Erin Kowal Prepares To Face Sawsing Sor.Sopit At Muay Hardcore This Saturday
Erin (who is 12-8 in her professional career) is currently training out of Sutai, Phuket in preparation for this fight which will be televised live on Ch8 throughout the country.
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Kowal talks with Fight Record ahead of her bout:
Firstly, how have you coped with lock-down?
“Lock-down for me was difficult and mentally challenging. Being here (Thailand) alone with no family was the hardest part, as during it all I just wanted to be with them. The fighters at my gym have all left, everything here was closed so I didn’t really know what to do with myself. I ran everyday and did strength and conditioning to try and keep up some sort of fitness.”
Now things are easing up in Thailand, how have you found the transition back into full-time training? Was there anything you struggled with after being on your own for so long?
“Things are better now, still hard as I’m the only fighter left at Sutai but I keep my mind to training and push through! Getting back into full time training was definitely difficult at first, I went straight into fight camp so it was challenging but now I feel strong and ready.
For me the biggest struggle was just not having people I could go to when I was feeling down. During this time like I said it’s hard without family and when the other fighters were here they were like my family, I struggled a lot with that but I try to keep a strong mind and aim for my goals.”
How has getting back into training helped with your mental health? Has the lock-down made you look at anything in a different light?
“Getting back into training again helped me mentally as it was a distraction and I had something to focus on. I’m happy to be back training and fighting. Lock-down has made me see that I can’t take anything for granted, everything was taken not only from me but from everyone and I feel that now I need to try and live more of my life and enjoy it as you never know what could happen.”
How is fight camp going? Is there anything new that you have implemented into your training for your upcoming fight on Muay Hardcore?
“Fight camp has been good and hard, I’m getting stronger and improving each day. I feel my boxing has become a lot better since this camp and we have been working on that more. I’m feeling more than ready for this fight.”
How do you feel about your upcoming bout against Sawsing Sor.Sopit?
“I feel more excited for this fight than any other. I am going up against one of Thailand’s best female fighters on one of the biggest shows, I can’t wait to show everyone that I belong here. It is a massive challenge but you don’t get anywhere if you don’t challenge yourself.”
The Muay Hardcore promotion uses MMA style gloves, have you been incorporating them into your training?
“I’ve been using smaller gloves in training so that I can get used to the feel of it for the fight. It’s totally different but I feel they will be better as they are lighter which will make the punches faster and hurt the opponent more.”
Do you think your style and technique will work well against Sawsing? Do you have a game plan going into this fight?
” I feel Sawsing and I have similar styles, we both like to kick a lot, very Thai styles. I’m going to try and use more boxing and body shots going into this fight, that is my plan but yet again when you’re in the ring your plan never really stays.”
What are your plans post fight?
“I will hopefully get to fight again after this one, I go home in November so it will be great to get as many fights this year as possible.”
How do you feel training compares in Thailand to at home? Are there any pros or cons?
“The training in Thailand has a different set out than my training in Scotland. We always run before training here and the training is the same in each session. I like both, not one is harder than the other but in Thailand it’s more strict. The only pro of Thailand I can think of is that of the weather. I like training in the heat more than in the cold. When I went back home to visit I found it hard to start training because my body was freezing and I’m used to sweating before I even start to train in Thailand.”
Are there any match-ups that you want in future? Any girls you want to face in particular?
“I can’t think of any off the top of my head haha, for me I don’t have anyone specific in mind as I would fight anyone at my weight, I would never say no to a fight.”
Finally, what struggles have you faced as a female in such a male dominated sport?
“The biggest one for me is in Thailand it’s hard for females to get high profile fights on bigger shows, some stadiums in Bangkok don’t even allow females to touch the ring which for me is ridiculous. It’s not fair and it should be equal, females can fight just as well as men! The pay females get is also less, another thing I find unfair. It’s a struggle as we females don’t get the same opportunities as men do.”