A Stornoway-based Muay Thai fighter has won his maiden bout and he admits he has been bitten by the fighting bug and he has already booked his second fight.
Gary-Thomas Reynolds, 28, trains at Eilean Siar Muay Thai, run by ex-Scottish and British Muay Thai Champion Norrie Mackenzie and Norrie, and fellow club coach Calum Hector Maclean were in Gary’s corner for his first fight.
Standing opposite Gary was semi-professional boxer David Love from Easthouse Boxing Club but far from feeling nerves, Gary says he was so focussed on following his fight game plan he had no time to worry.
“I didn’t really have any nerves even when walking to the ring,” he told the Gazette.
“There was a couple of seconds of nerves being in the ring until the bell rang but as soon as I heard it was just focus on my opponent and the nerves were gone and I put it to the back of my head to get on with it.”
Prior to fighting in last month’s ‘Gym Wars’ event in Glasgow Gary had only gloved up in training and in an inter-club event.
“It was great, such a good experience and I enjoyed it so much I have another fight booked for March,” he said.
“This one is at 73KG so I’ll need to work hard and put on a little weight before then.”
His fight against Love saw Gary fighting at 71KG and he weighed in comfortably at 70KG with the two scheduled to scrap it out over five 90-second rounds but Gary didn’t let it get that far.
“I went down to Glasgow and managed to stick to the game plan we had been working on and came away with the win,” he continued.
“I stopped him in the third with leg kicks. I nearly knocked him out in the second with a head kick.
“In the third I kept punishing his lead and he couldn’t take it.”
But with Love being a semi-pro boxer he wasn’t without heavy hitting artillery of his own as Gary concedes with a smile of recognition.
“I knew quite a bit about my opponent and I knew he could kick as he has been training Muay Thai but I could kick better and that was obvious,” he said.
“We believed if I started kicking he would go back to his boxing which he did. He hit really hard but I had to try and stay away from his big hook.
“That was easier said than done and he caught me with two good ones.
“A body hook and one right on the jaw. I felt that and it was the first shot when I realised he was looking to knock me out and it reminded me I was in a real fight.”
Gary moved to Lewis from Lurgan, Northern Ireland, several years ago and he has since made Stornoway his home with his young family.
A regular at Eilean Siar Muay Thai he was delighted to make the trip to Glasgow with good friends and experienced fighters in his corner.
“Having someone like Norrie in my corner is such a huge help,” said Gary.
“Both himself Callum and they were so helpful, leading the way and telling me what to do.
“Keeping me right really.”