Yes…ornate, lengthy, and powerful stuff. Everything we associate with the word epic.
As an adjective, the word epic is used to describe something, either an event or an object, that is massive, impressive, and/or great, majestic, and often heroic.
It is with this definition that we describe Take On’s upcoming event titled “Muay Thai at the Mecca”, scheduled for March 16th, 2012. It will be the first time in history that the sport of Muay Thai will grace the confines of the arena we know as Madison Square Garden. Now the event will be held at the Theater at Madison Square Garden and not the arena itself, a detail which is of little consequence. What is important is that for the first time ever, the same venue that has hosted influential artists such as The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Michael Jackson, The Who, Metallica, The Beatles, and Justin Bieber (Yes, that last one was a complete joke and probably the only hiccup in the venues storied history), will be the stage for Muay Thai, the beautiful art of 8 limbs. Aside from musical acts, “The Garden” as it is commonly known has been considered a Mecca for the sporting world. Now, Mecca is the holiest of cities in the Islamic religion. It is a location of utmost importance where more than 13 million members of the Islamic faith travel each year, several million of which travel during the few days known as “The Hajj”, a religious duty required of all Muslims whereby they embark on a pilgrimage to the holy city. Because of the millions of people that travel to Mecca each year for such an incredibly important event, the English language has adopted the name of the city to signify any place that attracts a massive gathering of people for one specific occasion.
While Madison Square Garden is no holy site by any means, it is truly one of, if not the most, well known sporting venues in the world. It is a venue that has been the home to historic firsts:
- In 1940, the first basketball game ever televised was played at the Garden
- In 1954, the first televised prize fight in color, between Joey Giardello and Willie Tory is shown.
- In 1984, a young rising basketball prospect by the name of Michael Jordan, made his debut as a professional player.
Following in the history of notable firsts and historic pugilistic fisticuffs, the garden will now be the stage for another notable first and the next evolution in combat sports in America, the first ever Muay Thai event held at the famed arena.
Having had the pleasure of doing both design and ringside commentary work for Take On, I am very aware of how hard the Take On team works behind the scenes to not only promote their events, but also their fighters. They have slowly but surely looked to make an impact on the Muay Thai scene. First in New York, then the East Coast, and finally the U.S. Being a relatively new player in the game, they have grown exponentially, and enjoy a very loyal following in the NYC area due to their tight relationship with many of the Tri-State areas most reputable gyms. It is due to their hard work, and their unwavering effort to bring NYC some of the best Muay Thai available, that Take On was able to secure an opportunity with MSG sports in order to co-promote this epic event in U.S. Muay Thai history.
2011 was an incredible year for the sport of Muay Thai, Lion Fight Promotions solidified themselves as one of the premier Muay Thai promotions in the U.S., U.S. Muay Thai standout Kevin Ross faced off with Muay Thai greats Saenchai Sinbimuaythai and Sakkedao Petchpayathai, and the M-One USA vs. Thailand event was a momentous fight card that brought in America’s best against some of Thailand’s best for the first time on U.S. soil. In 2012, the beginning of the year has already given us an indication that this year may in fact out do the last as we already have an incredibly exciting and highly anticipated bout coming up between Joe Schilling and Simon Marcus at the stacked “Battle in the Desert 5″ event. And following the anticipated Schillng vs. Marcus event, Muay Thai will make it’s debut in one of the world’s most famous sporting venues.
As far is the fight card is concerned, so far one bout that has been officially announced is a bout between Muay Thai veteran Rigel Balsamico and UFC veteran Ryan Madigan. An all-Irish Muay Thai brawl that will take place the night just before St. Patricks day. Both of these feisty veterans will no doubt go for broke in order to celebrate a St. Paddy’s day win with a Guinness, a smile, and a few black and purple bruises in addition to their all green flair. The rest of the roster has not, as of yet, been confirmed, but is rumored to feature a pro lineup starring the likes of Jarrell Miller, Brian Collette, Jay Matias, Sean Hinds, Brett Hlavacek, Andy Singh, Eric Ruiz, and many more.
For more information about the event you can the event page on the official Theater at Madison Square Garden website, plus stay tuned to Muay Thai is Life, our Official Facebook Page, and our Twitter for more details.