Friday, October 14, 2016

Meeting muaythai heroes with Michaela Kelly

Michaela Kelly PIC Muay Eireann

Michaela Kelly (16) fights next weekend on the Siam Warriors Muaythai Supershow in Cork. She talked to me about travelling for fights, her heroes and sharing a fight-card with her uncle.

A few years ago Michaela travelled to England from Dublin to take part in a round-robin tournament. Just a bit of fun, her trainer said, will be good experience, he said.

But none of the other young boxers showed up on the day. Seeing her disappointment another girl offered her services so Michaela could have one fight. That girl was Dakota Ditcheva.

Michaela said: ‘I used to watch videos of girls fighting to learn. Iman Barlow; I love her. And Dakota, when I get tired I put on videos of her fighting, that keeps me going.

‘Then we were over in England, and no-one turned up. She was there, so she jumped in. That was my second fight.’

Laughing, Michaela said she lost the bout but has great memories. Good experience indeed.

Prepping now for her sixth fight against Cork fighter Shauna Nicole, she’s travelled back to England twice more already.

She said: ‘There are hardly any girls fighting here. I’m delighted now about the show in Cork. Shauna looks good, so I’m delighted to have a good fight over here. I’ve fought in Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle  - my trainer organises them.’

Michaela with her Muaythai family
Training at Dublin Thaiboxing, Michaela is also under the watchful eye of her uncle Paddy Douglas who fights for the same gym. And not only at the same gym, he’s also fighting on the Supershow  - a real Muaythai family.

Michaela said: ‘My uncles Paddy and Ray were training first, they used to ask me to go down with them. I loved it when I finally went; I was only there a month when I asked him if I could fight. I was watching people sparring, and I just wanted to join in.

‘I’m the only girl there so I spar with the fellas. It was hard at the start, but now they’re like brothers. It’s like a family. ‘

PIC Muay Eireann
A family with a tough attitude. Her mother Ger aka GD Fitness keeps her diet on the straight on narrow, strictly no pizzas allowed. Michaela does strength and conditioning training before school with her uncle, and sprint-training once a week. She says there’s no slacking off and somehow you just believe her.

‘When I had my first fight, I wasn’t sure how it would go. I was real shy then, when I started fighting it made me more confident. When you’re in ring, your personality changes and you just want to win. It’s not about fancy techniques or moves, I just want to win.

‘Then everyone hugs afterwards.’

Michaela trains at Dublin Thaiboxing  More info on Siam Warriors Supershow.   

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