Catch coach Mike inside the ring, for a good cause
CAPE TOWN – Many of the “new school” combat sport fans may only recognise Mike Mouneimne as the focused coach moving around the ring with the moon-bag around his waist.
As head trainer and co-owner of Pride Fighting Academy (PFA), he is no stranger to the fight scene.
However, this weekend, for the first time in a while, those very “new school” fight fans will not only have the luxury of catching “Coach Mike” on the other side of the canvas, but he too will be doing it for a good cause too. “Coach Mike” is set to headline the “Ballie Beatdown” event taking place at the Hope Street Hall in Gardens tomorrow.
The boxing event, which falls under the African Pride Fighting Championship – a charity-based fighting promotion that aims to raise funds and awareness for various issues in society – will be in aid of those who are battling prostate cancer.
The event will see men between the age of 35 and 50 – all donned in their moustaches and beards in support of “Movember” - throwdown in the boxing ring which will host 15 boxing bouts on the night.
“I am very excited to fight for this cause. We are passionate about charity and giving back,” says coach Mike.
Mouneimne is not only a renowned coach, but he also has an impressive fighting resume – 60 plus professional and amateur fights unbeaten across various disciplines (Muaythai, MMA and kickboxing).
Sadly, he missed the MMA “gravy train” due to the sport only picking up a bit later in South Africa.
“Fighting was my first option but coaching came naturally. There were not many fighting opportunities in South Africa a few years ago, and there was a period where MMA went quiet until the EFC (Africa’s biggest Mixed Martial Arts promotion) pumped lots of money into the growth of the sport.
“It was too late for me professionally as there was not enough money in the sport at the time,” he says.
Mouneimne may not be fighting under the professional lights of a UFC or EFC fight card, but the thought of fighting for a good cause is enough to get him going.
“The last time I fought was in 2017 in a similar challenge. I am so excited to showcase the hard work and dedication put in over the last 10 weeks.
“Shedding weight, sharpening the skills, putting the team together. This is a great moment not only for myself, but for all the guys on the card from the gym that make up our team.”
Mike will be facing fellow gym owner and namesake, Mike Goslett (Contenders MMA) in the main event.
“It is nice to be motivated by a challenge, especially one from another gym owner. We have the chance to showcase our PFA skills in relation to other gyms and it’s always a fun challenge – one that is done in a good, but competitive spirit.
“We are looking forward to putting on a good show,” he adds.
The fight card includes cancer as well as Guillain Barre Syndrome survivors.
“All the proceeds will go to the Same Foundation who will then donate the funds to the Tygerberg Hospital cancer ward,” says APFC co-owner, Jessica Mouneimne (Mike’s wife).
“The aim is to help prostate cancer patients specifically, but it will also be going to the cancer ward to help with other cancers too, because the ward is in desperate need of funds. We are hoping to raise R100 000 for this event.
“We would like to thank all our sponsors with special mention to Iron Curtain Security, CFC Scaffolding, Station on Bree and Taurus Medical,” added Jessica.
The event starts at 6pm with tickets at R200 each.
For more information contact [email protected]@JulianKiewietz