Muay Thai to debut in Madison Square Garden for first time in history of New York City

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TakeOn productions and MSG Sports announced today that Muay Thai will make its debut in the historic Madison Square Garden arena next month in New York City!

“Muay Thai at the Mecca”, a professional and amateur Muay Thai kickboxing event, will
take place at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Friday, March 16th. This historic occasion will mark the first-ever Muay Thai kickboxing event in the renowned history of Madison Square Garden.

“Muay Thai at the Mecca”, the biggest event ever sanctioned by the WKA in New York, will feature an explosive fight card including the best professional and amateur Muay Thai fighters and two WKA Title fights. The Finals of the 8-man “Rising Stars” Lightweight Tournament will feature Andrilo Juarez (3-0; American Killer Bees) vs. Freddy Cheung
(2-1; Sitan NY) and Prairie Rugilo (3-1, 1KO, Girl Fight MMA), the only amateur female to ever score a KO in the TaKeOn ring will face the very tough Angie Babel (3-0, Five Points Academy).

One of the most anticipated fights of 2012 will headline the 24 bout card when Rigel “Cool Heart” Balsamico (Cool Hearts Muay Thai) takes on UFC veteran Ryan “The Lion” Madigan (Evolve MMA). Balsamico, a native of Ireland, is a veteran of 30 professional Muay Thai fights (24-6, 11 KO’s). He lived, trained, and fought out of Thailand for many years before coming back to the United States to open his Muay Thai gym in Philadelphia. Madigan is a seasoned combat sports veteran with UFC experience, having fought at UFC 96 in 2009. Now focusing his professional career on Muay Thai kickboxing, he holds a professional record of 26-6.

“Following up on the success of our partnerships with MSG Sports on ‘Battle at the Beacon’ and ‘Battle at Bally’s’, TaKe On Productions is elated to achieve our dream of bringing a Muay Thai kickboxing event to MSG. Through these brand extension efforts, the TaKe On name has become synonymous with an intense evening of non-stop action filled with highlight reel knockouts” stated company CEO Mike Gasparski.

“We’ve all experienced thrilling moments at MSG as the ‘Mecca of Boxing’. I always believed someday our beloved sport would make MSG the ‘Mecca of Muay Thai’ as well. On March 16th, that day will have arrived” added company President Eddie Cuello.

“Madison Square Garden has been home to some of the biggest moments in boxing history. After successful Muay Thai kickboxing events at the Beacon Theatre and Bally’s in Atlantic City, we are thrilled to bring Muay Thai to the Mecca for the first time on March 16,” said Scott O’Neil, president, MSG Sports. “This event will deliver world-class stand up battles for local combat sports fans as we all anxiously await the sanctioning of Mixed Martial Arts in New York.”

Other marquee names featured on the “Muay Thai at the Mecca”, which will include representatives from a total of 23 premiere Muay Thai kickboxing gyms, are:

Jarrel “Big Baby” Miller (3-0, 1 KO Muay Thai/Kickboxing, 10-0 Pro Boxing) (Pin Point Muay Thai) is known as “The Future Heavyweight Champion” and has defeated UFC star Pat Barry in a Pro Kickboxing match in the WCL. He is also a sparring partner for WBA/IBF/WBO Heavyweight Boxing Champion Wladimir Klitschko and K-1 superstar Jerome LeBanner. Miller is set to face WKA Amateur Heavyweight Champion Brian Collette (14-0 Amateur Muay Thai) from Eastern Academy in Norfolk, Virginia. Collette will put his impressive undefeated Muay Thai record on the line in his long awaited TaKe-On Pro debut.

Sean Hinds (16-5, Mushin MMA) trains at Mushin gym alongside UFC Fighters Georges St-Pierre and John Cholish, and pro MMA fighter Erik Owings.

Jay Matias (2-0, Sitan Gym NY) trains under World Champion Muay Thai coach Aziz Nabih, and is one of the country’s top 5 amateur fighters. He is the WKA North American Lightweight Champion, and was recently named 2011’s top Muay Thai prospect by “Muay Thai Is Life” & “”.

And many others including: Brett Hlavacek (The Wat), Andy Singh (Pin Point Muay Thai), and Anthony Demaio (Staten Island Muay Thai). Their official fight announcements will be made in the immediate future.

Visit for the full fight card, highlights from past events, fighter features and more.

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