The two inaugural Awakening World Muay Thai Titles took place this past Sunday at Fast & Furious 2 in Penzance, Cornwall, UK. The event marked an emotional and historical notch in the Awakening timeline. Not only were there the two first ever Awakening titles up for grabs, it was actually our first co-sanctioned event.
The show itself had sixteen bouts, seven of which were female and it was presented by Touchgloves Gym. We’re not going to review the male fights, so we apologize to those of you that might be interested in those also. What we will say however is that there wasn’t one dull fight and every single fighter, female and male, brought their ‘A game’.
The first female fight was C-Class at 53kg. Cara Nordell (Neptune, Liverpool) vs Claire Patrick (Touchgloves, Penzance). The 1st round started at a great pace, and both ladies looked very aggressive. Claire seemed to have a slight edge by using some great movement as Cara attempted to chase her down. Although the fight was looking fairly even, in the last few seconds Cara took a nasty looking right jab that jerked her head back and seemed to daze her. Claire Patrick took the win when Cara’s corner decided to not come out for the 2nd round.
We were exited for the second female bout as it was a C-Class at 54kg rematch between Ashleigh Johnson (WPT, Wales) and Claire Walkey (Toughgloves, Penzance). Their first fight had been very even and aggressive, Claire had taken the win by decision. This Anglo/Welsh Title Defence ended up being five rounds of full speed scrapping. These two young ladies were every bit as ferocious as their first meeting, anyone would think there was some bad blood between them. A highly entertaining fight and both girls should be very proud of themselves. Claire Walkey retained the title in what we thought was a pretty close fight.
The eighth bout and third ladies fight was for the Awakening Junior World Title at 54kg between Bethany Barrett (Blackwater Gym, Ireland) and Amber Kitchen (Touchgloves, Penzance). From the start this fight was incredibly exciting, with the first Awakening Title up for grabs and the level that these two youngsters fight at – you would be hard pushed to find someone to disagree. Amber’s pace is frightening and she clearly landed more shots that Bethany. With that said Bethany remained professionally composed throughout and just kept coming. The final decision went to Amber Kitchen, making her the very first Awakening World Title holder, quite an overwhelming moment for everyone at Awakening. Bethany has a bright future ahead of herself, and she can be extremely proud or her performance – we look forward to seeing her progress in the future.
The fifth ladies fight was the C-Class 50kg fight between Vicky Carey (Touchgloves, Gurnsey) and Tracey Richards (WAKT, Camborne). This was the closest fight of the night and possibly the fastest paced. Both ladies were fire crackers and were very comfortable pounding each other with some extremely hard shots. After five rounds Vicky Carey won by split decision. We couldn’t have called it.
Two Touchgloves ladies faced each other in the sixth fight. This was made even more interesting by each of their professions. Candice Britten (Police) and Kathy Billing (Fire Brigade). Awakening prides itself on remaining impartial at events, however we must admit that this fight was the exception. One of the Awakening team members present (Suzy Pursey) is a female fire fighter herself. This of course led half of our team to forget the impartial rule. The first two rounds were all Candice, Kathy seemed to struggle finding range. The third round saw Kathy find that range and clearly win the round. The last two rounds were pretty even with both ladies putting on a non-stop show. Candice won the fight in the end and both of these girls were loudly applauded.
The penultimate ladies bout was Kylie Blenes (WAKT, Cambourne) vs Vicky Church (Touchgloves, Penzance), an Area Title defence at 59kg. We’d seen Vicky fight before and were extremely impressed, so we were excited to see her fight again. Kylie had seemed confident at the weigh-ins and we had been told to expect a great fight. Unfortunately for Kylie, Vicky just came out too aggressive and fast. The first round saw Vicky land again and again with effortless head kicks and fast punches. Kylie’s corner decided not to continue into the second round and Vicky retained her title. Remember the name Vicky Church, she’s frightening.
The final ladies fight was the all important Awakening World Title at 57kg between Tanya Merrett (Eagles Gym, Wales) and Lucy Payne (Touchgloves, Penzance). We had witness both girls taking time out to eye up the sexy Awakening belt before the event and we knew it was much coveted. The crowd were every bit as pumped as the fighters as they made their entrances. This was an important moment for everyone at Awakening and we strapped ourselves in for what would surely be a battle. The initial apparent difference between these two was Tanya’s power vs Lucy’s reach. During the first round there was no feeling out process, Lucy put her reach into action straight away. Tanya was completely unphased, but the end of the round saw Lucy deliver a speedy flourish to her cornered opponent. Lucy opened the 2nd round with a nasty looking combo. Tanya’s corner shouted directions for her to capitalize on what few mistakes Lucy was making and she seemed to re-compose herself. The last half of the round was done in a fairly even looking clinch.
Round three turned into a real battle. Lucy appeared to step up her pace and started to become loose, it looked as though she would own the round. Tanya landed two or three heavy kicks to the same spot on Lucy’s thigh and appeared to slow her slightly. Tanya picked her game up also and the pair went shot for shot. Lucy delivered a couple of powerful and unsettling teeps from long range, one of which knocked Tanya to the ground. In the forth round Tanya came out looking very focused and definitely upped the pressure. Lucy seemed determined to halt Tanya from coming forward and completely found her range delivering several flurries. The fifth and final round saw Tanya attack, attack, attack as Lucy looked a little slower, possibly due to a sore leg. She however still managed a headkick and to muster up enough energy to finish the fight with plenty of aggression. Both ladies left it all in the ring and the fifth round was pretty insane. Lucy Payne won by unanimous decision to become the very first Awakening Muay Thai World Champion at 57kg. Awakening could not be prouder of these two fighters for grit and determination they both showed in what was a memorable battle indeed.
Footage of the event will be available soon, and you can be sure that we will inform you all of how to see it.