The controversial fight | Emin Boztepe vs William Cheung

6'
Mar 21st, 2017

The controversial fight

So, as you can imagine, as soon as the video became public it was considered as a controversial fight. The quality in not the best since it goes back to almost 30 years ago. There are so many rumors around this footage. Some say that this video isn't even the original and that the copy was modified by Leung Ting's wish, in order to cast shade upon William Cheung's reputation.
This event happened a long time ago, so in order to give you the most complete vision upon this story, we present you both versions: Cheung and Boztepe's. They are, of course, completely different. What we know for sure is that this event happened during one of William's seminars in Koln, Germany in the early 90ties. We already know what happenned next thanks to the video, but what really happenned?
Let's start with both versions.

The controversial fight between Emin Boztepe and William Cheung
The controversial fight between Emin Boztepe and William Cheung

William Cheung's version

What we state here is a resumee of William Cheung's interview in which he speaks also about this incident. You can find the complete interview here or you can just read the short version down below.
Furthermore, he says that before the seminar some people from Wing Chun Serbia had warned him that Emin was coming to the seminar with other 20 people of his.
However, even if he knew about what was about to happen, he didn't want any fight or big rumors. That's because the german government was very strict with people without a proper working Visa. As if it wasn't enough, he stated that before the seminar he had a suspicious interview. He was asked to wear a pair of cheap Kung Fu slippers for the photoshoot. William is sure that the interviewer was nothing more than another accomplice of Leung Ting, the mind behind this project as he says.

Highlights on the "fight"

First of all he doesn't refer to the incident as to a fight.
Cheung remembers that Emin came to his seminar and challenged him to a fight. William says that he told him to wait till the end of the seminar and that he would accept the challenge as soon as he would have finished the lesson. Emin didn't wanted to wait till the end and insisted. William underlines the fact that Emin attacked him from behind while he wasn't looking. Due to the fact that he was wearing those cheap shoes, he almost immediately fall on the floor after he blocked his punch. While William was falling he already did a headlock to Emin so they both fell on the floor.

After they finished on the floor Emin striked at least nine punches to his opponent's face. But William says that none of them actually hit him since he blocked them all. Some moments later Emin would get up and run away frustrated. Cheung says that due to the fact that he had no scratch on himself, he just got up and continued his seminar.

Cheung underlines how all that happenned was just a Leung Ting's evil attemp to ruin his reputation. And that's not all. To prove his opponent's unrighteous actions he also reminds two actions that Leung Ting would have done.
Firstly, that he once ended up in prison for having beaten his pregnant girlfriend.
Secondly, that he also sent some people to beat up Emin after he had a fight with William Cheung.
However, there are many proofs that approve the first violent act, but almost none regarding the second.

Emin Boztepe's version

Unfortunately, from what we know Emin Boztepe didn't publicly express himself on this topic. However, many people and innstructors who know Emin personally and professionally have. They all describe him as a very moral man who would never attack from behind.
A very good friend of his testimonied that Emin went there to challenge him prior to William Cheung's press release. Just after the death of Yip Man and Bruce Lee William would have stated that he was the only Yip Man's student to know the true system.
From there the name of his lineage: Traditional Wing Chun. William Cheung publicly said that Yip Man passed the true system to only one choosen among thousands of students, and that that would be him. Along to this statement he also added that he was a complete fighter ready to prove wrong to any doubter by accepting any challenge at anytime.

Nowadays there are so many proofs that say the contrary and hardly anybpdy seems to believe that story anymore. If you want some interesting insights of the story, you can check this testimony.

But back to us.
Emin wanted to proof publicly the truth about William Cheung's (lack of) skills, so he would have insisted to fight William immediately. He didn't accept to fight later after the seminar because he feared that he would go away without fighting.
To exculpate his famous immoral attack from behind, Emin said that that's coudn't be further away from the truth. He states that he would have counted aloud to 10 before attacking him. William C. would have invented that excuse as soon as he would have seen the footage where the first "challenging" part is missing.

So, where lies the truth?

The two versions are so different and there are so many backround rumors that everything and nothing could be considered to be the truth.
Many years have passed and actually both William Cheung and Leung Ting do not have the best reputation in the Wing Chun world. There are many backround politics that keep remaining hidden.
Probably, only who was present that day at the seminar would be an attendible testimony to this event.

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Comments


Cüneyt Oruç
2017-04-06 18:54:31
I think; Emin Boztepe is do not want hit to William Cheung

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Frank Andresen
2019-08-30 21:12:21
Ich war bei diesem Kampf zwar nicht dabei, aber ich weiß, dass er Anfang der 80er Jahre stattgefunden hat. Es wurde seinerzeit ein Artikel in einer namhaften Budo-Zeitschrift veröffentlicht. Einige Jahre später - so in etwa 1988 - hörte ich Meister A. Yie, der den Lehrgang mit Cheung ausgerichtet hat, darüber reden. Er gab sich aber ziemlich "bedeckt" und wollte auf die Schuldfrage nicht näher eingehen.

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Mark
2019-09-14 05:04:04
There was no fight. It was a disgraceful ambush of an invited guest.

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DocNo
2020-03-03 07:22:02
Master William Cheung is my Wing Chun "Sifu" in the late seventies. Bruce Lee was also attacked at the airport and got injured but sent all five assailants to the hospital while he suffered a broken rib. In a real fight who gets the first punch usually loses due to the physical and psychological effect, especially if it was a planned ambush. Leung Ting knew that William Cheung's grappling skill was limited and Emin was an MMS fighter with expertise in grappling. As you can see in this video Emin wrestled William down onto the ground. I have also studied the Brazilian Jujitsu and it's like knowing how to swim or not; thus, you'll drown if you don't. Nevertheless, the question is why didn't Leung Ting attack William himself?

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Christopher Hall
2020-10-10 07:13:06
make all the excuses you want he got beat, it's done and over w/ !!! that happen back in 1986

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Filipe
2021-01-10 16:15:23
@DocNo Bruce Lee never broke his rib, he had back hurt because of overtraining.

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Dean Marshall
2021-01-17 20:02:16
Everyone loves to leave out how after Emin attacked William Cheung like a dishonorable coward. Cheungs undefeated student Master Keith Mazza Publicly challenged Emin to a million dollar fight. Emin refused claiming to have retired from competition. Emin is nothing more then a coward hiding behind suprize attacks. I spot on the ground he walks on.

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avatvila
2021-01-22 21:58:58
From what I've heard from multiple sources present at the time, Boztepe's version is true. After this tour through Germany, Cheung was supposed to come to Yugoslavia in a matter of days. But he didn't show up... Then people heard what happened and made a conclusion that he was actually pretty roughly beaten at that seminar in Cologne, it would be very wrong to see a "grandmaster" that blue...

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2021-04-27 01:28:58
Excellent article. I will be dealing with many of these issues as well..

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Mike Adams
2021-06-20 01:21:45
This was a major embarrassment the whole Ving Tsun world. Two Masters , William Cheung and Leung Ting behaving like spoiled children. The most important question is not who won the fight, but rather, where was William Cheung's disciples protecting their Grandmaster?

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BiuTzeMan
2021-09-11 11:26:12
@Dean Marshall Stop telling lies about Emin. Where is the proof of your "knowledge" about the million dollar fight?

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Chris K
2021-10-21 18:18:29
@DocNo you're saying Bruce was attacked in the late 70's? How is that possible when he died in 1973. More BS stories.

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Wing Chun
2021-11-26 03:43:25
Ah the Wing Chun wars of fhe 80's when the war of words between Grandmaaters William Cheung and Lsung Ting raged across the pages of martial arts magaxines, often fuelled by writers such as Combat's Bay Logan who ran William Cheung's statement as if it was an open challenge Sadly both sides came out looking bad, from William Cheung's i am unbratqble, oh i was wearing the wrong shoes, oh there was oil on the floor, oh i slupped, oh i didnt want to unleash my full force upon an opponent and subsequent excuses While Leung Ting seemed torn between actively gloating that hia student had publicly assaulted a rival, and trying not to apprar as if he set it up... While Emin became infamous for many of the wrong reasons Sadly Wing chun too often seems to be a victim of its own politics, everybody claiming ti be Yip Man/Ip Man's real sole student even doen to the lack of unity amongst Yip Chun and the late Yip Ching etc over who lewrnt what and who is the real successor I think in this case, both Leung Ting and William Cheung were victims of their own ego and arrogance, its one thing to be proud of your art but the endless boastong and belittling of everyonr else doesnt enhance, it merely smears both mens reputations While Emin is or at least was a pheneomenal fighter, i think he got atuck with the label of being a brutish thug by many people ans his own journey through Wing Chun and other fighting arts is too often ignored apart from this incodent, something i think he regrets having been a part of

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Maikel Remond
2021-11-26 14:57:02
@Dean Marshall Dudo mucho que Dai Sifu Emin se negara a un reto público con ese maestro o cualquier otro .muestra evidencia de tus acusaciones .Pues lo que si es verdad es que le ganó a WC y evidencia de eso es que varios estudiantes testigos de ese día se fueron y se hicieron alumnos de Emin.

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Annonymous
2022-05-03 14:46:22
If you read the article from William Cheung he states he was unmarked. He had him in a headlock the whole time. He blocked every punch. Not one photo was released showing any marks on him. I personally don't like William. He once said something to me which was just plain offensive, uncalled for, disrespectful and rude. I can understand someone wanting to attack him. He is a very honest man however, and so I take his account as the truth. As I said read the full article.

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2022-06-09 10:17:30
I'm a lawyer and will break it down so theres no doubts about who is telling the truth. Why is there no beginning or end? Surely in any confrontation there is a verbal and start of fight phase. The fact it is edited out tends to support Cheungs story that Boztepe came unannounced with 20 supporters gatecrashed the seminar and attacked him from behind. There is also no ending the video abruptly ends as Cheung appears to break free. Why didnt Boztepe finish the job if he was really in control. Why does the camera not at least stay on loblng enough to show Cheungs bloodied/ battered face where these supposed punches in the edited shown footage landed? We have nothing no video or still of cheungs face . I think the video abruptly ends in the editing because Cheung had escaped and rather than engage in a face to face fight with the faster superior fighter Cheung Boztepe and his thugs and video camera fled...the sneak attack having failed. Why not release the full video? Also both men slip...cheung in his slippery kung fu slippers and boztepe too slips as he has no balance so boztepe didnt throw cheung that is a laughable claim given boztepe himself ends axx over elbow...besides there are plenty of easy ways such as a single or double leg take down to floor a 5ft 7 and 135 pound man than this strange broken flower collspsing technique boztepe claims. We know from 30 years of MMA that a fight going to the ground or someone being in a side mount position doesnt mean their winning. His knuckle punches in the video appear to be the kind of punches a 9 year old sister throws at her annoying 6 year old sibling in the back of mom and pops station wagon on a long trip to wisconcin for thanksgiving. The ambush was a disgraceful bungle and proves nothing neither does it show boztepe beating up cheung like he shamelessly claimed for a decade after the incident.Those of us around in the mid 80s onwards know boztepe made his name off this non incident...like some desperate fame hungry tabloid kiss n tell pre big brother reality show young woman he sold his story....fact...boztepe dated an actress 30 years his senior and got fame off it...admittedly one of the most beautiful women in the world in the 60s...but emin dated her in the late 90s....facts boztepe in his prime at 31-32-35 was continuously invited to ufc....or could have fought in non gracie nhb mma events like vale tudo or pride.....he never did.....he avoided showing us wing chun in a world famous fight.....says a lot.....he didnt wanna be exposed had lots of students to make a living off? I dont deny boztepe looked the part was undoubtedly a very fast skilled fighter and i personally think he would have done very well in ufc 1 or 2 certainly reached a final...he had tactics and by that point had developed an anti grappling system unseen in the wider world to this day. Its also clear he had a long loving and respectful relationship with the very beautiful and elegant jacqueline bisset. Its just a shame he committed such an appaling sneak attack on a grandmaster like cheung. Black Belt magazine in America were sent a full unedited video by leung ting and saw it for what it was a sneak attack from behind with no punches landed no victory...just a brief scuffle/ scramble. Not cool to besmirch a legend like cheung...that was equivalent to the recent punk attack by a spectator on a 63 year old Bret Hart of the WWE. These older legends have nothinh to prove and everything to lose crippling some young punk looking for a fight....as an older man emin boztepe learned to understand this himself. Im sure if he has any decency he deeply regrets what he did and the lies he told to make a name....but he wont publicly say it...as his whole reputation is built on trying to ambush cheung. He should at least privately apologise to cheung who is now 81.

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Sifu Stephen Connolly GEE YOW KUNE DO
2022-07-08 10:08:22
The big problem here is you have a traditional wing chun teacher and someone how fights the to can not be compared. To truly be successful you must adapt to you own way or style of fighting I have had many fights in the ring and out of the ring and this is also very different. Study different ways brig them together and make it your own trust you own body it will show you the way you must constantly adjust and evolve. To be successful, there is no winning or losing learn and reset

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