By Ryan McKinnon
Warwick Fulke of N-1 Thaiboxing in Ottawa represented Canada last December in the 67kg male Elite division at the Muaythai Pan Am Championship in Buenos Aires. Just a couple weeks prior in Ottawa he earned Fight of The Night honours due to his outstanding performance against Joey Dubeau at the Live at Landsdowne event at the Aberdeen Pavilion. This is a testament to the competitive drive that exists inside this talented nak muay. Warwick is always looking for the biggest challenge to test his skills against.
Below is an interview with Warwick after returning home from Argentina.
Muaythai Canada: Describe the events leading up to the Pan Ams. You had fought Joey Dubeau in Ottawa just before leaving to Argentina. How was your body feeling? Were you feeling any amount of mental or emotional drain after that bout, knowing you were then leaving for Argentina?
Warick Fulke: Travelling with Team Canada to the Pan Americans was spectacular. As usual, a gritty commitment to competing was necessary, training upwards of 6 hours a day 6 days per week while finishing my studies in Holistic Nutrition and working part time in International Trade. Athletes do what they have to do.
I fought Joey Dubeau two weeks before the Pan Americans. At one point during our fight, I kicked his elbow on the outer part of my tibia. I couldn’t walk properly until I got Argentina, and by fight time it was about 90% healed. Mentally and emotionally I felt great, the ring is a space where I can test my abilities and access the deeper parts of human primitive psychology to understand fighting spirit and to conquer myself.
MTC: How was the chemistry with your teammates? Had you travelled with any of them previous to this tournament?
WF: The team chemistry this year was powerful. A few of us had travelled abroad together to compete in last year’s IFMA World Championship. This enhanced our strength as a team.
MTC: Describe your fight against Facundo Bagoshian of Argentina. Looking back on the bout, is there anything you felt you could have done differently?
WF: It was a strong and challenging fight against Argentina. In the first round we both held the centre of the ring equally. We measured distance, speed and each other’s power while testing the weaknesses in our defence and offence, observing strengths and weaknesses carefully.
In the second round we both began to advance and increase our attack volume, his primary method was to clinch and clamp, my own was to maintain distance and put my combinations together.
The third round was similar to the second, except I began to find my rhythm and started imposing more volume and angles with success.
Looking back on the fight I would have made adjustments to a few tactics. I would have taken advantage of the moments to hurt my opponent and pressure more. We came into the bout with more of a ‘score points’ mentality rather than my usual directness and aggressiveness.
MTC: Although you had a loss, was there a feeling that a pressure had been lifted, giving you time to rally behind your teammates?
WF: I didn’t feel that any pressure had been lifted off. My primary competition will always be myself, and I give myself enough pressure to break or grow in and out of the ring. I always support my teammate’s achievements. We are in arms when travelling to another country to fight. Individualism would only make us weaker as a team.
MTC: Zubair Khan thanked you for your support in this tournament. What was your relationship like with him in Argentina?
WF: I was roommates with Zubair Khan. He is a great man and a masterful strategist in the sport of Muaythai. Befriending him was a pleasure.
MTC: Overall, how do you feel representing Canada at IFMA events this year?
WF: Overall, I feel great. I look forward to competing at my best on the world stage at IFMA. This year Canada is bringing the heat from the north, and it’s very apparent from our performance at the Pan Ams in Argentina. Until then, talk is cheap so back to the forge with excellence in mind and passion in heart.
MTC: Is there anything else you would like to add? Who would you like to thank with regards to the people who helped prepare you physically and financially for this latest experience?
WF: Thank you to the Capitals Driving force. My competitive excellence and drive to dominate the ring is attainable with your support. Thank you to my supporters who contributed through the Make A Champ campaign, to my entire community of friends and supporters, and of course my teammates at N1-Thaiboxing.
Although Warwick didn’t leave Argentina with a gold medal around his neck, you can bet that he is back in the gym, ironing out his techniques for his next return to the ring.
Ryan McKinnon is the host of The Bloody Ballet Podcast and website, found at www.thebloodyballet.com.