ROWVILLE'S Azer Bektas re-entered kickboxing last year as an unknown mechanic; when he exited the ring at Chelsea Heights Hotel on Saturday night he had hold of his second title.
The 26 year old took down Lilydale's David Rayner to win the IKBF South Pacific cruiserweight K1 title with the referee stopping the fight in the third round when Rayner had stopped fighting back.
Bektas had knocked down Rayner in the second round.
He spoke with the Weekly during his work lunch break on Monday.
"I was landing some heavy shots and he was just defending. I was waiting for the referee to stop it," Bektas said. "I want to acknowledge how much heart the fighter [Rayner] had. He had a hard chin and he just kept taking my punches."
The win took Bektas' record to seven wins from seven fights and the K1 title joins his IKBF South Pacific cruiserweight title won late last year.
The two fighters were only told on Thursday they would be fighting for the K1 belt, which also changed the rules of the fight as K1 kickboxing allows fighters to use their knees but not their elbows.
"Luckily, we had trained to use my knees as well although I only threw one knee for the whole fight, " he said.
The bout against Rayner was Bektas' first main event fight and he said his biggest thrill of the night came when he won the crowd over in the third round. "I started hearing people chanting 'Azer, Azer'. It was super awesome; it gave me extra strength when I was feeling really tired," he said.
Bektas got little time to celebrate his victory with a kickboxer in the crowd challenging him to defend his K1 belt later in the year.
He will sit down with trainers Rudi and Alex Ramirez and sort out when the title defence would be, with October the likely month.
Bektas fights by the nickname 'The Mechanic', because he "takes people apart", but he wants to find more time to train in a more professional way.
He has already earned sponsorships from
Halkan Construction and Rapidflow Group. He hopes other sponsors could help him in his quest to eventually fight for a world title.