Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Challenger Muaythai blog - Antoine Pinto

by Antoine Pinto
I was very honored to be chosen with Cedric Muller to represent my country in this international Muaythai show, as well as being an ambassador for the sport because this event will affect millions of viewers worldwide. I think Stephan Fox and his team chose me for my experience in Thailand and my good results this past year.

It was a beautiful experience of for me to participate in The Challenger Muay Thai, but it was also a tough experience because I am one of the youngest boxers, one of the lightest and for the first time I had to fight, train and live without my family, coaches and elsewhere.
The hardest part was being forbidden to communicate with the outside and you having to choose which boxer to fight, because every boxer lives day and night with you. It definitely creates tension in the house.

The issue I had with Fadi Merza was not serious. When I changed my bag up to be near my friend Faisal in the room, Fadi was very tense. He is a native of southern Europe, so he gets carried away and his blood gets warm very fast. Fadi made it an obsession to fight me because I got a laugh out of an adult who acts like a child, it was very funny to me.

My first fight was against Ilya Grad. The first time I chose my opponent the staff disagreed with my choice because Cyrus had not been chosen as a boxer with good knees. After this Cyrus was very angry with me, stupid reaction because you come to fight not be on a holiday on this show. The staff chose Ilya to fight me instead, I was OK with the fight because I knew I could win easily against him. The only two problems to resolve was that he was 193 cm (6'3") and 77kg (170lbs).

This fight was hard, but not close. At the end of the first round Ilya cut and hurt me with elbows and won the round. I still confident I was going to win because I quickly understood what his tactic for the fight was, move forward and use big elbows. When you do that you open up and can't protect yourself. I started to kick right and he never blocked in rounds 2 and 3. In round 4 he did not see that I changed my guard and I threw all my left middle kicks. In round 5 I had some very good coaching from Nugget, he asked me to create a stir by using combinations not performed before. Punches and kicks to the head and flying knees, 90% of the techniques were successful and allowed me to get the victory.

I am still not pleased with my performance because I took a good amount of damage and I knew recovering before the next fight would not be easy.

I would like to thank my fellow Vouri Cedric Muller as he always encouraged me throughout the fight and also others such as Jordan Watson and Vuyisile Colossa. Despite being potential opponents they cheered me on as well, a big and good lesson in sportsmanship.

Thanks to all my fans for your support and I will try to make you proud again for my next fight.
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