It was always likely to be a fast and furious contest when Andre “The Giant” Meunier took on Ibrahim “Mr Cool” El Bouni at ONE BATTLE FOR THE HEAVENS, and the fans in Guangzhou, China were not disappointed.
Both men in the ONE Super Series 105-kilogram catchweight kickboxing contest are known for knocking out their opponents. As expected, one of them hit the canvas courtesy of some heavy strikes, as El Bouni struck with precision and tremendous power.
Australia’s Meunier went down twice, with Morocco’s El Bouni picking up a swift KO at the 1:31 mark of the very first round on Saturday, 7 July.
“The Giant” struck first, landing a solid right hand to begin the bout. Despite feeling the force from his opponent, “Mr Cool’ lived up to his moniker by staying composed, but knew that standing straight in front of “The Giant” would be a dangerous approach.
The resident of Amsterdam, Netherlands let his opponent move forward while he waited for openings, and it was not long before one presented itself. Meunier charged in head-first, and was dropped by a thunderous right hook.
After “The Giant” got up from the count, El Bouni sensed his opponent was hurt and went on the attack. A flurry of punches followed by a right hand behind the ear sent “The Giant” staggering face-first onto the canvas.
“Mr. Cool” impressed as he absorbed his opponent’s best shot, and then returned fire to finish the bout.
“My opponent is very big. The first punch made me think: ‘I want to go home,’” he joked in his post-bout interview with Mitch Chilson.
“We trained for this. He comes so aggressively, so I had to relax in the first minute and control the fight.
“I want to thank Andre Meunier for taking this fight because not many opponents want to take a challenge versus me.”
El Bouni’s record improves to 37-6-1, and he joins a growing field of talented, powerful young martial artists in ONE’s exciting striking-only league.