View Full Version : Kickboxer wishes he'd been hit first to save a life

7/19/2012 8:42pm,

'I wish it was me': kickboxer's Kings Cross regret
July 20, 2012 - 6:21AM
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Rachel Olding

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"The world champion kickboxer was the fourth and final victim in Loveridge's alleged rampage". Photo: Quentin Jones
Rhyse Saliba wishes it was him instead.

Had he been confronted head-on by the accused murderer Kieran Loveridge and "king hit" like 18-year-old Thomas Kelly allegedly was, things could have been "very different".

Instead, the world champion kickboxer was the fourth and final victim in Loveridge's alleged rampage through Kings Cross on the night of July 7.

Saliba had been celebrating his 20th birthday and had wandered out of a tattoo parlour on the corner of Roslyn Street and Darlinghurst Road at about 11pm when he felt a hit from behind.

"I was just talking to my mate when someone hit me from behind, it took me a second to realise what had happened. I thought someone had thrown a tennis ball at me," he said at boxing training in Penrith last night. .

Mr Loveridge, the alleged offender, ran off and Mr Saliba was left with nothing more than a small bruise on his cheek.

However it emerged yesterday that just one hour earlier, the same man that allegedly hit Mr Saliba allegedly punched Thomas Kelly in the face, knocking him to the ground and fatally wounding him.

Had he come across Mr Saliba, an expert in Thai kickboxing who has won three world titles, before Mr Kelly, the 18-year-old man may have been taken off the streets then and there and Mr Kelly might be alive.

Mr Saliba and his coach, Jason Lapin, made the realisation yesterday as the case unfolded before Burwood Local Court.

“There would have been a different story,” said Mr Lapin.

“[Rhyse] wouldn't have tackled him but if he caught up with him, who knows? He trains four hours a day, six days a week, he's pro fighter, he's fit enough to run five kilometres in under 20 minutes. He would have caught him for sure.”

Instead, he was attacked from behind and didn't have time to react. It was also at a later point in the night when he had had a few drinks.

"If Rhyse hadn't been drinking and if he wasn't the last one [to be hit], those poor parents wouldn't be going through what they have been," said Mr Lapin.

Mr Saliba initially didn't want to press charges or become involved in the case but his boxing coach, told him he owed it to Mr Kelly's family.

Mr Saliba said it was "just sheer luck" Mr Kelly received a front-on punch while he escaped with a mere graze.

He said detectives asked him to describe what he was wearing so they could locate him on CCTV footage.

Large amounts of footage taken from the Kings Cross area was a vital part in mounting a case against Mr Loveridge, police said yesterday. .

Mr Loveridge was arrested on Wednesday night and charged with one count of murder, one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and two counts of common assault. He will make an application for bail on Wednesday.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/i-wish-it-was-me-kickboxers-kings-cross-regret-20120720-22dgv.html#ixzz217bSBtSy

So this Loveridge cat is alleged to have gone on a rampage, cracking skulls in Sydney's loveliest night time neighbourhood, Kings Cross. In doing so a young man Thomas Kelly is now dead, a family is in torment, Loveridge ended up crying in the dock and one of his mates knock down a reporter outside the courtroom. Drama abounds.

And it could have all been avoided had Rhyse Saliba been the first to have been targeted for the alleged perpetrator's punching spree, according to Rhyse himself. Rhyse is a kickboxing champion who trains relentlessly for his sport. It likely would have been.

Rhyse, mate, don't beat yourself up. You're doing the right thing, your coach is wise.

The Question
7/19/2012 8:50pm,
That's fucked up. Was the puncher some kind of vicious criminal who beat guys down after they were on the ground? Or was the dude who died just unlucky to get hit and then fall and hit his head on the pavement or something?

I don't see why the Pro Kickboxer fellow would be motherfucking beating himself up. **** happened. Ain't **** he could have done. Life is fucked up like that.

Also, the article is exceptionally poorly written. **** almost doesn't make any fucking sense. Had to read it twice.

7/19/2012 9:42pm,
Apparently the kid died after one punch. Perpetrator was just running up and punching at random. Drunk. Idiot.

You kind of have to follow the story from the outset, so I can understand the story being hard to understand. There has been extensive coverage of this over the past couple of days, considering the victim was a private school (rich) boy and the alleged perpetrator wasn't. Kings Cross is a violence hot spot and this is the kind of thing that they don't want anymore. Remember the chk chk boom girl talking about the guy that got shot? That was in Kings Cross. The recent cop car set on fire outside a tattoo parlour? Kings Cross. Bikies wearing their colours (bikers wearing their cuts, for you Americans) in defiance of police and the laws against it? Kings Cross. The fourteen year old shot by police in a stolen vehicle that had mounted the kerb and had started hitting pedestrians? Kings Cross. It's a beautiful place.

I don't think he is beating himself up badly, but he might, I'm pre-empting.