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damien trainor

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Rungravee, need I say more. Part Three

09 Sep Posted by in Blog | 1 comment

We pulled up to the hotel just in time for the weigh in. My good friend and stable mate Nathan Epps had driven us there.

As I got out of the car I heard a tap on a window, I looked up and saw Dan Green signalling to have my weight checked. As I headed into the hotel Dan came out to meet me “He’s come in a bit heavy, they want to see your weight before they go to lose it”.

Most of the time, Thais often give weight away to their foreigner opposition so I’m guessing they thought I’d be heavy. As I entered the room Rungravee was sat down next to Parnpetch.

Parnpetch was a former fighter from Sasiprapa but now lives here in the U.K. he was very famous in Thailand in his day. I’ve trained often with Parnpetch and consider him a friend, so I think he was a little worried what I’d think as he was looking after Rungravee while he was here. Parnpetch used to train Rungravee when he was younger so it’s understandable and I didn’t think anything of it.

I’d mentioned in the past to a few Thai people that I wanted to fight Rungravee and all of them said I couldn’t do it, saying that Rungravee would be to strong. Parnpetch on the other hand, had a little more faith in me and said it would be an exciting fight and would look forward to see it.

Parnpetch stood up and gave me a hug while Rungravee bowed to me. I got onto the scales weighing at 55.4kg. Rungravee did not look happy, he climbed onto the scales and came in at 56.7kg. Dan Green said to Parnpetch he needs to get at least a kilo off. Rungravee pulled a face when he was told to lose more weight, Parnpetch shouted “Reo!” (Quickly) everyone in the room that understood laughed.

A few moments later I was called outside of the room to speak with Dan and Parnpetch as Rungravee could not lose any more weight and so 20% was deducted from Rungravee’s purse and awarded to me.

Time to relax and see what tomorrow brings.

We were due at the venue at 3.30pm the next day. When Nathan and I pulled up to the venue I could see a few people I recognised outside waiting to go in.

I got inside to see Steve waiting there already talking to a few of the officials. I headed over to them “How you feeling Damien” Steve asked as he always does “I’m good” then a few of the officials shook my hand wishing me all the best almost as if I was going to the gallows.

This became a recurring theme throughout the afternoon when people spoke to me, as if they’d never see me again.

It was probably me just taking it the wrong way as I was actually crapping myself.

I headed out to the toilet, which was outside of the arena, as I returned a whole load of my friends and family was waiting to go in. It was nice to see everyone a few started cheering and coming up to me, I’ll be honest now, I actually got a lump in my throat so I tried to keep my response short as to not let them know I was in the verge of crying.

I shot off as soon as I could just in case I had an accident and let a tear slip.

The event started with some cracking fights especially Luke Greenshields vs Joe Hanlon which went back and forth until one of them was stopped. I remember watching the fight thinking “Oh god I’m about to get in there with this mad man”

Hands wrapped and ready, I was sat on the floor in my own world trying to get my head around what I was about to do. Andy Howson started talking to me, he told me that he’d been offered a fight with Rungravee in Sweden at 62kg; he said “forget that, after what he did to me at 55kg, what weight was he yesterday 57kg?” I was thinking that’s not what I wanted to hear right now as my bum was already twitching.

I had a few fights till I was ready to go on so had plenty of time to get warmed up, or so I thought. The few fights before mine were stopped in first few rounds. I started to panic thinking I hadn’t warmed up enough, Adam who was working in my corner and my main pad man told me “Chill out if you’re not ready to go out yet then don’t, we’ll warm up a little more”.

Once I chilled out I was fine, so I headed down to get ready to be called out. Rungravee was called out first to a big cheer. As I was waiting for my name to be called I kept thinking “What the hell am I doing, will everyone be right will I just get smashed by this man?”

My name was called and my entrance music started to play, I was waiting for the right point in the track to come out to. As I came out there was a huge cheer from the crowd it seemed even greater as the tables near the stage were full of my supporters. I bowed to the audience and walked off to the ring, again that lump came in my throat as I heard how much support I had going into this contest.

I climbed into the ring and did my trademark bow to everyone, Rungravee staring at me at the other side of the ring. “God his legs were huge” I bowed to Parnpetch as he bowed to me.

Now this is what I had been waiting for… it was show time.


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