So as many of you know my last fight in February didn’t go so well, my head wasn’t there on the day, it was actually a horrible feeling that I can’t explain but perhaps other fighters can relate. I had this worry that I wouldn’t go back to myself and I know that’s silly to be affected by one fight, its kinda hard to put into words but I worried whether I would enjoy the next fight. It was a very emotional time and I took a big confidence hit!
Well I really did enjoy the fight actually, we had some great exchanges! I don’t think I performed that well really but I felt happy to be in the ring! In fact I was so calm and chilled all that day leading up to the fight more so than normal.
One thing so many of us realise/are victim of lol, is Thai’s honesty! Whenever I hear any of the trainers praise me to someone I’m just like wow! because they don’t praise everyone! You know if you lose a fight (clearly) they don’t say ooh rematch rematch they say oohh opponent very good or why you no punch?? Etc (as what was like with Fasithong) no rematch with her was mentioned but my fight last week they want one. Pee a told me I didn’t train much for the fight (which was true) and he wants it over 5 rounds as he puts it “3 rounds you no good!! Round 1, round 2 no good round 3,4,5 good! And the trainers agree and so do I! I just can’t race in straight off the bell in first round. I’m more suited to 5!
So just leading up to the fight (no excuses whatsoever I genuinely lost to a better opponent) but I didn’t train much. My calf muscle had pulled and I was trying so hard to not push it too far that it would rip and it felt on the verge of ripping, so running was difficult, I missed 4 days of training a few days before the fight due to a visa run and a very poorly mistreated cat by a local vet!
I know being upset over a cat your thinking get a life etc but I love her! I found her at 2 weeks old and hand reared her she got so sick and I was in the gym (in between classes everyday) feeding medicine etc to her. She’s the first living thing I’ve ever solely taken care of myself! (Pets as a child don’t count as my mum did everything). So she’s mine and she’s my little buddy, I’d be very lonely without her! So anyway I believe that the vet wasn’t clean and equipment wasn’t sterile and she got an infection and inflamation a fever and didn’t eat or drink for 3 days. I was freaking out! He made me take her home when she was still under anesthetic she was just stirring (coming round). She was so distraught and upset. For 2 days (the weekend) i stayed at home with her! Kru Juab brought me to the animal hospital where she was giving a load of pain meds etc and the effect was almost instant. I went to get her stitches out a few days ago and was more drama! The wound completely split open it was horrific, lots of vet visits (different one) and medication, but anyway she’s doing good now! I lost 2kg from stressing about her lol.
In the animal hospital the nurses asked me why I was here and I said I was a teacher and a muay Thai fighter. Juab started talking to them in Thai praising me about Sud suay muay thai and geng maak maak! I felt really chuffed as hes a man of few words.
So back to the fight all that regardless I was excited I was back to my normal if not even more so calm self. I kind of shocked myself I’ve always wondered how many fights do you have before that nervousness goes away!
So I went to work that morning then in the afternoon we headed to the fight! Myself Pee A, Jun , Abigail and Juab.
Nakano was fighting in China and had just fought in Samui the night before so Juab and himself were flying to China that night! Jun and Nakano always do my corner, I didn’t think Nakano was going to make it but he did I was so happy! My dream team! I feel so lucky with the people around me at Sitmonchai, they are amazing, so supportive and just awesome! The fact that i have support and great people from my gym back home (Bridgestone) and here in Thailand i know im so lucky.
Nakano…….Nakano the ninja! I cannot find the right words to describe Nakano, he is one of the nicest, funniest, random guys I’ve ever met! He’s from Japan but has been (this time) living in Thailand for 4 years. He’s one of the thai’s he earns his keep in the gym doing chores, shares a room with a couple of the Thai’s. When Japanese people come to gym I’m like wow Nakano isn’t a bit Japanese anymore!! He speaks and writes fluent thai, English, Japanese, Russian and I’m not sure what else. I have this utmost admiration for people who are hilariously funny in a language that is not their first! And he is just so funny!! He’s the best person to have around you fighting, even though I’m generally calm and relaxed he makes the time waiting to fight go fast and its full of laughs!
Jun as many of you would know is known as Thepnimit (Mr Knock) I love Jun he’s such a lovely fella. Himself and Abigail are such a great couple. He is frigging awesome! He’s so strong, and he’s a southpaw, I wish I could be even half the fighter he is!! He always comes to my fights and corners me. Having an amazing fighter like him want to be there for my fights is a great feeling. He really believes in me and my capabilities, and again he is one who has spoken about me to others praising me which I’m so grateful for. Of course on the other end of the scale the Thai’s call me fat and slag me, point out my spots etc etc hahaha.
So we get to Baan Klang stadium. Years ago someone built this 80 million baht resort that was a gym, accommodation and had a stadium all in the one place. It is absolutely stunning!! 500 rooms its all wooden hut style, swimming pool, regular gym, saunas everything. But apparently it just didn’t really take off which is such a shame! The gym closed down and now the stadium is used for private events boxing etc. They let us into a conference style room with aircon to wait, we arrived at 3:30 but then got told the fights wouldn’t start till 8pm. Ookaay long ole wait! My opponent arrived with her team and were in the room with us. So Nakano (Mr cool) starts chatting away to the girls. She asked how many fights I had and I said that this was my 15th. Her and her mates were like oooiii (as in oh man she’s only had a few) so Nakano asked how many she had and she hesitated slighted and said 50. So my guys and the girls were having chats I only understood snippets but was a nice vibe in room! I noticed as it got closer to the fight she got quieter. Maybe it was just how she prepares herself for fights, but I dunno I kinda feel like I made her a bit nervous because I was just laughing and relaxed, maybe not I dunno.
So the event itself was like a corporate event for a company called Jabra. Well haha lots of fancy smancy stuff going on beforehand, then they are brought into the stadium and there are all tables around the ring. As they are served appetizers two fighters do a muay boran demonstration in the ring, then ‘fighters’ are called into the ring! All wearing Jabra fight robes it turned out to be random fellas from each table, well they were loving it jumping up and down trying to do rocky uppercut shadow boxing etc. Was funny watching them. It took a long time but eventually the first fight started, it wasn’t great to be honest looked like a sparring session. The waiters and chefs all out back were all excited messing around boxing each other but there was a very strict posh maitre d’ who reminded me so much of an English actor whose name I can’t remember, anyway he was giving them the stink eye lol.
So more presentations after the first fight! I had to be oiled again as I’d totally dried up haha. Got my gloves put on lovely small 6oz but feck me Jun ties them so tight! I thought it was OK at first but right before I went out I was like aarrgggh too tight! It didn’t hinder me though!
So 2nd fight was a KO yeaaaay I’m ready we were both so ready! So we go over to the area to walk out and we are told oh maybe 20 more minutes then you fight! uuuuggghhh I saw a wheelchair so I sat in it lol. I started wheeling around and then Juab was pushing me, Jun got his phone out and I pretended to be all KO’d haha but then I was like oooh no this could be a bad omen! I hope she doesn’t actually knock me out haha. So finally get in the ring! The announcer explained to the crowd that I was bigger than my opponent because she was way more experienced! I could hear people shouting ‘c’mom Ireland’ ha. So I finally got to do my wai kru! I haven’t seen it yet but Pee a said it was beautiful and Jun agreed as well! It felt good and I enjoyed it! My former opponent Peach Purahong was reffing the fight! The announcer introduced her as one of the best female fighters in the world! I love how they sensationalize everything! I wanted to shout ‘well I beat her’ lol.
So the fight round one was very tit for tat nice exchanges it was clear we were both enjoying ourselves, she really shouted when she kicked. Before I came to Thailand I would box alot in fights whereas now I don’t…..when I should! I kept hitting her with heavy crosses and her head would fly back but I wouldn’t follow up! Which Juab kept telling me to do! Round 2 and 3 was faster paced every time she grabbed me in the clinch I could do nothing so she kept kneeing me, the knees didn’t hurt but I was shocked at her strength considering the weight difference she was so strong. She was flying the outside knees into me they were really good!!! I scored on the outside ok but as soon as clinch started I was losing. I stepped it up in round 3 but not enough and she won which I knew straight away! She was a lovely opponent gave me a kiss on the cheek when we hugged!
After I walked back to the storeroom where we were waiting and all the waiters and chefs applauded and cheered us which was lovely!
It wasn’t one of my best performances but I wasn’t disappointed at the loss, she was better than me, end of. I was just so happy I was myself, I enjoyed it, the fight reminded me that regardless, I love being in the ring, I love fighting and being tested! And that’s what this is im fighting awesome opponents! Every fight is a lesson and its quite clear from my last two fights that I need to work on my clinch. Pee A came to see me and said I did great and he thought if 5 rounds and I trained properly I would have won and he would like a rematch. I said to him she was so strong and she had 50 fights he started laughing and said 100! Really? Surewaah! ! She champion hahaha
I went to get changed and Juab and Nakano got a taxi straight to the airport, when I went to meet everyone a waiter had a fancy little dessert for me! So ya know like who was the real winner! I got dessert haha.
On our way home we stopped off for noodles and got these delicious milkshakes! I was a happy panda!
I don’t like losing obviously but she was really good and I was just so happy that the old me was back! It’s been a rough few months but im getting back on track! Can’t wait for my next fight now 🙂