Garzillo Packs House For 1st Pro Kickboxing Event In Pennsylvania

by Sensei Thad Campbell


Sensei James Garzillo has been supporting his students at Tiger Schulmann’s Abington for eleven years. Saturday night it was their turn to support him. More than 300 students and family members drove to Berks County Pennsylvania for Garzillo’s professional Kickboxing debut. 

The Head Instructor and Owner of TSMMA Abington made the trip worthwhile for all of them!

He wasn’t alone in representing TSMMA as Feasterville Instructor Craig Alexander and Sempai Javier Guzman, also from Feasterville, fought on the amateur part of the card.

Alexander started things off with a dominating performance. He was robbed of a victory in a controversial split decision two weeks ago and wasted no time turning right back around to get back in the win column.

Saturday night it was a clinic on hitting every level as Alexander showed punishing body shots and just like two weeks ago destroyed his opponents leg with outside low kicks. Heavy punches throughout kept his opponent off balance and left little doubt about the outcome (although we thought that two weeks ago as well). 

Congratulations to Alexander who gets back in the win column!

Sempai Guzman was also back in the ring for the second time in two weeks. He was coming off a dominating unanimous decision and if anything was more domintating. He forced a standing eight count twice in the fight and also scored a knockdown. His weapons of choice were a vicious cross and devastating knees to the body. 

All credit to his opponent for making it through the final bell, because he had every opportunity to pack it in early. Guzman scores a 30-25 victory on all three judges cards. 

That left Sensei Garzillo to finish things up for the TSMMA crowd. Hamburg Fieldhouse sounded like Yankee Stadium as everyone made it clear who they came to support. 

Early in the fight Garzillo showed the calm demeanor he is so known for, choosing to use simple movement to avoid the brawling style of his opponent Chris Lindsey. The movement was working for him as he set up some clean shots and was especially effective out of the clinch. He landed some hard knees early and would go back to that weapon throughout the three round fight.

Late in the round he unloaded a powerful left hook and it appeared he slipped after connecting with the punch. From my view I didn’t see a counter punch hit him, but respected referee Keith Peterson ruled a knockdown, even if it was of the flash variety. 

Garzillo was right back on his feet and blasting away as soon as the fight was restarted. 

Round 2 once again saw a game Lindsey coming forward with combinations, while Garzillo chose a more selective approach, loading up on crosses and hooks, looking to rock his young opponent. Lindsey would again fall into the clinch and Garzillo was continuing to land knees with effectiveness.

The crowd could feel the tension as Round 3 began. With the first round knockdown awarded to Lindsey and Round 2 appearing to go Garzillo’s way it looked like the last round might decide the fight. Garzillo did everything in his power to see it went his way. 

The first defining shot of the fight was a spinning back fist that clearly left Lidsey stunned. Garzillo would land the strike once again later in the round, but not until after a huge knee kick out of the clinch that opened a deep cut straight through Lindsey’s eyebrow.

All credit to the Grant’s Kickboxing competitor who kept the fight going even after taking the knee to the face. 

The crowd never saw their seats during the third round as the two put on one of the most exciting fights you could ever watch. 

Unfortunately the scorecards did not go in Garzillo’s favor, but their was little doubt he made his students proud as hundreds of people wearing his t-shirt stood waiting to congratulate the proud warrior. I for one was proud to have witnessed such an amazing display of skill, but more importantly heart. Sensei Garzillo displayed the same ‘non-quitting spirit’ he has been teaching his students for more than a decade.

Congratulations to all three TSMMA Fight Team members who all put on an amazing show for the fans who came out to support them.