If you’re a fan of Muay Thai, Dan McGowan will be a name that rings familiar. The WBC Super-Bantamweight World #11 has been living and training in Thailand for the last few years, chasing the dream of becoming a Stadium champion.
Currently back in the UK recovering from injury, our media team had the chance to catch up with the unbeaten Rajadamnern and Lumpini Stadium fighter to ask about current and future plans.
How is your hand injury at the moment?
Dan: “The hand is taking a while to recover. I spent two-years of my career fighting with two dislocated metacarpals without knowing, which is why my hand is in such a state now, but I’m hoping that the recovery starts to speed up because I’m itching to fight!”
How has it been having this break from fighting?
Dan: “It’s been pretty sh*t if I’m being honest! I live for the sport; I’ve sacrificed everything to get to the position I have gotten to in the sport and it was only getting bigger and better.
“It’s frustrating, but I’ve just got to keep positive and keep working around the injury until my time comes again.”
Are you planning to stay in the UK when you recover from your injury?
Dan: “I’ve got loads of options to be honest, but until I start seeing my hand recover I really can’t make a decision. All going well I’d love to smash it up in the Stadiums again.”
What is life like training and fighting in Thailand?
Dan: “Being deadly honest, it’s very, very hard. It’s tough mentally and physically; you’re away from your family and friends and when anything slightly goes wrong, it’s hard to turn to anyone (luckily I’ve got mates like Savvas [Michael] in the gym).
“The training regime is grueling, training twice every day and doing a lot of running which is a killer, then on top of that cutting weight every month and weighing-in the same day as the fight is really tough, but every time I have to leave that life I miss it so much! I love it.
“I’m constantly challenged with top training partners and it pushes me on to bigger things every time I train at Petchyindee.
“It’s not easy, but that’s why everyone isn’t choosing this path. It’s worth the hard work knowing I could potentially make history in the Stadiums there and that is what keeps me going.”
Are you still chasing the dream of being a Stadium champion?
Dan: “100% – like I said, I don’t know fully what is going on until my hand recovers, but I want to be the first UK fighter to win a stadium title.”
Have you got any fight line up?
Dan: “No, not yet. I’m just fully focused on recovering for now.”
Who would you like to fight?
Dan: “I want to fight the best fighters in the World, so if they are above me in the rankings then I want to take them out. Nobody in particular though, I just want them all.”
Do you prefer to fight for belts or fight fighters with reputation?
Dan: “I prefer to fight people with a reputation. Without being disrespectful, nobody will remember me for beating an unknown French fighter for a World title, but everyone will remember me for beating Rungnarai Kiatmoo9 who was and still is Champion in the Stadiums.
“The only belt that really interests me is a Stadium title and a WBC belt, just because they are pretty sexy belts and most the fighters in the WBC World rankings are legitimately the best fighters in the world.”