Bradford to fight for two belts

Chris Bradford. (Joe Masroianni). 212981_02

By Luke Voogt

Geelong Muay Thai fighter Chris Bradford is set to fight for two belts against undefeated Altona kickboxer Atdhe ‘Prince’ Bunjaku.

Bradford has put his World Kickboxing Federation (WKBF) Muay Thai Heavyweight Title on the line for the unique bout to decide the new International Kickboxing Federation (IKBF) Heavyweight Title.

“It’s probably the first time it’s been done in kickboxing, which is why it’s got the attention the Australian fight community and some of the world fight community as well,” Bradford said.

Bradford admitted he had to adjust his training for the clash of two styles and two weight divisions, which will be his first fight since COVID-19 hit Australia in March 2020 and fought under kickboxing rules.

“I’m primarily a Muay Thai fighter, which is a lot more bloodthirsty and harder, so we’ve never crossed paths in the ring before,” he said.

“I’m well known for throwing my elbows, which is a devastating technique but not allowed in kickboxing.

“I’ve spent a lot of time throwing accidental elbows at my training partner, which has been quite funny but dangerous.”

The 43-year-old has 27 wins, including nine knockouts, and a draw from his 41 fights, while current IKBF lightheavyweight champion Prince Bunjaku has an impressive record of 15-0, including 10 KOs.

“He’s always fought a lower weight division than me,” Bradford said.

“We’ve spent a few years fighting on the circuits, watching each other fight.

“Myself and Prince are actually friends – but guaranteed we’ll put on a show and punch each other very hard.

“My edge will be the fact that I’m a very aggressive fighter. My motto in life is stand tall and walk forward, which is how I fight.

“I like to put forward pressure on and walk my opponents down. I don’t think Prince will be used to that style.”

But Bradford said he would not take any chances against the lighter fighter.

“I’m going to train very hard, make sure I do my job correctly and come home with the win,” he said.

The fight is scheduled for August 7 at Grand Star Receptions in Altona North, possibly without a crowd due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“Crowd or no crowd, I’m looking forward to returning to the ring and doing what I do best,” Bradford said.

He encouraged Geelong locals to visit to livestream the pay-per-view bout.

“I’d like all of Geelong to get behind me,” he said.

Bunjaku’s light-heavyweight title will not be up for grabs due to him going up a weight class.