WHEN kickboxing champion Billy Degoumois claimed his world title in Gympie last October, he felt he had reached his summit and seriously contemplated retirement.
That was until Beniah Douma from the Sunshine Coast started mouthing off about Degoumois in a kickboxing magazine.
Anger flickered in Degoumois’ eyes and he shelved his retirement plans in favour of an opportunity to do his talking in the ring.
The pair met on the Sunshine Coast on July 3 at the Caloundra Events Centre as part of the Detonation Fight Night, filmed for Fox Sports.
It was Degoumois who had the last laugh, surviving a brutal encounter to win on a unanimous points’ decision.
The Gympie kickboxer showed his versatility to win, overcoming a broken hand sustained 15 seconds into the opening round.
Degoumois landed a powerful punch on Douma and felt his hand break.
“I knew what had happened as soon as I landed the punch, but I didn’t want to show any weakness and pretended it didn’t happen,” he said.
“I’m surprised it didn’t floor him because I’ve dropped guys with punches less than that.”
With his right hand out of action, Degoumois quickly formulated a plan to continue taking the fight to his opponent.
The fight was carried out under full Muay Thai rules, meaning the use of elbows was permitted.
“I had to fight in close and keep using my elbows to keep the attack up,” Degoumois said.
The change of approach didn’t slow the Gympie champion, who stepped up the intensity in a bid to seal a win as quickly as possible.
“I just wanted the fight to end as soon as possible because of my hand,” Degoumois said.
“The longer we stayed out there, the worse it would look for me.”
Douma was tenacious, weathering many of Degoumois’ barrages before eventually showing signs of weakening.
The Sunshine Coast kickboxer was in terrible shape after the final round.
Split open under both eyes and sporting a broken nose, fight judges had little choice in awarding Degoumois with the unanimous win on points.
Degoumois himself was sporting wounds from the battle, including a cut to the back of his head requiring six stitches in addition to his broken hand.
Since seeking medical advice on his hand, Degoumois is relieved to learn the break is clean and as long as he takes care, should heal up within six months in a cast.
“I’m going to be careful with it but I don’t think I will be throwing full punches for a while because it will just break again,” he said.
Meanwhile, Tyrone Spencer, trained by Degoumois, also had an outing in Caloundra, enjoying revenge over home town hero Ben Brown.
The pair met earlier this year but a dubious decision awarded Brown with the victory.
Spencer didn’t let the same result happen twice, upping his form to smash Brown in the ring giving the judges every reason to award him the win on a unanimous points’ decision.
“It was redemption and Tyrone settled the score,” Degoumois said.
“He really wanted that win and we’ve been working really hard in the training gym.”
Tyrone gave Brown a memento from the bout – a busted nose.
“Tyrone has a big future, that’s for sure,” Degoumois said of his young apprentice.