Rebecca Dillon is through to the final of the -52kg full-contact category at the WAKO World Cup in Rimini after a runaway win over her Slovenian opponent Mateja Rajteric today (Saturday, 5 June).
Rebecca was in superb form and the judges were impressed, too, awarding her the fight on a unanimous verdict with scorecards of 22-6, 23-6, 27-6 in favour of the 26-year-old from Fettercairn.
It doesn’t come much more comprehensive than that, does it?
Rebecca’s opponent in the final is tall Norwegian Marielle Hansen, who got the verdict over Poland’s Sandra Drabik in the first of the two semi-finals.
Rebecca stamped her authority from the start and could even have forced a stoppage before the end of the heavily one-sided 3×2-minute contest.
Rebecca had her opponent down twice, and almost a third time, and the Slovenian also took a standing count in the third and final round as she was given an absolute pounding.
Rebecca told blackpanther.ie: “I’m delighted, but the job isn’t done yet. I have a silver for sure, but I’m not in the business of settling for second best. I want to be a winner, but it won’t be easy. This is the World Cup, it isn’t your average run-of-the-mill event – the cream of kickboxing are here in Rimini, but I have nothing to be afraid of.
“I will give it my best shot again tomorrow (Sunday, 6 June) in the final. I didn’t see the first semi-final as I was busy getting myself ready for my own fight, but Norman [Kelly, Black Panther chief instructor] had the fight recorded for me, so I will look at it later today. Then we will consider what we need to do next.”
Rebecca was in command from the first bell. It wasn’t that her opponent was a pushover. Rebecca, it has to be said, is world class, and she showed why by making this fight look easy straight from the first bell. Everyone at the Black Panther Kickboxing Club should be immensely proud of her.
Rebecca was quickly into her stride and was hardly hit at all by Rajteric, who looked weary and relieved to hear the final bell after being on the receiving end of some non-stop punishment.
A lead front kick from Rebecca sent the Slovenian to the canvas for the first time in the opening round. Rebecca had Rajteric constantly pinned back against the ropes as she sapped the confidence from her outclassed rival with punishing combinations to the body and head.
Rebecca had her down again in the second round, again Rajteric crashing to the canvas after being on the receiving end of another lead front kick. A foot sweep, also in the second round, had Rajteric as good as down for a third time.
There was no absolutely let up from Rebecca and the referee gave the Slovenian a standing count 22 seconds into the third and final round.
Now Norman has to get Rebecca ready for the final.
It’s touching 30-degrees here in Rimini but no-one felt the heat more than Rajteric, and Norman wouldn’t be surprised to see Rebecca take gold tomorrow.
He said: “The Norwegian is dangerous, that’s for sure. But Rebecca is a lot tighter and neater than the other girl [the Norwegian], and a lot faster, too. The Norwegian’s that bit slower. Rebecca needs to fight on the inside, but that is for another day, that is for tomorrow.”
However, Lindsey Doyle of Global Kickboxing Club, Ballybrack, will have to content herself with a bronze medal after losing her semi-final in the -56kg category to Italian opponent Federica Bozzurra, who was deemed a unanimous winner on a scorecard of 21-10, 18-7, 21-12.
Well done Rebecca; commiserations to Lindsey.