Posted on: Thursday, December 16, 1999 |
Minors hopes to be a major threat to Alexio's crownBy Dayton Morinaga
Advertiser Staff Writer
Gordon Minors is stepping up to the major league of kickboxing.
Minors is the latest mystery fighter to challenge the undisputed supremacy of Dennis Alexio. Minors' first appearance in the United States will come Saturday night when he will face Alexio in a 12-round bout at the Blaisdell Center Arena for the World All-styles Kickboxing Organization (WAKO) heavyweight championship.
"Dennis Alexio is a fighting legend in the United Kingdom, and all around the world, I would imagine," said Minors, who is from Wales. "He's not just a name; he is kickboxing. He is the very reason why I decided to fight in the United States."
Not that Minors is unworthy. Based on physical stature and pre-fight hype, he appears to be straight out of a "Rocky" movie.
Minors is 6 feet, 3 inches and a muscular 225 pounds. He has compiled a 36-3 record with 34 knockouts in fights in Europe and Asia.
He speaks in low, British-accented tones, and his word choices make him sound like a Welsh version of the "Braveheart" character William Wallace (who was Scottish). To be sure, Minors is nicknamed the "Welsh Warrior" — "Because when I'm forced into battle, my heart takes over and I end up winning fights," he said — and has a tattoo of a red dragon on his left arm to prove it. The dragon is the national symbol of Wales.
"That way, a part of Wales is with me all the time," he said. "And I never forget to fight like a warrior."
What's more, Minors trains in a makeshift gym on a farm in the Welsh countryside. He claims he won his last fight by knockout in 88 seconds over an opponent who was reportedly 6-feet-8 and 266 pounds.
"All I know is that he's a highly-touted fighter in Europe," said Alexio. "I'm preparing for him like I would any other opponent."
Which could mean trouble for Minors. Alexio is 69-1 with 64 knockouts. At the Blaisdell, he is 19-0, with all his victories by knockout.
"I feel I'm versatile in that I can adapt and fight a lot of different ways," said Alexio. "He's a big-frame guy and those are the guys that can hurt you. I don't know much about his style, but just by looking at him, I know he has power."
Alexio last fought in May, knocking out Anthony Elmore in the 12th round. It was the longest any opponent had lasted against Alexio since 1989.
"People might have said it was boring, but fortunately it ended in spectacular fashion," said Alexio. "Those are probably the same critics who complain that my other fights are too fast."
Alexio has won 33 consecutive bouts by knockout, a predictable pattern that has perhaps led to smaller crowds for his fights at the Blaisdell.
"If we get a big crowd (on Saturday), great," he said. "If we don't, that's OK, too. I'm fighting because I want to stay active and keep this sport alive in Hawaii."