We're going back to 1985 to enjoy a clash of titans between two of the greatest point fighters of all time.
This is the seventh installment of a series that features old school sport karate videos to keep the history of the sport alive. Much like a previous edition of Sport Karate Throwback Thursdays featuring Kevin Thompson and Pedro Xavier, this piece features two of the top ten greatest point fighters of all time: Steve "Nasty" Anderson and Tony Young.
Nasty Anderson is one of the point fighters whose name is commonly debated alongside Raymond Daniels for the title of GOAT. His patented blitz and back fist helped him win an astonishing 92 consecutive tournaments when he was a brown belt. He continued his winning ways for many years as a member of the legendary Metro All-Stars and his legacy was cemented by an induction into the Black Belt Magazine Hall of Fame as the Kumite Competitor of the Year in 1982. Anderson passed away in January of 2020 after a battle with Parkinson's Disease.
One can also make a case for Tony Young as the greatest point fighter of all time, according to his star pupil Kevin Walker who made that claim in an appearance on The Jackson Rudolph Podcast. Young's résumé certainly backs this up, as he once reigned as the national super lightweight champion for a staggering 19 years. In fact, Young holds the record for the most consecutive championships in the history of sport karate. He has won world championships in nearly all of the sport's most prestigious leagues including WAKO, ISKA, NASKA, and more. He is currently an 8th degree black belt in Goju Ryu karate and teaches at his martial arts school, Tony Young All-Star Academy, in Union City, Georgia.
In the video below, we see these two icons square off on ESPN with fellow martial arts legend Jeff Smith as the center referee. The 6'3 Anderson is sporting a yellow Jhoon Rhee t-shirt and towers over the speedy Young. The match begins with a series of fakes from Young, but Anderson responds with a punch combination that pushes Young to the ropes and draws first blood. Young answers with an impressive kicking display followed by a leaping reverse punch that appears to land, but the judges called otherwise. Anderson then expands his lead with a lightning-fast back fist that can hardly be seen on camera. As the fight goes on, Young does an excellent job holding his own against the much larger Anderson despite several scary clashes in which Anderson falls on Young. The Atlanta crowd rallies behind Young as he scores a spinning back fist, but it was too little too late to overcome Anderson's lead.
POINT KARATE - Steve Anderson Vs. Tony Young www.youtube.com
As we reflect on this incredible match, it is important to appreciate the skill and athleticism displayed by both fighters. Win, lose, or draw, both of these stellar opponents have etched their name into martial arts history. These vintage matches are something to cherish, as lightweights and heavyweights rarely clash like this in American sport karate competition today. Watching this fight, you can't help but respect the incredible skills of both Anderson and Young.
If you enjoyed this edition of Sport Karate Throwback Thursdays, click here to read our last piece about extreme martial arts master Steve Terada.
This video is courtesy of Michael Mouseboxer on YouTube, thank you for preserving the history of sport karate.