Over the last year, Cedric Manhoef has come on leaps and bounds with his technical kickboxing development. Unfortunately, Manhoef suffered a unanimous decision loss in the semi-final of the Kunlun World Max to the eventual tournament winner, Superbon Banchameuk, at Kunlun Fight 56 January 1, 2017 in Sanya, China.
However, the mental and physical resilience displayed by the Surinamese fighter along with his ability to go the distance with Superbon who, is widely regarded as one of the world’s finest at 70kg was a reminder of the progress the fighter has made over the last 12 months.
Despite being brutally knocked down (by knees) in the second round, Manhoef showed the strong character and mindset forged at Mike’s Gym, under the guidance of legendary kickboxing coach, Mike Passenier to tough it out and make it to the end of the fight.
It has been suggested that “Baas” has reached the end of his current contract with the Chinese promotion but his fight against Superbon won’t be the last time that Chinese kickboxing fans will see of the now Dutch based kickboxer.
According to Manhoef’s coach, Mike Passenier who, was also cornering him during the 2016 finale of Kunlun Max, Cedric ‘is on the brink of signing a contract with Kunlun for 4 fights’.
Although, no dates or future opponents have yet been confirmed for Manhoef under the Kunlun banner. It would seem fair to say that Kunlun are continuing with their open-minded approach of, bringing together a high volume of talented kickboxers from around the world, to fight on their events in 2017.
The Kunlun World Max tournament brings together 64 of the best 70kg kickboxers from around the world including, kickboxing talents from China and neighbouring nations. The very first Kunlun Max was in 2014 and won by Dzianis Zuev. The 2015 tournament winner was the current GLORY lightweight champion, Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong.
The tournament is basically a year long elimination process via numerous 4-man qualifying tournaments which take place during Kunlun Fight events, leading up-to their new year day show where a 4-man, 1-night tournament takes place to determine who the champion will be.
On this occasion, the four semi-finalist were: Superbon Banchamek vs. Cedric Manhoef and Jomthong Chuwattana vs. Davit Kirira. Superbon and Jomthong would meet in the final after decision wins over the other semi-finalists. However, Superbon was too powerful for the three time Rajadamnern stadium champion and on the third time of sending Jomthong crashing to the canvas, the fight was eventually stopped by the referee in the third round.
Superbon was always the most obvious favourite in the lead up-to the Kunlun World Max finale, with his rich run of form last year (eight wins, one loss) including, bringing Sitthichai’s unbeaten streak of 21 months, to an end in the previous round at Kunlun Fight 53. That fight was actually a rematch between the two of them following on from the only loss Superbon had at the start of last year at Kunlun Fight 37; and that had been the semi-final of the previous Kunlun World Max on January 1, 2016.
Kunlun Fight 56 – Results:
Buakaw Banchamek def. Tian Xin via UD
Wei Ninghui def. Juan Javier Barragan by Rd1 KO
Gu Hui def. Sergei Kuliaba via UD
Superbon Banchamek def. Jomthong Chuwattana by Rd3 KO, Kunlun World Max final
Andrei Kulebin def. Wu Xuesong via UD
Superbon Banchamek def. Cedric Manhoef via UD, Kunlun World Max semi-final
Jomthong Chuwattana def. Davit Kiria via UD (extra round), Kunlun World Max semi-final
Khayal Dzhaniev def. Arthit Hanchana by unanimous decision
Mohamed Mezouari def. Dzianis Zuev via UD
Andrey Gerasimchuk def. Felipe Micheletti via UD
Wang Wenfeng def. Denis Puric by MD
Parviz Abdullayev def. Ma Shuo by decision
Xiaomao def. Lin Zhiqiang via Rd1 TKO
Zhang Yansong def. Zhu Baotong by decision