Twenty-Second Fight – Phetchaodoi Jit Aree Gym
I had an extra week between the last fight and this one, which allowed me more training and a little extra time to recover from the broken nose I received in my last fight. My nose has been getting better and I worked on my guard in order to not damage it further, which would require actually taking time away from fighting, which I want to avoid at all cost.
When we got to the venue a familiar coach (I knew I’d met him, couldn’t remember which of my opponents were his) sized me up. He told me to stand and actually measured two of his fighters against my size. He wanted me to fight the bigger one (a little larger than I am) and I was scheduled to fight the smaller one (an inch shorter than I am, small frame). So there was a little negotiation going on between this coach and my coaches, ultimately resulting in me fighting the one I was originally scheduled to fight.
Turns out this gym is where the little boxer I’ve fought twice comes from. She’s a good fighter – they all are at that gym – and just like the times I fought her (lost the first, tied the second) her coach did this sizing up thing. I can’t tell if he’s looking out for his fighters or playing a head game with me, or maybe both.
She was a very good fighter and really quick. Her kicks were fast, she neutralized the clinch really fast and hopped up on me because I was pushing in, resulting in the ref breaking it before I could turn her and score any points. I almost threw her out of the ring during one of these instances. I was really happy because I actually was able to kick her body a lot in the first round and then a few more times throughout the fight. I’ve been kicking air more than anything prior to this and Den always says to me, “once you kick the body, I’ll know you are OK.” I like that since I’ve accomplished this task now, I will most certainly be doing it again.
I made some very basic blunders and also managed to pull together more basic techniques that have previously eluded me. Some good, some bad: that’s the story of progressing as a fighter. I was frustrated, but Andy assured me (despite his own disappointment and frustration with my performance) that I’m always improving and that the foibles which keep fighters from reaching their potential are not characteristics that describe me. His belief in me is amazing and I’m determined to prove him right.
For more thoughts on this fight see my post Swan | Aftermath of a Muay Thai Fight