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The Ax Forum
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Gary O'Brien STBA
Posted: 2009-05-06 11:05:04
Sorry Iíve not been on here, took a few days off to recover from the event and tie up the loose ends. Anyway, first of all thanks to all the fighters, trainers and support staff that helped with this event, I really appreciate the support! All of the fighters and teams were great to work with on the day and the weigh in was very easy! I donít like to single anyone out, but have to give a special mention to Tam McCourt from GTBA for stepping in at the last minute, not only t rescue the match up, but also put in a strong performance in the process!

Just to quickly address the issues surrounding the officials. Alex, I didnít see the fight, but Iíll phone you when I do. However, I am pretty confident in the decision of the officials and their decisions generally reflect my beliefs on Muay Thai scoring. Their was only one majority decision with 1 judge going for a draw and the other 2 the winner, whilst every other decision was unanimous, so I am fairly confident that the correct decision was given, but I will comment when I see it.

As for the stoppage of the cuts I didnít see the Peter Tiarks cut, however I understand it was on the top of the head, so although not really in a position that would affect Peterís vision, unless significant amounts of blood, so yeah, maybe premature. I did feel that the stoppage of Gulapkaw, was wrong. He had Paul rattled from the first bell and was dominating the round trying to finish the fight early, but to Paulís credit, he didnít give up under the pressure and managed to cut Gulapkaw on the cheek, which required some stitches. I donít like criticising officials on the net and didnít even kick off on the day, as it doesnít really help any. The referee took advise from the doctor, who is the main doctor for Muay Thai and MMA in Scotland so does have a lot of experience and does often let many cuts go, so I do understand why the Referee didnít want to take his advice lightly, even when the cut wasnít affecting the vision of the fighter. But the main thing is that we learn from it and address it as a community. Iíve spoken to the Referee and going to try and arrange a meting with the main Scottish officials, medics and trainers to discuss a number of issues, cuts being one of them. We were disappointed with the decision, but at the end of the day, nobody was hurt by it and the fighters can always have a rematch on the next show if they want to.

We always make mistakes, but this is an important part of learning. I think the officials in Scotland have done a fantastic job over the past 5 years and have had a significant impact on the sport up hear. In fact, I am certain that if you took every fight in Scotland over a year, I bet the consistency on judging is significantly better than anywhere else in the UK. Yes there is mistakes, but this is sport and I will continue to try and give the officials experience on the big shows to again help develop our officials, as it is not sustainable to always rely on the experienced officials like Tony, as there is often conflicts in shows etc, so they need to get as much experience as possible instead of getting flung in like we have often had to do in the past.

But to get back to the show and to take the promoter hat off for a minute. From a personal perspective, I was really proud of the performance of my own fighters a few of which have only been training for a small period but performed with a good style and listened to everything I said. Also, Kieran was clinical and a joy to watch IMO, it was one for the purists, Iím jealous of your technique wee man. Ritchie, had a big psychological barrier to get past in his fight, when I first mentioned the rematch I could tell he wasnít very confident, as he felt it was by far his toughest to date, but he trusted me and oozed confidence and scary to think heís still 17. I was really surprised with Gulapkaw, when he first came to train with me he showed raw power, but was very rusty and never really showed that fighter grit when sparring, but I hoped that was just down to the Thai play spar attitude. I honestly thought he was going to struggle with Paulís aggressive style and thought weíd either win by points or Paul by stoppage, but as soon as the fight started he showed a completely different side and was so aggressive. Its going to take a few fights for him to start showing his potential, but heís only 19 and Iím hopefully going to keep him busy this year and I can see him climbing the rankings quickly.

I had a lot of people saying they preferred the Sat night on the last event, so looks like I might try that again, any feedback?

I should have some pictures at the weekend.

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