Rematch with Yodying Sor. Sumalee – our 1st fight here.
I found out pretty early in the week that I was rematching Yodying. Our first fight was full of elbows (from me) and clinch (from her) and I knew that I had to both prepare to fight a south paw (it had been a surprise when we first fought, as I was expecting a third match with Phetngamta Jit Aree Gym) and to be prepared for her to be throwing elbows because I had hit her with some in the first fight.
When we first got to the venue I was walking to the restroom (just outside of the stadium) and a group of Thai guys walking past me started saying “Sylvia!” I turned and wai-ed to them and the front guy started talking to me in Thai. I didn’t catch 90% of what he was saying, but it was then that I realized the men were surrounding my opponent – they were her coaches! So we smiled and acknowledged each other and said good luck. After that I started getting recognized by Thai audience members all over the stadium, mostly men who had seen my last fight and were excited for this one, repeating many times in their speech to me “gaeng maak!” (very strong).
I’ve been working on my mental training for maybe a month and a half now and focusing diligently on it for this fight. I wanted to keep my energy going outward before the fight rather than closing down into myself, as I’m pretty naturally introverted. So I was chatting with a German lady who wanted to take pictures of Taywin wrapping my hands and her little daughter was completely mesmerized by the wraps.
Right before the fight started I got light-headed and had butterflies more than I ever have before. I actually felt like I might have to sit down, but I knew that once I got in the ring everything would feel different. I was the second fight of the night (written as third on the program, but I guess one fight got cancelled or moved) so I didn’t have a lot of waiting around time.
Sure enough, once in the ring it all felt better. I was really happy that the first combination I threw landed and backed her up a lot. In the second or third round (I’ll have to watch it, can’t remember) she busted open my nose right on the bridge. I thought it was a punch but the cut couldn’t have come from a glove and my corner keeps saying it was a headbutt, but I don’t remember that happening. Whatever. I could still breathe and I could see, so it wasn’t a problem for me. My corner (mainly Taywin) looked pretty horrified when I sat down between rounds. I think it’s funny that Taywin is so excited for me to throw elbows and knees to the head but when I get cut he freaks out; he puts so much vaseline on my face I know he’s conscious about cuts. But I made it clear that I wasn’t bothered by it, just keep talking to me about the fight. So Andy said, “keep up this pace, pressure her and you win this fight.”
So back in I go and in the fourth round I hurt her with some knees. So I kept pushing, not letting her breathe when the ref broke us. She kept grinding her fist into my nose as we were being pulled apart, trying to make the bleeding worse so that maybe they would stop the fight (I’m guessing) and I kept going after her body. It paid off and when I got her in the corner I started throwing knees and got her. As she was sliding down I threw another one, just to make sure she wasn’t getting up after this.
After my hand was raised I went over to her (still on the ground) to say “thank you” and “sorry”; as I bent down my nose gushed. I loved giving the “sorry for knocking you out and/or hurting you” farewell with a bloody face.
I was very happy to have pulled it out. The audience went crazy and when I left the ring groups of women kept coming up to me to take pictures with me, which felt pretty cool. It was a clear sign that people felt something with me in that fight.
The Whole Fight