Glory 9 will be bringing some of the world’s best kickboxers to the United States for the very first time at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City on June 22. The event will be broadcast on CBS Sports after its conclusion. In addition to super-fights, the card will feature a one night, eight-man light heavyweight tournament. The favorite to win it is Tyrone “King of the Ring” Spong.
Spong is one of the most decorated kickboxers in the sport. The Dutch-Surinamese fighter had his first pro fight when he was 17. His record indicates that he has fought over 80 pro fights between kickboxing and MMA.
If you ask him about that number, he will tell you it is not correct:
“I don’t know who made that s**t up on Wikipedia or the internet,” a defiant Spong said recently, as a guest on Darce Side Radio.
“Actually I have 108 fights,” Spong stated. “I feel great. Actually it’s crazy, I think to myself all the time that I was fighting those big guys and beating everybody and just winning my fights. I was a small boy. I was just a boy doing a man’s job. A little boy winning from full grown man…Now I’m turning into a full grown man and I feel like I’m getting stronger and stronger.”
There isn’t much doubt about the ten-year veteran’s own assessment of himself. He indeed has gotten stronger with the competition he has faced. Spong—who usually fights at heavyweight—knocked out Remy Bonjansky at Glory 5 earlier this year. He will be dropping in weight for this tournament, as he was already preparing for a 205 pound MMA fight at WSOF 3 vs. Angel DeAnda; that fight was scrapped due to a visa issue.
“Because I was already trying to make weight for the MMA fight, it wouldn’t make sense for me to fight a guy who weighed 280 or whatever and I was only like 215 or 218,220. So that’s why we decided with the organization to take the tournament at 209.
The multi-time champion will be taking on Michael Duut in the opening round on Saturday. He wouldn’t give a prediction, but his intentions aren’t hidden:
“It’s no secret I always go for the knockout,” Spong said.
In addition to MMA and Kickboxing, the Blackzilian-Team member is seeking yet another challenge:
“I’m going to make it even worse I’m going to do boxing too,” Spong revealed. “I’m just a guy who really needs a challenge to motivate me. I feel that I’m the guy who can really do it. I feel at this point in my career I just need challenges and I accomplished a lot in kickboxing, I’m a long-time champion. I just feel like trying to write history.”
Spong has just begun his MMA career, but if that and his next venture into boxing end up anywhere close to what he has accomplished in Kickboxing, he would stand alone in combat sports.
“A long time I was just doing it with ease,” Spong confessed. “Not really motivated but still winning and training. Now I’m really motivated, training even more… I have a great team here with the Blackzilians. I have great coaches who are guiding me throughout my career, my manager, my assistants, everybody. I just have a great team and I feel the best is yet to come.”
“Tyrone Spong stands for exciting fights,” he declared. “That’s what I’m going to give the fans. Tune in and watch me bang, June 22 Hamerstein Ballroom.”