Emma’s first amateur boxing fight at the BC Boxing Provincials
On Friday, May 9th Emma Hamilton, owner of Elements Academy of Martial Arts, took part in her first amateur boxing fight at the BC Boxing Provincials. Emma was matched against River Tucker, a fierce competitor with 22 fights under her belt. Because these fighters are in different weight classes the fight was classified as an exhibition (a fight that does not count as a win/loss on your official boxing record).
Why did you decide to pursue a Boxing fight?
I like to be tested. I get motivated by the heightened state I experience when I know there are true consequences tied to my actions. And my training has more personal value for me when the focus and dedication I invest in it concludes with a big event or exhibition of some kind. For me competition or the fight is the only true test of my abilities.
Did you have any fears or anxiety leading up the fight?
The biggest anxiety I had was the uncertainty of whether or not the fight would actually happen. That, and not knowing who my opponent would be. Because it was also my first fight, every little unknown factor added additional stress.
Which experiences stood out for you leading up to the fight?
I was surprised how much my sparring improved in a short period of time. I felt confident, calm, and relaxed as the fight approached, which was a testament to my sparring experiences over the last year. The other thing that stood out for me was knowing Tony Pep was the most experienced coach out there. Our years of training together helped keep me much more relaxed than I was for my Muay Thai fight in Thailand.
What do you feel were Tony’s shining moments as a coach?
Aside from the technical training I received from Tony, I felt I really gained confidence from his faith in my ability to do this fight. Tony kept repeating to me that I was ready and my confidence was solidified when I overheard Tony telling other people I was good to go.
Can you run us through how you felt on fight day?
I woke up feeling depleted, hungry and thirsty but I was determined to complete my weigh-in. I had a dream the night before that I was matched against an opponent I didn’t feel ready to fight. When I weighed in Friday morning that fighter approached me and asked me to fight her. I didn’t know if we would get paired together but I wasn’t surprised when I learned she would be my opponent. I was ready to fight and I wanted the fight to happen.
I wasn’t feeling nervous that day. Mainly I just found the whole process really interesting. I got to watch all of the fighters weigh-in and go through their medicals. I didn’t feel nervous but I was surprised how much I didn’t know about the lingo and all of the boxing protocols.
How did you feel as you faced the ring?
I felt totally on my own. I knew no one would be able to save me once I stepped in that ring. All I knew was that I needed to go through it and complete my goal of getting into the ring. I even had a fleeting dose of fight or flight and I had to face down a small instinct to escape.
How did you feel once the fight was over?
I was surprised there was no winner announced. I only learned at that moment when both our hands were raised that they don’t score exhibition fights. I don’t know what might have changed if I had known that sooner because my intention was to go in and win that fight, even though my opponent had much more experience than I did in the ring.
I wasn’t tired enough at the end of each round so I know I should have thrown more punches. I am proud of my performance and I know what I will do better at next time. It felt like a decent fight and I am not dwelling on the things I did wrong.
What advice would you give yourself in preparing for a future fight?
Throw more hard, devastating punches. I need to tap into my killer instinct and fight with the intention to cause damage.
What advice would you give to another female boxer just starting her fight career?
Find a great training partner. Your coach is your technical trainer but your training partner is there for you the rest of the time and is going to get you the most prepared for your fight. Without my training partner the experience would have changed entirely.
Also, get connected with a group of motivated, female sparring partners. You need to spar all of the time because that is the only thing that mimics the conditions in the ring.