After my first fight, I was eager to get back into the ring and do it all over again. Having come out of it with no injuries, there was nothing stopping me. So, one month after my first fight, I had my second. This one was to be another three round bout, as I didn’t yet feel ready to fight five rounds.
I’d assumed that after winning my first fight, I’d feel confident about doing it again. However, the exact opposite was true. I’d somehow convinced myself that I’d been given an easy fight for the first one, but the next one would be a much bigger challenge. I kept going over various doubts in my mind, thinking that I’d really have to step up my performance for this next fight. I’m not sure why, as there wasn’t a huge difference that could have been made in such a short time between fights for someone who’s only just started fighting. The only thing I’d heard about my opponent was that I would have to watch out for her punches. That information should have helped me, but only helped to cast further doubts over me.
I distinctly remember getting rubbed down before my fight, during which the Thai boy who was doing so turned to me and said ‘you’ll win, yeah?’ I was so lacking in confidence that I could only hesitate before eventually muttering ‘um…yeah’.
I felt incredibly nervous as I got into the ring. In fact, I didn’t want to fight at all. I expected my opponent to approach the fight as most Thais do, taking it easy in the first round. However, she came out fighting from the bell, throwing a barrage of punches at me straight away. I went into defence mode, and didn’t fight back, forcing the referee to give me a standing eight count in the first round. I wasn’t hurt at all, just shocked and unable to function under the pressure.
After that first round, I felt genuinely scared of her, but I fought her as hard as I could for the remaining two rounds. I remember very little of what actually happened, but I do remember receiving a massive leg kick, and throwing knees to her stomach in the clinch as the final bell rang, leaving her hanging from her corner at the end of the fight. However, I hadn’t done enough to overcome the initial stoppage, and therefore lost the fight on points. I felt that if it had been a five round fight, I would have been able to take it. Some people even told me that if I’d had an extra minute or two, the result would have been different. Either way, it didn’t matter. I’ve always hated hearing fighters complain about their losses saying ‘if it wasn’t for this or that, I would have won’. I think it shows a real lack of spirit. So, although I obviously wasn’t happy with my performance, I had no problem with accepting the result as a learning experience.
Experiencing my first loss was difficult, and left me wondering whether or not fighting was what I really wanted to do. I started to think that perhaps I wasn’t good enough. However, even at that time, I knew that those weren’t rational thoughts. They were just my natural reaction to losing for the first time. Of course, it was initially hard to be positive about it, and I spent the day after the fight feeling sorry for myself. However, the following day, I got back into training with a new perspective. Although I hadn’t won the fight, I’d learned a lot, and I had a clearer view of what to work on in training. I started fighting to challenge myself, and to prove to myself what I was capable of. This experience was just a stepping stone, which I had to overcome as part of the process. If I was to give up after that, it would defeat the point of it all. So, I just became more determined to go back to the gym, work on the things that I needed to work on, and come back even better for the next fight.
The main thing that I learned from this fight is that attitude plays a huge part in the process of fighting. I let negative thoughts take over my mind leading up to the fight, and in doing so, lost the fight before it even happened. I didn’t even feel that I wanted to fight, so how could I give a good performance? It seemed as if I was battling with myself more than I was with her. Regardless of the outcome, I knew that this fight would make me stronger.
See below for a gallery of images from the fight.