Respect Your Elders: A Look Into Kickfighting History with David Leonardo Barcena (Pt. 3)

In the last two or three years kickboxing and muay thai has undergone somewhat of an explosion in the western world. With the introduction of massive organizations like GLORY, Lion Fight, Superkombat, MAX, and Thai Fight, kickfighting is experiencing a surge of popularity that nearly rivals its golden age appeal.

Contrary to what youtube may lead us to be believe, the sport of kickboxing did not begin with K-1. Before the original continent spanning promotion changed the perception of what kickboxing was, certain legendary fighters from around the world helped establish the sport we know today.

David Leonardo Barcena is a longtime student of kickboxing history. A resident of Spain, David is currently in the midst of composing a book on the history of kickboxing. In this weekly segment on Fight Sport Asia, David Leonardo Barcena will give us a glimpse into the heart this sport’s storied and (mostly) unwritten past. We might see fighter highlights, organization highlights, or stories from an era most of us weren’t around to remember.

We sincerely appreciate David granting us his insight into a near forgotten aspect of sports lore, and would like to thank him by encouraging the progress of his new book, set to be released at an undefined date.


Rick “The Jet” Roufus, the last American kickboxing legend?

Rick Roufus started practicing karate with his father when he was five years old. From early childhood, Roufus witnessed the rise of kickfighting stars of his time- champions like Jeff Smith and Benny Urquidez- they inspired him and fueled his dream of one day becoming world champion .

When he was old enough to enter the sport, Roufus  registered on the full contact Karate circuit, and at age 20 he won his first world title by Knocking Out John Moncayo in Atlanta.

Afterwards he became one of the greatest champions of full contact, heir to the greats like Bill Superfoot Wallace, Jean Yves Theriault and Don Wilson.

In 1991, fans realized that Roufus was one of the best on the p;anet when he took a surprise victory over Dutch kickboxing icon, Rob Kaman. Roufus had a spectacular kicker style, amazing boxing and sass fighting .

During this time in history, Roufus was filling stadiums in Europe and America, and was the inspiration for many young Karatekas coming up around the world.

His style and power made him very famous in those years, and his popularity amongst international fans was unrivaled. Only his error in gaining weight before his rematch with the great Ernesto Hoost put a damper on his meteoric rise.

Rick Roufus continuous to be active at 47 years old! He is a fantastic warrior, and is now looking for a fight against Evander Holyfield former heavyweight  boxing world champion.the golden era of stand-up striking.  After he left the full contact scene and started boxing and participating in K-1 rules matches, Karate entered a decline that continues to this day.

Rick Roufus- one kickboxing’s greatest legends!

By David Leonardo Barcena.


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Kickboxing


Connect with us on any of our social profiles below.

%d bloggers like this: