Golden Cobra: Local kickboxers learn from the best in Florida

Courtesy Photo
Adam Bean (left) kicking Grant Landreth with an inside leg kick.

Courtesy Photo Adam Bean (left) kicking Grant Landreth with an inside leg kick.

ORLANDO, FL -- Golden Cobra Center of Fitness, Inc. sent six youth athletes and three trainers to compete in the 11th annual I.K.F. World Classic "Return of the Gladiators", July 24-26 in Orlando, Florida.

The event hosts the best of the best from all over the world, where they compete and show off their skills.

"In my opinion, this was the highest quality of fighters I have ever seen," said Mr. Steve Fossum, President of the I.K.F. "This year's "Return of the Gladiators" proves to be the ultimate redemption of excellence."

With 237 fighters in attendance to 'Walk the walk', 171 bouts were fought over two days and 53 fighters went home with I.K.F. World Classic Belts.

For the young fighters with Golden Cobra, it was a challenging and rewarding experience.

During the event, Golden Cobra Fighters Santiago Lomeli, Preston Whitmarsh, Javier Mestas, Adam Bean, Jesse Duran and Andres Ponce Duran took their turns in the ring.

On the first day, Santiago Lomeli defeated Dennis Marrero, Apopka, FL by TKO at 1:18 in round 3.

Whitmarsh lost by TKO, 27 seconds in round 1 to Jared Scoggin from Simpsonville, SC. Scoggin went on to win the championship belt for this division. He had a record of 7-1 and has been training for three years. Whitmarsh has been training for six months with this being his first kickboxing bout.

Mestas lost by unanimous decision to Alexander Dumas from Lemon Grove, CA. Dumas went on to win the championship belt for this division. Dumas had a fight record of 8-0 while this was Mestas' second kickboxing bout of his career.

Bean lost by unanimous decision to Grant Landreth of Benton, AK. Grant lost in the finals.

Lomeli fought his second bout of the day and lost in 1:23 of round 1 by TKO to David Lenson of Brooklyn, NY. Lenson went on to win the championship belt for this division.

"David was one of the best fighters I saw over the weekend and was coached very well," said Golden Cobra trainer Richard Williams. "His trainer was from Russia, he will be a world champion some day."

Jesse Duran lost by unanimous decision to Keli'I Leopod from Antioch, CA. Leopod lost in the finals. This was Duran's first kickboxing bout.

"I.K.F. kickboxing has become very popular and mainstream throughout the world. Kickboxing has reached its highest caliber of performance with technically advanced skilled competitors - this recognition was a privilege," said Williams. "There were so many records set before and during this event which proves the popularity, reputation of the I.K.F. World Classic Tournament."

The students of Golden Cobra Center of Fitness, Inc. were able to observe and learn by watching these extremely skilled fighters. These young fighters of GCCOF were all beginner fighters and they fought with all their heart. Each and every fighter knows what is in store for them for next year's event. They have already made goals of training hard, being better prepared so they can bring home the Ultimate World Classic Title belt.

The Golden Cobra team would like to thank the many long time sponsors that supported them over the past several years, the new sponsors that just came on board, their team, all the personal family donations throughout the Verde Valley and the parents of our wonderful kids in our program.

"A special thanks to Jason and Brandi Whitmarsh, Robert and Evon Gonzales that helped with the transportation and fundraising," said Williams.

On future events or classes for boxing or kickboxing, please contact Richard Williams at 928-300-0281 or email at


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