This week, Dave Walsh of Liverkick.com, the pre-eminent Kickboxing site on the web, was gracious enough to contribute a preview of GLORY 7, which takes place this Saturday from Milan, Italy. The organization’s third card in less than a month is once again stacked with a tremendous amount of world class talent, headlined by Italian superstar Giorgio Petrosyan. All of the lines were the openers released at 5Dimes Sportsbook. Giorgio Petrosyan -1350 Hafid El Boustati +650 Giorgio Petrosyan (75-1-2-1) is without a doubt the best Lightweight (70kg) kickboxer in the world, leaving Hadid El Boustati (67-7-3) with the unenviable task of trying to dethrone him. Petrosyan is a technician in every sense of the word and one of the best strikers in all combat sports, if not the best, but has been hindered over the past few years with a fragile right hand. Petrosyan’s hand has been broken numerous times and has led to his knockout ratio falling well below 50% now, which does leave some room for his opponents to find an opening. Boustati is a very tough fighter, but against Petrosyan he has an uphill battle. Rico Verhoeven -230 Jhonata Diniz +170 Rico Verhoeven (38-7-1) is a 25 year old Heavyweight striker who has done nothing but improve over the last few years from his battles against top competition. Jhonata Diniz (7-3) is still a relative newcomer to the Heavyweight Kickboxing scene and made a serious impact this December with a strong showing against Daniel Ghita. Verhoeven is not known as a knockout artist by any means, with only 8 knockouts in his professional career, but his style has been evolving along with his age, still centered on kicks while working in the occasional punch. For Diniz he’ll be looking to apply pressure like he did against Daniel Ghita and try to break Rico’s rhythm to find an opening. Artem Levin -190 Sahak Parparyan +150 When it comes down to battles in the 85kg division, this is one of the best fights that you’ll find, hands down. Artem Levin (68-5-1), the now former It’s Showtime 77kg Champion, has been on top of the 77-85kg division for years now, with his only loss in years being his last fight against Simon Marcus. Sahak Parparyan (48-8-5) is also a former It’s Showtime champ, him being the former 85kg It’s Showtime Champion, a division that Levin now fights in. Levin’s style is clinch-heavy and not pretty on the eyes, but it remains effective against most competitors. As we saw against Marcus, though, against someone bigger and stronger it can be a detriment to him and Sahak is indeed the larger fighter going into this fight. Karapet Karapetyan -210 Roberto Cocco +160 Expectations for this fight are low, to say the least, with many seeing Roberto Cocco (85-29-3) as the local sacrificial lamb for the Dutch/Armenian Karapetyan. The 35-year-old Cocco has seen better days in his career, with disappointing years in 2011 and 2012 and starting off 2013 against a younger, hungry fighter like Karapetyan. Karapetyan is best known for his recent bouts with Nieky Holzken and Joe Schilling, which were both losses, but showcased his hard leg kicks and resilience. Steve McKinnon Michael Duut Steve McKinnon (42-5) is a heavy-hitter from Australia with an impressive 29 wins coming by way of knockout. His opponent, Michael Duut (37-3) has really stepped up his game over the past year, training smarter and focusing on honing his skills, which has showed in the ring. With 17 knockouts under his belt he’ll make for an interesting style match with McKinnon and look to draw him into a brawl. Both fighters are going to be looking for the knockout and to make a big splash on Glory. Due to a late injury replacement, there are currently no odds available for this bout. Murthel Groenhart -120 Robin van Roosmalen -120 This fight is one for the ages between two powerful and sometimes reckless brawlers. Murthel Groenhert (53-14-3) is the winner of last year’s K-1 World MAX tournament while Robin Van Roosmalen (38-14-3) is the winner of It’s Showtime’s 2011 Fast and Furious MAX tournament. Van Roosmalen is ranked at #2 by Glory and #3 LiverKick.com’s independent rankings, while Murthel is #6 on Glory’s and #2 on LiverKick’s, emphasizing that this is a battle between two of the top Lightweights in the world right now. Both men can easily get drawn into a brawl, but Groenhert’s power is tried-and-true with over 28 knockouts over the span of his career across multiple weight classes. Davit Kiria -175 Yury Bessmertny +135 This fight is yet another great matchup in the 70kg division, with Yury Bessmertny (33-8-1) looking to test one of the top 70kg fighters in the world in Davit Kiria (19-8). Kiria burst onto the scene last year in GLORY’s 70kg World Series tournament, making it to the Semi-Finals where he went the distance with Giorgio Petrosyan. Both guys are young and have a lot to prove, Both fighters have won over half of their fights via knockout and each sport unique styles which will without a doubt clash, but should lead to an entertaining scrap. Marat Grigorian -130 Chingiz Allazov -110 Marat Grigorian (34-4-1) is the younger brother of Harut Grigorian and he carries a lot of the same spirit and skill that his brother brings to the ring with him. He’s only 21 years old now and just has a ton of upside to him at this point in his career. That isn’t taking away from Chingiz Allazov (14-0-0), who is a very tough, young fighter as well, but Allazov has always been a bit small at 70kg, while Grigorian has fought at 73kg in the past. Kaopon Lek -125 Sergio Wielzen -115 Sergio Wielzen (37-6-2) is the former It’s Showtime -61kg Champion before dropping the title to Karim Bennoui in 2011. Wielzen has been hot and cold over the past few years, but shouldn’t be counted out just yet as he packs a big punch for his size and has a style tailor-made for fighting Muay Thai fighters in Kickboxing rules. Kaopon Lek is a veteran of over 280 fights in his storied career that spans from the stadiums of Thailand to the European Kickboxing scene over the past few years where he has made a serious name for himself against top fighters. Kaopon Lek is definitely more of the technician of the two and will look to frustrate Wielzen throughout the fight while staying away from his power hand. GLORY 7 will be available around the world via online stream from the promotion’s website. GLORY also has a TV deal in place in Canada, which sees the fights air live at 3:30pm EST on ‘The Fight Network’. GLORY has also recently inked a deal with CBS Sports Network, which will air the fights via tape delay on Sunday morning.
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