|Born||10 November 1967|
|Other names||Lights Out|
|Height||1.92 m (6 ft 4 in)|
|Weight||98 kg (216 lb; 15.4 st)|
|Style||Kickboxing, Boxing, Karate|
|Professional boxing record|
Adam Keith Watt (born 10 November 1967) is an Australian former boxer and kickboxer. He has studied kickboxing, Seido-kaikan karate, and boxing. His nickname was "Lights Out" because of his high level karate and boxing skills, and one punch knock out power. He has won many world kickboxing titles, and reached as high as 10th in the highly respected World Boxing Council's & World Boxing Organisation's (W.B.C & WBO) Cruiserweight ratings. Becoming the first person in the world to ever fight for world Karate, Kickboxing and Boxing Titles.
He won the Australian Cruiserweight title in March 2000 in the ANBF "Fight of the Year" against Victorian Tosca Petridis, and was the first Australian to win the Commonwealth Cruiserweight Boxing title. Adam also achieved success in Japan's K-1 Kickboxing tournaments, beating highly regarded South African Mike Bernardo in 2001 amongst other great victories.
Arrest and assault
In September 2008, Watt was arrested for conspiring to import chemical precursors to the drug methamphetamine. While Watt was on remand awaiting trial, he was hit from behind with a sandwich toaster inside a pillow case. When ambulance officers reached Watt he was clinically dead, but they managed to revive him at the scene. The extent of his injuries has not been made public.
Adam Watt – The Ultimate Fighting Superstar
By Damian Meyer - 2006
Adam Watt was a fighting road warrior travelling the four corners of the earth fighting the planet’s toughest fighters. Karate, Muay Thai, Shootboxing, Kickboxing or Boxing it didn’t matter, for Adam it was any rules, any body, any time, anywhere!
Whatever sport Adam participated in he excelled at. As a teenager he loved playing school boy rugby and played at state level. He also was a junior surf life saver and won two gold medals at the national rowing championship. But it was in the martial arts that Adam became a fighting superstar.
In 1991 after spending several years dedicating himself to the martial art of Zen Chi Ryu in Australia, Adam decided that he wanted to take his training to the next level and travel to Japan, the birthplace of Karate. Adam arrived in Tokyo with less than two thousand dollars and without any local contacts searched the city for a Karate school where he could train. Many nights saw Adam sleeping in Tokyo parks as his money was running out and his dream of finding at a top Japanese Karate school was proving elusive.
In an effort to try and save as much money as possible Adam left Tokyo and headed to the city of Osaka in a belief that it would be a cheaper city to live in. However this proved not to be the case as Osaka was just another huge capital city in Japan. In Osaka Adam trained at four different Karate schools in different Karate styles but none of them was the hardcore dojo that he was searching for. However a chance meeting with a local Japanese Karate fan directed Adam to Master Ishii’s Seido-Kia school of Karate.
- You Spar Satake!
On arriving at Master Ishii’s dojo Adam was blown away by the intensity of the students’ training. Master Ishii’s manic training system was something that just had to be seen to be believed. The psychotic shouts of “Kia” as fists’ smashed through each other gave Adam no doubts that this was exactly the type of hardcore dojo that he had been seeking. Master Ishii upon seeing Adam a gaijin (foreigner) at his dojo demanded to know what business he had coming to his dojo. Adam casually replied “to learn Karate.”
Master Ishii stunned by this skinny gaijin who had just walked in off the street without even an introduction, as is the Japanese way, replied with a sly smile “you spar Satake.”
Masaaki Satake who unknown to Adam was the much feared all Japanese Heavyweight Karate champion. The spar that Master Ishii envisioned had Sakate perhaps fracturing Adam’s skull, arms, legs and perhaps even a punctured lung or two before Adam would be carried out of the dojo and dumped on the street. However Adam had forgotten to have read Master Ishii’s script for as he felt Sakate’s forehead destroy his nose he went into street fighting mode and responded in kind with a vicious elbow smash to Sakate’s face. Their spar turned into a full on no rules street fight which absolutely delighted Master Ishii. After the spar an excited Master Ishii offered Adam the opportunity to become a live in student at his dojo with all his living expenses paid for. Adam immediately accepted. His fighting career in Japan had begun and for the next four years he would be a live in fighter at Master Ishii’s Seido-Kia Karate dojo.
- Seido-Kia Karate World Championship
After six months of extreme Karate training at Master Ishii’s dojo, Ishii entered Adam in the Seido-Kia Karate world tournament open division which would be show live on Japanese TV. After eight brutal fights in which he defeated many European and Japanese champions alike he reached the final of the world tournament against the Japanese favourite, Atokawa. Their final bout was declared a draw which meant that an extra round had to be fought. Incredibly an extra three rounds were needed for the Japanese referees to decide that the Japanese favourite had won. Nevertheless, this was an unbelievable achievement for Adam and brought much kudos to Master Ishii’s Osaka dojo for amazingly Adam fought in the tournament while wearing a white belt wrapped around his gi! The reality of a white belt beating some of the world’s best black belt Karate fighters astounded the fans and his fellow competitors. Not surprisingly Adam was awarded a black belt in Seido-Kia Karate by Master Ishii soon after his world Karate success.
- Master Ishii – The Man with the Plan
Not long after the Seido-Kia Karate world championship Master Ishii commanded his best Karate fighters from his dojo to attend a formal diner, for he had an important announcement to make. At the diner Master Ishii revealed his grand plan. In three years time he wanted Satake, Adam Watt, Tai Kin, Attokow and Tagami to become world kickboxing champions. This was a huge ask considering none of them had even sparred kickboxing in a ring before!
Immediately Ishii put his grand plan in action. He assembled the world’s ‘best of the best’ kickboxers – Maurice Smith, Rob Kaman, Manson Gibson and Benny ‘The Jet’ Urquidez to face his Japanese dream team of Seido-Kai Karate fighters. The tournament took place in Tokyo and was a massive event in Japan with a sell out audience and televised live on national TV. Not surprisingly Adam (who fought Dutch Muay Thai legend Rob Kaman and didn’t even know who he was!) and the rest of Master Ishii’s team were soundly defeated by the world’s best kickboxers. After their loss Master Ishii marched into the change room and declared to his Seido-Kia fighters “now you know what it will take to become world champions.” For Master Ishii the battle had just begun, the war would be won in time.
Four weeks after Adam fight with Rob Kaman, Holland’s Peter Aerts had knocked out the previously invincible Maurice Smith. Master Ishii was delighted; Peter Aerts would be the perfect opponent for Sakate who had just lost previously to Maurice Smith. However Satake had hurt his hand the week before the fight and Ishii needed to find a replacement fighter fast. Adam put his hand and said that he would fight Aerts in place of Sakate. So a skinny eighty kilo Adam Watt’s second kickboxing fight ever was against the world heavyweight champion under full Muay Thai rules! Not surprisingly Adam lost via an elbow knockout in the fourth round.
- The Dutch Connection
After Adam and the rest of the team endured another loss Master Ishii decided that to be the best his team needed to be trained by the best and so Ishii sent Satake and Adam to Amsterdam Holland to train at Jan Plass’ Vos Gym. It was here that Adam said he learnt his core Muay Thai training. Adam said that the Muay Thai techniques that were revealed to him were simple and extremely effective. Adam loved the training at Vos Gym. He stayed for four months before he had to return to Japan but believes that if he had stayed for two years he would have been a tenfold better fighter than he became. To this day Jan Plas, Johan Voss, Ernesto Hoost and Peter Aerts remain close friends.
After his return to Japan his third fight was against another legend, the great Ernesto Hoost. He lost but was now becoming a much better fighter. After fighting Rob Kaman, Peter Aerts and Ernesto Hoost all of Adam’s future fights were a hell of a lot easier! Following Adam’s baptism of fire he went on a winning rampage defeating world champion cruiserweights in Spain, France, USA, Holland, Japan and Russia and winning a string of world kickboxing titles. Adam won the WKA, UKF and ISKA World Cruiserweight title and also a world Shootboxing title. During this period Adam defeated hardcore world kickboxing legends such as Manson Gibson.
In less than three years most of the members of Master Ishii’s Seido Kia initial team (Adam Watt, Satake and Tai Kin) had become world champion kickboxers. Master Ishii’s seemingly crazy plan had succeeded and now Master Ishii had other foreign Karate fighters such as Andy Hug and Michael Thompson just itching to try their hand at kickboxing and make some serious money.
- The Beginning of the K1
Flushed with the success of his Seido-Kia team Master Ishii now had an even bigger plan, to organize the world biggest and best martial arts tournament that was open to every martial arts style of fighting - Kickboxing, Karate, Kung Fu, Tae Kwon Do, Boxing whatever. He would call this event – K1 meaning the best of the best. As Adam spoke English he helped Master Ishii in organizing the logistics of the early K1 events. Master Ishii and the local Japanese fans especially loved Melbourne’s Stan ‘The Man’ Loginidis as his WWF style of flamboyant ring entrances and subsequent wars with Satake was just what the K1 needed in the early days.
- Death before Dishonour – Literally!
After four years spent fighting in Japan and becoming a Karate and kickboxing superstar a tragic event occurred that became a turning point in Adam’s life. Adam said “Ueda a young Japanese kickboxer from the dojo and one of my best friends was seriously knocked out in one of Master Ishii’s promotions. It was a particularly bad KO as he was unconscious for around ten minutes. Incredibly he was back at training a couple days later. I asked him what he was doing back at the gym as he shouldn’t be training so soon after such a savage knockout. He replied that he had a fight that weekend. I said that’s crazy!. I told the instructors at the dojo that he shouldn’t be allowed to fight as it would be too dangerous. They all thought I was softcock for suggesting this. But it wasn’t a matter of being soft; it was a health issue, a matter of common sense and looking out for a team member. Nevertheless he fought and after his fight he collapsed and died. I carried Ueda him out of the ring and was absolutely devastated as his death should not have happened and was totally preventable. But no one at the gym seemed particularly upset about his death. They believed it was ‘his destiny’. I didn’t see it that way! I believe they should have had a proper procedure so that fighters aren’t allowed to fight again so soon after a knockout and that fighters should be evenly matched. Fighters in Japan it seemed to me were expendable. Soon after Ueda’s funeral I returned to Australia. I realized that it was only by pure luck that the same thing had not happened to me considering some of the miss matches that I fought. Fighting Kaman, Aerts and Hoost for my first three kickboxing fights ever was just ridiculous. These guys have the ability to inflict total devastation on the world’s truly elite fighters. Facing them as a total beginner was definitely not in my best interests.”
- Professional Boxing
Whilst Adam was back in Australia he started to take an interest in boxing and trained casually at a few Sydney boxing gyms. It was around this time that the general consensus in the boxing community was that kickboxers couldn’t box. Adam sick of hearing this put his reputation and that of kickboxers on the line and picked the toughest cruiserweight boxer that he could find to fight. This naturally enough was the Australian professional cruiserweight champion. Adam knocked him out and a new fighting career had begun.
Adam’s professional boxing career was progressing very well but it wasn’t until his epic boxing bout with the great Tosca Pedridis, a bout that many at the time called the best boxing fight held in Australia for ten years that his career really boomed. After this boxing bout in which he knocked out Tosca in an absolute war, Jeff Fenech approached him and asked to train him proclaiming that Adam could win a world title. From there it was just one big fight after another. Adam twice fought on a Mike Tyson undercard which was televise live around the world and even trained with Tyson himself leading up to these fights. Not bad for a kickboxer who had only been boxing for a matter of months! During this time Adam won the Australian cruiserweight title, the OBF cruiserweight title and the Commonwealth cruiserweight title and had fights all over the world including the USA, England, Scotland and South Africa. Adam was also ranked in the world’s top ten cruiserweight fighters by both the WBC and the WBO boxing organizations. Adam’s professional boxing career culminated in a brutal World WBO cruiserweight title fight against the world champ Johnny Nelson. It was after this fight that Adam believes that he lost the killer instinct. Adam said “after my loss to Nelson I really didn’t have my heart in the fight game any more. I had been a professional fighter for over a decade and I just had enough. The drive and hunger that a fighter needs to be a winner had disappeared. It’s like Mike Tyson said after his last fight ‘I just can’t do it anymore.’ When a fighter loses that killer instinct it’s time to call it a day. However... when I was offered a ‘fist full of dollars’ to fight in the K1 it was hard to say no!”
- K1 – The Biggest Show in Town
Although not a heavyweight the temptation of making some serious money in the K1 proved too much and within a few weeks Adam made the transition back to the biggest show in town - K1. In 2001 his first K1 tournament back was the K1 Osaka Grand Prix where he battled Peter Graham, Ray Sefo and Jerome Le Banner. This was followed by K1 Fukuoka Grand Prix where he caused the biggest ever upset in the history of the K1 by knocking out the tournament’s favourite and K1 legend, South Africa’s Mike Bernardo. The Oceania K1 series final in Melbourne proved another winning night for Adam as he defeated Andrew Peck, Jason Suttie and Clay Aumitagi to be crowned the Oceania K1 Champion. Adam continued fighting for the K1 in Japan but after the K1 Law Vegas Grand Prix in 2002 Adam basically retired for good. Adam said “I had a couple of fights after Vegas but it was hard for me to get motivated to train properly for them. I basically just turned up on the night.”
- Career Highlights
Adam has had an incredibly successful fight career that few fighters could ever even dream of, when asked to mention some of his career highlights Adam replies, “winning against Tosca Pedridis in a pro boxing fight was huge. Just the mention of Tosca’s name gives you the wobbles, for you know that he will be coming to fight and if you’re not at the top of your game you are going to be seriously hurt! I have such a huge respect for Tosca and regard him as an absolutely hardcore fighter that to manage to get one up on him was outstanding on a personal level.”
“My unlikely win over Mike Bernado at the K1 Fukuoka Grand Prix was also fantastic as no one gave me a chance of even finishing the fight let alone knocking Bernardo out. Bernardo was a menacing bully and I received great satisfaction stopping him. A KO win over the great USA kickboxer Manson Gibson was also a highlight as Manson is widely regarded as one of the best ever kickboxers ever to come out of the USA. Defeating Holland’s Peter Smit and other top European and Japanese Karate fighters at the world Karate championship in Japan in 1991 while only a white belt was pretty good. Actually I have been very lucky and have had a lot of highlights so I will stop there.”
- Australian Fighters
Adam believes that “Australian fighters whether they be kickboxers, boxers or karate men should have more confidence in their fighting abilities. After travelling the world fighting in these disciplines I believe that we have some of the best martial artists’ in the world. However the only drawback that Australian fighters have is our geographical location as we are so far away from other countries. An elite professional fighter needs outstanding training and sparring partners and this is where our geographic isolation sometimes restricts our growth.”
Adam has a boxing record of 24 fights for 20 wins all by knockout. He only ever went the distance three times and the losses he did have were all to world champions or former world champions. His kickboxing record stands at 47 fights, 37 wins, 10 losses and 30 KO’s and through out martial arts / karate fight career he has won over 100 contests. As a kickboxer Adam reigned supreme as the world’s kickboxing cruiserweight champion and was an elite K1 fighter, sometimes giving away up to 40 kilos in weigh to his opponents. Adam’s Karate record is also outstanding for whilst only a white belt he defeated European and Japanese black belt champions.
Adam Watt spearheaded Australian kickboxers fighting in Japan. He paved the way for the likes of Stan “The Man” Longinidis, Mark Hunt and “John” Wayne Parr to enter the Japanese professional kickboxing circuit. Adam was also the first Australian kickboxer to successfully cross over to professional boxing on the world stage proving to the likes of Paul Briggs, Sam Soliman and Daniel Dawson that it can be done. To say that Adam is an Australian kickboxing pioneer is a gross understatement. He wasn’t just a pioneer; he was more like one of the guys that actually planted the flag!
- 2002 K-1 World Grand Prix Preliminary Melbourne champion
- 2001 K-1 World Grand Prix in Fukuoka Repechage B runner up
- 2001 K-1 World Grand Prix in Osaka runner up
- 1993 U.K.F. World Cruiserweight champion
- W.K.A. World Cruiserweight champion
- I.S.K.A. World Full Contact Light Cruiserweight champion
- I.S.K.A. World Muay Thai Light Cruiserweight champion
|British Commonwealth 10th Cruiserweight champion
24 June 2000 - 2001
|Australian Cruiserweight 13th champion
24 March 2000 - 2000
|OPBF Cruiserweight 8th champion
17 September 1999 - July,2000
|OBA Cruiserweight champion
16 January 1999 - 5 April 1999
|PABA Cruiserweight 3rd champion
6 December 1997 - 5 April 1998
14 Wins (14 (T)KO's), 4 Losses
Legend: Win Loss Draw/No contest Notes
37 Wins (30 (T)KO's, 7 Decisions), 12 Losses, 1 Draw
Legend: Win Loss Draw/No contest Notes