An Unpredictable Force
Josh Hill, a whirlwind in the world of Muaythai, faces David Pennimpede in a showdown for the ages. Hill meets Pennimpede at Rebellion 30 at the Melbourne Pavillion on November 18th.
A journey From Kung Fu To Muaythai
For Hill, the storm began in his home country of England. He began with Kung Fu as a child. But what he really wanted to do was become a force.
“I always wanted to box. I didn't care what it was. I didn't know what Thai boxing was,” Hill said.
He asked his father to take him to a local gym. At the age of 10, he found Majestic Gym.
“It was right near my grandparent's house,” Hill said. “I’ve been there for the last 14 years.”
The trip to Majestic began the long journey into the science of 8 limbs. Hill fought at Lumpinee, Rajadamnern, and Max Muay Thai. He trained for several durations at Kiatphonthip Gym in Bangkok. The gym is run by famed sports journalist, Rob Cox.
For this fight though, Hill is remaining where his heart is, at home.
His main sparring partner is Daniel Bonner. Bonner fights on the card against George Mann. The two clash for a WBC Muay Thai world title.
“We’re each other’s main sparring partners. We get in at six am and spar and clinch,” Hill said. “We don’t waste any rounds. We’re always helping push each other to level up.”
While Hill works with Bonner, he also works on his boxing.
“Back in 2019, I began doing more boxing to cover that middle ground. To be able to shift the angles, to lead with my hands to work into the elbow. So I just wasn't moving from that kicking distance straight into elbowing distance,” Hill said.
The desire to be an all round package took him to gyms like Bad Company and 4 Corners Boxing Gym and of course to Thailand.
Taking On Pennimpede
It was in the homeland of the sport that Hill met Pennimpede. The two are former stablemates at Kiatphonthip.
“When I first found out he was coming to Kiatphonthip I was buzzing. I knew who he was and he was already world level at the time. He was competing a lot heavier than me but we did some great sparring together.” Hill said.
Time passed and so did the weight. Hill went up and Pennimpede came down. The two could meet.
While they are friendly outside of the ring it’s a different matter come fight day. It’s nothing personal. It’s the hurt business.
“In the nicest way possible, I don't care who he is. I want what he has, and he's a WBC international champion. He's highly world ranked, and I want to show I'm the best. And unfortunately, I've got to fight my mate to do that,” Hill said.
Hill is determined to get the win. How he’ll do it will be conjured in the moment.
“I think my style is quite unique. I feel like you don't know what to expect because I don't know what I'm gonna do. I go in with one plan and I'll do something else,” Hill said.
The best of plans always go sideways after being punched in the face. It’s Hill’s ability to adapt that helps him.
“One minute I could be Muay Fimeu (technical fighter). The next minute I could be flying with elbows. Next minute I could be trying to march down with knees,” Hill said.
Hill is on a campaign march.
He’s reached the international level.
“This is everything I've worked towards. I've worked towards fighting the biggest names in the sport,” Hill said.
And the big names are on Rebellion.
“I was training at Kiatphonthip in 2017 and there was a guy with Rebellion shorts. I was told if you had a pair of Rebellion shorts and you're from Australia, you're a good fighter,” Hill said.
Rebellion’s international reputation and Hill’s career continue to grow.
“I've always been a fan of Rebellion. I've become more and more of a fan of it,” he said
Now it’s time to turn fan into fighter. Hill will take on David Pennimpede on November 18th at Rebellion 30.