Joe Craven (aged 18) was the star of the show on the Yokkao 19 Next Generation undercard on, December 8 at the Bolton Macron stadium, defeating Robbie Collins (aged 22) by stoppage at the end of round four. Craven trains out of Bad Company Gym with two of the UK’s finest Thai boxers: Liam Harrison and Jordan Watson.
Harrison lost by unanimous decision to Pinca in the main event of Yokkao 19 and on the same night, headlining Yokkao 20, Watson defeated Ben Hodge by decision too. However, Craven’s emphatic stoppage of Collins was marred in some degree of controversy when later on social media, Collins and his coach, Steven Erawan Wright, claimed that Collins fought the fight with a broken thumb which, was the actual cause for the stoppage (implying, it wasn’t due to how the fight was unfolding).
“No disrespect to Robbie but if it were that bad you wouldn’t be fighting, would ya, end of the day?”
“It’s a bit weird, even when he were walking out because I watched a few clips people have sent me, he were banging his gloves together and stuff like that.”
“So, if were that bad it can’t have made that big an effect.”
Both Craven and Collins are young fighters with exciting futures ahead of them and a future rematch was mentioned by Wright on Facebook which, is something Craven wants:
“I’ll take the rematch. I just want to finish it. I just want to silence him really. I don’t want him to have any excuses for why I won the fight. I want to win it fair and square.”
Regardless of any controversy surrounding their fight, it was a class performance by Craven on the Yokkao 19 Next Generation undercard and a future rematch with Collins will be even more exciting to watch as these two young men continue to evolve as fighters.
Watch the full K1ANOOP video interview with Joe Craven: https://youtu.be/nrQbh1NXxbo
UPDATE: MMA Plus have since confirmed that a rematch between Craven and Collins will take place March 25, 2017 on the Yokkao 23 & 24 show.