June 24th - Mick La Rock and Muay Thai super middleweight world champion Regian ‘The Immortal’ Eersel (1992) meet each other in the ring. Together they paint a mural, designed by Mick, on the tennis wall in Kraaienest (Amsterdam Bijlmer).
The similarities between the artist and top sportsman are striking. Both are coming from the Bijlmer. Both come from subcultures: graffiti art and martial arts, and have achieved the world summit. Both represent Amsterdam in the USA: Mick is an international artist and part of the New York Graffiti scene and Regian is super middleweight champion of the Lion Fight League in the USA.
The idea originated when La Rock and Eersel met through a mutual friend at the Sityodtong Amsterdam Gym, part of the ABC Boxing Association, founded by Raymond Joval, where all three do their training. Mick had previously designed a logo for Muay Thai fighter Lennart Blijd who trains in the same gym. This became the start of an inspirational collaboration.
Still there seems to be a negative connotation about both cultures that Mick and Regian represent. By making this mural together, both want to demonstrate that shared passion can build bridges between people of different ages and cultures, martial arts and street art.
The happening was recorded by well-known Bijlmer photographer Auke VanderHoek
Regian will defend his belt on Friday September 29th at Lion Fight 38, Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut.
Photos: Auke VanderHoek