56-0 amateur/ unlicensed/ bareknuckle heavyweight Martin Kohala back in action May 11
Meet the have-a-go-hero heavyweight who’s had 56 fights – and won the lot !
Martin Kohala made headlines recently after helping police capture a criminal in home-town Hinckley after chasing him down the street, adding to his fearsome reputation.
The 35 year old claims a perfect 40-0 amateur record in Estonia before coming to England and settling in Leicestershire in 2006.
“I was a sergeant in the Estonian Army,” said Kohala, “and I came over to join the British Army.
“But then I met my missus and she had other plans for me . . . “
Kohala also met Jerry Gorman and after a bit of persuasion, he decided to get back in the ring.
“I was finished with boxing until I bumped into Jerry,” said Kohala and under Gorman, he has become a star of unlicensed boxing around the Midlands, winning all 16 fights.
He fights again on a big show at the Sports Connexion on Friday, May 11.
Opponent Jimmy ‘Gypsy Boy’ McCrory is known as one of the best known hard men on the bareknuckle circuit with the ‘Vice’ documentary about him having 15 million views on the net.
McCrory has had around 250 fights, but as he’s proved, Kohala is hard to beat.
He’s only 5ft 10ins tall and scales around 15 st 7lbs, so is regularly up against bigger opponents, but Kohala has been winning fights with what he calls “non-stop pressure.”
He is also unorthodox, switching stances and throwing punches from all angles.
His rip-up-the-textbook style has made him unstoppable at the level he’s been fighting at, but just how good is Kohala ?
“Martin could definitely win the Midlands Area title in the pros,” said Gorman. “At least.”
Kohala has sparred former Midlands Area heavyweight champion Paul Butlin and regards his points victory over the stylish and dangerous Shaun Williams in Leicester a year or so ago as his best result.
That was a good match up at Athena that went to a deciding sixth round – and Kohala put in a bit more in the last to snatch the decision.
“I would like to think I could have been a decent pro if I had the right backing,” said Kohala.
“I work 10-hour shifts in a factory (at Triumph Motorcycles in Hinckley) and it’s hard to find the time to train.
“I would need sponsors if I was going to turn pro and I think it’s a bit late for me now.”
Kohala is far from finished, however.
“I’m planning to fight until I’m 40,” he said, “but that might be easier said than done.
“I might get to 40 and want to carry on.”
Tickets for the show in Coventry are available from 07375 412613.