I was a little excited but nervous at the same time as I didn’t really know what to expect but I was quietly confident.
The gym that I was training at was owned by a very wealthy business man called Mr Somyot. He had flown over especially to watch me fight as he seemed to like my style. Often he would come into the gym with a few other business men and watch the fighters train.
He was very good friends with Songchai Ratansuban who is the number one promoter in Thailand, and he some how got him to fly over to watch me fight in Hong Kong.
I was very honoured and thought this could be a big chance for me as he was the guy who got the like’s of Dekkers and Danny Bill famous in Thailand.
We arrived at the venue a couple of hours before it was due to start, everyone was still running around trying frantically to get everything ready.
The ring was in the centre of a rather large room with all tiered seating around it. This ring, even today is the biggest I’ve fought in, it was enormous!
Near the side of the ring was a table that had all the championship belts on. As soon as I saw the belt I knew I had to win.
The style of the belt was similar the the Rajadamnern stadium title which is roughly in the shape of a diamond. All my Thai heroes that I had watched for years often had these belts and I so desperately wanted one.
I told myself “I can’t lose, I refuse to lose!”
There were balloons all tied around the top rope in the ring, I’m guessing for some type of good luck ritual to be performed before the event started. I didn’t see the opening ceremony as I was getting ready in the back, but I did hear a lot of banging so I guess they burst them all.
Fintan was the first one of us to fight and he won pretty comfortable and claimed one of those stunning belts.
I was next to fight, I was pretty glad to be honest as I hate fighting last which is something I have to do often.
I did my usual bow to the audience and just waited for my opponent to be announced. I had no clue what the MC said but there was a huge cheer after he’d finished and Kenny Lee started his walk to the ring
The first round I took steady, just so I could have a look at him, he was a little dangerous; as soon as I tried any punches he would just launch elbows at me.
None of these landed but they definitely had the desired effect as it kept me from just trying to blow him out the water.
Round two was pretty similar to the first as I was told by Pek not to really go for it.
Round three on the other hand I was told the opposite.
I started to press forward in an attempt to take control, as I did Kenny fired front kicks to my face repetitively followed by a huge smile after each one.
This really annoyed me and I remember thinking “who are you f***ing smiling at?”
I kicked his leg from under him and he crashed into the corner post. I was going to follow up with a huge right hand not sure why I didn’t now.
I started to let a few of my own elbows fly at him which soon took the smile off his face.
He did try to come back a little stronger in the fourth but to little success.
I stepped in and kicked his leg from under him again, this time there was no corner post to stop him hitting the canvas.
As he crashed to the floor he stuck his left arm out to try and cushion the the impact.
As he landed his elbow bent the opposite way to what it is suppose to. He stood up with his left arm drooped down the side of his body, his eyes didn’t leave his arm as he rose.
The ref was about to signal the bout to continue, and I was planning a right head kick as his left arm dangling down like it was.
However, the ref quickly stepped in as he could see that something was not right.
After the doc had checked out Kenny it was obvious that he could not continue and I was declared the new “champion of Hong Kong.”
I finally had one of those belts around my waist. I was so glad that I had chosen to take this fight and not missed out on claiming the title.
Mr Somyot congratulated me and took me straight over to Songchai.
Songchai was with his wife and her friend, who just happened to be a ladyboy. I bowed to them all, Songchai smiled and just glanced away, his wife seemed nice and said “you are champion now, you must be happy?”
I couldn’t have impressed Songchai that much as nothing happened after, but to be honest the gym kind of imploded a few months later anyway so I had no ties with Mr Somyot or his connections.
Mick had a very tough fight against the Thai who had been teaching in Macau, he had lost but it was a war from start to finish, probably fight of the night in my opinion.
The rest of the fights finished how Pek predicted, Yohan was stopped in the second or third round, David was stopped in the second, as was Massa (the Japanese lad, Mick reminded of his name a few days ago). These were like lambs to the slaughter, which was a shame as they all had good technique and, if looked after better, could have done well.
The Thai who was fighting the promotor for a world title also lost, all I’m going to say about that fight is money talks.
After the show had finished we headed out for meal which the promoter had arranged while Mick and David headed to the hospital to have some stitches from a few cuts off elbows.
They weren’t there long and was soon with us. Mick had said that my opponent was at the same hospital with a champion of Hong Kong jacket on. “Guess he’ll need a new jacket” Mick laughed.
All the fighters were getting asked questions from all manner of people in the restaurant who had been at the show, I actually found out that my opponents nick name was the smiling tiger, that would explain why he kept laughing at me.
We had a great evening and flew back to Bangkok early the following morning.
Billy had paid Pek all our money again I was not impressed with this. Pek had said he would give everyone there purse at the gym in the week.
I wasn’t from Pek’s gym so I was a little worried as to how I was going to get paid.
Pek told me to come with him after we landed in Bangkok.
I was taken to a random place in Bangkok which seemed to be almost in the middle of nowhere. It reminded me of an industrial estate back home, apparently this was the black market where some Thai’s exchange foreign currency; somehow they got a higher rate I’m not sure how it works. I still have no idea where it was but I was the only farrang (foreigner) around. I was stared at constantly the whole time I was there.
I finally received my purse and was able to relax, I had a few days to myself before I had to be back in the gym for my next fight.
You can see a few snippets of the fight in the highlight below the times are 0.37 and 1.25