by Rob Francis
Shamrock FC has established themselves as the premiere MMA promotion in St. Louis. After years of successful mixed martial arts cards they decided to go back to their roots. On November 15, 2014 Xtreme Fight Night was born. Held at Lumiere Casino, the XFN cards offer fans the chance to see professional boxing, kickboxing and mma all in one show. One year later on November 14th Shamrock Fc will present their fifth installment. (For tickets, call Ace Anderson 314-278-8676)
The main card consists of three professional boxing and two professional kickboxing bouts. In the main event Matt Greer faces off with John Turlington in a heavyweight boxing match. Greer is a veteran, who has faced former heavyweight champions Shannon Briggs and James Toney, in his thirteen year career. Turlington is a twelve year veteran with twenty fights. This fight should be explosive as 35 of their combined 50 fights have ended by knockout.
TJ Casey, the boxing coach from Hahn MMA, will be making his third appearance in the Shamrock boxing ring. Making his professional debut against Casey is Raymond Handson. Handson had a good amateur career, but Casey is a tough veteran. Kevin Brown makes his professional debut against the hard hitting Kyle Walker. Walker is coming off of a dominant victory at the last Xtreme Fight card.
Jake Constant and Fazlo Mulabitinovic face each other in a professional kickboxing bout. The night’s other professional kickboxing match pits two fighters with some bad blood against each other. Matt “KO Kid” Murphy and Sheldon “the Striker” Smith faced each other at the end of 2013 in an amateur mma bout. The two squared off on social media, with promises to knock each other out, leading up to the fight. Smith came away with a unanimous decision victory, but the war of words has continued. Both fighters turned pro in 2014 and it was just a matter of time before their paths crossed again. I caught up with both fighters to get their thoughts on the fight.
How does this rematch being in a kickboxing ring change things?
Matt Murphy: “With this being Kickboxing it changes a lot. I’m more comfortable striking, everyone knows this including Smith. I’ve developed so much in every way from 2013 when we fought.”
Sheldon Smith: “It doesn’t make a difference, me and him are both strikers, I’m just better. In our first fight I really didn’t have to use it because I knew my wrestling was better than his so he only really got 50% of what I can do.”
Murphy: “I let my emotions get the best of me in the first fight, I’m more composed now. He won’t be able to lay and pray like he did in the first fight when we’re standing the entire time. I’m the better striker and by the end of this fight he will know it.”
How do you see the fight progressing?
Smith: “I see this fight going my way just like the first time, but this time I’m going to actually finish him.”
Murphy: “I see me dominating this fight from the starting bell until I decide to end it, and I will end it.”
Smith: “It’s going to be a second round tko. You can quote me on this one.”
Murphy: “Sheldon Smith won’t see the ending bell in the 3rd round. There’s nothing he’s going to be able do to stop anything I’m coming with.”
Any last words for the fans watching?
Smith: “You wouldn’t want to miss this one because it’s going to be a finish.”
Murphy: “Don’t blink, and get your refreshments before the fights start because I’ll be ending this at any moment. Thanks for all the support.”
The amateur card consists of ten kickboxing matches. Tara Walker and Kenia Rosas headline the undercard with a flyweight title fight. Wes Powers, a highly ranked mma fighter, looks to showcase his striking against Matt Ray. Ray is coming off of an impressive performance in his last fight.
Matt Greer vs John Turlington – Boxing
Jake Constant vs Fazlo Mulabitinovic – Kickboxing
Raymond Handson vs TJ Casey – Boxing
Matt Murphy vs Sheldon Smith – Kickboxing
Kyle Walker vs Kevin Brown – Boxing
Amateur Undercard (Kickboxing)
Tara Walker vs Kenia Rosas – Amateur Flyweight Title
Matt Ray vs Wes Powers
Chris Krejchi vs Steve Barbee
Mike Offer vs Eric Williams
Kris Craig vs Kevin Harvey
Brad Hagendorn vs Deven Dillard
Kara Vaninger Katelyn Jesse
Olly Cunningham vs Patrick Keao
Jason Brown vs Aaron Kuhl
Dan Boyer vs Conor Huck
Shamrock FC Xtreme Fight Night 5
Saturday, November 14th at 7pm
Lumiere Place Casino – St. Louis, MO
Tickets can be purchased at https://www.cagetix.com/