Presented by Centric Parts and its StopTech performance and racing division

March 22, 2011

Centric Parts Boxing Team is a Knockout

Most automotive companies sponsor race cars and race teams as a way to build brand image in the male dominated demographic. It also adds a note of toughness to be associated with a rough and rugged sport marked with control over power and speed while at constant risk.

Well Centric Parts has taken it to a new level. Meet Team Victory Muay Thai; literally the most kickass team to be sponsored by a brake company ever. The amateur kickboxing and Thai boxing and team proudly wears the company logos including StopTech and Power Slot.

The best part is that this is no empty ploy to pretend the company has a boxing heritage. The team's coach is actually Rod McKiver from the Centric Parts IT Department in Southern California. Plus this isn't the padded gloves and shiny uniform brand of boxing. Where talking about punching and kicking without even a shirt to protect you from the hail of abuse.

Team Victory Muay Thai debuted with their new sponsor last month at the Rising Star Muay Thai Kickboxing event in Las Vegas. They returned with a handful of medals and the respect of their opponents.

This month was their opportunity to prove that lightening can strike twice. They showed up at the California State Commission amateur fight to compete in three different classes. They won all of them. Respect earned.

As Coach, Rod McKiver from Centric Parts may have the most inspirational story of the whole team. Started boxing at 18, he went on to hold an amateur record of 35-6 before moving on to Thai boxing. He earned a professional Muay Thai record of 6-2 before a car accident nearly severed his arm and forced his retirement from the sport.

He began teaching Thai boxing and boxing at different boxing gyms and started a free Martial Art & Boxing outreach program in Inglewood for kids and adults from ages 5 and up. In 2007 he made the jump and opened the first Thai boxing school in Inglewood as a business, and has since trained legions of fighters including UFC fighter Reuben Duran.

So maybe think twice before talking back to the guy from the IT Department. You never know who his friends are.