This is great. I’ve finally got a fight in Pattaya – thanks to Sangwean, Phetjee Jaa’s father – and its a good one. It’s a rematch of The Star Sor. Klinmee, who I fought back in February, 16 fights ago. There is a lot going on in this fight. Not only is it a rematch, it’s a a match against a World Champion level fighter (WMC title holder at some point, and Interim WPMF champion) and I nearly pulled off the upset when we fought in February – she’s perhaps “the” top female fighter in Pattaya and people were shocked that I was only narrowly edged out in the final round of a 3 round fight by a nice trip on her part. (This “nobody” westerner shouldn’t have had a close fight, it should have been a blow-out, and at the time when I fought her I hadn’t a clue she was a champion.) We also share another bit of history: she and I both have beaten Saya Ito (which is how Star won her WPMF “interim” title back in December).
One of the more interesting things about this fight is that we are both clinch fighters. I was able to stay with her in clinch in February and I can safely say that my clinch is significantly improved since then (the clinch practice as been immeasurably good in Pattaya at both Petchrungruang and O. Meekhun). In many ways I didn’t even know how to clinch back then, relying only on strength. I now regularly handle some of the boys at Petchrungruang, who in February I was struggling mightily against. It will be great to match up our skills again and see where we are at now. This time it will be 5 rounds, which should be to my advantage, but the fight will also be at a significantly higher weight about 52 kg (no weigh-in). Star has gotten bigger and I haven’t. When I fought her 7 months ago the fight was probably around 47, but as I’ve heard she’s now walking around at about 52 kg these lower weights are out of reach. (Sangwean had asked for a weight check at 50 kg when he booked the fight but the next day the promoter called back and said The Star can’t make 50 kg because she’s in school. Sangwean was very displeased by this, I think mainly for saving face and having control over fight details, a constant battle of pre-fight negotiation; but also not having a weigh in effects the side bet, which is where most of the money is made.) What is fortunate for me is that I’ve fought girls 50+ kg more than two-thirds of my 76 fights in Thailand, so I’m very comfortable with that “disadvantage” (for those that don’t know I walk around 47-48).
Even better, it is looking like this fight is the first of a whole slew of fights. This will be Fight 86 for me and the 77th in Thailand. Five days after this bout in Pattaya, Frances Watthanaya of Giatbundit Gym has set up a fight for me in Buriram on October 4th, and prospectively several more in that month, the end of which has my parents arriving for a 2 week visit. Things might really start clicking in terms of my fight rate in the next month. We’ll see how this all plays out, but now I and my trainers have even more incentive to be focusing on clinch, which has really served me very well lately.
You can read about my first fight with The Star here, and watch the fight itself below: