1. What made you take up
A: My sister had started
and I saw her fight. Even though I'm a PE teacher, I was never
much of a team games player and always liked things where it
was just your performance that counted. ( I wanted to be an
actress at one point and have said that this was another way of
getting center stage!)
2. So how long have you been training now?
A: 10 years
3. What is your training schedule like?
A: 6 days a week if I'm
fighting, 5 if not. I do the obvious pad work, sparring and bag work
at the Thai boxing gym 4/5 days a week and cardio work plus
weights on the other 1 or 2 days. The type of workout I do
depends how close it is to a fight.
The cardio work I do
tends to be more in bursts of intense activity as this is how it is
when you fight. Richard takes us on the pads a lot near to a fight
to help with stamina, power and timing and comes up with a range of
evil fitness sessions. I have also worked with Glen
Crawford who is a boxing coach but who shares the same sort of
coaching ideas as Richard which has helped me a lot.
At the moment though,
being 6 months pregnant, my training schedule involves hitting the
fighters at the gym and not being hit back and sitting on an
exercise bike giving instructions to anyone within earshot!
4. When was your first fight? And how old were you?
A: I started training in
Feb 1993, training with my sister Yvonne. I did about a month and
then went traveling. When I went back to Leeds in September to
the University, I started training with Richard Smith at Badcompany
and fought the following Feb - I was 21.
5. What do you remember most about that fight?
A: Being absolutely
knackered. It was good fun though!
and what would you do differently in that fight if you could do it
Breathing would have
helped! and having a look at my opponent occasionally. To me it was
just a whirl of arms and legs : ) as I went ballistic from beginning
to end. I'd only had about 4 or 5 months of training.
6. Which fight was your most satisfying performance, and why??
A: My first boxing fight
with Regina Halmich. I knew I beat her and so did she. I'd
expected it to be a lot harder than it was as she had been boxing
pro for a while with a big reputation and an undefeated record. I
also enjoy fighting 10 rounds. In Thai/kick boxing I couldn't really
single one out as I I've enjoyed them all.
7. What is your favorite technique?
A: I love clinch work. I
can begin to think that I'm pretty good until I go to train
with Master A in Manchester and may as well just sit on the floor as
that's where I end up most of the time! I like that you can't be
complacent as there's so much to learn.
8. You have some great Kos to your credit. . Do you really
enjoy Ko'ing an opponent? Or do you prefer to simply slowly dismantle
them and showcase your skills over the course of the fight?
A: I never go looking
for the KO but if it comes, I am always happy.
9. I am going to mention a few fighters , and I want you to
tell me the first thing that comes into your mind, when
you think of these persons?
a. Ilonka Elmont?
A: a true champion as
she'll fight anyone in any country. This is my measure of a
champion, not someone who only fights in their own country with
their own judges and people around them. Talks more than me though :
B. Mary Hart?
Very talented ( when
your head's switched on Mary : ) and again will fight anyone
anywhere. Richard and Pele (Mary's trainer) have never appreciated
our ability to spar and chat simultaneously though!
C. Lolita Candel?
Fought her a
couple of years ago and stopped her.
D. Kim Messer?
I fought her very early
in my career (about my 5th fight) under low kicks rules (my
first one) over 10 rounds. At that stage it was a big
opportunity for me and although I lost, I was pleased with how I
fought. I would have loved a rematch under Muay Thai rules.
E. Asako Kamio?
Big heart but a
disappointing opponent as I wanted more of a challenge.
F. Laurence Woo
A: Tough girl. I fought
her for a European title and stopped her in the 5th round.
G. Laura Skinner
A: I've only heard about
her fights and not seen any. Met her at the amateurs in Bangkok
though and she's was great to chat to. Unfortunate that she's on the
other side of the world!
H. Erin Linley.
A: Only seen her at the
amateurs in Bangkok and she was padded up; so it's difficult to
comment, but she looked to be a good fighter.
10. is there any particular female fighter that you especially
admire? If so, who and why?
I like and admire many
of the women in our sport, particularly the ones who have been
around for a while. It can be demoralizing to experience the
lack of recognition/ let downs and difficulty in finding opponents
that women in particular have to face. Anyone who sticks at
something they love through this is worthy of anyone's admiration.
From another angle, I
have seen many performances that I admire. The best I have seen
was both fights between Karen Ousey and Shelley
11. Who would you like to fight next? And under what set of rules?
A: I've never chased
anyone. Even with rematches, Richard has always said "they'll
come" and they have. It's never been our style
to throw out challenges - It's not WWF! I've
fought all rules and opponents and some more than once to get more
fights but I always prefer Muay Thai and will probably just take
these rules now.
12. Who would you say was your toughest opponent to
date? What made her so tough?
A: Some of my earliest
fights because I lacked the experience to control the pace and ended
up having a war, not really any one opponent. Different fights have
been hard for different reasons.
13. is there anyone you would really like to rematch?
A: Messer or Bianchini
under Thai rules; but they won't happen as Messer's retired
and Bianchini's manager won't let her fight me Thai.
14.. Are there any foreign countries where you would be
especially interested in going to fight? And what do you want
to accomplish before you retire? or have you already done
pretty much accomplished what you set out to do?
A: I've accomplished
more than I dreamed of when I set out - I've had some brilliant
experiences around the world but winning in Leeds
Town Hall in front of my own crowd, and fighting in
Thailand probably comes top of my list. I would like to fight in
Japan in the future as it's one of the main fighting places I've not
managed to get to.
15. What do you think can be done to really get
women's kickboxing and Muay Thai really popular and moving
A: Scrap anyone with 5
fights pro fights or less from any ratings so that they'll get
on with it and fight each other - Then the quality will continue to
improve and fights will be a pull to a crowd.
All women shows are not
the way as it's the sport we are trying to push. The
promoters who's shows are filmed for TV should just how the best
quality fights - be it men or women. Entertaining, good quality
fights will keep people watching. There's too much inconsistency at
the moment with some cringe worthy fights mixed in with the
Keeping on at the media
and sites like this will push women's role in the sport along.
16. What do you think about three minute rounds for
women as well as men?
A: Fine, most of us
train that way. I prefer 5 x 3's anyway.
17. Do you think women are physically capable fighting
three minute rounds?
A: Of course - we
18.. Then, do you think that doing the same five three minute
rounds as the men, would increase respect for Women fighters?
I don't think that the general public notices how long each round
19. do you think refs are too quick to stop a women's fight?
A: It depends on the ref
and if the show is televised. The only time that I have experienced
this was in boxing.
20. why should promoters book women fighters? And YOU in
A: This is a
professional sport and promoters will only put on fights that will
sell tickets or improve the quality of a show. If a women's bout
will do this then the promoter would be stupid not to! Fighters
have a role to act professionally - train hard, turn up, sell tickets
( the wife of a promoter is coming out!) I think that my
fights are entertaining to watch, people come to see them and if I
am matched to fight, it will happen.
21. what would you like to say to your fans?
A: Hi Richard, Mum, Dad
and Grandma W ... I think that covers them all!
If there is anyone else
out there, thanks for your support and particularly anyone who
voted for me in the Sports Awards or has ever shouted for me in a