Hi everyone, I'm Ashley Mann from Awakening, I'm here with Awakening World Champion Lucy Payne. Hi Lucy, thanks for taking the time to chat to us today.
I know a lot of people saw you fight last in August at Lion Fight, could you tell us a bit about how your fight was against Tiffany Van Soest?
“Well it was in July
A lot of people saw you fight in July at Lion Fight against Tiffany Van Soest, could you tell us about that fight?
“Well the fight didn’t go as planned, as most people probably saw I didn’t perform my best. I actually ended up getting stopped in the first round. I just took a hard shot and didn’t recover quick enough, so yes I was quite disappointed with that... seeing as I'd put so much hard training in, but Tiffany was the better fighter on the night so hopefully one day I'll be able to get a rematch and prove myself.”
What was the atmosphere like fighting in the US and on Lion Fight in particular?
“It was amazing, it was definitely the best show I've ever been on and experienced. Everyone there was lovely and they looked after me really, really well. It was a great experience, amazing show… just a bit gutted that I didn’t get to perform on it… Ummm, seeing as that’s never happened to me before, I've never been stopped in a fight before... so to go over there on the biggest show I've ever been on and then not perform at my best, that was a bit disappointing but the show and all the people, they were all lovely… good experience!”
What's the biggest different between fighting in the US and fighting back home here in England?
“Ummm…. I think over in the US it's taken… not more seriously but, it's almost like a bigger thing over there. I mean, as I said you're really well looked after over there. Obviously a huge sport with a huge fan base, and loads of followers. Being over here in the UK, there's not any big sponsorships or anything like that… I mean, the amount of interviews I had over there.. The amount of interest people took in me, as a fighter and as a person as well, it was really awesome. Over here I don’t get things like that. It's just bigger, more well known I suppose.”
Did you get to speak to Tiffany before or after the fight?
“No not really, I didn’t get to speak to her much before. I think that’s quite normal for two people when they are fighting, you don’t tend to socialize a lot before a fight because you know you're both going to go in there and fight one another. I spoke to her afterwards and she seemed like a really lovely girl, but there was no bad blood between me and Tiffany. I know quite a few people tried to stir it up before the fight… which is quite natural obviously.. That’s the way it is in the sport. No, nothing against Tiffany personally… she's a lovely girl and she's obviously doing really well for herself.. Its good.”
Tiffany is still holding the Lion Fight Title, would you like to rematch with her at some point for that?
“Yeah definitely, as soon as I get the opportunity I'd like to have another go... And hopefully I get to go back out there on their amazing show and prove that I can do it and I can take the title, so fingers crossed for that at some point!”
You're fighting on March 23rd for the Awakening World Title and you’re currently the defending Champion of the title at 57 kilos, are you excited to be fighting back in England now on a home show?
“I'm always excited to fight on the home show because obviously I get support from my home town, my family come and watch.. All my friends, so that’s always good. Obviously fighting on the home show, there's the downside of there being more pressure.. As you don’t want to lose on your home turf.. Don’t want to let anyone down.. As I said, family and stuff are there and you don’t want to let them down. But yes I'm excited to get back in the ring and stuff, I haven't fought since my Tiffany fight in July so I'm back in training now, focussed and hopefully going to be walking away still the Champion, so fingers crossed.”
Has it been hard training for this upcoming fight having had such a long break between your last fight and this one?
“Yeah, because I've had a bit of time off, I've kind of enjoyed more of a social life. I've still been in the gym and I've still been training... but also been off out for lunch, and all the nice things that you get to do as well. So, I'm cutting weight again and I'm getting back into my diet and it’s just nice things like partying and stuff I have to cut back on, so that’s all a bit different now. But it’s nice to back in the gym and nice to be getting fit again and feeling strong, so hopefully I'll be super fit by March.”
and you’re fighting Victoria Lomax, who is a British girl but fighting out of Spain… what else do you know about her?
“Ummm, I don’t actually know a lot about Victoria, I've seen a few bits on her like on Youtube and things, I've had a little bit of a look. I know that she's shorter than me, she's look like.. quite strong and stocky, so I'm assuming she's a big boxer. I know she's got a really good right hand so I'm going to have to be wary of that *giggle*.. But other than that I don’t know too much about her. But I do know that she's really keen for the fight and I know she's going to bring everything she's got.. So I reckon it will be a tough fight.”
Do you normally go into fights with a specific game plan or do you kind of go in with a general approach?
“I do normally train with a game plan, my coach Nathan, he's really good at coming up with game plans and stuff like that.. He can spot things like, what people are weaker at and what they're stronger at.. So that’s always a really good thing for me, so I can actually have something that I'm training for. So I've got a few little bits that we've got planned already. I've fought,… well most fighters that I fight are shorter than me, so it's going to be a similar thing planned with that.. As I've got longer legs and longer arms.. So my reach will be a lot better and hopefully I'll be able to keep her away when needs be.. And close the gap when I feel it’s time to do so.”
You mentioned earlier that you have extra pressure with the home crowd, and all your friends and family are there, is there extra pressure because you’re the defending Champion going into it?
“I think it has added to it this time. This will be my first defence… I know Nathan has offered previous other titles that I've got.. Like my British titles and things like that.. He's offered them out in the past for defence... No one has ever taken him up on it... So I've never actually defended any of those belts.. So this is my first defence, so obviously I don’t want to go in there and lose anything, so yes... a little more pressure and I want to obviously come away still holding my title, but that’s kind of more of a drive in training… so it’s helping as well, that pressure.”
What female fighters inspire you?
“Well obviously I trained with Julie Kitchen for a long time so she's my main inspiration. Like, training alongside her... It was always someone to look up to, just aspired to be like her… her fighting style, we're both very similar in the way that we're both very tall, long limbs, so her kind of style and techniques are styles and techniques that I've now taken on. So um, she's my main inspiration, if I could achieve what Julie has achieved and like go down in history as doing something for the female side of the sport, then that would be great.”
You've been at Touchgloves Gym here in Cornwall your entire career... Under Nathan Kitchen… what's it been like having him coach you and corner you in your fights?
“Nathan is a brilliant coach, he always puts in loads of time… Ummm… like, free training in the day times.. He'll give up weekends for fighter sessions. He's 100% dedicated to his fighters, he'll argue your case for you no matter what.. He's always got your back. And with him putting in so much time he's really developed how I fight, he's obviously trained Julie.. Who's become the best in the world, so I always feel very safe knowing that he's in my corner, I always know that he's going to be there to help me, he's always going to be cheering me on no matter what.. I always try and give him my best and we're friends as well as a fighter and coach relationship.. So yeah, I get on with Nath really well.”
[Ashley rambles.. But essentially asks…] "I know you work a different job in addition to your fighting career. Is that a difference you've noticed between fighters at your level, home in England, compared to fighters abroad?
“Yeah, I think a lot of that comes down to sponsorship. I think a lot of the Americans... like, Tiffany has got such a big support network behind her… she's got a nutritionist, she's got a Boxing coach, and Muay Thai coach... She's got all of that with her… but over here everything costs money, like no-one's willing to back you up for free, sponsorship is a lot harder to get over here so most fighters end up having to work as well as having fight lifestyles... You end up doing a bit of both so we’re not that lucky over here... I guess that why… the UK's.. Suffering a little bit more *giggles*.”
Beyond the Victoria Lomax fight here in March… who else would you be interested in fighting next, or in the future?
“Ummm, well obviously I'd like to have that rematch with Tiffany as I said before.. Umm, Denise Kielholtz I'd like to fight again. I lost to her in the Enfusion finals. There was a little bit of debate about that fight, some people thought that I'd won it... Myself and Nathan thought that I’d done enough to get it but the decision went her way, so that would be a fight that I'd like to get under my belt and prove that one… but really keen to fight anyone, every fight is experience and I have respect for every fighter than gets in the ring so, so just see what comes my way really.”
Is there any one you’d like to thank?
“Yeah definitely, I'd like to thank you guys at Awakening obviously, for putting me out there as you have, and letting me fight for your titles… And I’d like to thank Nathan obviously, for putting in so much time and effort with me and coaching me… and well, everyone at Touchgloves... We’re like a big family, and it’s not just the fighters at Touchgloves that I get support and help from, its' the whole gym, from the people that train once a week to those that train every day.. They're all there shouting for me at fights and their all backing me and supporting me.. So just thank you to everyone really that’s out there that’s helping me…”
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us today Lucy, we wish you the best in your next fight against Victoria Lomax... which is on March 23rd here in Cornwall, UK.
“Thank you very much”