Jess Roper claimed two English Kickboxing Titles in 2019, firstly at under 53KG and most recently the higher weight division of -56KG after defeating Ebony Bevan.
Jess travelled across the country, to Chippenham in Wiltshire, to compete for the vacant World Ring Sport Association under 56kg English kickboxing title.
Having won the under 53.5 kg English title earlier in July, and beaten her opponent Ebony Bevan before, Matt Braybrook, head coach at Freestyle Combat Academy in Bexhill, thought this would be a good opportunity to fight in a higher weight class and secure a 2nd title.
Both fighters weighed in under the 56kg upper limit ahead of bout. Whilst coaches for each competitor had devised game plans to work towards their fighter’s strengths and their opponent’s weaknesses.
Bevan came out strongly, with big kicks to the body, but Roper stuck to her game plan and used her tight defence, quick footwork and accurate powerful punches, to pick shots off and stay out of danger.
It was a well-matched fight and Bevan fought extremely well over the five rounds, but Roper gained control early on, taking centre of the ring, finding her range and landing clean punch/kick combinations. It was Roper's boxing skills that gave her the edge; being fairly even with the kicks.
Bevan proved to have more power in her legs, but Roper was the faster fighter, picked shots off and used combinations to outwork her opponent and avoid damage to secure the win.