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Interview with

 World Champion Muay Thai fighter, Ilonka "Killer Queen" Elmont.

* Photo by Carin Verbruggen for Esquire Magazine


1. What made you take up fighting?

A: By co-incidence a friend brought me to the gym, and it took my heart

2. So how long have you been training now?

A: 4 years

3. What is your training schedule like?

A: 90 min in the morning, 90 min in de evening, 5 times a week

4. When was your first fight? And how old were you?

A: In 1999, I was 24

5. What do you remember most about that fight?

A: I was nervous and determined to win.

follow up:  and what would you do differently in that fight if you could do it over?

A: nothing, it was the perfect start. I won by KO

6. You've fought Oriental rules, international rules, and Muay Thai rules. which do you prefer?

A: I fight under only Muay Thai rules, and I also prefer that.

7. What is your favorite technique?

A: I like to fight complete.

8. You have some pretty spectacular KOs to your credit. Do you really enjoy Knocking out  an opponent? Or do you prefer to simply slowly dismantle them and showcase your skills over the course of the fight?

A: It depends  how I woke up that morning

9. I am going to mention a few names, and I want you to tell me the first thing that comes into your mind, when you think of these persons?

a. Lisa Houghton-Smith? 

A: The best of 3  

(Follow up:  meaning a third tie breaker "rubber match"?

A: Yes

b. Mary Hart?

A:  nice techniques

c. Lisa Howarth?

A: she was a substitute fight, no opinion

d. Jussy Lowe?

A: My first English experience

e. Borpit Kinrum ? (Lek .com)

A:  sweet and sympathetic

f. Lolita Candel?

A: fought her twice, both wins

g. Michelle Sutcliffe?

A: I am still waiting.....

h. Erin Linley

A:  I would like to fight her

i. Karen Harding? 

A: I hope she enjoys her belt.

10. Is there any particular female fighter that you especially admire? If so, who and why?

A:I  admire every female fighter who fights on top level gets my respect

11. Who would you like to fight next? And under what set of rules?

A: Lisa Houghton-Smith, under Muay Thai rules.

follow up: Lisa is expecting now, so she  won't be fighting for more than a year. Do you have a second choice?

A:  First, congrats to Lisa & Richard!  Great news & I wish them all the best. My next "realistic" choice would be somebody in my weight class. To be honest, I can't think of someone here in Europe at this point. All would be fine. Unfortunately, Naoko Kumagai, and Laura Skinner are both living at the other side of the world.

It would however be great if some promoter would make it possible to realize a fight vs. them.

Maybe nowadays with dropping airfares etc. it will be possible. I do certainly hope so.

12. So what do you think about a fight with Laura Skinner in Australia?

A: I have Never seen her fight, but heard a lot about her. Seems to have a very strong punch, and what I've heard a great fighter. I would really like to fight her some day soon.

Follow up:  And  Naoko Kumagai in Japan?

A: Bit of the same answer as Laura Skinner. I would also like to fight her. I was  however  a bit surprised over her latest unexpected loss
It's been a longtime dream of me to fight in Japan, and I've heard she is one of the best. So for me, it's a challenge to fight her.

13. Who would you say was your toughest opponent to date? What made her so tough?

A: Kalliope Geitsidou from Greece. She was a strong fighter, with a hard punch.

14. who do you think is the next best fighter to you, in Holland?

A: To be honest, nobody special. In my weight class maybe Linda Ooms. Let's see how she develops herself. And for MMA, Marloes Coenen.

15. So  who are some good up and coming Dutch fighters to watch for?

A:Linda Ooms. Marloes Coenen. (MMA)

16. You are fighting Jeri Sitzes of the USA in Arruba. What can you tell us about Sitzes? She apparently outweighs you. How do you feel when you are facing someone in the ring who outweighs you? do you fight differently when your opponent is a lot heavier than you?

A: I don't know Sitzes, and I don't know her style. I am more precautious and then again more aggressive when somebody outweighs me.

17. There were rumors some time ago that you might fight Michelle Aboro. Were you planning on fighting Aboro? and if so at what weight?

A: I was scheduled to fight her on -52kg.Unfortunately she couldn't make the weight we agreed.

18. Which fight was your most satisfying win, and why?

A: The fight against Sordao sor Jamsai (Thai) for the WMTC World Title

19. what fight was your biggest disappointment and why?

A: My fight against Lisa Howarth. I had an argument with my trainer shortly before, which made it very difficult to focus during the fight.

20. is there anyone you would really like to rematch?

A: Lisa Houghton-Smith and if possible Lisa Howard if she can make the of -52kg

21. Michelle Sutcliffe has said she is keen on rematching do you have any plans for a rematch with Michelle Sutcliffe?

A: Right after the fight we already agreed to that....so...Any place, Any where...

22. Are there any foreign countries where you would be especially interested in going to fight?

A: Yes Japan, USA, Thailand, Australia and New Zeeland

23 . What do you think can be done to get women's kickboxing and Muay Thai more popular?

A:  I would try to involve a lot of media and publicity as a promotion on the females.
Publicity like i.e. Lisa Houghton-Smith BBC Sportswoman of the year Award generates the kind of exposure we need.
Over here in Holland I try to involve the media as much as possible to get their attention

24 What do you think about three minute rounds for women as well as men?

A: I think it's a shame it's not already...

25. Do you think women are physically capable fighting three minute rounds?

A: Yes, I know so and I am sure of that

26. Then, do you think that doing the same five three minute rounds as the men, would increase respect for Women fighters?

A: Yes of course. The time difference underlines the prejudice thoughts of what ignorant people thinks towards female fighters

27. do you think refs are too quick to stop a women's fight?

A: Yes I had that experience a lot. Most referees are overprotective..

28. why should promoters book women fighters? And YOU in particular??

A: Because the female fights are an extra on the show. It is common that men are fighters,
So if you put a women's bout on the card, you get more variation in public.
Why me? I don't see this only as fighting but also as entertainment,
I like to enjoy the crowd, give them a good fight, show and satisfying feeling that they came to watch me.
I think a fighter should be willing to give more that only his/her fight to his/her fans.

29. what would you like to say to your fans?

A: I'd like to thank my fans for their support and their believe in me, which gives me strength and motivation to continue.

Also special thanks to you Dan for all your efforts to promote this sport.

Epilogue: After the interview we found out that Ilonka's scheduled  fight with Jeri Sitzes had to be cancelled. So, we asked Ilonka about a future match-up with Sitzes...

Follow up question:

Will you be fighting Jeri Sitzes at a later date?

A: I 'm very sorry for Jeri Sitzes as well, and promise I'll be happy to fight her

Many Thanks to Ilonka Elmont for taking her valuable time to talk with us.

Ilonka holds the following titles:

World W.P.K.L  Champion (50.8kg)
- Two times Champion of the World W.P.K.L. (-52.16kg)                                       
- Champion of the World W.M.T.C (-51,5 Kg)
IMKO World Flyweight champion(51kgs)


Fan Follow-up questions:

A fan  asks: I would like to know when her next fight is going to be? Also, will she have a rematch with Michelle Sutcliffe and did she have any trouble with Lolita Candel when she had the rematch with her?

Ilonka's reply:
        1. my next match will be in the beginning of 2004, I don't
have an exact date but as soon as I know I will inform you.

       2. the re match was already agreed right after the fight in
April, we are still for an official reaction of Sutcliffe's
side. Anyway the re match will go on, probably next year.

  3. I didn't have difficulties with Lolita, I won in the first
half minute of the first round on technical KO. For unknown
reasons the fight continued.  Before the game the official
time was 5 x 2 minutes. This time was neglected by the
referee and the officials so we fought at the end a total
time of 18 minutes and 15 seconds. The referee and the
officials of the union were not neutral. After the game we
asked for the tape so we could check the game for an
official protest for the time. Until now, for unknown
reason, we still didn't get the tape to check everything.

fan follow up : 2-20-2004


Ilonka's reply:

To answer the fan question:

First off all, there was never an invitation of a rematch to fight Lisa Howard or we never received it (strange?). I have heard people talked about it, but was never realised by any promoter.

About Mary Hart, I fought Mary Hart twice, I think Dan Green wanted to match us up. The reason why we didnít fight the 3rd time, is that I have switched from management and coach and wasnít in training.

Another reason was the weight: My weight is 49.3kg Ė 50 kg . Last year I fought up to over 9 Kgís above my own weight, and frankly am fed-up with it.

I Ďalwaysí give away a lot of kilos, my opponents are way heavier,  sometimes as said (4kg -10kg), and after a fight, nobody speaks about that and itís almost never published in any fight report even though itís a big handicap for any fighter. So sometimes I am thinking ďand what is this worthĒ.

I do think Mary Hart is a great fighter, I can say that because we fought twice.

And donít forget that there are other girls in my weight class with good names I havenít fought yet and same goes for Mary.


Best Regards

Ilonka Elmont

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