A Fighter’s Life part five: Becoming the bodysnatcher, feeling fitter and stronger than ever

Joe Le Maire celebrates his latest victory in Thailand with the Sumalee Boxing Gym team. Picture: MR

Joe Le Maire celebrates his latest victory in Thailand with the Sumalee Boxing Gym team. Picture: MR LEAF PHOTOGRAPHY - Credit: Archant

Suffolk’s Joe Le Maire is one of the best young Thai Boxers in England. For the next year, he’ll be living and fighting in Thailand, the home of the sport, and he’s writing us a regular diary about his experiences. In part five, he discusses his latest win - and his current stitch count!

Joe Le Maire sporting the traditional mongkon headgear befire fighting in Thailand

Joe Le Maire sporting the traditional mongkon headgear befire fighting in Thailand - Credit: Archant

Hi everyone, long time no speak!

A lot’s been happening since my last diary, so let me bring you up to speed.

When we last spoke, I’d just won my first stadium belt at Patong Stadium, a major achievement for me and one I’m still very proud of.

I fought again at Patong - this time with no belt on the line - back in February against a very tough opponent who was kicking and kicking.

I got cut on my eyebrow and lost on points, but it was a good fight and I fought well so I wasn’t too worried.


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I had to have five stitches in the cut, which brings my running total to 17 now! It’s really awkward to shower when you’ve got stitches as you can’t get them wet, so I was pleased to take them out myself just using some scissors and a mirror!

After that fight I was really keen to get back into training and I ended up with shin splints from doing too much running, which set me back for a bit.

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It’s all part of the learning curve for me though and, while I couldn’t run, I was still swimming and cycling and foam rolling, and doing stretches which targeted my calf muscles.

Now I’m back running six or seven kilometres every morning, and I’ve learned my lesson from doing too much too soon after a fight.

Anyway, I started working more with a trainer at Sumalee called Nat - fight name Mongkol Thong - and he had me working more on my kicking and clinch.

He changed my clinch game to suit me and boy, did it work!

I just fought last week at Bangla Stadium, where I won by third round TKO due to a body shot. I’ve got a few stoppages through body punches now, and I feel like my boxing is a really strong part of my weaponry - I keep going to the body and it just wears down, there’s nothing my opponents can do.

Joe Le Maire enjoying the Songkran festival in Thailand - a three-day water fight!

Joe Le Maire enjoying the Songkran festival in Thailand - a three-day water fight! - Credit: Archant

I also felt stronger and fitter than ever in there, with my new clinch style, my strength and conditioning work with Don Heatrick and nutrition advice from SBG Nutrition really paying dividends.

My record in Thailand is now 4-4 and I’ve learned loads. I’m hoping to get two or three more fights out here before I return to Suffolk in July and when I’m home I hope to fight on big shows like Yokkao, Muay Thai Grand Prix and more.

Outside of the ring, I’ve had ups and downs.

A massive shock for all of us out here was the death of young Thai Boxer Jordan Coe, who collapsed and died while out running in a sweat suit to try and cut weight before a fight.

Jordan was a big part of me coming to Sumalee initially and he taught me so much before he moved elsewhere. It’s just so sad to think he’s not around any more and my thoughts are with his family and friends.

On a much happier note, we also just had Songkran earlier this month, Thai New Year, which is basically just a three-day long water fight, with a bit of paint thrown in too.

Joe Le Maire with fellow Thai boxer Jordan Coe, left, who tragically died while cutting weight in Th

Joe Le Maire with fellow Thai boxer Jordan Coe, left, who tragically died while cutting weight in Thailand - Credit: Archant

I have no idea where the tradition comes from, but it’s great fun to get involved!

Right, I better get back to training. Just time to thank my sponsors as ever for their support - I’m so grateful to SBG Nutrition, Don Heatrick Strength & Conditioning, Sumalee Boxing Gym, Ultim8 and Sandee.

I’m always on the look out for more sponsors too, to help with my food, visa and school bills. If you can help, e-mail me on joe.lemaire@hotmail.com.

You can also follow my journey on Facebook at Joeyboy ‘Sumalee’ Le Maire, on Instagram at joeyboy1997 and on Twitter at @joelemaire2.

Speak to you soon!

Cheers,

Joeyboy

MMA

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