A world-class boxer will step into the ring Saturday and try his hands, and feet, at kickboxing.
Clash of the Titans takes place at the DoubleTree Hotel on Saturday at 6 p.m. as 39-year-old professional boxer Zeus Frazier takes on the 41-year-old mixed martial arts fighter Mike Seymour in his first kickboxing bout. The event will also feature Augusta resident and Team USA kickboxer Jamon Cooke.
Frazier is trained by Team USA head coach and Augusta area mixed martial arts instructor Mark Greubel, whose gym is located in Grovetown. Frazier met Greubel about 10 years ago and now the two have met again as he embarks on a new path in his career.
“I said, ‘If God brings me to it, he’ll bring me through it.’ Coach Greubel has made the transition so good,” Frazier said. “It’s been great for me to mix my punching with my kicks. To turn in the right way and move in the right direction has been great transition.”
As for the transition in the ring, Frazier said his mindset from boxing doesn’t change.
“You’ve got to know where they’re coming and you’ve got to have your mind focused in what you’re going to do and stay with your game plan,” he said.
Greubel is probably the right person to guide Frazier to the sport of kickboxing, as he’s coached fighters through this type of transition before. He added that the 7-foot, 300-pound boxer may not be far off from owning the kickboxing landscape.
“His original sport of choice is a very different game. The game of kickboxing has a much different range, a lot more angles and, obviously, a lot more weapons,” Greubel said. “Anytime somebody transitions over from something they’re very comfortable with and going into the unknown, there’s a little bit of hesitation in the beginning, but I’ve been able to do this over and over and over again. I’ve replicated the same process many times and it doesn’t scare me. I’d say within a year or two, nobody will be able to touch Zeus in the kickboxing world.”
For Cooke, he moved to Augusta to live with his father following a high school arrest. His father, Gregory Cooke, was a Richmond County Sheriff’s Deputy until he was killed in 2017. Cooke honors his father every single time he steps into competition.
“It’s a whole lot more than kickboxing,” he said. “I really fight for my life and for my family. I pretty much give all my fights to my father. I always put his picture up whether I win or lose.”
Before his death, Cooke’s father introduced him to Greubel. He’s been training with him ever since and considers him more than a coach.
“He’s more of a family member than a coach,” he said. “He looks more into you as a person than as a fighter or a paycheck. Instead of trying to make you how he wants you to be, he sees who you are and builds on that. It just makes you feel like a better person at the end of the day.”
Cooke earned the title of World Association of Kickboxing Organizations North American champion in May.
His Team USA teammate, Dominique Roundtree, was originally supposed to fight in the event, but a last-minute injury held him out. He and Greubel decided he should rest and be healthy when he and Cooke compete in the World Association of Kickboxing Organizations World Championship in Sarajevo, Bosnia in October.
Tickets for Clash of the Titans are $50 and can be purchased from Greubel’s website at greubelsmma.com.