McKinnon heads up big card

IAN BUSBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 12:38 PM ET

Being that this bout is in a casino, Sean McKinnon is taking the safe bet.

That one is on himself.

The Calgary fighter will face Toronto's Peter Montrait for the Canadian Muay Thai Council amateur light-heavyweight title, and hopes he isn't dealt a wild card because he doesn't know anything about his opponent.

"This is a big fight," said McKinnon. "Everything you do as an amateur helps you turn professional.

"I hope this helps me improve my confidence because I know I can do it."

Heading into tonight's bout at Deerfoot Inn and Casino (doors at 6 p.m., bouts at 8 p.m.), McKinnon has a 17-3 record as an amateur with a title belt from the 2007 IKF World Classic in Florida.

The 25-year-old University of Calgary mechanical engineering student plans on turning pro, and having a Canadian title under his belt would certainly help.

McKinnon's strategy will be the same as it always is in these situations.

He will use his endurance as an advantage for the five-round bout.

"I train really hard and I'm in awesome shape," McKinnon said.

"That's my biggest strength. I stay calm and hit strong.

"Usually it's the fourth or fifth round that I turn it on."

McKinnon's bout is the semi-main event in the Throwdown in the Casino.

The main event is a pro bout between local product Jesse Miles and Paul Marfort of Orlando.

Also on the card is Calgary-trained Misty Sutherland facing Germany's Meryem Uslu.

While all the local fighters train at Mike Miles' national kickboxing, McKinnon went under the wing of former champ Trevor Smandych about four years ago.

The two have made a great connection, and McKinnon feels lucky to have Smandych in his corner.

"He's taught me pretty much everything I know," McKinnon said.

"He's a wicked teacher. It's really cool having him. Some of the things he's been able to teach me in technique, but he really knows how to train for a fight.

"It's one thing to think you can be as good as your teacher. That's one of my main goals, getting as good as him."


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