Size means everything as Lee gets a kicking
They say the best things come in small packages, but this wasn't the case for Hong Kong's Joey Lee last night as she was beaten on points by the physically bigger Ala Ivashkevich from Belarus for the WMC I-1 Asian Championship.
Lee was fighting on the WMC I-1 World Muay Thai Grand Prix bill at the Hong Kong International Trade and Exhibition Centre in Kowloon Bay and despite great support from the large crowd, the fighter known as 'Bam, Bam' on the professional circuit, never really got to grips with her rangy opponent.
Local favourite Lee, 30, put up a brave performance against a fighter 10 years her junior but in the end it wasn't the age gap that made the difference, but the disparity in height and reach that was her downfall. Ivashkevich towered over the smaller Hong Kong fighter and her raking kicks and slicing jabs constantly had Lee on the back foot.
It meant Lee could never really get into a rhythm and although constantly urged on by the crowd, it made little difference.
'It's very disappointing but I never fought anyone that big before,' Lee said. 'It's just something I'll have to learn from and move on.'
Hong Kong fight fans did have plenty to cheer about earlier in the competition though, when Tony 'Thunderbird' Chu narrowly beat Mike Elko of the United States.
The encounter was the first one of the night with little fanfare but it turned into a knockdown, drag-out affair that had the crowd on its feet throughout.
Elko had Chu down twice in the early rounds and looked to be well in control of the bout, only for the Hong Kong fighter to come storming back in the latter stages and drop the American twice.
In a rousing finish with both fighters out on their feet, the final bell sounded.
The clash then went to the judges who gave Chu the narrowest of victories.