The moment we decided to move to Thailand, Morgan simultaneously set his mind to something else:
He was going to train in muay thai boxing.
He’d dabbled in MMA training in the months before leaving South Africa and muay thai seemed to be a perfect cultural extension of his martial arts interest. Upon arriving, Morgan debated whether to begin training at the world-famous Tiger Muay Thai gym, but ultimately decided on the equally impressive, though somewhat more personal atmosphere of Dragon Muay Thai gym.
Unlike most of the farangs who train at these gyms, Morgan has been working full-time in addition to training. Despite my reluctance to have him fight (broken noses, cauliflower ear – need I say more?), I understood his frustration, wishing he could dedicate endless hours to training instead of only an hour every other day due to work schedules and scooter-sharing logistics.
Last Friday night his training and determination paid off – he stepped into the ring at Bangla Boxing Stadium for his very first muay thai fight.
Walking into the stadium, Morgan proudly gazed upon the many posters that had his face (mostly mustache) plastered on them. I laughed. I hadn’t actually believed him when he told me that he wasn’t only featured on a poster, but he was made the most prominently featured fighter on the poster. And the Bangla Stadium advertisers decided that Morgan was from Russia, hence the Russian flag under his name. What better to draw in the massive crowds of Russians in Patong Beach than to support what they assumed to be a fellow Russian!
Morgan watched the first few fights with me in the stands before he left to get his hands wrapped and to learn the ceremonial Thai steps that fighters perform before each fight. Our friend Will came to support, sweat bullets with me in the stands and to take this video of Morgan’s fight.