Interview with Nicky Carter
Nicky holds the ISKA Southern Area Title,
the WMTO English Title, as well as
the IMKO British Title. Some Notable people she has fought include World Champion, Daoprasuk
Petchopas, of Thailand, and WIKBA World Champ Karen Ousey.
She trains at Keddles Gym, England
Nicky is also the 1st foreigner to fight in
a Thai Prison against an inmate.
1. I wonder if we could start this
interview, by having
each of you tell the fans a little something about yourself
such as where you are from, what your ambitions
are as a fighter, and what you like do outside of your fight career?
Also, what is your ideal fighting weight?
I am from Maidstone, in Kent and train at Keddle's Gyn in Orpington. At the
moment, I am in Thailand and have been training at Kaewsamrith Gym in Bangkok
for the past 10 months.
I am 22 years old. When I am not training I like to watch films or chill
out with friends or family.
My ambitions at the moment are to keep fighting and gaining experience,
also to make a name for myself worldwide. My ideal fighting weight is 60kg.
2. What made you take up fighting?
When I was 15 I started doing various martial arts, I started doing Muay
Thai when I was 18 and started attending shows. I enjoyed the whole
atmosphere and wanted to be apart of it.
3. So how long have you been training now?
I have been training for nearly 5 years.
4. What is your training schedule like?
It differs in Thailand to England, because I don't have to work in Thailand
and can train more intensively. My schedule in Thailand is as follows 3
weeks before a fight:
Run 6-7am then pad work, bag work, technique work, then sit ups and pushups
Afternoon - I skip from 3pm until 3.30pm. Pad work, bag work, clinch, 15 min
run, shadow sparring, sit-ups and pushups until 6pm.
5. When was your first fight? And how old were you?
My first fight was 9th December 2001 at the Equinox nightclub, Leicester
Square. I was 18 years old.
6. What do you remember most about that fight?
and what would you do differently in that fight if you could do it over?
I remember not feeling nervous at all as I did not know what to expect. I
felt very confident.
I remember taking a few heavy shots because my guard wasn't great, but it was
also due to the fact my opponent was 5kg heavier. I remember knocking her
down in the 1st which gave me a buzz, by the 3rd round I remember feeling
I wouldn't do anything different, because I learnt to work on the things I
was not so good at in that fight. I was proud I had won my 1st fight against
a heavier more experienced fighter.
7. Which rules do you prefer to fight under?
Modified Muay Thai or full Muay Thai rules.
8. What is your favorite technique?
I think it depends on who I am fighting. I used to favour boxing and low
kicks but since fighting in Thailand i have found it is harder to get past
the Thais kicks to box, therefore I have had to play their game and learn to
kick a lot more. I think the last year in Thailand has helped me become a
more complete fighter.
9. Is there any particular female fighter that you especially admire? If
so, who and why?
I admire and respect any top females fighters. Particularly fighters who have
been fighting for a while like Mary Hart and Lisa Houghton Smith.
I admire fighters who fight regularly against anyone like Illonka Elmont.
I have seen Erin Linley fight a few times and thought she had one of the
best styles I've seen and is a very fit fighter.
10. You recently fought in a four woman tournament against Karen Ousey and
some other big names. Tell us about that experience and give us a brief
synopsis of the action.
It was a good experience for me. I flew back from Thailand to fight in this
tournament because i wanted to compete with the best at 60kg.
I found it very hard coming back to England from Thailand a week before the
fights as it was snowing and extremely cold. I was disappointed that Trisha
McKeary would not be competing as she is one of the best in the UK and would
have made the tournament more credible.
It was a small show and due to another Thai boxing event being held on the
same day, only a hand full of people showed up to watch.
This didn't make any difference to the action though. I was drawn to fight
Karen Ousey in the eliminator for the final.
The rules were 3 x 2 mins for
the eliminators so it was over before I could think. It was a fast paced
fight. I won the first round as I scored well with kicks and managed to pull
Karen's head down in the clinch to score some hard knees to the body. Karen
stepped up the pace in the second round and scored with boxing
combinations. Karen won rounds 2 and 3 as she had a higher work rate and I
began to slow down a bit towards the end.
Although, I lost I was happy I had an exciting, close fight with Karen as
she is a world class fighter.
11. I am going a few names. Please give me a word or two to describe each
of these athletes.
a. Karen Ousey?
Fit and tough.
b. Daoprasuk Petchopas?
Kicks like a man.
c. Tricia McKeary?
Has fought some really good people internationally and
not just in her own
d. Shelley Nisbett?
I have only seen her fight once but she looked like a
strong and confident
Karla Hood? .
Tough and has good technique.
f. any other women who have made a strong impression you?
Germaine de Randamie is on top at the moment and possibly the best pound for
pound fighter around. She has fought around the world and is undefeated. She
is a good role model for any female fighter.
12. Who would you like to fight next? And under what set of rules?
I would like to rematch Daoprausk as I believe I won the first fight. I am
currently waiting for this to happen. In the Uk I would like to fight Karla
Hood as I think that would be a very well matched fight. Under modified or
full Thai rules.
13. You are the first woman ever to fight an inmate inside a Thai prison.
Please tell us as much as possible about that experience.
When I was told I would be fighting in a prison, I thought that the show was
just being held there.
I didn't realize it involved the inmates until I arrived. It turned out that
a lot of the prisoners were fighting each other and I was a special foreigner
Vs Thai inmate bout!
I didn't see who I was fighting until I entered the ring. The inmate was
obviously very popular as she got a raw of applause from the spectators as
she entered. This was daunting enough, apart from the fact she was covered
in tattoos. She looked bigger than me so I felt a bit nervous.
After the 1st minute of the fight, I knew I was a lot stronger and technically
better than my opponent.
I won on points and was interviewed after by CNN who were there filming.
Also lots of the female inmates were coming up to me for a photo graph and
shaking my hand. It was a good but bizarre experience.
14. Tell us something about the CNN interview. Will it be shown in Europe or America?|
The interview was a bit of a blur, because I just walked out of the ring and
was surrounded by prisoners wanting to take my photo etc. I believe it was
televised in Thailand and friends I know have seen it Australia and Spain.
Im not sure when it was shown exactly or if it will be shown again.
15. What was your overall impression
of the Thai prison, and how were the
women treated there?
It was daunting entering the prison as we had to pass security at 3 big
gates. When I saw the ring and realized everyone spectating were prisoners I
thought it was hilarious. My fight was at 11am in the morning and I arrived
at the prison at 10am, so I didn't have much time to think about what was
going on. All the women inmates that I came into contact with all seemed
very welcoming and excited about the Thai boxing fights.
16. Are the fights held simply for inmate recreation, or do the inmates get
favorable treatment or early release for fighting inside the prison?
I believe that this was the first show inside a Thai prison and it was to
celebrate the opening of a new Thai boxing gym in the prison. I dont think
the inmates will receive special treatment but its idea was so that the
inmates have something to study and develop then eventually when they are
released they can continue their Thai boxing careers.
17. Are the fights inside the prison judges and decisions rendered just like
fights are on the outside? In your opinion, should they be counted on a
fighters record as a win or loss, just like fights outside the prison?
The fights that were on this particular show were matched, judged etc
exactly the same as any other Muay Thai fight. The only difference was it
was in a prison and the participants were mainly inmates. Why wouldn't I
count it as a fight on my record?
18. How do you feel about Muay Thai and why would you encourage other
females to fight Muay Thai ? Would any of you ever take a
fight-modified Thai with limited clinches?
I would only encourage other females to fight if they were ready. I think
you have to be a certain type of person to keep wanting to fight. If a
person had the skills and toughness required, then I would advise them to
have a fight. Fighting has many rewards and helps a person to become more
motivated in training. Also you get to put your techniques into practice and
set goals to improve yourself.
I would take a fight with K1 rules but only if I was struggling to find a
fight with modified or full Thai rules.
19. Some people think bare knuckle fighting for women is uncivilized and
barbaric. What do you think?
I personally wouldn't fight bare knuckle, but if that's what you like to do I
have no problem with it.
20. What advice or hints would you offer to women who may be thinking of
going to Thailand to fight?
Find out about the gym in advance that you will be training at. Ask if they
have had women there before or if the women are treated any different
training wise. A lot of gyms still wont train women but if you find one that
does it might still have certain rules for women ie: not allowed in the
ring, or on certain punch bags.
Find out if there will be Thais there for you to train with and clinch with
as a lot of the Thais are very shy and if they haven't had a lot of women there
before might feel funny about clinching with you.
Its obviously better to go to a gym that has been recommended to you so then
you know that when it comes to fighting and getting paid you wont get
21. What do you say to people who think women should not be fighting at
Id say I don't care what they think.
22. Should women also fight three minute rounds like the men? And what
I think that when you become an A class fighter you should progress to 3 min
rounds. Most of the female fights in Thailand are 5 x 3 mins and with
elbows. If both fighters want to fight with elbows I don't see the problem,
If they don't it's not a problem either.
23. It is well known that in a few places in Thailand, there are so-called
"bar girls" who are not fighters who are wiling to climb into a ring and
fight a trained fighter -just to make a little money. How do you feel about
the practice of fighters taking on "bar girls" in rings set up in beer
Yes, this is true and I have seen it a lot. The quality of the fights are
poor and if there are 2 bar girls fighting each other it can be rigged and
you see one of the girls take a dive. I avoid these bar fights as they are
only entertaining to people who don't know what Muay Thai is about.
I wouldn't recommend anyone stepping in the ring with a bar girl or any girl
who doesn't train at a Thai Boxing camp. There are plenty of shows happening
all the time in Thailand so get your manager to organize a professional
fight with a professional promoter.
24. And what do you think of the Ram Muay? Do you like to do it before your
fights outside of or Thailand? Or would you would prefer not to perform it
in front of western audiences?
I never did a Ram Muay before I came to Thailand. I wasn't really interested
in doing it before I fought, because I just wanted to fight as soon as I was
warmed up. However, since coming to Thailand I have done the Ram Muay before
my fights as I have learned a lot more about the ritual and have more respect
for the religion in Thailand.
I would perform the Ram Muay in front of a western audience because it is
not a matter of whether western audiences understand it but a preparation
for the fighter.
25. In the last couple of years there have been several instances where a
woman fighter agreed to fight a male challenger or opponent. In each case
(except for one) the woman won the fight. Fighters who have fought men
include Asako Saioka, Sunshine Fettkether, Takako Shimoseki, Sachiyo
Shibata, Kyoko Kamikaze, Melita Carnavas, Kim Messer, Irma Verhoef, and
Lucia Rijker. And just recently Ilonka Elmont reportedly fought a man in
Holland in one of these exhibitions fights.
I understand those fights are rather common in Thailand. What is your
feeling about those fights? Are there some extenuating circumstances
where such a fight might be justified in your opinion?
I understand that fighters might find it hard to find fights and might
resort to fighting a man.
Although, I cant really see what can be gained from such a fight. In my
experience a man the same weight and of the same skill level will always win
as men are naturally stronger than women.
So unless the female fighter is a lot heavier or more experienced and skilled
I cant see how she would win. If this is the case then what are these
26. What do you think can be done to increase respect, appreciation and
enthusiasm for women's kickboxing?
Id like to see a lot more females compete in Thai boxing therefore eliminator
bouts for titles would be more possible and titles would become more
prestigious as they would be harder to obtain.
Also I think that trainers should ensure that females are put through the
same training as male fighters to prepare them for a fight. I have seen a
few girls clearly having their 1st fight and obviously have never been hit
before. I once saw a fight where a girl just turned away from her opponent
as soon as her opponent started to punch and the fight was stopped within
the 1st round. I think this is very embarrassing and does not gain the
respect most female fighters deserve.
27. What is your most satisfying accomplishment or moment to date?
Probably my 3rd fight against Rachel Pullen in August 2003. I watched a
video of her and knew she would be a tough opponent. Early in the 1st round
I kicked her in the ribs and gave her an 8 count. Straight after i caught
her again with a body kick and she was unable to continue the fight. The
whole fight lasted less than a minute, so I was really happy I got my 1st Ko
and it was for my 1st title (ISKA Southern Area Title) which was even
28. Why should people come to watch your fights?
The majority of fights on most cards are male fights. I think people enjoy
seeing females fight because they are rare. However, I think that I am quite
a technical and tough fighter who always enjoys the crowd and will put on a
29. When is your next fight, and whom are you fighting?
I don't have a fight scheduled at the moment. I leave Thailand in just over a
week to go home for a short while. I would like to fight in England before I
return back so we will see.
30. How can promoters get in touch with you for fights?
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com , or call Alan on (0044)
31. What would you like to say to the fans in closing?
Watch this space!.
Thanks a lot, Dan, for doing the interview. Also can I say a massive thanks to
Alan and Kieran Kedde, and Chris Carley at Keddles Gym. Also thanks to all
at Kaewsamrith Gym.
womenkickboxing.com would ilke to Thank to
Nicky Carter for taking the time to
share her experiences and insights with us.