Liam Harrison has stated he is in the prime of his career ahead of his bout against Singdam Kiatmoo9 at Yokkao 15 on October 10.
The British thai boxer is set to main event Yokkao 15 at The Macron in Bolton on Saturday, in one of the UK’s biggest Muay Thai cards to-date, and Harrison feels prepared for his match-up.
“I don’t think he’s any higher level than Saenchai, Pakorn,” stated Harrison. “I’ve fought all the top guys already. I know he’s got a real strong right kick, I know what his style is, so I’m looking forward to it, and just fighting at that top level again.
“He has been on the back of a few losses, but when you’re fighting at that level that Singdam is fighting at you’re not going to be winning every time. Hopefully he’ll bring that bad form over to England but even if he doesn’t I think I am prepared and ready enough to beat him, whether he is in good form or bad form. I’m in the prime of my career at the minute, and I think my last few performances have shown that.”
Harrison celebrated his 30th Birthday on October 5, and admitted a win over the respected Thai would cap off his week in the most emphatic fashion.
“It was my 30th birthday, so I think winning against a name, such as Singdam, a fighter as renowned and prestigious as Singdam is, I think it will go down as a real, real birthday to remember.”
The No. 1 ranked 65kg Yokkao UK fighter also spoke about the constant evolution of the Muay Thai in the UK and credited Bad Company Gym coach Richard Smith for leading the way.
“When I first started, not many people were doing that, we were stuck in old school ways. My coach Richard has always been going to Thailand ever since I started at Bad Company, he’s got his own training regime, he has evolved with the sport.
“As a country we’re all evolving now, we’re all getting better and all our fighters are getting better and outside Thailand we’ve got one of the best countries of fighters that there is out there. The French they’ve got some great fighters, Australia, but I think we are outside Thailand we are the best.”
Harrison’s Bad Company, Leeds teammate Jordan Watson will also compete on Saturday on Yokkao 15 against Jordann Pikeur and will look to rebound from his loss to Sanny Dahlbeck last time out.
“Training has been great, me and Jordan have absolutely smashed it, Jordan has obviously got a point to prove. I think the most of UK Muay Thai knows that he didn’t prepare properly for his last Yokkao fight, he missed his weight cut. He’s training his arse off for this fight.”
Harrison goes into Yokkao 15 after a huge win against Malaipet Sasiprapa at Lion Fight 23 in Los Angeles, California. However “The Hitman” admitted that leading into the fight he jarred his knee which made it a lot tougher.
“I had a great time over there, they looked after me really well, it was my second time fighting in America. I was riddled with injuries, I’d not thrown a kick for the last two weeks building up to the fight, so I was really worried that I wasn’t in the greatest shape.
“I would have liked to have preformed a lot better than I did but it was still a very exciting fight for the crowd, an exciting fight for TV, I still grinded out the win so I was still happy. This fight now I haven’t got any injuries so I’m happy about that.”
The Yokkao 14 and Yokkao 15 Supershowdown has been sold-out for well over a month and Harrison credits the capacity crowd at The Macron for their support, with the UK show looking ready to move on to bigger venues.
“The atmosphere in Bolton in The Macron is always electric, a stadium just slightly bigger might be needed now because obviously we’ve had some sell outs and the shows have been getting bigger and bigger, but we don’t want to go too fast, we don’t want to lose any atmosphere.”
The Leeds, England man last competed on Yokkao 13, against Pakorn PKSaenchaimuaythaigym for the Yokkao -65kg World title. Harrison would come up short against the Thai, losing a decision in a frustrating fight.
“Since Pakorn has moved gyms to Saenchai’s gym he’s totally changed his style, he used to be renowned for getting into a bit of a war. When I trained with him at Jitti Gym we used to go full on in sparring and stuff.”
Harrison admitted that Pakorn fought smart, but should he get a rematch he would be less tentative in his approach.
“I thought to myself going into the fight he totally changed his style, he was fighting on the back foot, moving, scoring, being clever, and being smart. Obviously Saenchai helped train him for that fight as well.
“Pakorn is not stupid, he knows how hard I can hit, he knows how strong I am, he did what he had to do. And a lot of the time we ended up nullifying each other. Because I don’t think between me and him I don’t think there is much difference, we are around the similar level which was obviously shown in that fight. I thought by playing that game I still could just nick it.
“He just nicked half of round four, which then left me slightly behind and I couldn’t pull it back. I left it too late. If I get my rematch I’m not going to fight that fight, next time I will just be going for the kill and trying to finish.”
Harrison stated that a rematch with Pakorn is one of his top priorities right now, but he must first get past Singdam before that is a possibility: “I want that Yokkao title, it is very very important that I beat Singdam for me, everything is resting on it.”
As for another dream Thai fight, fans have pined for an all British clash against KO Gym’s Greg Wootton, however it isn’t currently something on Harrison’s radar.
“It might happen eventually, the guy has had 30 fights he’s only been fighting at top level about a year and a half or so. I’ve been fighting at top level at 10 years. Anyone who can do that against the top level for 10 years, I will applaud them. if it happens it happens.”
Harrison predicted a big performance on Saturday night, and stated at this point in his career he wants to carry on fighting the elite level in Muay Thai for as long as he can.
“I’m 30 years old, I haven’t got much longer left in my career, I want to go after the fights that excite me, I want to carry on fighting the best of the best.”