My fifth fight felt like a bit of a milestone for me, as I originally only planned to have one or two. Although five is still a very small number, it’s not one I had ever planned to reach, so it felt like an achievement before I even stepped in the ring. It was also my first fight of 2013, a year that I’d planned to spend getting as much fighting experience as possible so that I could improve myself as a fighter.
As always, I knew nothing about my opponent, so I was going in blind. It wasn’t until I’d already had my hands wrapped and was ready to fight that I saw her. It seemed like a good match-up. She looked the same size as me, and I didn’t feel intimidated by her at all. Although I knew not to underestimate her, I felt confident. The promoters told me that she’d had only one fight, which I knew was a lie, as I recognised her from other fights I’d been to. Plus, no girls in Thailand are that inexperienced. From what I’ve seen, it’s rare that anyone is truthful about their fight record here, so that didn’t bother me at all. It’s one of those things you learn to just brush off as part of the process.
What I love most about fighting is the learning curve you see with each time you do it. Every time you get into the ring, you feel different. Usually, fight day had been spent feeling nervous and not wanting to talk to anyone. I would approach the ring feeling a mixture of stage-fright and pressure to perform, and my nerves would stop me from executing what my corner told me to do. This time, I felt totally confident, which was totally new for me. After the fight, my friends even commented that they’d never seen me look so confident. That confidence totally affected my performance in the fight. For the first time, I even managed to smile during the fight, which was after I blocked one of her head kicks.
During the first two rounds, I landed a few good leg kicks, and she kept trying for that head kick. She caught me with a couple, but they were only glancing. Nevertheless, I knew that if this fight was going to last five rounds, it would be difficult to win on points.
Thankfully, it didn’t. I KO’d her in the third round. At the time, I wasn’t even sure why she’d gone down. I remembered throwing a right punch, but it felt like nothing, as if it had barely landed. So, instinctively, I followed with a right body kick. After I got out of the ring, I asked Kru Josef what had put her down, and he looked at me as if he couldn’t believe I didn’t know. When I watched the video, I realised why. I KO’d her with the right hand, and she was already half-way down when I kicked her, which on reflection, didn’t look so great on my part. It seemed to happen so differently in my mind at the time! Perhaps it’s a mixture of adrenaline and instinct, but I’ve heard similar stories from a lot of other fighters.
On my way out of the stadium, I felt like I’d taken a step up in every way, and it felt great. Strangely, the promoter wasn’t as happy as I was. Rather than congratulating me, he said ‘that was an easy fight for you’. I didn’t feel that way at all, and I wondered why he said that to me, but I didn’t let it get me down.
See below for a gallery of images from the fight.