Kickboxer forced into gym fight by armed gang

Monday, April 24, 2017

In February of 2013, Albanian-Swiss kickboxer Shemsi Beqiri was the subject of a shocking gym-storming incident that led to him being forced into a 1-on-1 fight by a gang of masked men.

Beqiri is a decorated kickboxer who held a 72-8 record at the time and was competing for the internationally renowned Glory promotion.

The man leading the gang was Beqiri’s former coach and former Muay Thai champion, Paulo Balicha, who had become infuriated with his ex-pupil after he left to start his own gym.

Balicha had repeatedly demanded a fight with Beqiri as bad blood between them began to boil over, but when his rival kept refusing he decided to force the issue by showing up at his ‘Superpro Center’ gym in Reinach with 20 masked men wielding baseball bats and iron bars.

At the time of the incident there were women and children in the gym who were told to sit on the floor, but the gang’s main focus was on the owner, who was forced to fight Balicha, while his brother was held hostage.

The two fought wearing only handwraps, and it has been alleged that Balicha had given himself an edge by showing up with brass knuckles concealed inside his.

Despite both fighters coming from a striking background, Balicha opted for MMA tactics by taking his rival down multiple times during the fight, and he had some success in that regard, though Beqiri was able to get back to his feet.

Eventually Beqiri was able to stuff one of those takedowns, get on top and then gained the upperhand with ground and pound punches, elbows and kicks.

Seeing that their leader was on the brink of defeat, the rest of his gang then rushed in to break up the fight, at which point the video footage ends.

There are alleged to have been violent scenes afterwards as the gang went on the rampage, with six people in total believed to have been injured.

Among the casualties was Beqiri, who reportedly suffered a broken jaw, nose and hand that forced him out to pull out of a fight at Glory 14.

Several people, including Balicha, were later arrested and put into custody by Swiss police in relation to the incident.

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