Tell me a little about why you started Muay Thai and what you were doing before you started?
I started Muay Thai just to pass the time and stop me partying midweek, haha. My son Corey had just turned 2 years old and I had to grow up a bit. Before I started I never did anything apart from play the occasional game of football and the odd night at the local gym to do some weights.
When and where did you start Muay Thai?
I began training in 2004 at a club called Naresuan which is now defunct. I quickly became addicted and was travelling all over Glasgow by public transport to train.
What titles have you won?
I have won WMC M.A.D World Title 61kg, IMF World Title 59kg, WBC International 59kg, ESU European 61kg, WBC National 59kg, STBA Scottish 63.5kg, SFMA Scottish 64kg
How does it feel for yourself and your sons to all be at number 1 in the UK?
That is amazing for me personally. For both my boys to be performing and mixing with some of the best fighters in Europe and be confirmed as number 1 at their respective age/weight groups is pretty special. I don’t know if there’s ever been anything like it before.
Why did you start your gym?
A long story. I left a gym after some stuff I didn’t like happened and a whole group of kids left too. I felt I had a responsibility to them and that is how we ended up with Eclipse, we had a vote on the gym name and they won, I wanted Tempest Muay Thai but it was their place so I had to go with it, lol.
How do you balance coaching, family and fighting?
I also work full time as a carpenter, I have to do my running before going to work. I’m quite lucky that my sons train with me almost every night at the Griphouse, so it is very much a family sport for us and I use my coaching as part of my training too.
Who has been your biggest challenge to date?
My toughest fight I would say is probably Stephen Meleady, I fought him about a week after fighting Rung Karphan (not wise on my part) I was still a bit banged up and the first thing Ste done was boot my f*cked shin lol.
What is your proudest moment as a coach?
Ooft! I don’t know, there’s so many. I think under Eclipse it would be on Pete Spensleys first Celtic Challenge show when we had about 15 fighters on from the smallest 18kg juniors to a Full rules British title fight. All of our fighters performed amazing. Win lose or draw they all put in great displays against the very best fighters from all over the UK. We brought home several titles and, most importantly, my team got massive recognition for their style and skills.
How strong do you feel the Muay Thai community in the UK is?
I feel that sometimes it can be fragmented but on a whole the fighters being produced just now are as good as there ever has been. Some people yearn for a return to the old school madness of the 90s/early noughties but the understanding of Muay Thai and it’s scoring system have made for much more skilled and technical fighters. Obviously everyone likes a tear up but to be able to stand and have a tear up while knowing what you need to do to win a fight is a proper skill.
On your recent visit to the USA, how does the Muay Thai scene compare to the UK?
The scene in the US as far as promotions and ruling bodies go is brilliant. Very well organised and they look after fighters very well but their understanding of Muay Thai isn’t great and their ideas on scoring come from western style boxing (the aggressor often seen as the winner) but we are all still learning and it will be good for everyone if it kicks off in America.
Do you have any future fights coming up soon?
I am fighting on November 8th at my favourite venue Oran mor in Glasgow. I don’t know who my opponent is yet as my coach Guy Ramsay keeps these things to himself lol After that I fight Super Kim from Lumpini Crawley. It’s a massive challenge for me. He recently won a tournament in London and put in some very polished performances.