We got to the venue in West Seneca New York and were surprised when what was supposed to be a confirmed fight for Wayne “Iron Man” Labine became a search. “Anybody weigh 166 and have their gear in the car”? What many didn’t know is that Wayne was supposed to be on vacation at the time of this fight. His passion for competition demanded that he delay his vacation by one day, pay the penalty to change the flight and train all the way up to the eve before the fight due to a sprained back that put him on the shelf for a week. We were extremely fortunate that our friends at York Muay Thai happend to have a Nak Muay by the name of Pat who was the same weight and also the victim of an opponent that ditched the fights on the weekend. The match started off looking as if it was going to be an awesome competition complete with all of the Muay Thai weapons available to Amateur Muay Thai fighters. That was until Pat Wallace landed a glancing Teep caught Wayne off of the chin splitting the skin open. The Referee brought him back to our corner and I had to make a hard decision. Stop the fight and avoid a nasty scar and ruined vacation or preserve his perfect record of 7 wins. Needless to say, his safety was my first objective. I am certain that he will miss the pads and pay me back for that one. (Something tells me that he is torturing himself on the beach thinking about this in anguish…riiiiight). We look forward to him healing up and competing again before the holidays. We are certain that it will be in typical Iron Man fashion…a mixture of pretty technique mixed with aggression.
Earlier in the night, after witnessing a competitor attack Arash Rad from York Muay Thai illegally from behind, Noel “Black Jack” Hussey swore revenge and grumbled that his opponent wouldn’t survive the first round of fireworks. (At 266lbs you just agree with him, break eye contact and move on). Climbing into the ring and eying his 312lb opponent, Black Jack won the crowd over with an absolutely beautiful Wai Kru displaying flexibility, an inner calmness and dedication to the sport that we all love. Reading this blog post so far took longer than the fight did. Noel made very quick work of his opponent displaying his natural attributes and some of his favourite weapons of mass destruction. Pressuring his opponent Art McClure, he became more confident that his opponent did not have an answer for his speed, agility, power and technique. One minute into the match after landing a high kick, knees and a legal Thai throw, Art grabbed Noel and charged into the ropes in an effort to smother the onslaught. After separating from the hold, Noel glanced over to us in the corner with a mouthpiece covered grin, turned back to his opponent, planted his feet and unleashed a freight train of a 1-2 punch. A gorgeous set of Mahd Trong sent the 312lb behemoth in front of him partially through the ropes and forced their corner to throw in the towel to protect their fighter ending the match after 1:48 of the first round. The Amateur New York State Super Heavyweight Champion was crowned…Noel “Black Jack” Hussey.
There were a few things this weekend that truly impressed me and I feel compelled to mention it:
- The number of students that came down to support the team in hostile territory with an understanding that a friendly face or familiar voice is sometimes all it takes to press on. Wendy a.k.a. Elmo after working a night shift and Jen “Zip-Lock” who flew in from Vegas and drooled on my car seats sleeping all the way to Buffalo just so that she could be there for support.
- My Poo Choi Krus who helped me to prep the fighters for the first time. (Poo Choi Maaaark who warmed Noel up in the back while Poo Choi Sam “Urkel” joined me at the ring to corner Iron Man). Your desire to spring into action and support the team reminds others that this is a family and team first. (One that happens to enjoy punching each other in the face and kneeing each other on the daily)
- The success of our athletes that compete is based on a team. Our athletes cannot compete without the students and fighters that could not come down but trained with the team to ensure that they were well prepared and comfortable with some of their new tips, tricks and techniques. Most of you learned that sometimes the best lessons are those learned by holding pads for the student to the left and right of you and putting yourself second. You are awesome and showing your growth continuously
- Special thanks and appreciation also goes out to Kru Jay from Victory Muay Thai and Ajahn Suchart from Siam Number 1 who invested beads of sweat and personal time away from their students to help us to prepare for our first American invasion. A Muay Thai Big Brother and Poppa that are selfless in their time and sharing of their knowledge. We would also like to thank Kru Jen and Poo Choi Brian Naidu from York Muay Thai for their support in New York…knowing that you have backup allows you to puff up your chest that much more 🙂
Instead of celebrating…we move on to the Fight for the Cure – All Female Fight Card this Saturday November 12 in Woodbridge!