Hard-hitting upstart Wayne Barrett (1-0, 1 KO) of Queens, N.Y. will compete on the biggest stage of his young professional fight career when he faces off with fellow undefeated Muay Thai stylist Mike Lemaire (9-0, 3 KOs) of San Diego, Calif. in a middleweight (187 pounds/85 kilograms) Superfight contest at the first-ever GLORY championship series kickboxing event in the U.S. at Hammerstein Ballroom in New York, N.Y. on Saturday, June 22.
The 27-year-old Barrett, a former Georgia State Golden Gloves amateur boxing champion and martial artist since the age of 10, has become a dangerous force in the ring with his thorough mix of striking skills and ability to read his opponents while splitting his training camps between Brooklyn, N.Y. where he works under boxing mentor Kelly Richardson, and Atlanta, Ga. where he trains alongside the likes of fellow GLORY competitor Eddie “Showtime” Walker and other world-class fighters.
After amassing a near-perfect amateur kickboxing and Muay Thai record of 19-1, with 15 of his wins coming by way of (T)KO, Barrett made his professional debut in Queens, N.Y. on Feb. 22 against Strahinja Ivanovic, a fighter with 12 professional fights under his belt. Barrett quickly overcame Ivanovic’s experience advantage, landing a right hook to the head that sent Ivanovic to the canvas for the 10-count at the 2:43 mark of the bout’s second round.
Lemaire, a 26-year-old protégé of retired, former world Muay Thai champion Melchor Menor, burst onto the national fight scene on Feb. 9 when he defeated three consecutive opponents in one night to capture the developmental Road To GLORY USA middleweight tournament championship and earn a multi-year contract with GLORY. Lemaire scored KOs on two of his three tournament opponents, including championship round adversary Walker.
A native of France, Lemaire began studying Judo at age 4 and later transitioned to Karate and kickboxing after he reached the age of 12. It was in 2007, the year he moved to the U.S. that Lemaire became immersed in Muay Thai.
Tickets for GLORY 9 New York, priced from $48 (plus handling fees), are on sale at all Ticketmaster locations, online at Ticketmaster.com and charge-by-phone at 800-745-3000.
The event will be headlined by a star-studded, eight-man tournament featuring a lineup of top light heavyweight (209 pounds/95 kilograms) martial arts fighters. Slated for action in the one-night, single-elimination contest is world champion Tyrone “King of the Ring” Spong (69-6-1 43 KOs) of Boca Raton, Fla. via Suriname; KO artist Brian Collette (19-1, 16 KOs) of Norfolk, Va.; developmental Road To GLORY USA light heavyweight tournament winner Dustin Jacoby (9-3, 7 KOs) of Arenzville, Illin.; four-time world championDanyo Ilunga (51-4, 41 KOs) of Germany; Muay Thai sensation Filip Verlinden (40-9-1, 16 KOs) of Belgium; Aerts-protégé Mourad “The Silent Power” Bouzidi (75-20-2, 34 KOs) of Tunisia; world Muay Thai and Karate champion Steve McKinnon (42-5, 29 KOs) of Australia; and Michael Duut (38-3, 17 KOs) of The Netherlands.
The GLORY 9 New York light heavyweight tournament’s quarterfinal stage matchups will be announced soon.
In one of several other Superfights scheduled for the event, heavyweight superstar and former secret service agent Daniel “The Savage Samurai” Ghita (46-9, 35 KOs) of Romania will face Muay Thai champion Brice Guidon (28-8, 13 KOs) of France.
Hard-hitting “Bazooka” Joseph Valtellini (8-1, 7 KOs) of Toronto, Ontario Canada will square off with fellow rising star Francois Ambang (9-2, 4 KOs) of Mechanicsville, Va. in a welterweight (170 pounds/77 kilograms) Superfight.
Valtellini has earned six of his eight professional career victories in New York. Ambang emerged the winner of the development, eight-man, developmental Road To GLORY USA tournament, created to identify new talent and potential future champions for GLORY’s championship series, at New York City’s Capitale on March 22.
Phil Nurse protégé Brett Hlavacek (8-1, 3 KOs) of New York, N.Y., the runner-up in the developmental Road To GLORY USA tournament on March 22, will face three-time Muay Thai titlist Paul Marfort (10-5, 4 KOs) of Orlando, Fla. at welterweight.
Additional Superfights will be announced soon.
Doors at Hammerstein Ballroom will open at 5 p.m. EST and the first preliminary bout will begin at 6 p.m.