “The Dragon” Wilson (now considered a living legend and admitted in the International Sports Hall of Fame) who defeated Giuliano Grillo. Since then, kickboxing sold out even 10,000 seats arenas in Italy, but that wasn’t enough to get major media coverage. It was thanks to the first The Night of Kick and Punch – Black Tie Edition that mainstream media covered kickboxing.
“The success of the first Black Tie Edition convinced me to promote the second event – Angelo Valente said – and to promote it like a mainstream show. That’s the kind of promotion that kickboxing needs to be considered a first class sport in Italy. We have spectacular locations. We have the fighters who won world titles in Italy, in Europe and all over the globe. We proved that we have the skills to promote big events. All we need is more media coverage.”
At the Night of Kick and Punch 14 – Black Tie Edition, in the main supporting bout Tommaso Pantarotto will fight Nasser Boungab for the vacant Wako-Pro Intercontinental super welterweight championship with K-1 rules. Simone Buratti and Shakib El Kadimi will fight for the vacant Italian championship (64,400 kg) with low kick rules: Punches above the waist and kicks everywhere at full power. Former Wako-Pro World super welterweight champion Georgian Cimpeanu will fight Nikolaus Panou (Greece) on the 3 rounds distance with K-1 rules.