A Fighter’s Life part three: Fighting in Las Vegas!
- 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 every month he’ll be writing a diary about his experiences. Here, in part three, he talks about fighting in Las Vegas.
Hi everyone, hope your Christmas shopping is going well!
Since we last spoke I’ve been pretty busy - flying to America and back to fight in Las Vegas for the first time.
It was the first time I’ve done a journey like that on my own, so a good learning experience for me – I definitely know my way around an airport now!
I started off by flying to Bangkok from the Sumalee Boxing Gym here in Phuket. There I met up with Daniel Kerr, a Kiwi fighter who was fighting on the same show.
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From there we flew to China - and had a ten-hour delay to deal with - before flying to LA and then Las Vegas. In all it was about a day and half of travelling, which was pretty hard work.
Adjusting to the time difference was tough too – there’s a 12-hour difference between here and America, so jet lag was an issue!
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We arrived on Saturday and had a look round Vegas on Sunday – it was mental, a fantastic atmosphere and place. I’d love to go back and fight there again, hopefully I’ll be there a few times!
From Monday through Wednesday we all had to have various tests - MRI scan, blood tests, eye tests - which was a bit different but good I guess, then on weigh in day we had to list all our previous injuries and fight history. I had a scar on my forehead from my last fight in Thailand, which I was hoping wouldn’t be a problem - more on that in a minute!
Then Thursday was fight day. I was matched with a guy from Hong Kong called Chan Kai Tik at 48kgs, representing England in a match pitting international fighters against Chinese.
It was on a big Chinese show called WLF, at the Orleans Arena - there were 2,000 fans watching there, and apparently the show was streamed live to 100 million people in American and China!
My opponent, as I expected, was a good boxer and he caught me with some good punches, but I landed some good head kicks and took him down a few times from the clinch.
In the second round, we clashed heads and my cut re-opened. He also landed a few good punches as well, which meant that I had to take a standing 8 count.
The fight went the distance, but I lost the decision, which was fair. I’m not disappointed though, it was a real learning experience, I fought well and hopefully it’s got my name out there so I’ll be on more big shows!
We had a day to kill afterwards and I had the biggest breakfast I’ve ever consumed. Obviously I’d been cutting weight all week but after fighting I could go crazy. I had a full English AND American breakfast, pancakes, the lot - delicious!
So now I’m back at Sumalee, I’ve had a bit of time off to recover, and my next fight will be on January 22 in a place called Phang Nga, on the mainland. It’s a new one for me, which is always good.
Of course, before then it’s Christmas – my parents, Sally and Richard, and brother Ross are all coming over, so that will be great to be able to celebrate with them.
I’ve got my gifts sorted and I’m planning to get a tree for my room. Although Thailand is a Buddhist country they do seem to celebrate Christmas, which is nice for me.
Of course, I can’t slacken off on the training too much – I’ll probably have Christmas Day off and then get right back to it on Boxing Day! I’ve lost two in a row now, so that’s motivation for me.
All that’s left is for me to wish all my friends and family a Merry Christmas, plus thank Sumalee Gym for all they’ve done for me and my sponsors too – big thanks to Don Heatrick and SBG Nutrition.
Have a great Christmas everyone, speak in January!