By Keith Varga
Los Angeles, CA (ISN) – Victoria fighter Gabriel Varga defeated world renowned fighter Lerdsila Chumpairtour in his first ever K1 fight in Los Angeles on Saturday evening. His father Keith Varga provides a description and some perspective on the fight.
Last evening, Sept 8th, on the K 1 fight card in Los Angeles, California, Vancouver Island fighter Gabriel Varga faced the daunting task of entering the ring against a truly amazing fighter. World renowned, Lerdsila Chumpairtour is a highly regarded, respected world class fighter. This was Gabriel’s biggest challenge to date. Frankly, Lerdsila has much more than 10 times the professional fight experience that Gabriel has.
Gabriel did an amazing job in his K 1 debut and won the fight by a unanimous judges decision.
For Gabriel, anything and everything to do with the K 1 is an example of someone getting to live their dream. Gabriel could truly be the poster boy for the dream of the K 1.
Over the last 10 years, Gabriel, his friends and training buddies would get together at our home, huddle around the computer screen and watch Masato, Krauss, Sauer and then the addition of the amazing Buakaw. We do not have cable television in our home so when they discovered they could order these fights on the computer, it was a big discovery for them. Sometimes, they could not get together as a group to watch the K 1 Max for a few days after the event-so it was a deal between them, that if anyone ever discovered the results before they got a chance to watch the event as a group, no one was allowed to say anything about the fights as they were not allowed to ruin the suprise for the rest of the group.
I remember one particular time when one of his friends was visiting at our home and forgot the rule. I watched Gabriel quickly plug his ears, chanting Nyah, Nyah, Nyah – so he could drown out the person talking and not hear the results.
There would be 8-14 teenagers and 20-year olds huddled in the space where our computer was. It was such a great time, as they were in the basement and although my wife and I were on the 3rd floor above them, our home was filled with the happy, excited sounds of these dedicated martial artists, screaming and cheering for their heroes.
In the Grand Prix event, our favourite heavyweight was always Ray Sefo, due to his huge fighting heart and his reputation for being so personable out of the ring as well as in the ring.
I am not kidding when I say it has always been Gabriel’s dream to have the opportunity to be part of the K 1.
Around 10 years ago, Gabriel discovered a site where he sent John Wayne Par an e-mail and John Wayne Par actually got back to Gabriel several times to discuss Gabriel’s questions about fighting.
Gabriel also went to Thailand and spent a couple months at the gym where Buakaw trains. At the time, Buakaw was injured, so Gabriel never got the opportunity to spar with Buakaw, but Gabriel has a couple really funny stories about Buakaw as it sounds as if Buakaw is a big, happy kid at heart. He is always smiling and pulls some pretty funny stunts.
It was guys like these that have added to who Gabriel is. True champions, not just in the ring, but in personality, with tons of class as well. True warrior gentlemen.
If people liked what Gabriel did last night in his K 1 debut in California, I am sure they will enjoy him over the next year. Gabriel has had a heck of a time getting any fights, so he has not actually fought in over a year. Gabriel seems to feel he did not put on that great a show, as he had a lot of ring rust – I have told him – he could not have looked that bad as many people have told me it was a very good fight.
His opponent, Lerdsila is a talented, fast, cagey opponent who has a huge, successful record. Gabriel is very thankful the K 1 has given him the opportunity to fight someone of Lerdsila’s proven abilities and reputation and on such a huge well known stage.
Thank you to North American K 1 CEO, Doug Kaplan for giving my son Gabriel, the opportunity to live his dream and compete in this prestigious K 1 event.