Meet The 21-Year-Old Kickboxing Champion

Anthony Palombo competed against Octavian Martin, an American, in five rounds of Muay Thai kickboxing on Saturday night that lasted two minutes each.


Palombo, 21, ultimately won the WKA North American Championship.


No knockouts occurred throughout the fights. Therefore the judges had to make a call.


“The judges decide on volume, damage and control. So, whoever controls that round, does the most damage and is the better fighter in that round, [they]re] pick the winner of that round. Then at the end of five rounds, whoever has won the most rounds, wins the fight,” he said.


Even though Palombo claimed he had a gut feeling he had won before the judges announced their final verdict, the moment his hand was raised in the arena and he was declared the winner, a surge of exhilaration and happiness started coursing through his body.


“It was kind of hard to put into words, but felt really good. When I actually got my hand raised, it was a pretty wicked feeling. It was one of my toughest fights for sure.”


When asked if the Hollywood portrayal of fighters trading insults with one another is accurate in reality, he said that, for the most part, fighters and the gyms they represent respect one another and that, until someone truly gets under one’s skin, not many verbal jabs are exchanged.


Due to his early training and frequent watching of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fights, Palombo easily transitioned from being a spectator to a fighter. His father is also a martial artist.


He also took home the gold at the world championships held at the Thai Boxing Association (TBA) World Expo in Des Moines, Iowa, this past summer.


Palombo returned home from the World Kickboxing Association Canadian Nationals in Edmonton in 2019 with a bronze medal.


“I was just grateful to have my coaches in my corner. Without them, I wouldn’t have been able to pull it off. They really helped me with adjusting in each round and figuring out the guy who we were fighting,” he said.  


“… We don’t really have any plans for certain fighters that we want to fight, but we’ll fight anybody; just whoever’s got a title. We want to take it,” he concluded.


Palombo is a member of Airdrie Bellagarde’s Dragons.

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