The Melbourne Pavillion was packed. Muay Thai fans from all over the country came to see a thrilling action packed card.
Peth’s Meeka Michael took on a man possessed, Josh Itzkovich from Strongheart gym. The Western Australian used his smarts against Itzkovich’s devilish intents.
“I used my movement,” Michael said. “Kick and move. I didn’t want to be a standing target.”
To add more complexity to the clash, Michael switched to southpaw. His trainer, Darren Riddler Reece told him to do so.
“Before I did Muay Thai, I did boxing, so it helped with my movement,” Michael said.
He moved about the ring, gliding about like a seasoned hockey player. And Itzkovich never got a handle on the puck.
Michael used a classic southpaw draw against the fighter from Strongheart. He baited his opponent in and then kicked. After the attack, he moved. Then he waited and baited and attacked again. He reset the exchange and scored his points.
Michael took home the points win but wasn’t satisfied.
“I played it a bit too safe,” he said. “There’s a lot of opportunities that I could have taken advantage of.”
Of course, right after the bout, he reviewed his work.
“I immediately rewatch the fights. I cringed. I watched the fight when we went back to the hotel,” he said.
Many athletes have trouble rewatching themselves. They see the flaws. But at the end of the fight, it was Michael’s hand that rose in victory.