This fight was exactly 10 days after my last fight, which is a really comfortable and enjoyable turn-around. I wish I could do that all the time. Even given the short time between the two, they feel like vastly different performances and I believe I was able to accomplish more of what I aimed to do in this fight than any prior. Even if it’s only in very small steps.
This fight was scheduled when I went to watch Chopper’s fight two weeks ago. I was enjoying being a spectator and having a great time seeing all the regular folks at the stadium when the promoter asked when I was fighting again and then basically grabbed a girl out of the stadium somewhere and lined us up side by side to see how well we matched physically. I wrote about it here and I absolutely love that this is how a fight can be matched in Thailand.
When I got the venue I looked at the fight card and saw that I was not fighting that woman from the line-up match-up. Instead, I was rematching (for our fourth fight together) Yodying Sor. Sumalee. No problem. My husband and I looked at each other and ran down a list of things to keep in mind: she’s south paw, she likes to lay on me in the clinch and she likes to move in the opposite direction from what one would expect from a left-handed fighter. Furthermore, I was the first fight of the night and the two boys fighting from my camp (from New Zealand) were last, so I had the privilege of getting ready right away and then taking it easy the rest of the night just watching fights. Lovely.
I had a Thai lesson at noon before this fight and my teacher was asking me about what number fight I was (on the card), who I was fighting, what corner I was in, if we’d fought before, etc. I didn’t know the answer to any of these, although I could give him educated guesses based on patterns: I’m usually around fight #4 and I’ve always been in the red corner, but my teammates have been in the blue corner recently, so I bring both colored shorts. It’s a wonderful thing for me that I just show up and see who’s standing in front of me, or who is written on the fight card, rather than spending weeks (or in the States months) training for a particular opponent. If I show up and my opponent is south paw it’s the same work I put in than if she were orthodox. It’s small adjustments based on experience.
This fight felt great. I’ve never been first at this stadium (that I recall), so I got to experience standing in the ring while the Royal Anthem plays. That was cool. Wung and Den wrapped my hands almost the minute our mats were laid out on the pavement. It’s so funny when you have two different people wrap each hand because you get two very different feeling wraps. Wung’s was a tower (picture below) and Den’s was a club.
And I felt like everything was slowing down enough in the fight that I was conscious of my choices. I could respond well to my corner’s commands and I could hear them exclaiming their support when I did something well. And afterwards Andy gave me only a long list of everything I did wrong, so I knew I’d done a lot right – it’s his way.
This was my initial thought about it all on Facebook after the fight:
“Fights are slowing down for me more and more. I definitely have a lot of growth ahead of me, but even between my last fight and this one (10 days exactly) feels very different. I threw a combination that I wanted to throw and it landed! Den said, “straight knees” and I did it, and then she was done. Baby steps, but it’s starting to look more like walking. ”