There are a few rumours flying around at the moment about my scheduled fight with Rungravee Sasiprapa and I believe it is necessary to shed a bit of light on the situation.
I found out on Thursday evening that Rungravee had pulled out of our fight due to a broken wrist and as you can imagine, I was devastated. The training I had committed to for this contest was probably the best I’d done in years. I had spent many hours studying my opponent and everything I’d practiced in the gym was aimed specifically at how Rungravee fights and how to deal with him; nothing was left untouched or unthought of.
When i was informed that Rungravee had pulled out I was told his stable mate Paowarit Sasiprapa was to take his place.
Not at any stage did I agree to this match.
I turned it down for a number of reasons, first being that this isn’t my usual fight weight. The original plan was to move down to 52kg for my next fight as I only walk at 57kg but the rematch offer was just too good to turn down. I only agreed to fight at this weight because I know Rungravee, have trained with him and know what he’s capable of. Plus he couldn’t make the 55kg weight limit last time we fought so it wouldn’t have been any different this time round.
Secondly my training has been so specific for this bout that changing it completely around at the last minute in order to compete with Paowarit just wasn’t practical. His style is completely different to that of Rungravee and there just wouldn’t be enough time to undo all the habits I had created going in to this bout.
As many of you know, my fight career has spanned over almost 20 years and in that time I have never once pulled out of an agreed fight due to injury, illness or any other reason. The fight with Paowarit was never accepted or agreed to and therefore I could not “pull out” of it.
Myself and Rungravee have now been replaced with a great match up between a UK favourite of mine Matthew Tieu and Paowarit Sasiprapa.
I am gutted that I won’t now be fighting on what I am certain will be a fantastic show in the US but wish Matthew and all the other fighters the very best of luck on the 1st December.
I look forward to hearing of a few wins from Team UK!