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In other action on the card:
The explosive Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto of Japan is undefeated in K-1 Max, here he will go up against Mongolian fighter Jadamba Narantungalag, who is still looking for his first win in K-1 ring after dropping decisions this year to two of the sport's toughest, Albert Kraus and Masato.
Australian John Wayne Parr looked good in dispatching Duane Ludwig earlier this year, but lost to Buakaw at the World Max Final. Here he will face the tough Arslan Magomedov of Russia.
Frenchman Samir Berbachi will meet Karate stylist Kazuya Yasuhiro. Said Yasuhiro, "My parents always tell me to take care of myself when the seasons are changing, and I did that as usual this year. Now I am full of energy and so I will show you what I can do." Replied Berbachi, "I came here to represent Jerome LeBanner's Extreme Team here, and I will do that with honor, and give 100% effort to win."
Popular American fighter Duane "Bang Bang" Ludwig will step in against Dutch Muay Thai fighter William Diender, who is making his debut in World Max.
"I have practiced hard," said Ludwig in cautious but correct Japanese (this drew loud, appreciative applause from the assembled). Diender turned the mic over to Peter Aerts for his comments. "He has trained very hard and he is ready," was all the K-1 legend had to say.
Local favorite Takayuki Kohiruimaki will take on 2002 World Max Champion Albert Kraus of the Netherlands in what promises to be an aggressive bout, as both of these elite fighters are coming off losses. Said Kraus, "I have been training hard on my boxing, harder than ever, and I am ready." But Kohiruimaki is also ready: "I know Kraus has strong punches, but I intend to show that I do too!" When asked about a muscle he pulled in a shoot-boxing bout earlier this year, Kraus assured all that he was recovered: " I took some time off and got special massage therapy. I made careful, step-by-step progress back to full training, and there is no effect now from the injury."
Rounding out the card, Marfio Canoletti of Brazil will go up against Japanese fighter Takashi Ohno; while hard-hitting Mike Zambidis of Greece will take on Japanese Muay Thai fighter Kojiro in the event's first bout.
The K-1 World Max 2004 Champion's Challenge kicks off at 18h00 on Wednesday October 13 and will be same-day broadcast in Japan on the TBS Television network. Check the K-1 Official Website (www.k-1gp.net) for complete coverage soon after the final bell.