According to a Jan. 19 Instagram post from Champions Fitness Center coach Andrea DeAngelo, hard-hitting 13-year-old kickboxing phenom Justina Abruscato defeated an opponent more than twice her age during Saturday night's "No Mercy" Jackhammer Promotions kickboxing and MMA card in Deer Park, Long Island.
Abruscato, who improved to 4-0 with the victory, finished her opponent, 28-year-old Brooklyn native Emma Smith, with a flurry of kicks and punches late in the opening round.
"I'm so proud of her," DeAngelo said of Abruscasto after the fight. "I've been training her for more than half her life. At six years old she came into CFC as a timid little shy girl with big bows in her hair and she never wanted to spar.
"And now look at her! At 13 she has proved over and over again why she's a two-time junior kickboxing champion. Her heart and dedication never ceases to amaze me.. And I am beyond lucky to have her as my fighter and black belt!"
Abruscato delivered a dynamic performance that left the crowd in awe of her skillset, but Smith also deserves props for taking the fight on short notice and turning in a solid effort.
Later in the evening, Champions Fitness Center notched another victory, as Meredith Connelly earned a decision win over Aly “Fox Tail" Franco.
"So proud of her accomplishments," DeAngelo said of Connelly. "She has come such a long way with a lot of hard work. She fought her heart out tonight. Physically and mentally she didn't break even when the fight got rough. Only up from here, and many more wins in the future!"
The stacked "No Mercy" card also included high-level performances from top fighters such as Vincent DeRiso, Anthony Walter, Pat Carroll, Kevin Wall, Akram Gharib, Andrew King, Ibraheem Abdeaal, Meredith Connelly, Elvis Regis.