Four Okeechobee fighters competing in kickboxing championship

OKEECHOBEE — Four local residents will be making the trip to Orlando to compete in the 2018 International Kickboxing Federation (IKF) World Classic being held from Aug. 3 through 5 at the Hyatt Regency.

Logan Ray, Lacey Campbell, Matt Tullio and Karana Bernard Okeechobee will be competing against around 300 fighters from all over the world for a chance to be called the champion in their division. The four have been training for the tournament at Ray’s Combat Kickboxing located in downtown Okeechobee.

Logan Ray (left) and Lacey Campbell (right) are prepared for the upcoming IKF World Classic in Orlando. Special to the Okeechobee News.

Ray’s Combat owner Coleman Ray has trained fighters from Okeechobee to compete in the IKF since 2011, and he has high exceptions for this year’s crop.

“I don’t put anybody in the ring unless I think they can defend and handle themselves,” said Ray. “There are plenty of places that do that. We focus on this competition and this is one of the main things we do. We train all year and prepare the fighters to be able to go into the ring and do well.”

Coleman Ray has been training fighters in Okeechobee for ten years now and has opened Ray’s Combat Kickboxing in it’s current location on Southwest Park Street for close to 8 years.

“For many years we’ve been doing this,” continued Ray, “and there’s a lot involved to make this happen, from paying for gear, hotel, food, and registration fees. So when local sponsors step up and decided to back us as a fight team it really helps us. It’s a great thing.”

Preliminary bouts in the IKF World Classic begin at 9 a.m. on Aug. 4.

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