Wai'anae fighter earns shot at Lawler's Icon title
By Dayton Morinaga
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Dayton Morinaga
Kala Kolohe Hose is known for his one-punch knockouts, so it is quite fitting that he is getting his one shot at glory.
Hose was named yesterday as the next challenger for the Icon Sport organization's middleweight world championship.
Hose, who is from Wai'anae, will take on champion Robbie Lawler of Iowa on June 30 at the Blaisdell Center Arena.
"This is like a dream come true for me," said Hose, 24. "It's a big surprise to get a chance like this, so I'm training hard for it."
The selection was somewhat surprising, since Lawler is the No. 8-ranked middleweight (185 pounds) in the world, and Hose has never fought in a main event.
Lawler is 14-4, and reclaimed the Icon Sport title with a knockout victory over Frank Trigg on March 31.
"I'm going to be in shape and ready to fight no matter who my opponent is," Lawler said. "So who cares, really, who I'm fighting? I just have to worry about improving myself."
Lawler said he took three days off after his victory over Trigg, and has been training every day since.
"I really stepped up my training for the Trigg fight, and it showed," Lawler said. "So I just want to step it up again and become a better fighter."
Lawler is also known for his punching power, with 11 of his 14 wins coming via knockout.
Hose's record is 6-1. He lost the opening bout of his career in 2005, but has since knocked out six consecutive opponents.
"I think my fighting style — knocking out guys — that's what helped me get this," Hose said.
Icon Sport president T. Jay Thompson said: "Robbie has a lot to worry about when he faces Kala Kolohe Hose ... Hose has that rare gift of one-punch knockout power, so Lawler better not take him lightly."
Hose has been fighting professionally for just two years, but he has already come a long way.
Two years ago, he weighed 250 pounds. Yesterday, he said he was "five pounds over" the middleweight limit of 185.
"It was just discipline," Hose said. "No more plate lunches. Hard dieting — plenty oatmeal."
Hose was a running back for Wai'anae High in the late 1990s, and he still trains in Wai'anae at the Bad Intentions mixed martial arts school.
"Hopefully, the whole Leeward Coast is going to come out and give big support," he said. "I feel like I'm representing the whole state, and I want to bring the belt back home where it belongs."
K-1 CARD IS SET FOR TONIGHT AT BLAISDELL
The official weigh-ins for the K-1 World Grand Prix in Hawai'i were conducted yesterday at the Ala Moana Hotel.
Badr Hari of Morocco and Yusuke Fujimoto of Japan will fight for the K-1 heavyweight championship in the main event of the 14-bout card. Hari weighed 213 pounds; Fujimoto was 213.6.
Kane'ohe's Mike Malone will take on Korea's Hong-Man Choi in one of the "Super Fights."
Malone is 6 feet and weighed 217 pounds yesterday. Choi is 7-2, and weighs 355 pounds, according to the event promoters. Because it is an "open weight" bout, Choi did not have to weigh-in yesterday.
"He's massive, but he's within my reach," Malone said. "I'm coming out to battle."
The highlight of the card will be an eight-man heavyweight tournament. The winner must prevail in three separate bouts tonight. The champion will qualify for the K-1 finals in Japan later this year.
K-1 heavyweight championship: Badr Hari (Morocco) vs. Yusuke Fujimoto (Japan)
Heavyweight tournament quarterfinals: Mighty Mo (USA) vs. Kyoung Suk Kim (Korea); Jan Nortej (South Africa) vs. Julius Long (USA); Gary Goodridge (Trinidad and Tobago) vs. Patrick Barry (USA); Aleksandr Pitchkunov (Russia) vs. Tatsufumi Tomihira (Japan)
Super Fights: Jerrel Venetiaan (Holland) vs. Peter Graham (Australia); Hong-Man Choi (Korea) vs. Mike Malone (Hawai'i); Remy Bonjasky (Holland) vs. Glaube Feitosa (Brazil)
Preliminaries: Mighty Mo Jr. (USA) vs. Ky Hollenbeck (Hawai'i); Takumi Sato (Japan) vs. Billy Hall (Hawai'i)
Reach Dayton Morinaga at firstname.lastname@example.org.