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Stateline Man Pushes For Kickboxing Comeback

Tim Mazurkiewicz is hoping to make USA kickboxing a major player on the world stage again.
ROCKFORD-The sport of kickboxing has declined in the United States over the past several years, but one Stateline man is part of a worldwide effort to bring it back.

Tim Mazurkiwicz is a long-time fighter himself, but earlier this month he served in a different role at the World Association of Kickboxing Organizations World Championships in Brazil. He sat ringside as a official, the only American to be licensed as an official by the WAKO Organization.

"I was the only official that got to work all 32 fights. I worked as the time keeper, so I was doing the scoring, the computer, the bell, everything."

What Mazurkiewicz noticed was how different the style is of foreign kickboxing champions from American kickboxers. They fight at a much faster pace.

"In and out, in and out, a lot of moving where Americans have a tendency to move a little bit until we get comfortable, then we want to stand flat footed, and we just want to bang," says Mazurkiewicz. "On that scale they'll pick you apart."

Roscoe resident Andrew Navickis learned first-hand about that style. He went up against a former world champion from the country of Kazakhstan and got knocked down, and the fight had to be stopped.

"They just keep coming forward where you see people around here they get rocked, and they take a step back and kind of bounce a little bit. They get hit they throw five or six punches and keep coming," says Navickis. "You better knock them out and keep throwing punches because they're going to be coming."

"We've got some athletes few and far between that can perform at that level," says Mazurkiewicz. "It's just discovering, and in some of them, developing that talent."

So Mazurkiewicz is part of an American effort to do more kickboxing camps in the States, and he plans to start a WAKO Junior Program at DelaRosa's submission wrestling facility in Rockford.

"We've got some work ahead of us," says Mazurkiewicz.
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